Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Non Vos Sed Nos

And still they bang on about Agent COB and all that. The audience at the EFF Manufacturing Conference, hotbed of Stalinism that it is known to be, has just booed the Daily Mail for asking about this "story".

There were loud cheers and applause from that most Conservative-supporting of audiences, or so one would have assumed until today, when Jeremy Corbyn said that he was sorry that the Daily Mail was reduced to following up nonsense from The Sun.

None of this should come as any surprise. Favourable cultural depictions of Margaret Thatcher, or indeed of Tony Blair, simply do not exist. The Miners' Strike has always been ubiquitous, only ever from the NUM's point of view; the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are now in much the same position, only ever written by the Stop the War Coalition, or as good as.

The IRA has become the stuff of sitcom. Yes, sitcom. And everyone, of every generation, now assumes that the Cold War was an imaginative backdrop invented by Ian Fleming. Any exceptions are treated as if they thought that Game of Thrones were real. That's the way it is. Get used to it.

Jan Sarkocy is not a fantasist. He is simply a liar. But Anthony Glees, although an old friend of Neil Clark's, and that is always a point in anyone's favour, is truly deluded. Sarkocy does not believe that he organised Live Aid on behalf of the StB. He merely says that he did. Glees, on the other hand, sincerely believes every word that he says, just as he sincerely believes that he can set up something called "the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies" and people will think that he is James Bond.

Yet a university hosts that Centre. And there is no point mocking Buckingham as a curious 1980s throwback, a commercial entity conferring bought-and-paid-for certificates on anyone with the readies (which university is not like that these days?), and Professorial rank for media purposes on ageing New Right cranks. After all, the Ulster Centre for Social Research and its Mankind Quarterly are based at the perfectly respectable University of Ulster, while the London Conference on Intelligence is held at the world class University College London.

We can all, however, play that game. The title of this post will be understood by certain regular readers. It is the motto of UCL, University College Lanchester, of which I am Master. In that capacity, I confer at my pleasure the doctoral degree of DLindsay, of which the first holders are Dr Oliver Kamm, Dr Alison Saunders, Dr Dr Damian Thompson, and Councillor Dr Dr Simon Henig. Citations are to follow.

In all seriousness, it is very high time for something, perhaps electing to Associateship everyone who submitted an essay to the satisfaction of each member of a Fellowship that had been drawn from a range of the fields and disciplines that were capable of furnishing the alternative to failed neoliberal economic policy and to failed neoconservative foreign policy. The successful essays would be published. Watch this space.

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