“Clarkey“? Pardon I? Since when has Decent Dave been on nickname terms with Kenneth Clarke? Did it predate or postdate him talking about “money-quotes” or what? (by the way, Cohen-watchers, I have literally nothing to say about NC’s Sunday piece other than that as far as I can tell every single important detail of it had already appeared on Harry’s Place and that this is really quite poor). Hang on, “Condi” Rice too. Doctor Condoleeza Rice is really quite particular about being called “Doctor Rice” by quite senior staffers and close political associates, so Dave is clearly best mates with the A-list. Perhaps next week we will hear about “Geri” Schroder and “Frouto” Chirac. Or “Three Bellies” Hussein, I don’t fucking know.
I think that the first two paragraphs of Aaro’s piece can be summed up quite accurately as “have you read the Chatham House report? Well you’ve read nine thousand and eighty five words more of it than I have then”. Of course a single sentence of a fucking report doesn’t “stand up to examination” if you decide that every single question you have to ask about the report has to be answered in that single sentence. And other people’s views look even sillier if you are allowed to tell them what they “seem to be”. In other words, this week’s Aaro is real hackwork; presumably the strain of having to write two pieces this week has told on him.
“The vulnerability, the fallibility” moment of the week (there is also “a world in which there is no safety” right at the end, but this is more psychologically complex):
” But perhaps he deals with this by calculating that the cancer is only putative and a way down the road. The heart disease is only possible and is distant. The bony chap with the scythe and dark robes is still a shadow. In the meantime Clarkes have to live, drive cars, eat good food and wear fedoras.”
And the Aaronovitches also have to live, drive, eat good food within the confines of their fad diets and shave their goatees. The heart disease is only possible and is distant. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may for tomorrow we napalm Fallujah. Seriously, I have never been a fan of the “how do you sleep at night” school of journalism and Decent Dave is hardly in a position to start casting stones while simultaneously dismissing the consequences of his journalism with “ I have a feeling (and I could be wrong) that the report may be a dud“.
Oh, I caught one! “Lamontian conservatism means letting people have tyrannies if the tyrants want them to. […] The reckoning is a long way down the road. And then someone flies planes into high buildings”. Yep, it’s the cornerstone of Decent political analysis, the reversal of the timeline between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq. Remember that this piece started with Ken Clarke’s comments on Iraq, everybody. The Time Lord argument is so bad and such a regular feature of Aaro/Nicko analysis that I’m going to start collecting examples for an end-of-year special, help gladly appreciated in the comments.
This column is terrible; it doesn’t quite plumb Cohen’s depths, but it’s a shocking piece of hackwork even so. Aaro’s theme is emerging, I think; he is going to be the Chicken Little of the new authoritarianism. Aaro is worried that between the arteriosclerosis, the Muslims and the chavs, he’s not gonna live to see fifty, and my God are we all going to suffer alongside him. The only cure for the national malaise that is being projected on to us is war, on anything. Oh but on the other hand, don’t take it seriously, propaganda is really just a bit of fun and you lot don’t realise what a normal bloke Dave really is:
Ken is a good chap, of course, and engagingly free of pol-speak
Oh yes David. Better keep in with good old Ken eh, because you never know. Having thrown away his bruschetta, Decent Dave is hardly likely to piss on his chips.
Currently listening to:
“Comfortably Numb” – Pink Floyd
“Down To My Last Cigarette” – Patsy Cline