David Newton, Edinburgh: Fidel Castro: hero of the left, or dangerous authoritarian dictator?She's right, of course: plenty on the left do regard Old Uncle Fidel as a hero. And arguably, David Newton was creating a false dichotomy: being a "dangerous authoritarian dictator" is no bar to being hero-worshipped by the left. Indeed, some might say that it was a necessary qualification.
Harriet Harman: Hero of the left – but time for Cuba to move on.
But since Harman is a proud member of the (far) left, one assumes that she was proclaiming Castro to be one of her heroes. Now, how long do you think any vaguely right-wing contemporary politician would last, proclaiming his admiration for, say, General Franco? Indeed, just think how quickly Nigel Hastilow's career was killed off after he expressed agreement with Enoch Powell, a man who, so far as I am aware, was not responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 people. Among those who weighed in against Hastilow was one Harriet Harman, who said that his comments demonstrated that the Tories were "the same old nasty party". If admirers of Powell are "nasty" what, I wonder, are admirers of Castro? Is there a word strong enough to describe them?
Of course, unlike Nigel Hastilow, Harriet Harman won't lose her job over her admiration for Castro, because the media, which launched a witch hunt against Hastilow, is largely ignoring this. Only the Times and the Spectator's Coffee House blog have devoted any real attention to Harman's comments, although the Daily Mail did mention them, very briefly, in passing. The BBC, which happily stoked the flames for the burning of the heretic Hastilow, makes no mention of this. Quelle surprise!
Harman's remarks expose the utter moral bankruptcy, and complete hypocrisy, that is the hallmark of the modern left. As Pete Moore of ATW, to whom I owe a hat-tip for this story, puts it "no matter how low your opinion of them, they'll always demonstrate that it wasn't low enough". Damn right!
Update: It seems that Harman is not alone in her admiration for Castro. Via CentreRight, I see that sixty-nine other MPs have signed an Early Day Motion tabled by obscure Labour backbencher Colin Burgon, which states that "this House commends the achievements of Fidel Castro".