Tuesday, May 02, 2006

GOOD NEWS FROM EUSTON

Whilst many of us spent the long weekend trying to pretend that Rooney and Terry currently possess more than two good legs between them, I see a certain Christopher Hitchens was seriously considering adding his name to the list of Euston Manifesto signatories.

As usual, Hitchens has a fair bit to say so it's worth reading the lot, but for those in a hurry - here's his summary:
The “Euston Manifesto” keeps it simple. It prefers democratic pluralism, at any price, to theocracy. It raises an eyebrow at the enslavement of the female half of the population and the burial alive of homosexuals. It has its reservations about the United States, but knows that if anything is ever done about (say) Darfur, it will be Washington that receives the UN mandate to do the heavy lifting.

It prefers those who vote in Iraq and Afghanistan to those who put bombs in mosques and schools and hospitals. It does not conceive of arguments that make excuses for suicide murderers. It affirms the right of democratic nations and open societies to defend themselves, both from theocratic states abroad and from theocratic gangsters at home.

I have been flattered by an invitation to sign it, and I probably will, but if I agree it will be the most conservative document that I have ever initialled. Even the obvious has now become revolutionary. So call me a neo-conservative if you must: anything is preferable to the rotten unprincipled alliance between the former fans of the one-party state and the hysterical zealots of the one-god one.
Very nice.

For those who need to know, I can confirm it was indeed an O'Neill's in which this whole devillish plot was hatched, so no wonder the bitter was non-existent. Picture here courtesy of Anthony Cox, who also reports the good news that the number of signatories has now reached the 1,000 mark.

Good stuff.

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