Monday, May 16, 2005


Most of us know how to use irony, even if many confuse it with sarcasm. But I used to think only a certain kind of postmodernist knew how to use 'irony' in ever-expanding quotation marks. An irony that is reflexive, perpetuating itself in ever expanding circles of mockery. Now, news arrives that Jack Straw is a grey Kierkegaard, without the wit or moral seriousness. For lo, in today's Guardian , his comments on Uzbekistan are reported. Replying to a question about whether Britain would support an opposition movement in Uzbekistan (notice, not even invade or anything!), Straw said:

"It's for the people to decide on a change of regime, not outsiders."
I'm glad he finally got that straight.

Meanwhile, Craig Murray, who displays a sense of humour, outrage, political nous and moral seriousness that evades his former paymasters, writes in The Guardian this morning of the oppressive regime in Uzbekistan, of the support it gets from the US (both diplomatic and financial), and of the means of dismissal already being deployed - they're "Islamic terrorists" says Scott McLennan. Unto which: "I travelled to Andijan a year ago to meet the opposition leaders, and kept in touch. I can give you a direct assurance that they are - or in many cases were - in no sense Islamist militants. They died an unwanted embarrassment to US foreign policy. We will doubtless hear some pious hypocrisies from Jack Straw. But when I was seeking funding to support the proto-democrats, the Foreign Office turned me down flat."

Pious hypocrisies? From Jack Straw? See above.