In a recent Guardian interview with Stuart Jeffries, Tariq Ali despairs of Westminster and the ‘extreme centre’ that dominates politics today. His solution? It’s not to trust Ed Miliband – it’s to follow the principles laid out by his father.
‘You can’t just wait for something to happen. You have to do something’ … Tariq Ali. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian.
Tariq Ali is recalling a party for the late Tony Benn on the House of Commons terrace shortly after Labour’s 1997 election victory. “Edward Miliband, as he was known then, came up to me, eyes shining, very excited, asking: ‘Tariq, what would you do if you had just won?’ I said: ‘The first thing I would do is to renationalise the railways. Between 70 and 80% of the people want that, it would be very popular.’ And he rolled his eyes in despair at me.”
Arifa Akbar writes in the Independent that Kashmir is full of 'urgent truths' about the disputed region and its struggle for independence, praising Arundhati Roy for a particularly 'powerful' contribution. Paris Review recently published a short interview with Roy about her other recent book, Walking with the Comrades, in which she argues that in her opinion there is more hope to be found among the oppressed than their oppressors:
I always find it interesting that when you’re with people who are really at the receiving end of oppression, you find a lot less despair than you do in middle-class drawing rooms. In these situations, despair is not an option. I wonder if the amount of information that is hammered into our heads day and night leads people to think that the world’s problems are so huge they’re insurmountable. Whereas people who are fighting against something in a more or less localized way are far clearer about what they have to do and how they have to do it.