John Gray on Andrew Sullivan’s Dishcast


I recommend the first 15 or 20 minutes of this podcast. Defs worth the listen as John Gray explains where he comes from — literally and intellectually and ideologically. His milieu is British working class and he got to Oxford and has been a maverick to all classes ever since.

I loved his point about how rickets went down during World War II rationing in his home town, a small, prosaic illustration of his point that, at any time a vast number of things are getting better at the worst of times, a vast number of things are getting better at the worst of times.

Then he and his host talk about how populism is the blowback from liberalism. An interesting thing to think about — I expect they’re right. But it’s all wrapped up in a morality tale about Hilary Clinton. Yes, Hilary Clinton was a shitty candidate and her candidature showed the way power trumps quality inside political parties, including progressive ones. But that’s a somewhat different morality tale. The Republicans were the neoliberals par excellence during the relevant period. You can blame the Democrats for not representing their own constituency better, but they did represent it better than the Republicans.

And then they talk about Brexit. John Gray was a Brexiter but of course not the Brexit we’ve ended up with. So like Dom Cummings, it’s OK to turn the place upside down, with a big red bus running up and down the country with a massive lie on its side, led by a sociopathic liar who was sacked for dishonesty from his first two jobs to ultimately massively disadvantage of those you claim to care about. Then you say ‘Oh well, it wasn’t what I voted for’. The Churchill defence for Gallipoli!

As my Mum used to say “You dear old pet.”


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Not Trampis
1 year ago

I agree he was a lair but me thinks you were wanting another word.

By the way your e-mails on Sunday are a godsend