Monday, March 31, 2008

How things change

Still on Charles Clarke's interview with the readership of the Independent, in responding to a question of why student politics is not what it was, he cites the end of fascism in western Europe, the end of apartheid, and the end of 'Soviet totalitarianism'.

The last citation did make me chuckle given that it's been alleged by former KGB operatives that Clarke once offered himself up to spy for the Soviets. Actually the allegation is that he virtually begged to become one of their assets. Assuming such allegations are true isn't it funny how things and people change?


Anonymous said...

Or at least how our perception of them does.

Alex said...

Clarke was the President of the NUS from 1975 to 77, (by which time he was 27). At the time student politics was full of posturing lefties. The ideas of Lenin, Mao and Trotsky may seem very remote now, but at the time they were very real and started east of Vienna.

The time predated Thatcher and Reagan, so the right wing was pretty anaemic, more like a dating agency than a political grouping. Student politics has simply followed national politics.

Little Black Sambo said...

Now we have the rise of fascism in old Soviet Russia and the rise of soviet totalitarianism in western Europe. Ah well, a busy student's work is never done.

Anonymous said...

The end of Soviet Totalitarianism?

Well I suppose it's not strictly Soviet any more, but apart from that, what's different?