Martin Kettle's piece in today's Guardian, approvingly quoted by both Tim Worstall and Harry's Place, reiterates the smear that opposition to the new moral order, in which Things Have Changed, is the result of some kind of realpolitik calculation by equally hidebound Stalinists and Islamofascists to join forces so as to achieve their common goal of destroying our precious bodily fluids. Yeah, well, hardly a huge surprise. The idea that principled opposition to foreign policy misadventures on the grounds that violence is bad, whomever commits it, might be possible evidently escapes him, just as the thought that locking people up without good public evidence for doing so is hardly the apogee of moral rectitude does. Again, hardly a huge surprise.
There are two things that are interesting about it, though. The first is that it reveals, which I didn't know, that Kettle, like a number of other figures on the decent left, comes from a genuinely hard left background. I return to the point I made about horseshoes a while ago. There are common dreams, aspirations, most obviously of a transcending of politics, a sweeping aside of the messy business of justified disagreement, of conflict, of compromise, of an age where a moral law is flawlessly and totally enacted. That step from one tip to another is not so hard to make, I think. The second is how obvious Kettle makes his own realpolitik. If we agree on the danger of politics, that the supression of dissent is necessary, how easy it must be to come to an agreement with those who share some other goals on the grounds that, well, there have been stranger bedfellows.