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John le Carre, the spy-turned-novelist whose elegant and intricate narratives defined the Cold War espionage thriller and brought acclaim to a genre critics had once ignored, has died.
He was 89.
 

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I read a few of his books and watched some films based on his material, very good.............R.I.P. John,
 

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John le Carré - Soothsayer

This country's descent into chaos continues unabated. There seems to be no firm policy on how to deal with the pandemic, changes and U-turns being made daily and two weeks before the end of free movement between Britain and our biggest customer and biggest supplier, the EU, there are still no detailed plans showing businesses how the government plans to avoid total disruption of logistics and trade. Nothing seems to be the responsibility of Government Ministers but the provision of essential services is outsourced to various unsupervised private organisations.

Prior to becoming a successful author, at the height of the Cold War, the late John le Carré was a diplomat-***-spy himself in Germany, so he had some insight into the murky workings of politics. A couple of things that he said in his semi-retirement struck me as worthy of note.

In 2005 in an interview he suggested that he was concerned that Britain might be sliding towards fascism. In support of this view he said, "Mussolini's definition of fascism was that when you can't distinguish corporate power from governmental power, you are on the way to a fascist state".

In 2010, following that year's general election he wrote, "The Etonians have taken back the shop with the aid of some B-list liberals who will evaporate in their own hot air before long, leaving the shop to a ragbag of Ivy League Tories, born-again PR men, sexists, anti-Europeans, nostalgists and eco-ostriches."

Even a cursory examination of what has happened to this country since then suggests that he made a pretty good analysis of the omens. Looking at what has taken place during 2020 confirms that his predictions were frighteningly accurate. How do we get out of this?
 

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I am afraid Ron that I consider you conflating the two issues is simply agitprop.

There certainly is a plan for the epidemic but to be optimum it must respond as quickly as possible to the ebb and flood of the threat level. Not always effective, of course, but always learned from.

As for Europe. Not a hint of policy merely a bagful of wishful thinking.

David V
 

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I am afraid Ron that I consider you conflating the two issues is simply agitprop.

There certainly is a plan for the epidemic but to be optimum it must respond as quickly as possible to the ebb and flood of the threat level. Not always effective, of course, but always learned from.

As for Europe. Not a hint of policy merely a bagful of wishful thinking.

David V
I dispute any conflation of arguments since the single charge is that an incompetent, fascist-leaning government has failed to develop any comprehensive plans to protect the prosperity of the man in the street against foreseeable threats.
Brexit and pandemic are merely examples, but if you believe there is any identifiable plan behind government handling of the pandemic you ought to identify it to the rest of us. We, the uninformed only see a series of knee-jerk reactions to the latest infection (often of doubtful quality) combined with bewildering changes of direction and reversion only days later.

The point of my original post was not to discuss the UK government's performance but to draw attention to the quality of John le Carré's reading of the trend of UK politics away from democracy and towards fascism.
 

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I dispute any conflation of arguments since the single charge is that an incompetent, fascist-leaning government has failed to develop any comprehensive plans to protect the prosperity of the man in the street against foreseeable threats.
Brexit and pandemic are merely examples, but if you believe there is any identifiable plan behind government handling of the pandemic you ought to identify it to the rest of us. We, the uninformed only see a series of knee-jerk reactions to the latest infection (often of doubtful quality) combined with bewildering changes of direction and reversion only days later.

The point of my original post was not to discuss the UK government's performance but to draw attention to the quality of John le Carré's reading of the trend of UK politics away from democracy and towards fascism.
'You protest too much', Ron. Your original opening paragragh was a politically loaded statement of your own views and made no mention was made of Le Carre whatsoever.

Where are the moderators when we need them?

Nick
 

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We are in the wrong forum. I should not have risen to it and Ron should not have laid the bait here.

RIP Mr. Cornwell, You entertained many..
 

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'You protest too much', Ron. Your original opening paragragh was a politically loaded statement of your own views and made no mention was made of Le Carre whatsoever.

Where are the moderators when we need them?

Nick
Would it have made any difference if the order of the paragraphs had been reversed?

You believe that the opening of my post was political but assert that it is just a statement of fact. The mishandling of the pandemic cannot be denied and the lack of preparedness for Brexit is decried by many business organisations that are normally considered pro-government and even Parliamentary committees.

The post reflects the expressed views of the very man, John le Carré, who is the subject of the thread.
 

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Well, we are going to have to differ, Ron, but to me, in faraway Canada and the West Coast at that, the first paragraph of your first posting came across as your own personal, political point of view and there are very probably many on SN who will support you, but I thought that it was contrary to the rules we are all bound to live under.

Are our moderators too full of Christmas good cheer to have noticed?

Nick

PS Shouldn't we leave the dead to rest in peace. N
 
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