Peter Shrank’s cartoon sets the tone for the whole of this scalding polemical essay titled ‘The sorry saga of Syriza’ on the first hundred days of Syriza, by my almost favorite Oxbridgers. But,Tony Blair, Capitalist Dynamo, wins hands down! Mr. Shrank pictures prime minister Alexis Tsipras as Achilles awkwardly shooting himself in the foot with a bow and arrow: call it a tortured visual metaphor and a perfect partner to the essay that casts the current Greek government in the role of Coffee House Marxists i.e. naive, even incompetent political arrivistes. Yet doesn’t one hundred days in power seem like what it is, a premature occasion for a postmortem, or to engage in plain speaking, ideological warfare. As Syriza is the Left Wing Devil of the moment, for The Economist and her sister publication The Financial Times. For confirmation of my statement, see this news story by Kerin Hope titled ‘Syriza rebels call for ‘rupture’ with Greece’s creditors’, this ‘news story’ resorts to a full blown hysteria mongering, unlike the more cautious, even the almost deliberative writers at The Economist.
Notice how this essay is framed by classical allusions, first the crude political cartoon of Mr. Schrank ,quoting from the Iliad, and then the mention of the “Philhellenism” exhibit at B. & M. Theocharakis Foundation in Athens. A mournful quotation from Dimitra Varkarakis, who with her husband owns the articles on exhibit, doesn’t raise any kind of doubt in the readers mind, as to Mrs. Varkarakis’ political sympathies? Syriza won a 36.6% share of the vote. One might just conjecture that the owners of an art collection weren’t voting for Syriza!