Janan Ganesh, neutral scribe: a comment by Political Observer

Does the use of the idea of ‘neutral scribes’ function as a self-description in Mr. Ganesh’s essay? If so it is not just wide of the mark but fictional. His essay sounds like a scolding memo from the head of Human Resources to a recalcitrant staff.

If the protagonists are as cynical as we believe, Britain is in trouble. Ambition can end up distorting the business of government, as rivals start to view policy choices as moves in a card game. The state becomes a venue for their frivolity. If they are not — and the stereotype of politics as a blade-strewn pit of intrigue is as exaggerated as I, Claudius — it says something that we would excuse them if they were.

What can one think of the above,  garnished with a clever, not speak of telling literary reference to Robert Garves’ novel of Roman imperial machinations, when in his introductory paragraph, he uses the name and career of Winston Churchill: the very embodiment of unalloyed political ambition, not to mention naked self-promotion, that embraced not just the political but the literary, as part of his project?  The ‘project’ that is of central concern of Mr. Ganesh, acting as ‘neutral scribe’, is the dismantling of the Welfare State and the construction of the institutions of Neo-Liberalism e.g. The Academies, and the auctioning off of state owned assets. As the in order to of a permanent dismantling of the institutions of Socialism, even in the face of the near total collapse of the Free Market Mythology, Austerity and the dismal economy of the present.

The ‘rolling farce’ of Labour, as characterized by Mr. Ganesh, refers to the untidy character of democracy, that offends his Tory sense of order, or the political lock step of both the Tories and New Labour.

Political Observer


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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