Well, the headline says it all, really. Discussion twixt “Two people of the left, showing how the left is split over Hugo Chavez” on Right Wing Radio 4 this morning, pitched calm, rational Prof Doreen Massey against Whining Nick Cohen of The Observer. Whereas she emphasised how Chavez had given the people a voice and created grass routes democracy, Whining Nick said little but projected an ill disguised loathing for the late President, attempting to group him with Stalin, for instance, and showing crass and arrogant ignorance.
Massey’s description of popular involvement in Venezuela made it sound akin to the inspiration of The Long March and Mao’s communist revolution but, this time, expressed repeatedly through democratic election.
She says Chavez was not the dominant figure, though might have become so – which might have become an issue. Seeing pictures of the enormous crowds of millions in Caracas for his funeral one can understand how deeply his people feel the loss.
The compare suggested that, if the BBC broadcast long, long speeches from Cameron we would decry the undemocratic nature of the process. In Venezuela, however, Chavez was listened to. Here nobody would hear Cameron, no-one would listen. For heaven’s sake why would anyone want to?
Yes you see Whining Nick is by no way, shape or form a left wing thinker. The Observer is a revenue seeking corporatist apologist, indeed more right wing corporate centralist than the “The Guardian”. Cohen is lining his own nest by attempting to disarm collective popular constructivist actions such as Chavez re-directing oil revenues towards the previously downtrodden poor of his country away from the pockets of the very few corporate drivers [Read USA]. What’s possibly wrong with that, Nick, or have you always sat in with the Sheriff of Nottingham?
Needless to say there was no competition. She wiped the floor with him and the embarrassed compare quickly moved on. Glad I heard it – I already had experience of Whining Nick, so had no false impressions, but Massey sounded interesting and a good person to know of.