Yes, my hate is pure.Posted: November 17, 2014
It’s been three months now since my exit from the Morning Star*, and the pageviews have slowed again to their customary trickle. So if this relaunch-slash-mini-manifesto comes across as self-important, it’s because it really is more for myself than anything else. I’ve had some time away from journalism as a job, and I’m feeling the better for it. But journalism has never been just a job, any more than sex is just exercise. Like sex, it invites tittering and scandal in polite society that quickly turns to unbridled fear and revulsion when taken to its proper conclusion. And, like sex, most of the time the only way to gauge whether someone’s motivated by intense desires or rampant narcissism is to watch how they do it. Here’s how I want to do it from now on: with the hate in my heart roiling right here on the surface, the heat of my anger honing my edge. Scrupulous research, for sure. Caveats where warranted, as ever. But with the naked anger that’s a natural reaction to talking about the woman and her baby who starved to death in a Westminster flat two years ago because our seething obsession with borders and numbers and checkpoints and stamps and barbarians at the gates got in the way of making sure someone’s child got fed while they lay ravaged by fucking HIV – a thing that you and I would do in a heartbeat for anyone we knew, but which doesn’t happen because the people who run this and every other country under capitalism simply do not think that the lives and deaths and agonies of people like her, or her baby, or you or I are as important as Them winning, whether it’s polls or profits. It’s as simple as that. So that’s the position I want to start from with my work from now on. I’m writing about this stuff not because it pays the rent (although by Christ I hope it does); I’m writing about these things because it matters, because we can’t let them keep winning. We can’t let them keep winning because it’s not a fucking game.
But if it’s not a fucking game, then there’s also no room for the kind of blind-eye bullshit that accompanies a jolly-hockey-sticks point-scoring mentality. It means no room for hypocrisy and apologia within the left on issues of race, of sexual orientation and gender, of ableism, of discrimination and violence against women.
I care enough to hate. My hate is right there for all the world to see, and my hate is pure.
The last time I saw Eddie he was an intern at the Nation in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Round the corner from the Nation when it was on Fifth and 13th st in Manhattan was Zinno’s restaurant and amid a pleasant lunch with JoAnWypijewski, my own intern Richie McKerrow and Eddie, I asked the future leader what I asked all interns as a matter of form, ‘Eddie, is your hate pure?’ … It was a good way of assaying interns. The feisty ones would respond excitedly, ‘Yes, my hate is pure.’ I put the question to Eddie Miliband. He gaped at me in shock like Gussie Fink-Nottle watching one of his newts vanish down the plug hole in his bath. ‘I…I… don’t hate anyone, Alex,’ he stammered. It’s all you need to know. English capitalism will be safe in his hands, assuming he ever grasps the levers of what passes for power in 10 Downing Street. It is very hard to imagine him as prime minister. He’s forever Fink-Nottle to me.
*During which they’ve failed to substantiate any of the claims about a pending further investigation of my conduct. So either it was your classic case of smear tactics to distract from their revealed role in suppressing abuse allegations, or they’re chairing the goddamned Chilcot Inquiry. Text your answers to [REDACTED].