Good Ol’ Bill, the Liberal Hero
John Pilger writes in the New Statesman:
On 14 August, you are invited to “an audience” with Bill Clinton. You have a choice. You can attend the “breakfast and speech” or the “brunch buffet and speech”. These will take place in the cosy Millennium Dome, where a place in the “Kings’ Row” will cost you £799. Last year, Clinton made more than £5m granting “audiences”. Not only the usual corporate types attend. A few years ago, I watched a conga line of writers, journalists, publishers and others of liberal reputation shuffling towards his grotesquely paid presence at the Guardian Hay Festival.
The Clinton scam is symptomatic of the death of liberalism – not its narcissistic, war-loving wing (“humanitarian intervention”), which is ascendant, but the liberalism that speaks against crimes committed in its name, while extending rungs of the economic ladder to those below. It was Clinton’s promotion of the former and crushing of the latter that so inspired new Labour’s “project”.