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John Rentoul

John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting fellow at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.

"The Independent's must-read man" - Daniel Finkelstein

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Another Luvvie Against the War

Posted by John Rentoul
  • Wednesday, 31 March 2010 at 11:13 pm
Oh, no. Ewan McGregor, who I thought was really cool with a light sabre, also plays the unnamed title role in Roman Polanksi's film, The Ghost Writer, of Robert Harris's book, The Ghost.

Turns out that he is just like all the others, according to Hollywood gossip sites:

My thing about politicians is that ultimately they're never really accountable for what they do. I think that's awful. No one goes, 'Wait a minute, Tony - before you go, don't you think we have a right to know about this and this?' People are dead, there's blood on the streets, and is anyone accountable? I was pleased that Blair had to sit down and answer for his decisions [at the Chilcot inquiry]. And saddened that Bush never will.

Bush has retired to the golf course. I cannot stomach that. It's not right. Blair hasn't said sorry or, by all accounts, made any comment to the kids who lost their arms and legs and eyes. Probably thousands of kids - and he hasn't visited them. I don't know how you live with yourself, really.

Here's another quiz question for Vote Match: Who was accountable, George Bush, Tony Blair or Ewan McGregor?



L/Cpl Broxted.
ron_broxted wrote:
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 at 10:32 pm (UTC)
Ever seen a play called "Black Watch" Dr Rentoul? Ever worn an infantry uniform? Ever seen your son go off and die far away for Washington DC's foreign policy objectives? So you and Tony Blair have that much in common at least.
Re: L/Cpl Broxted.
arnoldo87 wrote:
Thursday, 1 April 2010 at 08:02 am (UTC)
Are you pleased Iraq is now a democracy, Lance Corporal? Did you protest about Halabja when the WMD were used? Do you approve of an army made up of volunteers? Do you admire more ancient American foreign policy interventions, such as WW1 and WW2? Have your sons ever been in any danger from terrorists on your own soil?

So you and Saddam Hussein have so much in common at least.
Re: L/Cpl Broxted.
blairsupporter wrote:
Thursday, 1 April 2010 at 11:32 am (UTC)

You will notice that Ron is not likely to reply to this. Joined-up thinking is NOT his forte.

These types NEVER respond when counter-arguments are put to them - cause and effect. They have their own myopic agenda. And next time they go to Iraq or Afghanistan to help the people there (which obviously they do regularly) they'll ASK the people what THEY want.
Re: L/Cpl Broxted.
ron_broxted wrote:
Thursday, 1 April 2010 at 11:49 am (UTC)
Is Iraq a democracy? Britain is denied that Mr Arnold. I protested about Hussein in the 80s when he was the poster boy for the West. Seen as a bulwark against Iranian theocracy. Army made up of volunteers? Like the British army? Yes, the DSS or ANA. US policy in WW1. See my B.A (Hons) dissertation. My son is more in danger from an out of control police who arrest kids for building snowmen, Maya Evans for reading out a list of casualties and Sgt Smellie than from any screaming fellaheen.
Re: L/Cpl Broxted.
arnoldo87 wrote:
Thursday, 1 April 2010 at 12:37 pm (UTC)
So Ron, if I understand your various points correctly:-

* Neither Iraq nor Britain is a democracy.
* You are happy to oppose dictatorships when the USA supports them.
*You have an opinion on the USA's involvement in WW1 but won't tell us what it is. (No don't tell me I can guess - your theory is that "Dubya" Wilson had found out about our North Sea oil)
* You apparently have no opinion about USA sacrifices to help Europe in WW2.
* Your son's greatest threat is from the British bobby.
- They clearly don't use London Transport or transatlantic aeroplanes.
Re: L/Cpl Broxted.
citizen_bidet wrote:
Friday, 2 April 2010 at 10:51 am (UTC)

I'm sure L/Cpl Broxted does not need me to defend him, but you raise several points that I think need to be addressed:

"* Neither Iraq nor Britain is a democracy."
There is much more to democracy than simply voting. Firstly, you need to understand what you are voting for, and for that you need access to a broad spectrum of political opinion - the lack of which is something Iraq shares with Britain. Is the Ba'ath Party allowed to participate in Iraqi elections? Indeed are former members of the Ba'ath Party, still significant in number, allowed
to participate in Iraqi public life at all? So what we have done is impose democracy on Iraq on our terms. Some democracy!
True, Britain is a democracy inasmuch as you can participate in the political process, but only within the bounds of political debate set by the political classes. So what you end up with are two main parties based upon the same free-market neo-liberal credentials from which you choose who is the better economic manager. Again, some democracy!

"* You are happy to oppose dictatorships when the USA supports them."
All dictatorships, regardless of sponsor, should be fundamentally opposed on human rights grounds. Although whether such opposition should run to invading them and imposing "democracy" is another matter.

"*You have an opinion on the USA's involvement in WW1 but won't tell us what it is."
Fair comment!

"*You apparently have no opinion about USA sacrifices to help Europe in WW2."
Again, fair comment, to which I would add that as far as WW1 and WW2 go, the Americans have always acted in their own national interest; indeed, it would be naive to think otherwise. So to suggest that they sacrificed American lives solely to protect Europe is simply to parrot the usual Hollywood mythology and demonstrates a poor understanding of European and American history.

"*Your son's greatest threat is from the British bobby."
The British Bobby is now defunct and has been since Mrs Thatcher politicised the force in the 1980s. In his place stands the type of para-military goon that we now see all too frequently on the streets of London and the other major cities.

As far as the main point of John Rentoul's article goes, I have not the slightest interest in this man McGregor, who, to quote Shelley's opinion on actors, "gains fame and wealth by the exercise of his useless and ridiculous art", but surely the man is entitled to the same freedom to criticise his political masters as the rest of us?
Re: L/Cpl Broxted.
arnoldo87 wrote:
Friday, 2 April 2010 at 11:07 am (UTC)
Citizen Bidet,
If you wanted to set up a political party which is not of a "free-market neo-liberal" persuasion, then there is absolutely nothing stopping you.Indeed, there are a few such parties that already exist.

The problem is that they have a tough time persuading the electorate that they can do anything other than whinge, argue with each other and sub-divide, go on protest marches, and generally exude negativism.

Nobody forces them into these modes of behaviour. It comes naturally to the juvenile mind.
Re: L/Cpl Broxted.
ron_broxted wrote:
Friday, 2 April 2010 at 08:12 pm (UTC)
Citizen Bidet, tres eloquent!
Re: L/Cpl Broxted.
blairsupporter wrote:
Friday, 2 April 2010 at 06:04 pm (UTC)
Beautifully put, arnoldo87.

Where IS Big Ron when we all miss his wit and words of wisdom so much?
I give up
juliepuschi wrote:
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 at 10:43 pm (UTC)
First Matt Damon, then Pierce Brosnan, and now Ewan McGregor.
Too much for me.

I think I join your club of non-cinema-goerites,John.
Re: I give up
ww3_book_now wrote:
Saturday, 3 April 2010 at 07:52 pm (UTC)

Great, then there is no chance of bumping into a German Nazi warmongering sow at the cinema!

Du hasst kein Schiss Ahnung davon, du SAU!!!
Anyone with a *spine* is against your war, John Rentaghoul
ww3_book_now wrote:
Thursday, 1 April 2010 at 08:11 am (UTC)

Which leaves just you, Fat Gordy, Rabid David AIPAC-pays-my-wages, and the twonk known as Blairsupporter. Who have all given their spines for the cause of yankee imperialism.
armchair warriors
manndstreet wrote:
Thursday, 1 April 2010 at 08:44 am (UTC)
Mr Rentoul I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability.
Re: armchair warriors & indefatigability
blairsupporter wrote:
Thursday, 1 April 2010 at 11:37 am (UTC)
John will be please it isn't just Gorgeous George with a claim to "indefatigabilty".

Btw, GG has gone awfully quiet recently. Don't tell me ... oh, no! How dreadful!
Another Luvvie Against the War
johnjustice wrote:
Thursday, 1 April 2010 at 11:03 am (UTC)
The thing about luvvies is that they want to be loved. Supporting the war doesn't produce that result. It also involves doing a bit of homework on what the war was really about and resisting the group think of those around you, neither of which come easy to the luvvy mentality (or to the Blair-hating mentality come to that).
McGregor, Pierce, Polanski and Harris to court
blairsupporter wrote:
Thursday, 1 April 2010 at 11:25 am (UTC)
What can you expect with Polanski whipering in his gullible ear? Thirteen year olds - lulled by Polanski into underage sex - well, that's par for Polanski's course. But grown men?

The day justice is done in this world of politically ignorant luvvies is the day Polanski and Harris BOTH stand in court and argue that the former PM having his brains blown out (as revenge for Iraq) was NOT - "No, honest, m'Lud" - NEVER meant to suggest Tony Blair.

danaports wrote:
Friday, 2 April 2010 at 10:43 am (UTC)
Why these delusional stars don't just shut up? If Ewan Mc Gregor wants to know more about "accountability" he should ask his latest movie director Roman Polansky, who flew his home country in a desperate attempt to get away with the horrendous act he perpetrated on a young girl.
Even the use of Blair haters strategies won't help to promote a mediocre film with hapless actors,(Brosnan and Mac Gregor himself)based on a badly written piece of "fiction".


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