Friday, February 11, 2005

Norm the radio star

Norman Geras was on BBC Radio4's 'The Message' today. See here. You can 'listen again'. it's about 9 minutes into the programme. As he put it, it is an informal, or democratic, means of journalism, where you don't have to have access to a printing press or be part of a big media organization.

As others have pointed out, he has also written an essay here.
Somewhat over a year ago I asked that my name be removed from the list of contributing editors to the Socialist Register. It was a departure without either anger or animus on my side or on the side of the two main editors, who both responded in a friendly and regretful spirit; and it was a step I had taken with some regret myself, because I have always held the Register in affection and regard, and I still have friends among those who edit and write for it. The step was an inevitable one for me, all the same. In the light of the concerns I have articulated in this essay, I looked at the contents list of the recent (post-9/11) volumes, to find that the Register was just not where I am.

Update (17 Feb): If you skipped over the first 9 minutes, you would have missed a bit that occasioned the following e-mail:

mailto:the.message@bbc.co.uk
reactionaries and the Pope

A contributor on your programme described the Pope as 'one of the most reactionary'. This seems to me to be using labelling as a substitute for thought. Now, I'm not even a Catholic, nor do I share his pacifist position. Yet that has been consistent,  concerning not just the 2003 Iraq war (when it was so fashionable), but  going back to the one of 1990-1, as far as the Warsaw rising of 1944.

At the time when he was bishop of Cracow he showed how peaceful means could be used to bring about change. There is one particularly instructive story: in the early 1950s, a huge steelworks had been built at Nowa Huta on the outskirts of the city.  Housing and so on was built for the workers, but no churches. A persistent and patient campaign led by Karol Wojtyła resulted eventually in the authorities allowing a church to be built and consecrated in 1977.

http://davidp1.blogspot.com/2004/10/poland.html

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