Sunday, April 01, 2007

Gill versus Hitch

I recently lambasted AA Gill over on the Daily Duck, but this week he wrote two eminently sensible things in his TV review column for the Sunday Times.

Gill - an incorrigible contrarian - hates everything of course, but by the law of averages he's sometimes right. I was going to post about his thoughts on The Great Global Warming Swindle, but I find that McCabism has beaten me to it. However, his critique of another incorrigible contrarian, the Younger Hitchens, is also spot on:

George Monbiot turned up in Peter Hitchens’s splenetic rant about David Cameron and the Conservatives, Cameron — Toff at the Top (Monday, C4). Seeing Monbiot and Hitchens together reminded me of those animal photos, beloved of the tabloids, where Alsatians marry ducks and tigers cohabit with goats. Among journalists, Hitchens is fondly known by the nickname Bonkers. He’s called Bonkers Hitchens because he is raving bonkers, in a way that sells papers but makes him very annoying to sit next to on long flights. I’ve covered elections with him and seen him chase cars like an incensed border collie.

His thesis is that Cameron is nothing but a filthy upper-class prat. He revealed this as if it was a well-guarded secret. Cameron, he insisted, as is the wont of his elitist privileged class, had taken the good old working-class Tory party and made it an annex of the smug, snobbish Labour party, thereby running together Magna Carta, habeas corpus and the rules of Association Football, thus destroying democracy as we understand it. The great thing about Hitchens is that he never disappoints. Blissfully, he is utterly bereft of self-irony. For Bonkers there was nothing remotely odd or absurdly hilarious about hating the Conservative party for having Eton-educated, upper-class boys in it. Hitchens should be encouraged to do more. He’s like a lost biblical character from The Life of Brian.

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