I read this book, named in the title, a month back. I am reading it again now. That is how good it is. Peter Hitchens is a pompous prig and I once had the honour of pinging his ear in Reading Railway station. ‘Hey Pete put that in your column’ I said.
It was comical – ‘May I have your name?’ I refused to tell him. He followed me around, ‘You just committed an assault on me.’
He went out, he sneaked on me to a railway employee and I denied doing anything and Hitchens said of me ‘Thinks he’s clever.’ – ‘No Pete – I AM clever.’
I left the station and he said, ‘Let’s gret some British Transport Police.’ He went off and I got away.
He could have had me caught by CCTV – but oh he disapproves of that!
Anyhow the book is rollicking. I do think the prison regime a century ago was inhumane. In the US all the shakedowns seems harsh but at least the guards are in charge – here it is the crims who run the place.
I agree with much of what Hitchens says. The weakest part is his attack on drugs. He eulogises the Victorian epoch. Yet we had all drugs as legal then – for recreational use. Their use was very limited though.
His opposition to narcotics sits oddly with his libertarian instincts.
His attacks on PC police, endless bureaucracy, the bogus notion of institutional racism and excessive gun control are all totally valid.
Hitchens is a stupid attention seeker. His vocabulary is often hyperbolic and ignorant. He is a contrarian. One can only put down much his bizarre range of views to attention seeking perversity.
I remember in 2001 a book called The Election was published. Various pundits were asked to forecast the result. Of a score of them only Hitchens predicted a Conservative victory – and then by a landslide. How wrong can you get? Rather calls into question his judgement. I once questioned him about it and he said he only said that to get people to listen to him.
He was a Trotskyist and is now ultra-conservative. He likes the lunatic fringe.
He tried to be a Conservative MP in the 1990s and now hates that party. Sour grapes, per chance?
He calls for remoralisation and Christianity but never spells out exactly what he believes here. What do we do now that there are many atheists and people of other religions in the country?