Whilst I was off on my travels I read three books which I'd like to draw your attention to. I know I'm sure it will come as a great surprise to you all to realise that I have ever read one book -let alone three. Honestly the emails my last go at junkies has generated beggar belief. Getting a row for lack of compassion from someone who is pleased that I'm going to die of cancer soon because that's what 'scotch filth' do being my current favourite. Do keep them coming girls.
Anyway let's get back to the books. First up is 'What's Left?' by Nick Cohen. It's not as bad as I'd thought and there are some good points in there but it ended up irritating me a bit. His basic premise that the left is barking mad is about right. I've been reluctantly coming to that conclusion since my SSP days. Nowadays I'm an independent candidate in the world of pub politics working on a cross party basis issue by issue. However I do wonder what sort of people Nick hangs about with, he seems to think that everyone who was against the Iraq war supports the insurgents and hates Iraqi trade unionists. I opposed the war but it went ahead despite my objections so I then started hoping that it would be a roaring success and democracy would prevail. As far as I'm aware that isn't a particularly controversial view, in truth it bores me slightly. To return to the book I was glad to see the utterly disgraceful opening of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 take a well deserved kicking. I was also most amused by the hilarious antics of the Redgraves and the WRP - partly because actors being involved in any organisation with workers in it's name is almost too funny for words. 'What's Left?' I'll give it a seven out of ten and send it on it's way.
The second book I read was 'My Bookywook' by Russell Brand. I'm wasn't a fan of Mr Brand prior to reading it. I'd started leafing through it in the airport bookshop with the intention of sneering and ended up chortling. Please ignore the appalling title and put aside your dislike of Russell Brand -it's a belter! No matter how much of a swine he's been in life he's brutally honest. His experiences in the sex addiction clinic are hilarious. In my whole life I don't think I've ever come across a man quite as delighted by his own penis as Russell Brand. It's a strange thing but a brief look at the facts should make one despise him but instead he comes out of it all like a splendid, if daft fellow.
The last book I read was 'The Sewing Circles of Herat' by Christina Lamb. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The author is a journalist who spent two years covering the Soviet-Afghan war when she was twenty one. When I say covering I mean virtually living with the mujaheddin for the duration. The book is mainly concerned with her return visit after the fall of the Taliban. In it she travels Afghanistan and meets with a variety of people, including many for whom the word brave is an inadequate adjective. For all it refuels one's hatred of the Taliban, it is by no means a depressing book. That people by sheer will can stay sane in such terrible circumstances is a source of optimism. That no matter how mean spirited, ignorant, small minded and wicked the oppression there are people willing to defy it almost makes me want to dance. Mind you whilst life in Afghanistan is better for many now than it was under the Taliban it's far from ideal to say the least. Which is why before I go I'd like to draw your attention to these fine women.