Letters - Let's drop the name-calling

It seems a great shame that John Pilger, who has suffered from blanket smears and childish name-calling from the pro-Israeli lobby for his reporting about Palestine, should use the same tactics himself against people who support military action in Iraq. He mentions ("We hear again the lies of old", 17 February) that the journalist David Aaronovitch is a former Communist Party member (a list that includes everyone from Peter Mandelson to Alexei Sayle) and then breathlessly adds "the Communist Party that supported the crushing of the Hungarian uprising in 1956". Why stop there, John? You could lump in the Stalinist purges or the terror-famine in the Ukraine or the crushing of the Kronstadt mutiny. If you want to smear somebody as a communist, there's 80 years of history to choose from.

Gerard Blair

This article first appeared in the 24 February 2003 issue of the New Statesman, Can Blair survive?