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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ed Stourton doesn't get it

'Stourton was interviewing Barbet Schroeder, who has produced biopics on Idi Amin and Claus von Bülow and has just made a film about the famous French lawyer Jacques Vergès. Like many lawyers who prefer to act for the defence, Vergès enjoys difficult cases. But he's a little bit more daring than Horace Rumpole in his client list: Vergès has, in his time, defended the Vichy collaborator Klaus Barbie (the Butcher of Lyons), Ilich Ramírez Sánchez (Carlos the Jackal), various Palestinian terrorists and members of the BaaderMeinhof gang. Oh, and we shouldn't forget Saddam Hussein's No 2, Tariq Aziz.

'Stourton was curious about this galère of clients, and confessed to feeling perplexed about what could possibly link Klaus Barbie and Palestinian terrorists. What on earth would unite these disparate people, and what would draw Vergès to them?'

- from an excellent piece by Michael Gove in the Times (I don't need to answer his question for you, do I?). Yes, that's right, the man's a Tory MP, boo, hiss - and would that this level of clearsightedness and decency was the norm on the Left (but here's a small reminder of what, alas, we get instead).

Nestling among the comments is my own 2p-worth.

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