“The disquieting thing about newscaster-babble or editorial-speak is its ready availability as a serf idiom, a vernacular of deference. “Mr. Secretary, are we any nearer to bringing about a dialogue in this process?”
In light of the US State Department (as a pro-EU Brit, I think welcome) comments regarding a UK referendum on Europe, and the UK’s place in Europe, this is the Hitch being interesting on Anglo-American relations; historically - he argues - a left of centre bond, which the right tend not to like very much at all.
“The righteous will evidently never tire of the pelting and taunting of Tony Blair, and perhaps those like him who choose to join the Roman choir of extreme unctuousness must expect their meed of abuse. But I cannot forget the figures of Slobodan Milošević, Charles Taylor and Saddam Hussein, who made terrified fiefdoms out of their “own” people and mounds of corpses on the territory of their neighbours. I was glad to see each of these monsters brought to trial, and think the achievement should (and one day will) form part of the battle‑honours of British Labour. Many of the triumphant pelters and taunters would have left the dictators and aggressors in place: they too will have their place in history.”
“Timing is everything. The exquisite moment when one can break in and cap a story, or turn a line for a laugh, or ridicule an opponent. I lived for moments like that. What do I hope for? If not a cure, then a remission. And what do I want back? In the most beautiful apposition of two of the simplest words in our language: the freedom of speech.”
“Lost 14lb without trying. Thin at last. This must be some impressive toxin I’m taking, and a mercy for sleep purposes…but all the sleep-aids and blissful dozes seem somehow a waste of life - there’s plenty of future time in which to be unconscious.”
— Christopher Hitchens (from a sequence of fragmentary jottings that map his thoughts as death drew near)