5 July 2011
Erecting a monument to Ronald Reagan in London is an offence not only to Londoners, but to all humanity. This small-time actor, a one time Nazi sympathiser and anti-Semite climbed the career ladder by shopping his fellow actors and film-makers to the House Un-American Activities Committee. It is a terrible comment on our times that someone like Reagan, with a political mindset stuck in the McCarthy era, ignorant, simplistic in his thinking and an inveterate liar could be elected president of the USA. His avuncular charm masked his sclerotic cowboy imperialist mentality. He used secret drug money to fund an illegal war (according to the findings of his own country’s judiciary) against revolutionary Nicaragua which wiped out the cream of that country’s young leaders and professionals. He also led the invasion of the tiny island of Grenada with the excuse that Cuba was building a missile base there. Reagan’s championing of a massive US re-armament campaign under his paranoid Star Wars initiative would almost certainly have led us into a third world war if Gorbachov had not thrown in the towel. It was Gorbachov who ended the Cold War, not Reagan.