Living in Belfast changed my political stance, says Lionel Shriver
Writer Lionel Shriver has revealed that her time in Northern Ireland has distanced her from leftist politics and the liberal elite.
na Quillette podcast with journalist Toby Young, award-winning American author of We Need to Talk About Kevin – who lived in Belfast for 12 years during the unrest – said the pro-IRA stance taken by many on the left had spurred her on to denounce it. .
“I probably broke with the mainstream liberal left when I was living in Belfast,” she said.
Lionel said it “never made sense” to her that there was liberal support in the US and UK for Irish Republican terrorism. She added: “It was illogical. They (the IRA) were thugs. They were illiberal. They were murderers. Why do you support this? Living there was not abstract, people were killed, needlessly.
“And there were all these righteous people supporting them and it didn’t make any sense. I was insane. So I’ve never felt the same about the left since.”
She agreed with Young that it was more appropriate to describe the current political climate as authoritarianism versus libertarianism than to use the traditional axis of left versus right.
“I have always been wary of these directional terms because they do not correspond to the values with which they are supposed to be associated,” explains Lionel.
The author, a regular contributor to The Spectator, described her alienation from the left as she lashed out at mainstream media – as well as the left – for ignoring dissenting scientific views on the blockades.
“I think by getting around the annoying fact that lockdowns hugely punish those with few resources, the left tends to talk about these people being victims of the ‘virus’.
“The virus cruelly punishes these people unduly. But that’s not what punishes them. It’s not really about disease… it’s because of the crashing economy.
“The punishment comes from the cure, not from a disease.”
She argued that “something went wrong” in journalism, insisting that it is a profession that now attracts activists.
Lionel also insisted she feared lockdowns would be the method of choice for governments to deal with future pandemics, lamenting Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to impose levels of restrictions in England as evidence of ” the mistake of repeating an error “.
“It can’t be allowed to be instilled like what we do when we have contagion… and I’m afraid we won’t have any idea of the perspective on this for many years,” she insisted. .
“We cannot go on for so long and wait for the judgment of history.
“In twenty years, we’ll come back and think, ‘What the hell were they thinking?