Chomsky: Far-Right Threat Is No Joke

Published on
by
the Herald Scotland

Chomsky: Far-Right Threat Is No Joke

by
Rob Brown

Noam Chomsky, the world's leading dissident intellectual, has warned the grievances exploited by far-right extremists need to be taken seriously by their left-wing opponents.

Speaking at the annual Amnesty International lecture in Belfast, Professor Chomsky noted: "There is now a mass of people with real grievances who want answers and are not receiving them. A common reaction in elite educated circles and much of the left is to ridicule the right-wing ­protesters, but that is a serious error.

Dr Chomsky said history had shown it was a grave mistake not to answer the calls of people mired in poverty, who are susceptible to the argument that rich liberals are giving their money to illegal ­immigrants and the shiftless poor.

He gave his sombre address on Friday evening to a capacity audience at Queen's University.

Later, he forecast that the rift between Washington and Edinburgh over the release of the Lockerbie bomber would blow over. Responding to a question from the Sunday Herald, he suggested American anger was bluster and the Obama administration would have been relieved that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi had dropped his appeal.

"The appeal was going to bring in evidence from US intelligence casting serious doubt on the whole trial," he said.

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

He added that he had sympathy with those who suspect a politically driven cover-up concerning Lockerbie.

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