I’ve been reading a new biography of George Orwell that’s been published to coincide with the 70th anniversary of his death. Many books have been written about him, including at least six biographies, so there isn’t much new to say. Instead, author Richard Bradford focuses on what Orwell would have thought about the contemporary world and which aspects of it he would have disliked.
Some of the items on Bradford’s list are predictable: China’s surveillance state, Donald Trump’s ‘-alternative facts’, Islamo-fascism. But the thing that would have really got Orwell’s goat, apparently, is our departure from the EU. The world ‘Brexit’ occurs 35 times in Bradford’s book, while there are only 16 references to ‘Isis’. Whole passages are devoted to telling us how ‘rabid’, ‘feral’ and ‘racist’ Leavers are, with scarcely a reference to Orwell. And when Bradford does quote him, it’s in an attempt to show how prescient he was in anticipating the ‘dim-witted materialism’, ‘brainless nationalism’ and ‘xenophobia’ of the Brexiteers. (To read more, click here.)