The Hitch

I went to see a conversation between Christopher Hitchens and Bernard-Henri Lévy yesterday, where the topic was the Iraq invasion. At least, that’s how it was billed: the actual motives, arguments and justifications for the war were barely mentioned. I was expecting combative, well argued exchanges between these two intellectual heavyweights, but it was more like a comfy fireside chat with port and cigars. I guess they agree with each other on more points than they don’t. Still, it was very entertaining stuff and it was great to see The Hitch in action. I even managed to meet him. Well, if brushing past him as I was exiting the men’s toilets and he was coming in counts as ‘meeting’ him. Which of course, it doesn’t. And again at the end when I was leaving the lecture hall, he was trying to get through the crowds, fag in mouth, desperate for a smoke. That doesn’t count either, does it?

Anyway, he didn’t disappoint. Although I expected him to be taller.


Centrist. Atlanticist. Dry liberal. Anti-totalitarian. Post-ideological pragmatist. Child of The Enlightenment. Toucan.

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8 comments on “The Hitch
  1. tafka PP says:

    I think it counts. I might have gone back into the loo, stood next to him and said “Andrew Sullivan once linked to my post on George Galloway!”

  2. Citizen Sane says:

    Ha! Didn’t think of that. I don’t think he’d have been too impressed though!

    Then again, I like to think he’d be quite pleased that someone out there enjoys slating Galloway almost as much as he does (nowhere near as well, I should add. But I intend to keep on practising).

  3. Devil's Advocate says:

    The trouble with Hitch is, brilliant though he is, he will never be as funny as his brother. Peter was on This Week last Thurs and his piece was absolutely hysterical, though I suspect he didn’t intend it to be. his exchange with Diane Abbot (“your ideas Peter… tough on blacks..” “That’s garbage”) were priceless.

    I say let’s set up a debate between Peter Hitchens and Polly Toynbee with a title something like: ‘Immigration, the family and The Guardian’. Could almost starg a new series, ‘Political death match’…

  4. Citizen Sane says:

    You may have already seen it, but I would thoroughly recommend reading this transcript of a conversation with both Hitchens brothers at last year’s Hay Festival. It was the first time they’d spoken to each other for four years after some petty argument. Very funny. Imagine Fraser and Niles Crane, but even more bitter and competitive. Classic.

  5. Raphael says:

    I met Hitch in NY during the Galloway debate. Had him sign my book. My girlfriend went on the Galloway line after the show and had him sign his own book, pretending to care.
    He wrote, “Bring Troops Home Now!”. She was a good trooper, because as she was on line pretending to be a Galloway supporter, the BBC camera’s interviewed her. We subsequently sold the Galloway book on Ebay as a charity to Adopt-a-US-Sniper in Iraq. We then sent a letter of recognition to Galloway’s office for his part in the war effort.

  6. Citizen Sane says:

    Excellent work. I presume you didn’t get a reply?

  7. FGFM says:

    You sound like a pretty pathetic groupie.

  8. Citizen Sane says:

    Ah, the anonymous scattergun commenter. There are few things in life as tedious. Quite happy to soil any blog they choose, but offering no means of reply, they are the blogosphere equivalent of dogs that shit on the pavement. The only consolation is that you’re unlikely to bother coming back.

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