Thursday 15 November 2007

Arthur Miller - a reprise

The Crucible - an intense play ostensibly about the Salem witch trials of 1692 - is regarded as being a critique of the 'hunt for the reds' (well, Miller even said it was in his New Yorker (I think) article Why I Wrote the Crucible). This, of course, wasn't McCarthyism at the time, he waddled onto the set a couple of years later.

The play came into my head this morning as I listened to the news on GMS. I couldn't help thinking that the heat of a witch-hunt has a remarkable parallel in the "war on terror".

All around are the 'flying broomsticks' of terror while the 'good, god-fearing people' cower below. Gordon Brown, Witchfinder General now that Blair has gone, is encouraging people to do an Elia Kazan and 'out' those nasties in their midst.

The finger-pointing is becoming an epidemic, Goodie Proctor is to be accused, Giles Corey will be pressed to death, not only is Abigail not alone, we are all being told to aid her in her cause.

Perhaps Lord West is the Reverend John Hale and will break the lie, or perhaps this tale, too, will require a John Proctor to make a bell of his name.

It appears that history repeats itself - but with different victims.

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