One of the most prominent and influential left-wing commentators in Britain, with a very strong and clear moral take on all sorts of issues. I often feel that to read her is to be relieved of a burden of not knowing what to do in a difficult political situation, such is the clarity of her reasoning.

She was for some years a feature writer in The Independent, but left after one of its bloodthirsty editorial civil wars, and in the last several years has been back as a columnist at The Guardian. She began her career in 1968 at The Observer.

About 55 years old, she has been forthright and combative all her life and has crossed swords with many persons and institutions on the right, especially the contemptible hypocrites of the tabloid press, who hate her as they hate all that is decent, liberal, and rational.

She also attacks the sclerotic old anti-everything utopian left, and strongly identifies herself with the pragmatic liberal alternative, capable of both attacking and defending Blair as needed:

Of course political head and heart have moved with the times, ideas changed probably beyond recognition, if I could only remember exactly what I thought in pot-hazy 1968. More recently I wrote with revulsion at George Bush's election, damning his cavalier disregard for the world - Kyoto, NMD, Israel, his own poor and the world's. Now I hold my breath and wait to see how far he has changed: disarmament talks with Putin are good news, the attitude towards the Middle East looks better: this man has already travelled far. But the Pilgers and Benns, with their younger anti-globalising incarnations, budge not when the world changes around them: it's "no pasaran" to anything outside their prefabricated ideological box.

Sorry, Tiefling, I agree with her contempt for religion too. -- Originally noded under my minor username Cecil B. God.