writes Daniel Finkelstein.
No, but we’ll listen when he does– thanks also to David Preiser who has highlighted this in the comments sections:
I have watched Simpson for a long time and he does seem to have a soft spot for dictators. He was once rather chummy with some of Saddam’s ministers and expressed a “sneaking regard for Saddam“.
Now he has some rather bizarre things to say about the political situation in Zimbabwe, and presents it all more as though Mugabe had won a game of chess than battered his opposition with violence.
Simpson doubtless thinks he’s being rather clever to see Mugabe’s power-politics through the haze of violence, but it comes across as apologism. One of the big things we should keep in mind regarding dictators is the mythology that surrounds them and protects them- it’s that that Mr Simpson is reporting, rather than the squalid reality. He admires Mugabe’s mythmaking, instead of reporting the reality on the ground.
Hat tip to Iain Dale too.