Tariq Ali on Tom Nairn


Very sad news. Anthony Barnett and Judith Herrin have informed us that Tom Nairn, one of the UK's most gifted leftwing thinkers died on Saturday, aged 90. Most of his books were published by Verso and his most coruscating essays by New Left Review. More on him, much more, will be be written by others (including myself). His own work, agree or disagree, has always been intellectually exhilarating. I always felt that Scottish establishment's attitude to him was a disgrace. He should have been provided with a research fellowship and facilities to work without financial worries. A Tom Nairn chair should be argued and fought for in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The refusal of 'official' Scottish nationalism to recognise the merits of the first serious demolition (The Break-Up of Britain, available from the Verso website) speaks volumes.