The death of Fidel Castro led, predictably, to dear old Ken Livingstone being invited on to the Today programme to tell us all what a wonderful chap the dead dictator was. Others followed. The point about Castro, we were endlessly told, was that he devised splendid state education and health systems for the people of Cuba. OK, maybe he also went in for imprisoning and executing people who opposed his policies, but that was all right because Cuba was a developing nation and, when a nation is developing, it has to imprison and execute opponents of its government. Just think of the Tudor monarchs in Britain.
Of course, it is irritating to have to listen to British “liberals” extolling the virtues of brutal Communist regimes in far away countries. But that is all it is. Even Mr Livingstone, I reckon, would not support a British government which indulged in Castro’s methods of suppressing free expression. He and his pals are doing no more than saying that countries living under Communist dictatorships are a little backward and should be given some slack by developed countries until, in a few hundred years’ time, they are able to join the civilised world.
There really is no need for us to get worked up about all this.