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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars former Marxist revolutionary Peter Hitchens offers insight as to the state we're REALLY in
The Broken Compass is a disquieting book which I am not surprised to see ignored by the liberal left establishment which now encompasses most of the print and broadcast media, the legal system and the three main British political parties. Yes, there is such a thing as conspiracy-as experienced journalist and former Marxist Hitchens writes, given that a conspiracy is...
Published on 17 Feb 2010 by Stephen F. Hayes

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great.
Got the book yesterday and devoured it in a day. The print is rather large and the message brief and oft' repeated. (There's a gnat's hair between Labour and Conservatives, that's the message). Lots of examples to ram home the point, but it's still the same point.
Lists of journos and politicos who commit the cardinal sin of saying one thing when they mean another,...
Published on 23 Nov 2010 by R. E. Lee

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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disillusioned Compass: A journalist who sidesteps too frequently, 12 Oct 2010
Issac "Issacstone" (London UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Broken Compass: How British Politics lost its way (Hardcover)
Hitchens is good enough to be published, but is this a book really worth buying?. Instore is a good deal of Peter Hitchens look at 'leftism', which he never defines, Britains vainglorious culture which he wants to be even more monolithic than it was in the 40s and criticisms of any revolution in general. This book hasn't got sources or references so anything said must be examined.

What astonishes me is the fact that despite living in USSR for so long he hasn't produce any good journalism of Soviet repression- until, now of course (Was he too scared to print this in free and liberal English newspapers then?). He also dismisses the influence of Trotskyism in many European revolutions in which his brother, Christopher, reported and in many cases helped. If only he had the chance to talk to his brother he could have got involved.
He writes: Left-wingers were "strangely unmoved for decades by the anti- western, anti- Israeli terrorism of Fatah or Hamas". Similarly, I can't believe, liberals and conservatives, including Hitchens, are strangely unmoved for decades by the anti-eastern, anti-Palestinian terrorism of Israel and the United States.
Elsewhere, he is shocked to find that some people demonstrate against the church. ("One former altar boy deliberately dropped a consecrated communion wafer on the floor"!). The church's record until now is obviusly saintly. Obviously Hitchens cannot imagine a priest looking at women priests, frightened children or condoms in the wrong way.

The only problem he sees with British foreign policies is only with regards to the long dead Soviet Union. He addresses anyone British always as Mr.(Name) (this goes on for a bit) but not europeans or muslims. He talks politics in terms of left, right and centre as if it was some kind of car which is always steered at the nearest left corner. It seems as if Hitchens wants to be too intelligent for politics, always complaining against leftism, mostly of the easy sort. For him change can only come from above- the state or monarchy. The British state is to be respected around the world no matter what its foreign policies are. He became disillusioned with Trotskyism , now I think this extends to politics, secularism and multi-culturalism in general.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a mixture of good bits and fairly boring bits, 9 Oct 2009
Mr. J. Hudson - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Broken Compass: How British Politics lost its way (Hardcover)
The author believes that British politicians and presumably British politicians have broken their political compass. My own personal opinion is that they deliberately switched it off so the public cannot see where they are steering the ship. The book seems to wander aimlessly through a variety of subject which tends to make me think that the author has broken his compass as the book lacks a sense of direction or purpose. The idea that the three main parties have amalgamated into one party is not a new concept; but this is the first time I have seen anyone attempt to explain it in detail. I didn't find the arguments and examples very convincing; but he does at least make an attempt at wafting away the political fog surrounding this subject. The chapter on race is also fairly interesting and examines the subject in a manner I haven't seen before. There are several chapters which I found too boring to read; the good chapters were however very good.
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20 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The meaning of liberty, 27 May 2009
A. Jordan (London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Broken Compass: How British Politics lost its way (Hardcover)
Sadly, I found this book to be deeply flawed. Hitchens is obsessed with the idea that there is a "liberal" consensus across the main political parties/ classes in Britain. This he links with certain legal reforms of the 1960s. The assumption is that this is necessarily a bad thing: though one does wonder whether the consensus that now exists (in the West at least) that women should have the right to vote and hold property in their own right (quite recent rights) should be the subject of serious debate any longer; and if that is an acceptable matter of "liberal" consensus, why not other matters as well?

With regard to the reforms of the 1960s, Hitchens is clearly of the view that we would be better off today if they had not taken place. He overlooks the fact that these reforms, with the possible exception of the end to capital punishment, in effect caught up with a changes in public opinion rather than the other way around. More to the point, many of these reforms mark a continuance of the long tradition of liberty in England. Hitchens makes much of his championing of basic liberty, but I wonder if he really understands what the word "liberty" means. The social reforms of the 1960s followed a pattern of freeing the citizen to decide how he or she wishes to conduct their own life. Hitchens on the other hand appears to want to return us to a society in which the State has much greater control over the individual. One starts to wonder whether he has an ideal in mind akin to Iran's theocracy, or the theocracy that held sway in Ireland for most of the 20th Century: hardly models of liberty.

With his emphasis on the primacy of religion, I also wonder whether he has bothered to consider the fact that a glance at a map of the World might suggest that the most religious places today are the most violent and dysfunctional, and the least religious are the most peaceful and cohesive: one only has to contrast. for example, large parts of the West with Pakistan or sub-Saharan Africa. Even within the UK many of the youths who fill our jails are much more likely to come from strict religious upbringings and to believe in God. A recent piece in the Economist revealed the startling fact that around 70% of the prison population in France consists of declared muslim believers The same could be said for Christianity among ethnic minorities in our inner cities.

In conclusion, I am sorry to say that I think this book is poorly argued and could benefit from a much better understanding (or at least contemplation) of what "liberty" truly means.
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The Broken Compass: How British Politics lost its way
The Broken Compass: How British Politics lost its way by Peter Hitchens (Hardcover - 11 May 2009)
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