The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
Reading Martin Miller's work at the same time as Ricky Tomlinson's precis of the Shrewsbury building workers' case, "state terrorism" was uppermost in my mind.
Yet Miller seems to ignore the awful facts of Guantanamo, Long Kesh, the Miami Five or the Kenyan Mau Mau emergency, among so many others, in dealing with state terror.
The book purports to detail how terrorism became part of the violent contest over control of state power between officials in government and "insurgents in society" and in his account Miller refutes, using a multitude of facts and citations, the simplistic Bush-Blair "war on terror."
That follows interesting chapters on 19th-century Russian revolutionary and tsarist terrorisms and European nation state terrorism from 1848-1914, the US and "communist and fascist authoritarian terror."
The global ideological terror during the cold war is also dealt with leading to the present era where, as Miller says, "the terrain of battle expands to include every ordinary aspect of our lives, from work to education and travel."