Thursday, 15 July 2010

Jenny's Battle with The Institute of Ideas

In a long article in issue 32/13 of "The London Review of Books",
Jenny Turner describes a 2-day conference organised by the Institute of Ideas, which I am glad I missed. She gives a clear impression of much exhausting axe-grinding by a small and cliquey group of ageing Trotskyites. But she does not explain why she was there. Nor does she convince me that the event deserves 18 columns and 8000 words in the London Review of Books. There are one or two amusing turns, one or two good points, and the writing is better than that of many other contributors; but the article seems to me to be overblown, repetitive, and too long by a factor of 10. I cannot avoid the conclusion that Jenny Turner used to run with that bunch, but has outgrown them, was bored to fury, but tried to recoup her £80 entrance fee by writing it up for the LRB; while the Review mistakenly chose this for its lead
article, and asked her to double its length.


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