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George Orwell: political flake, towering moralist

Orwell wasn’t a serious political thinker of any stripe, indeed it is not even clear what his politics were. The real value lies elsewhere

By Stephen Ingle   October 2020

Photo: TopFoto/PA Images

Iranians, faced with a dilemma, turn to the collected works of the 14th-century poet Hafiz. They make the required incantation, turn to a page at random and mysteriously enlightened guidance awaits. We in the UK make do with the wisdom of George Orwell. Does it help? His writerly concern for plain language and truth-telling certainly does: it has profound relevance for the modern world. But his guidance regarding broader political issues is by no means unambiguous; in fact it is not even clear what his…

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