Podcast: Believe Nothing Until it is Officially Denied! With guest Patrick Cockburn | Cassandra Voices

Podcast: Believe Nothing Until it is Officially Denied! With guest Patrick Cockburn


The first Cassandra Voices Podcast, hosted by Luke Sheahan, features a long form interview with the veteran journalist Patrick Cockburn. Patrick’s father Claud, a leading British Communist member and journalist fought in the Spanish Civil War and eventually settled in Ireland. Patrick says of his father:

He used to say the big battalion commanders want to convince the small battalions, the weaker, the less wealthy that there’s absolutely no point in resisting the big powers, they might as well give up. Claude believed exactly the opposite, the big powers are always more fragile, that they had points of vulnerability and you can attack them, and that’s why I have just published this book, which will be published later this year which is a biography of my father which is called Believe Nothing Until it is Officially Denied.

Following in his father’s footsteps, for fifty years Patrick Cockburn has been practicing the art of journalism with integrity and persistence: a specialist on the Middle East, he has written extensively on wars and political machinations from Beirut to Belfast and Baghdad.

Within books like The Occupation and Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession (2002) (written with his brother Andrew), Patrick Cockburn has revealed the workings of Arab dictatorships and Western Imperialism alike. Over the last decade, he has also created a separate, no less distinguished profile as a memoirist: The Broken Boy (2022) describes his survival of a Polio epidemic in 1950s Cork, while Henry’s Demons (2011) co-authored with his son, immerses the reader into the pain of psychosis.

For our conversation with Patrick Cockburn, we sought to sketch out the lives and work of two independent-minded writers: both himself and his father, Claud. As indicated, Claud’s fifty-year career brought him around the world, from Civil War Spain to Wall Street during the crash of 1929,  back to 1930s London, where his newsletter The Week both documented and fought the rise of Fascism. It was only after WW2 that Claud moved to Ireland, where Patrick and his siblings would be born from the 50s onwards.

Making use of unclassified MI5 files, and an abundance of material directly remembered from his late father, Patrick spoke to Cassandra Voices as he was preparing the final manuscript of a new memoir, covering Claud’s life.

Patrick also spoke out passionately about coverage of the war in Gaza:

Evil becomes normalised … and a lot of the governments don’t want to recognise and the papers and those outlets that support the governments don’t want to go on about it. So it’s perfectly reasonable that we should have a big story about the Russians firing some rockets into a city in Ukraine and half a dozen people are killed and others injured. That is wrong and that gets a lot of publicity. Then several hundred people are killed in Gaza and that’s on the bottom of the page now, if it’s mentioned at all.

The first part of the podcast is freely available. You can listen to part two by subscribing on Apple podcasts. We will also be sending the second half of the show to our loyal Patreon supporters in the next few days. The decision to charge for the second half comes from our determination to maintain our independence.

Episode One: Believe Nothing Until it is Officially Denied! With guest Patrick Cockburn.
Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify
Host: Luke Sheehan
Music: Loafing Heroes: ​​https://theloafingheroes.bandcamp.com
Produced by Massimiliano Galli: https://www.massimilianogalli.com
Feature Image: Daniele Idini


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