A wartime Minister of Information is compelled, in the national interest, to such continuous acts of duplicity that even his natural hair must grow to resemble a wig.

— Claud Cockburn

The most memorable Claud Cockburn quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

What arouses the indignation of the honest satirist is not, unless the man is a prig, the fact that people in positions of power or influence behave idiotically, or even that they behave wickedly. It is that they conspire successfully to impose upon the public a picture of themselves as so very sagacious, honest and well-intentioned.

48

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

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One good reason for the popularity of "reductionism" among the philosophical outposts of the Western Establishment is that it can be, and is, used as a device for trying to take the wind, so to speak, out of the sails of Marxism. . . . In essence reductionism is a kind of anti-Marxist caricature of Marxist determinism. It is what anti-Marxists pretend that Marxist determinism is.

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The hired journalist, I thought, ought to realize that he is partly in the entertainment business and partly in the advertising business - advertising either goods, or a cause, or a government. He just has to make up his mind whom he wants to entertain, and what he wants to advertise.

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An autobiography should give the reader opportunity to point out the author's follies and misconceptions.

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Nothing sets a person up more than having something turn out just the way it's supposed to be, like falling into a Swiss snowdrift and seeing a big dog come up with a little cask of brandy round its neck.

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A newspaper is always a weapon in somebody's hands.

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Believe nothing until it has been officially denied.

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If I wrote a book about England I should call it What About Wednesday Week? which is what English people say when they are making what they believe to be an urgent appointment.

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Small earthquake in Chile. Not many dead.

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There is nothing quite so terrifying as a mad sheep.

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Evidently there are plenty of people in journalism who have neither got what they liked nor quite grown to like what they get. They write pieces they do not much enjoy writing, for papers they totally despise, and the sad process ends by ruining their style and disintegrating their personality, two developments which in a writer cannot be separate, since his personality and style must progress or deteriorate together, like a married couple in a country where death is the only permissible divorce.

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About Claud Cockburn

Quotes 13 sayings
Nationality British
Profession Journalist
Birthday October 16
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