What a Mensch!

Provocative British novelist and former Conservative MP Louise Mensch outdid even herself today with the following message on Twitter:

Leonard Cohen’s death reminds us that America’s enduring greatness is as multifaceted as a diamond. Russia has nothing. Russia is joyless.

Quite why Cohen’s death should provide an excuse for some Russia-bashing, I cannot imagine, but her tweet provoked an immediate backlash for another reason, with respondents rushing to point out that ‘Cohen was Canadian, you ****!’

Faced with this unpleasant fact, Mensch defended herself by denying that she’d ever said that Cohen was American, and by doubling down on the claim that Russia was a country without culture. ‘No culture is worth anything without Leonard Cohens of its own. You are rock-free, joyless and soulless.’ ‘LOL, “great music scene” in Russia’, she tweeted later.

Boy, oh, boy, what ignorance. Not only does Russia have a vibrant popular music culture, but it has also had its fair share of Cohen-style singer songwriters. Has Louise never heard of Cohen’s contemporaries Vladimir Vysotsky or Bulat Okudzhava, for instance? I guess not. Or maybe she just thinks that they are American too.


13 thoughts on “What a Mensch!”

    1. From this article by Philip Giraldi: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-do-we-hate-russia/

      “Other speakers at the conference were as dismayed as I was by the negativity towards Russia and also provided some additional insights into why Americans just don’t get it. One European speaker joked that U.S.A. could stand for United States of Amnesia in that developments elsewhere in the world are subjected to a superficial 24-hour news cycle before being completely forgotten. Professor Peter Kuznick of American University observed that students in the U.S. rank low on science and math scores, which makes the news, but the area in which their scores are actually lowest is history. He quizzed a class of top students on the Second World War and asked how many Americans died in the conflict. The response was 90,000, which is nearly 300,000 short of the true number. How many Russians? The answer was about 100,000, which is 27,900,000 short. Not knowing something about that number means not understanding what motivates Russia. Kuznick observed that roughly 3,000 Americans died on 9/11. To use the numbers of 9/11 as a basis for appreciating the impact of the Russian war deaths would require the U.S. to experience a 9/11 attack every day for the next 24 years.”


  1. In damning Russia as a country without culture, Louise Mensch managed to say what we knew already – that Pussy Riot can’t sing or play music for all they’re worth.


  2. I don’t think Russia will suffer much from ignorant fools like Mensch staying away from its ‘joyless’ scenes. In fact, her absence is more likely to inspire joy in Russia than her presence would do, which is saying something. Not quite as much as her falling into a giant deep-fat fryer would do, but we must take our joy as we find it these days.


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