The Other Side of Václav Havel

Like all memorials, the celebration of former Czech president Václav Havel, who ended Stalinist rule in eastern Europe, is leading to whitewashing, says Neil Clark in the Guardian. It ignores the significant advances communist regimes made in employment, education and women's rights, and how badly the globalized market economies that replaced them have been for the little people. "Lauding Havel is not only doing a disservice to the millions of ordinary people in eastern Europe who have not been served well by his politics, but to the innocent men, women and children killed by the western military adventures he supported. While Havel was a man of undoubted talent and intellect, it's time we stopped eulogising people simply because they were anti-communist dissidents, and instead look at the bigger picture."