My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Must Read

The Thursday edition of the London Daily Telegraph is already available online, and it includes one absolute must-read editorial. Note: registration is required, but it is free.

The problem is, this is such a great editorial that there are too many print-bites to ethically put in the blog. So I tried to narrow it down to my two favorite points, which should give you enough of a taste to pursue it.

This week, our politicians have reminded me of the castaway boys in the last scene of Lord of the Flies, suddenly tearful and ashamed of their terrible mischief as they are finally confronted by their grown-up rescuers.

Yes, there was a mood of solidarity and mature consensus at Prime Minister's Questions yesterday and during Monday's Commons debate on the bombings. But there was also the whiff of shame in the air: shame at the political decadence that had so demeaned the debate on the war on terror before 8:50am last Thursday.


"It is a war," one Cabinet minister said to me. "People didn't believe that till last Thursday. But they do now."

I hope he is right. This war, of course, is like nothing that has preceded it, which is why it is so tempting to call it something else: a criminal conspiracy, or a series of isolated atrocities carried out by psychopathic mavericks. And yet the analysis that the President and Prime Minister offered after 9/11 now seems more pertinent than ever.

We face three, inextricably linked threats: from Islamist fanatics, from the rogue states that harbour them, and from the deadly weapons which they seek to acquire. Only three months ago, Kamel Bourgass was jailed for 17 years for plotting to unleash ricin on London's streets. Bourgass failed. On July 7, Hasib Hussain, Shehzad Tanweer, Mohammed Sadique Khan and another man succeeded with conventional explosive. What if it had been the other way round?

I suspect that Mr. d'Ancona had a fairly grown-up perspective on the war from the get-go, though I have not read enough of his writings to know for sure. At any rate, I hope he is right that the tenor of the debate is evolving across the pond.

This, while the tenor of the debate is decidedly DEvolving over here, after we had a few fairly mature months in the aftermath of 9/11.

I can't encourage you to read this whole piece strongly enough.

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