Week 35: Prat – David Cameron

by Jackie_South on August 31, 2014

Con_PratThis week, our glorious Prime Minister has earned our panel’s Prat of the Week Award

According to our Prime Minister, Islamic State are ‘a greater and deeper threat to security than we have ever known’. As George East remarked earlier this week, this is a ridiculously hyperbolic statement that does not bear much examination.

My generation and the one before it grew up under the Cold War’s mushroom cloud shadow of likely nuclear war. As a kid, I remember my mum cancelling visits to central London due to the IRA bombing campaign – my colleagues Ray North and Bobby West were sharing a pint in a pub when an IRA car bomb exploded a hundred yards away. Those were real threats, with very tangible dangers to our lives in a way that frankly Islamic State is not.

Yet we never thought, and my parents never thought, that these were the greatest threats to our nation’s security that we had ever known. No, that was the threat faced by the generation before, the World War II generation that faced down Nazi Germany. There will be no Battle of Britain over our skies to defend us from Islamic State, no night-upon-night of families huddled in air raid shelters as they listen for the Doodlebug engines to cut out above them.

Do not get me wrong: Islamic State are an extremely scary organisation (as I wrote last week) that is incredibly well-resourced. But its aims are very much focused on the Middle East. That is not a reason not to care, or in my opinion necessarily one not to intervene, but it is important to get things in perspective if we are to respond appropriately.

In 2003, we were being told that Saddam Hussein was the world’s next Hitler. No-one seriously believes that today. But I am in the US at the moment and the War Hawks here are already jumping on Cameron’s words to criticise the lack of military action by Obama (albeit the one I heard on this morning’s TV called him “Tony Cameron”).

And while we are getting things in perspective, let us remember the last time that Cameron and the American War Hawks were urging us all to war. It was only a year ago – Cameron even recalled Parliament to garner support…

… to go to war on what is now the Islamic State’s side in Syria.

Cameron is no statesman, he’s a PR man. He hypes up every crisis to sell the latest policy, as if he were selling breakfast cereals rather than war. We have never had a more light-weight Prime Minister.

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