Thursday, January 15, 2009

Miliband renounces what?

Eight years too late, Miliband "implicitly" criticises the War on Terror. And James Hooper fawns.

We all know a person or two suffering from 'Panglossian disorder', the tendency towards extreme optimism and extreme denial in the face of obvious evidence to the contrary. Everything's fine and everything's amazing. Flowers and chocolate. Roses and lilies. My good old friend Gaz once said that "I don't know anything about Iraq, but if our government is taking us to war over there, then it means they must have their good reasons". He also said that his minimum-wage casual job at a call centre was an excellent career opportunity and, after he lost that same job, he was still mumbling "oh it's alrite".

Today, via the excellent Liberal Conspiracy website, I found another recruit to the Panglossian cause as I stumbled upon a piece by James Hooper, author of the wonderfully written Scribo Ergo Sum blog. "Miliband hits the spot", he writes.

Some of the ideas and concepts on Hooper's blog are entirely agreeable. His blog contains a slew of excellent opinions and thought-provoking articles about politics and the wider world. But, my heartfelt apologies, his stuff about David Miliband is just a massive clanger. If anything because it's seriously based on a delusion. James Hooper sees things entirely based on implicitness, getting carried away with one Panglossian leap after the other.

According to Hooper, David Miliband would have allegedly "renounced" the War on Terror, something especially brave as it was done "five days before the Texas thugs departs the Oval Office". So in Hooper's rose-tinted world, that is hugely significant. That makes Miliband a "mouth-watering" political prospect.

Aside from the fact that it's probably easier to spot a dodo than anyone still uttering the phrase "War on Terror" (the phrase hasn't been openly used by anybody, not even the 'Texan thugs' since at least 2006), Hooper magically forgets that Miliband has been a fervent supporter of the 'Texan thugs' and their foreign policy adventures throughout. Hooper may slate the "Neo Conservative myth", but the fact is Milband has always been pro-Iraq war and if he harboured any doubt then they must have been "implicit" because, as recently as 2008, he "hailed the Iraq war as a remarkable victory which had brought democracy and security to the conflict-ridden country". Hooper may want to ask a million Iraqi corpses what they make of "implicit" repositioning.

Hooper took the Foreign Secretary's article in today's Guardian and decided to turn it into a 'Road to Damascus' kind of moment. Because, really, the most adventurous thing Miliband could come up with was a quote from General Petraeus saying that the western coalition in Iraq "could not kill its way out of the problems of insurgency and civil strife". Hooper also wrote that "[Miliband]'s stance on the latest Israeli atrocities have been about as good as could be expected from a mainstream politician". What, calls for a ceasefire? "Halt all violence"? Calling it "a dark moment"? Was he going to call it a "bright one" instead? Does Hooper know of any European politician, from Sarkozy to Zapatero, to Gordon Brown himself, who didn't spurt hot air over "the loss of human life"?

Hooper doesn't forget to stick a strawman in. In order to flesh out Miliband's words he places them right against blogs like Monkeysmashes and the Communist Party of Great Britain (well-known big beasts of the British political scene, you know) and their support for "murderous Islamists".

No, my friend. Please find yourself another political idol. Because after ten years of Blairite piss'n'wind, lies and constant political posturing, the last think Britain needs is a Miliband to idolise.


Anonymous said...

Hooper's view (and he's not alone, to be fair) reminds me of the days of the vote on Iraq. And some people on the left were deluding themselves that deep down Gordon Brown was against the war because his nose twitched when he declared his support or something.

It really verges on the ridiculous. Miliband shouldn't be let off so easily.

Anonymous said...

Look at this paragraph Miliband wrote:

"We must respond to terrorism by championing the rule of law, not subordinating it, for it is the cornerstone of the democratic society. We must uphold our commitments to human rights and civil liberties at home and abroad.

Cheeky bugger, isn't he? Why didn't he quit the Government when Blair was involved head-to-toe in rendition flights, Guantanamo and all that bullshit? Sod quit the government. Why didn't he ever utter a word?
Any chance perhaps that with Obama entering the White House, Miliband, like all serfs, is seeking realignment?

Anonymous said...

Miliband is a pathetic human being. He believes in nothing. Everyone knows he's just after one thing.