The Society for Stating The Bleedin’ Obvious has been at it again. The headlines this morning mark the death of former Prime Minister Ted Heath, but also anounce the conclusion of a Royal Institute of International Affairs and Economic and Social Research Council report, concluding that participating in the Iraq war may have increased the likelyhood of a terrorist attack on Great Britain.
You don’t say! So what conclusion is to be drawn from this report? That we would have been better off not acting for fear of offending the Taleban and Saddam? The usual Mrs Angry of Lowestoft will have a field day with this report, stating that it vindicated the the anti-war position of a vocal minority. Jack Straw has at least put it in context, reminding Mrs Angry that “the terrorists have struck across the world, in countries allied with the United States, backing the war in Iraq and in countries which had nothing whatever to do with the war in Iraq.”
Yes, our participation in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq undoubtedly did increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks on British soil, but the attacks on the World Trade Center on 11th September 2001 were not done in response to any clear action on the part of the United States. To say that we should have done nothing shows downright historical ignorance and is tantamount to saying that we should just roll over to terrorists’ demands.
You know what? I’ve just realised something. We could have avoided that whole nasty World War 2 thing if we just hadn’t taken up arms against Hitler. I reckon that whole declaring war on Germany upset a lot of Nazis. Naughty Mr Chamberlain!
It’s London! The IOC has chosen London as the venue for the 2012 Olympic Games, pipping the favourite Paris to the post by a mere 4 votes. On the one hand, I’m delighted that London won, because clearly the effort that has been put in by Sebastian Coe and the candidature team has been outstanding. I’m also delighted that Chirac’s day has been ruined, given his recent tirade against all things British. On the other hand, this is yet another case of London gets it all while the regions lose out. London got the Millennium Dome (on reflection, they’re welcome to it), the national football stadium, and now the Olympics. A city like Birmingham, with its superb communication routes, could have been a candidate. All too often the second city loses out to London.
In Scotland, the G8 summit is underway, and, surprise, surprise, the anarchists are out again breaking anything they can. When Bob Geldof called for a march on Gleneagles the other week, I thought the guy had lost it – previous G8 summits have witnessed anarchists and sheer bloody-minded criminals out on a smash-fest; to invite thousands of people along seemed like lunacy, even if his intentions were extremely well-founded. Still, I suppose he means well. At least the Live 8 concerts last week seem to have raised the game a little (and the album sales of the participants).
I read this morning that the BBC received 400 complaints about swearing during the Live 8 broadcast at the weekend. Apparently, to put this in context, they receive 500 complaints if Eastenders starts five minutes late, so I suppose that makes it okay. Maybe I’m a prudish 34 year old, but I don’t like to hear swearing before the 21:00 watershed. After that, anything goes as far as I am concerned; I may not like it, but I accept it. I moderate my language according to my audience; if I am with friends, I will occasionally use colourful language: I will not at home in front of my children. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, but I think that the ability to modify your behaviour according to your audience is just common courtesy.
I understand the argument of smashing the taboo of swearing, and if we, as a society are prepared to accept that, I’ll go along with it. When I know, with confidence, that my daughters can go into any public building and swear without anyone batting an eyelid, I’ll accept it. As it is, my 7 year old and 3 year old heard the F*** word four times during a concert I wanted them to see. If they now go on to repeat that word quite innocently in school or nursery, I expect they would be reprimanded – hardly fair on them. We still live in a society where they will be shunned for such behaviour and will no longer be considered as innocent little kids.
I look forward then to the ‘anything goes’ approach on the BBC in the near future and hearing the phrase ‘w*nky b*ll@ck c*nt f*ck’ on Saturday morning televison. Until then, can we have the 4 second delay back on all live broadcasts. Thanks.