Losing. It's all the same to me.

Obviously like everyone else I'm horrified at what's happened today. Terrorist attacks on UK soil, designed to cause massive casualties. Awful.

I've always thought that things like this simply harden everyone's pre-existing beliefs. If you're part of the BNP "send 'em back" brigade, you'll just think that more strongly today. If you're a radical Islamist who demands the total destruction of Western Judeo-Christian society, in its entirety, then you'll be feeling that idea more now than before. If you're a peace protestor who wants to end the war in Iraq you'll be shaking your head and thinking you've been proved right. If you're someone who supported the war in Iraq you'll also be nodding and saying "I told you so".

It's ideas and debate that change people's minds, not violence and destruction. All you get when people start fighting is closed minds and hard hearts. The last thing you need in a fight is the uncertainty of a discussion.

That's what's so seductive about the "conspiracy theory" angle. These attacks will improve Gordon Brown's standing as PM. There's no doubt about that. An enemy to rally the country against is exactly what his premiership needed to get off to a good start. It sounds absurd but his advisers will, in my opinion, be over the moon with this.

Look back in history to Margret Thatcher; she was massively unpopular and sure to lose the election until she waged war against the Argentinians. Once the country was involved in the campaign there was no choice but to rally behind our leader. These terror attacks work in the same way. No point in being divided while some nut jobs try and kill us, all.

I mentioned in this post here that I feel a little bit guilty that South Yorkshire no longer has a proper talkshow anymore. I feel this even more today. Here's a link to an old clip from the show when the attacks of 7/7 occured: here.

I imagine it's the sort of debate we would have been having on Sunday had the show continued.

NM

Comments

Lydia said…
There are examples of political leaders winning a war but still being unpopular and losing an election. George Bush Snr in 1992 springs to mind.
Nicholarse said…
I'm not sure it's the winning bit that's important. Churchill lost the election after the war!

It's just the fact that waging war gives you a chance to rally the troops.

Like you say though, doesn't always work. If it did we'd always be at war... hang on...

NM

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