Monday 27 May 2013

Crisis? What crisis?

The front page of today’s Daily Mirror is simply absurd. Above the headline (“IS IT REALLY TIME TO CHILLAX?”) is a strapline across the top of the page:
Our country is in the middle of a terrorism crisis, Prime Minister. And you’ve decided to go on holiday to Ibiza.
The Mirror is not alone. All of this morning’s tabloids have had a go at David Cameron for taking a week’s holiday. So let’s get things in proportion.

Our country is not “in the middle of a terrorism crisis”. There has been one murder committed by freelance Islamist nutters. It was a shocking attack, yes, but a single murder – however appalling – does not constitute a ‘crisis’. To indulge in this sort of hyperbole is to do precisely what the killers wanted. This applies especially in the case of the Daily Mirror, which accompanies its self-righteous reporting with a lurid invitation to “watch shocking footage of terrorists”.

Suppose Cameron had bowed to the demands of the tabloids and stayed in his office. What could he have achieved that has not already been done? Resurrect the Communications Data Bill, perhaps? Better he takes a break.

At the Huffington Post, Mehdi Hasan is spot on:
To be fair to the PM, he’s the one who said we should all carry on with business as usual, with normal everyday life, despite last Wednesday’s horrific crime, and we all praised him for saying so. Now, it seems, some of us cynically want to have a go at him for practising what he preaches. I’m with Dave - the only way to defeat terrorism is to refuse to be terrorised. Oh, and the only way to get ‘normal’, ‘in touch’ people at the top of politics is to allow them to do ‘normal’ and ‘in touch’ things like go on holiday. Even if it is, ahem, to Ibiza...

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