Thursday, July 21, 2005

Oooh, baby I love your way...

Much though I'd love to offer some insta-analysis of today's mercifully crap bombing attacks in London I shall refrain from doing so except to make one quick comment.

There has been much gushing praise among the American commentariat of John Howard's words spoken alongside Tony Blair today. Indeed, the Prime Minister's statement has been contrasted quite negatively with those of his Australian counterpart. Especially at the Corner, there seems to be widespread dismay that the PM didn't launch into a lengthy piece of glittering, defiant and principle-laden rhetoric.

I disagree.

Today, the Prime Minister's job was to speak to the British people and as far as I am concerned he did that very well. It was far more the sort of thing we need and want to hear right now and, by and large, the public agree with it. Had he attempted something along the lines of what Mr Howard said, I think it would have been perceived - rightly or wrongly - as stagey, out of step with the public mood and, quite possibly, cynical. Although there are a great many Brits who might broadly share John Howard's sentiments I don't think they are in the mood for that sort of "speechifying". Mr Howard's words may get him great reviews in America, but it was the Prime Minister's job to speak to the British people and I think he did a pretty good job of speaking both to - and for - us.

And I don't say that very often.


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