Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Two Sensible Guardian Articles In One Day Shock Horror

Polly, Maddie, Moonbat and co. must all be on hols ...

Martin Kettle on the responsibilities of power.

"It is all very well complaining that the transport secretary, Alistair Darling, is making life more dangerous in the air. In some ways, he may be. Yet if a suicide hijack succeeds, killing hundreds of people, the first question that will be asked is why stronger measures were not taken to protect the victims.

Questions of this kind mark the difference between the lives that ministers and the rest of us live. Most people give these risks only occasional and passing attention. To us, the thought that we may all be murdered in our beds is remote. To hapless ministers, it is a serious possibility for which they must try to prepare, and for which they will be held accountable when it occurs.

In 2004, there is a greater likelihood than at any time since 1945 that large numbers of civilians will be the victims of an act of pitiless aggression. Most of us deal with this fear by ignoring it. For a Blair or a Darling, there is no such luxury. Just occasionally, perhaps, we should have the humility to see the awfulness of the world that they inhabit, and which they strive so unavailingly to control."

And the great Aaronovitch on Iran, with a wee side-dig at the Monbiots of this world.

"Iran is still being ruled by a useless, incompetent semi-theocracy, which is fatalistic, complacent, unresponsive and often brutal. And such a system does not deliver to its citizens one fraction of what the Great Satan, for all its manifest faults, manages to guarantee to ordinary Americans.

Following the fall of the Berlin wall there was, as the philosopher John Gray put it, a "false dawn" of the New Age of Liberal Democracy, in which all problems everywhere could be expected to be solved by a free market and free elections. But this triumphalism has been replaced, in some quarters at least, by the equally vacuous tropes of the anti-globalisation movement and its demonisation of liberal capitalism.

What, I wonder, has Arundhati Roy to say now about the superiority of traditional building methods over globalised ones? Some Iranians might think that it's a shame there wasn't a McDonald's in Bam. It would have been the safest place in town. "

Links via Normblog.

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