Friday, December 11, 2015
After the Vote James Meek on the bombing of Syria
''People mistrust originality, especially in politicians. The safe political performance is an enactment of the familiar. The political effort to extend British airstrikes against Islamic State from Iraq to Syria began in November when David Cameron set out his case to Parliament in relatively decorous terms. By 2 December, when Parliament voted in favour, an older, cruder performance had emerged.
One of the prime minister’s enactments back in November was the voice that accompanies TV adverts from large corporations with millions of customers, like high street banks or big energy firms: smooth, friendly, confident, reassuring, making simple, slogan-like promises that pierce the delicate middle ground between what might plausibly be real and what can only be aspiration. ‘Our pilots can strike the most difficult targets at rapid pace and with extraordinary precision, and provide vital battle-winning close air support to local forces on the ground.’ Imagine it with stirring orchestral music..''