Finding the Right Response

It's weird. I've been away for a weekend on a course, and deliberately cut myself off. Didn't buy a newspaper, or watch the news, or try to catch up on my e-mails. So I come home and start reading through three days' papers. On Friday, there's cocky triumphalism about our (risky, illegal) killing of Jihadi John. This surely will have dealt a serious blow to ISIS...

And then, on Saturday, there's Paris. Apparently they didn't huddle in corners, deciding that the fight wasn't worth it. Who knows, maybe it spurred them on. But we can't be sure. What is certain is that it's very easy to get this wrong. The worse the atrocity, the great the need for clear thinking.

One of the reasons I like The Guardian is that it gives me a range of views. So today, looking back over the weekend's events, I get access to the thoughts of Matthew d'Ancona, former speechwriter for David Cameron. He passes on the inside gossip that Cameron's team are really pleased that he was cautious about the migrant crisis, while Angela Merkel was a bit hasty in saying that it had to be solved. The events of the weekend have surely proved him right.

Mind-blowing. I just can't imagine what it must be like to think like that. For me Merkel's dogged insistence that the refugee problem is a serious crisis that has to be solved, rather than an excuse for posturing and racist gestures, is deeply impressive. How Cameron comes out of this as a far-sighted statesman i just can't imagine. Like they say, there's nowt so queer as folk.