Imperialist platitudes

“No comments better encapsulate British government refusal to either comprehend or take seriously the letter sent by Muslim organisations and politicians to the Prime Minister than John Reid’s pompous utterances. Mr Reid did his best to stress the ‘alien’ nature of the government critics by lecturing them that it is ‘not the British way’ to change policy under threat. Of course it isn’t. It normally takes a discreet phone call from the White House, in the face of which our entire foreign policy is open to rewrite.

“‘No government worth its salt would stay in power, in my view, and no government worth its salt would be supported by the British people if our foreign policy or any other aspect of policy was being dictated by terrorists’, he continued, as though the critics had suggested that any policy should be dictated by terrorists.

“Only a wilfully obtuse reading of the letter could inspire such an interpretation. The Muslim representatives were simply spelling out what Britain’s security services have already told the government – namely, that there is a link between this country’s pro-US foreign policy and the escalating terrorist threat…. Lecturing Muslim leaders to do more to combat the virus of extremism in their communities is a slimy substitute for the government facing up to its own responsibility for mass murder and opting to change its ways by adopting an ethical foreign policy.”

Morning Star editorial, 15 August 2006