Simon Carr:

The Sketch: Everyone hates terrorists, and they pointed to prove it

Share
Related Topics

If it were happening in Africa, people over here wouldn't mind, it might not even register. Eight hundred dead in Gaza? The world has a dozen countries where 800 violent deaths are hardly noticed.

But that part of Middle East exercises the Commons. Voices were raised yesterday, names called. Those of one disposition denounced mass murderers, those on the other side did the same. Everyone abhorred terrorism and terrorists, and pointed as they did so.

Peter Hain told us our experience in Northern Ireland had given Britain important lessons in these matters. It's hard to agree with that proposition. The frivolous, pleasure-seeking, happy-go-lucky, turn-the-other-cheek Ulstermen – they're no guide to Middle East politics.

David Miliband sought to pour oil on the waters but it felt more like oil vapour on water vapour. Reconciliation was essential, he said. There were responsibilities on all sides. There were benefits in peace, we learnt, but war caused pain and death. He was careful not to be led into controversy but when asked if a ceasefire should involve both sides, he was able to agree, cautiously. But, he emphasised, it was important this didn't become pro or anti-Israel or Palestine.

So, for instance, recalling our ambassador would imply we were somehow taking sides. Only in one area did he feel comfortable naming the guilty parties. The real villains turned out to be a shadowy group called "the international community". Bastards!

That may have meant George Bush. He wasn't including Britain in his condemnation, obviously – our own Tony Blair is out there working for peace (he was a minister in the British government some years ago). Gordon Brown has called for a ceasefire – and has done so both "publicly and privately". Courage, you see. He wrote the book of it.

Further, "the international community" has redeemed itself with "a clear call for a durable ceasefire". It was the result of "intense, unifying work" the UN wrote out in Resolution 1860. Clear, strong, authoritative. And, he told us, "rejected by all sides".

It was a lighter moment, I'm not sure he saw it like that.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Reeyot Alemu (L) and Eskinder Nega (R)  

Voices in Danger: Ethiopian journalists are fleeing from prosecution while others languish in prison

Anne Mortensen
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?