In 2006 the Foreign Office quietly stopped using the phrase “War on Terror”. No one had the bad manners to challenge the Americans openly, but in an understated, well-bred sort of way we nudged diplomatic elbows to be sure everyone was paying attention. This is the way we Brits like to do things, you know. Diplomatic, eh? It did not stop new boy at the FO, David Miliband, from proclaiming a year ago of the invasion of Iraq, “No one is resiling from the original decision.”
Good word that, resile. Very popular with the Blair camp, apparently: a suggestion of gravity and rigorous thinking; and not too hard to spell.
Now we have resiled. The ‘war on terror’ was a mistake, Miliband says, and the west cannot “kill its way” out of the threats it faces.
Presumably the Bush Administration is too busy packing to stamp on us for this nifty piece of resiling. So no points for courage to Resilient Miliband. Nor will reversible raincoats be in fashion at tomorrow’s Inauguration Party.
Shame on you, Mr Miliband! This is the sort of thing that gives opportunism a bad name.