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Friday, June 17, 2011 

What they said.

I think we've reached the stage where we can all agree that, rather than launching a War on Terror, it would've been cheaper and more conducive to enhanced national security if we'd just put those squaddies to work in Aldershot burning two billion quid a week with flamethrowers.

I wonder what Eisenhower would make of today's US, with a military grown from 3.5 million people to 5 million. The western nations face less of a threat to their integrity and security than ever in history, yet their defence industries cry for ever more money and ever more things to do. The cold war strategist, George Kennan, wrote prophetically: "Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial complex would have to remain, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented."

Yet so successful was Laurie's campaign of pre-emptive self-deprecation that when the time came to step up and tell the inconvenient truth – not that Hugh Laurie is an old Etonian, or a TV comedian, but that he has a voice like a Canada goose – no one (at least, no one I've come across) was prepared to do it. Come on, people! If this kind of mass abdication of aesthetic responsibility continues, we'll end up with Tony Blair as Middle East peace envoy and Miranda Hart winning three British Comedy awards.

This is also known in wanky terms as a 'false dichotomy'. Either you want disabled people to work for less than minimum wage or you don't want them to work at all. There is no position saying we need to try to change people's perceptions and make sure employers don't discriminate . That just doesn't exist, stupid. Stop trying to make an argument that doesn't even exist.

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