Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

Don’t expect us to keep cheering on this vague and bizarre adventure

Actually, it’s a good question. How long is a piece of string? I’ve often wondered, and I’ve seen some string in my time. The problem is, they were all of different lengths, these bits of string, some long, some shorter. I suppose the mean length of string I’ve come across would be about nine inches, disregarding whole balls of string, obviously. Having worked this out perhaps I could be co-opted into whatever government department is running the war against Libya, as they do not know how long a piece of string is.

Actually, it’s a good question. How long is a piece of string? I’ve often wondered, and I’ve seen some string in my time. The problem is, they were all of different lengths, these bits of string, some long, some shorter. I suppose the mean length of string I’ve come across would be about nine inches, disregarding whole balls of string, obviously. Having worked this out perhaps I could be co-opted into whatever government department is running the war against Libya, as they do not know how long a piece of string is.

Actually, it’s a good question. How long is a piece of string? I’ve often wondered, and I’ve seen some string in my time. The problem is, they were all of different lengths, these bits of string, some long, some shorter. I suppose the mean length of string I’ve come across would be about nine inches, disregarding whole balls of string, obviously. Having worked this out perhaps I could be co-opted into whatever government department is running the war against Libya, as they do not know how long a piece of string is.

Nick Harvey, a Liberal Democrat MP now surprisingly ennobled with high office as minister for the armed forces, was asked how long we would continue shelling Libyans, and he gave the string thing as an answer — blithely, with an air of exquisite abandon, like it didn’t matter. He quite clearly does not have the remotest clue what exactly we are doing, for how long we intend to do it and what would constitute a victory (for us, I mean). But his blithe spirit is very much of the moment, of its time; it was replicated in the ease with which the war was waved through the House of Commons, with only thirteen votes against and the comfort with which the ‘opposition’ leader trundled out his new bag of breast-beating clichés to support it.

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