I am starting to believe that this country is no longer interested in news, only gossip. Sometimes the gossip is about a celebrity, sometimes a celebrity politician. Twenty-four hour news-channels suggest that the removal of a dead entertainer’s gravestone constitutes ‘breaking news’.
We have just had three party conferences so empty and insular that the outside world did not intrude meaningfully on one of them. But whilst we sink tittering beneath the waves the rest of the world is going about its business as usual.
Rachid Ghannouchi was allowed to live in this country for years. He used his time preparing for an Islamist takeover of his home-country of Tunisia. After the ousting of Presiden Ben Ali he duly came to power. Some of us warned that no good would come from this. Now here he is in his own sweet words.
In a newly-released video Tunisia’s Islamist-in-chief is recorded sitting down with a group of Salafists, recommending ways for them to build on their recent political successes.
‘Be patient… Why hurry? Take your time, to consolidate what you have gained […] create television channels, radio stations, schools and universities.’
He may be a terrible man, but he is not a fool. He used his time here in Britain well. He is now using his time in North Africa well. And he is right. Why hurry? Take your time. Be patient. Especially as the countries on whose borders you sit are too busy giggling at their own navels to remember you even exist.