Yesterday's critique of Coughlin's nonsense in the Telegraph was penned at dawn. I need not have bothered. Some 2,400 comments on the piece that appeared during the day comprehensively demolished the poor man and his silly delusions and no doubt gave the editor something to think about. At the other end of Europe, comments on Ukraine made to Kleine Zeitung are pretty much the same. Not all of the public have an opinion on these things, but of those that have - an important, possibly key cohort - there is a clear and significant gulf between the rhetoric of Europe's governments and the opinions of its citizens. Our involvement or otherwise in the various Shia-Sunni bloodfests of the Islamic civil war, or in the US/Russian proxy war in Syria, show the same divergence.
The BBC, whose expertise in broadcast technical standards has spearheaded quality video via ADSL thereby endangering its own TV tax, is feeling vulnerable and nervous of losing public support. As it dithers between being an organ of the Big State and the Voice of the People it's in no position to establish a clear editorial line. All of which is frustrating the generals both of the armchair and scarlet-gorgetted varieties, some of whom have taken to instructing the nation to be more supportive of war, in a deeply silly and counter-productive way. Cameron is missing a major military deployment from his brief premiership - something all PMs seem to feel a requirement to support their post Number Ten candidatures as 'Statesmen'- and is lusting to let slip his gorgetted dogs somewhere, anywhere, before May 2015.
People now have greater access to information on world events than at any time in human history; the gap between what governments know and what the people know is now not very great. People are confident in their own opinions, and in their right to have opinions. All of which poses the question as to whether people are now collectively wiser than their governments - and if so, isn't it time governments switched from lecturing mode to listening mode?