Thanks for the comments. A hiding to nothing, Elliot, is a pointless or counter productive activity.... a bit like blogging.
While Guardian bashing is fun, the more serious point is that the War on Iraq/Terror has produced a fault line in Europe between a minority who, even with misgivings, accept that the world changed on 9/11 and a majority who believe that if we were all just nicer to each other then everything would be OK. Hence, most Europeans assume that if only the Israelis would talk to the Palestinians, then they could work something out. They do not realise that Arafat has already twice turned down the very deal that the Israelis are being urged to offer him. Likewise, most Europeans think that if you act weak and harmless then you get left alone. Alas, human nature never was and never will be like that. The weak get kicked unless the strong protect them.
At heart I am a liberal and a cultural European. I prefer Italian food that comes from Italy to pizza from Chicago. I adore France and the French. But I despair of this continent's politics. We destroyed ourselves in two world wars. Walking the ugly modern streets of Dusseldorf or Cologne is a sobering experience for a Brit as we were the ones who flattened the beautiful mediaeval cities. But we seem to have thought that just because we have stopped fighting each other means the rest of the world is ready to stop too. Sadly, this is not so.
Even worse, the European left has forgotten the meaning of liberalism and tolerance. I mentioned the case of Buttiglione, the Italian Catholic now the target of an inquisition by socialist MEPs in Brussels. Buttiglione says he thinks homosexual acts are wrong but they should not be made illegal. His opponents say this is bigotry. Surely, all Buttiglione is doing is being tolerant. You CANNOT tolerate something of which you already approve. I do not 'tolerate' the glass of port I'm currently enjoying because I like it - but I do tolerate the people who smoke in my local pub as they inconvenience me. To tolerate something is to disapprove of it and yet let people do it anyway. But for the Left tolerance is no longer enough because they insist that we must all actually approve of their moral decisions. That, to me, sounds like fascism and it sounds like trying to impose morality in exactly the same way the Left accuse Christians of doing.
This all leaves me in something of a quandary because I would rather identify with liberal opinion and yet I find many of the things self-proclaimed liberals are saying to be utter rubbish or worse. So I find myself pushed politically right - or perhaps the right is moving towards me...