When spending a bit of time with the news media and commentators, themes sometimes emerge that the user of one source might miss. Three or four separate writers last week said that Brown needed a war, pointing especially to the alarming state of Maggie Thatcher's popularity in 1982 before the Falkland Islands were invaded. Blair seemed to have regular conflicts pop up to aid his reputation. No matter what the state of play at home a government will usually be supported when the forces are fighting.
And other good things come from war. Only this week I was reading, in a surprisingly punchy Guardian supplement sponsored by the plastics industry, that corneal lens replacements were invented by a surgeon in 1944ish who noticed that perspex shards of cockpit cover in pilot's eyes were not rejected by the host.
War tends to make those at the (sorry) cutting edge of technology work faster. Almost as if their lives depended on it.
We don't want to copy Wag the Dog. So how can we act as if we are working to win a war without having a war? How can we expend more energy solving problems and less sticking the knife into our leaders? Maybe Gordon ought to declare war on recession.