Abstract: Hilary Benn MP’s speech got such high praise by the media, I thought I would check it out. It fell well below deserving of the praise it got, and here I explain why. Benn’s argument was full of emotional appeals, in what I believe was an attempt to obscure and misdirect from the substantive defects in the case for bombing. He bases it on our self-defence, but does not explain (and nor is it this case) how this bombing will make us any safer. He argues for an opposition in principle to Daesh, but this argument is illogical, again full of emotional appeals, and still does not explain why this bombing action is a method of opposition which is good. I also question the way that the media fling praise at this speech, pointing out my suspicion of the “mainstream” and how this angle on the speech fits with narratives they support.
This is the sort of analysis that I wish journalists might attempt, yet is so lacking from any reports about Benn’s speech, from discussion of Cameron’s case for bombing, and the way that journalism now is much more about reprinting press releases than having a proper ‘public watchdog’ approach to challenging what those with power are saying and doing.