Some years ago the comedian Robin Williams appeared in a move where he was delivering some of his stand up routine. In it, he delivers a great little line.
" I love the British police. When they see a criminal, they shout "stop, or I'll shout stop, again""
I thought of the sentiment when I read about the kidnapping of the Nigerian girls at the hands of Islamist group Boko Haram. The story is terrible. There's hardly a redeeming factor in the whole story story. Even the international anger has been slow off the mark. The mainstream press has finally latched on to the story, covering their disinterest with some odd sub narrative about the story being slow to emerge, which is odd given that bloggers had been asking for a while why the story hadn't gained mainstream press traction.
What's particularly niggled me is the campaign "Bring back our girls". Not because it exists. I think in many respects it's a good thing. What's niggled me is what it says about our modern politicians. There seems to suddenly a never ending queue of them itching to get in on the photo pop with a piece of cardboard with the slogan on it.
It's all just so very like them, no matter how well intentioned. Hash tagged slogans will not bring them back and posturing won't hunt the kidnappers down. But that's the modern way of running the world for these people. The image, the slogan and shallow gestures feel like doing something to these people. It fits right in with them because hard thinking and hard action are well, a bit too much to deal with and it's just not what they signed up for when they boarded the gravy train.
Strangely enough action has come along at the hands of the very people that these same shallow politicos lime to queue up to criticise - Israel. They've put some people on the ground to help the hunt by bringing some of their specialists to bear on the problem. But that's them. They have a habit of getting to the nub of the issue.