But it is a very serious speech, intellectually demanding and carefully expressed throughout most of its length, about an indisputably big, difficult and complex subject. It is a speech worthy of its subject, and it deserves the respectful attention of all who take politics seriously. At a time when politics is widely felt to be so disreputable, that is no small achievement. It deserves an appropriately respectful and thoughtful response that goes beyond attitudinising.
This is what it feels like to have an eloquent statesman as a leader.
: UPDATE: The Observer chimes in, too:
But his central argument, which we fully support, was that, given the nature of the terrorist threat, it should not have been so hard to find political legitimacy for action. The threat of terrorism, he argued, requires the international community to be able to use pre-emptive force. Again, we support this view.
The US has shown itself woefully unprepared for Iraq’s reconstruction, but that does not undermine the Prime Minister’s crucial point. Terrorism does represent a new threat and it does require new responses. The international laws that served us in the aftermath of the Second World War are overdue for reform. Mr Blair will not silence his critics by describing them as ‘cynics’ – they are not – but his call for a new world compact based on shared international beliefs and interests is a vision that supporters and critics alike should support.