THE BLOG

@UKagainstDaesh: Modernity's Answer to 'Make Do and Mend'

29/02/2016 11:09 GMT | Updated 27/02/2017 10:12 GMT

At the same time as British forces were launching offensives against key Isis targets in Syria, social media junkies in Whitehall were launching the accompanying 'Britain at war' propaganda, in the form of the Twitter account @UKagainstDaesh.

This official, government-run outlet has been emitting a series of absolute gems for weeks now. It runs regular question-and-answer sessions, providing that questioners use the hashtag #DefeatingDaesh ('Every tweet is another nail in Hitler's coffin').

It seeks out and contradicts opponents of action against Isis. It even engages in banter with supporters of Assad's murderous regime - because, as the classic British stiff-upper-lip of Sergeant Wilson would say, we may be enemies but surely we can at least be polite!

But their absolute biscuit-taker came quite recently:



"This internationally brokered armistice is great, obviously," the blue-sky thinkers behind @UKagainstDaesh must have thought to themselves, "but it must be missing something. Oh yes: a Neighbourhood Watch helpline!"

The poor old switchboard operators must be inundated with paranoid Syrians ringing up, attributing missing wheelie-bins and broken garden sprinklers to sinister Isis action in breach of ceasefire.

Naïve optimists may have been forgiven for thinking that the pettiness of international diplomacy had already reached rock bottom when Israel wrote a letter of complaint to the United Nations about rocket fire from Gaza ('I really do think that for Jimmy to practise his saxophone after 6pm is most inconsiderate'), but apparently there is now a serious expectation that grave breaches of international humanitarian law will be reported by email to the US State Department.

Cluster bomb destoys your garage? Stern email. Landmine outside your child's school? Stern email. Assad mis-sells you PPI insurance? Very stern email with lots of bold and underlining and change the font so it's not Comic Sans like usual.

It seems that the solution to Syria's state-sponsored terrorism is Britain's state-sponsored Whinger's Letterbox. SyriaCoH-HA@state.gov has to be the most blatant invitation ever given by a government for cranks and comedians to send in reams of frivilous reports. The material's there, and the Foreign Office is open for business! Either that or tweet support for terrorism and wait for @UKagainstDaesh to send a zinger back #giveasgoodasyouget

So there we have it. The 18th century brought British jingoism the gift of Boerehaat. By the 20th century the dark art of propaganda landed on 'Make Do and Mend'.

But thank goodness we can now sit back, confident that our government is not only defeating terrorists in violent warfare, but also winning the battle for hearts and minds.

And chasing up reports of unjustly broken windows in Damascus.