This time last week, David Cameron had a significant problem on his hands. To much of the country, he stood accused of cold indifference to the suffering of tens of thousands of human beings at best, and of having assisted in the deaths of thousands of men, women and children at worst.
People all over the country were shocked by photographs of crowds of mistreated, desperate refugees and migrants. People from all walks of life remembered the nation's summer-long immigration hysteria with shame and collectively, they called upon the Prime Minister to act.
A pretty thorny situation for a politician to tackle, particularly for a man that's spent years enthusiastically trawling through the nation's babbling undercurrent of spite, resentment and mad racist crankery.
What to do?
Neither you nor I would immediately think of responding to a humanitarian catastrophe by launching into an epic dick-measuring contest, but maybe that's why neither of us is Prime Minister, and David Cameron is.
And so it went. When it came time for Cameron to address the great swell of miserable humanity in need of shelter, he took to his feet and announced that he'd had a couple of ISIS militiamen blown up with missiles, a few months back. Look, he said, just look - gaze in wonder upon my throbbing war-boner for truly, it is enormous.
Which may seem like a non-sequitur to you and to me, but not to the nation's political or media class, who immediately launched into an impressively stupid series of semi-hysterical shrieks and screams.
In one of the nation's more incredible displays of dick-waving and chimpanzoid chest-thumping, public figures have spent most of the week falling over themselves to see who can proclaim the most loudly that
- the Government has an unlimited right to kill fuck out of any citizen who runs off to join a murderous militia, and that
- anyone who says otherwise is a traitor, and probably a Communist.
And that was pretty much that. Note here that the throngs of needy people didn't suddenly go away, and that Cameron's previous ISIS-killing exploits have lessened the crisis not one jot...
...But the political problem really has gone away, unless something exponentially worse happens, and it probably won't return even if a thousand Kurdish kids wash up on foreign shores. It will, after all, be old news by then.
Thus, was normal service resumed. Just today, the Times felt so confident in its own boundless dickishness that it wheeled out Melanie Phillips* to bang her shoe on her lectern and swear that Britain can't take in all these ghastly Muslims no matter how bad a time they're having, because they'll jihad up Britain with their awfulness... And that anyone who disagrees, is either showing off their personal virtue, or actively seeking to destroy Britain.
Yet the complete turnaround in this story, while astounding to behold and superficially simple, took a lot of people working in concert to achieve.
I think we have to acknowledge here that none of this could've been achieved without some truly awful human beings working very, very hard, showing the grit, guts and determination required to utterly dick off a disaster of this magnitude. Those people - and I'm sure that they know who they are - can give themselves a pat on their scaly, reptilian backs for a tough job well done.
But for everyone else, I don't think I'm doing much violence to this sequence of events if I summarise it thusly:
Ordinary people with basic humanity: Prime Minister, can you not find it in your heart to give shelter to some of these stateless, miserable human beings?
Cameron: Hey yo, yo! I totally blew up a terrorist on the other side of the world a few weeks back! It was, like, well legal and shit. Boom, motherfuckers!
Cavalcade of hooting idiots: Awesome! The Prime Minister's throbbing war-boner is truly magnificent! All must now declare that blowing up terrorists is righteous and just, in precisely the terms that we demand, or stand exposed for all time as hated unBritish swine of suspect loyalty!
Ordinary people with basic humanity: (Sad faces)
And really, that's how easy it is.
*For some reason, the Times decided not to go with Melanie's chosen wording of "The migrant crisis is where confused, demoralised Europe seals its fate".
I suspect that they're a bit edgy about peering too closely at what's at the bottom of the pool that they're fishing in.