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If there ever were an example of a theatre tensed for a good stampede it would be a country that has just suffered a major terrorist atrocity. So it was interesting that when he was in Mumbai in January, at the Taj Mahal Hotel, in which Islamist terrorists had just mown down scores of people, Miliband decided to use the opportunity to deny the existence of Islamist terrorism and attribute the attacks to the Indian government's behaviour over Kashmir. An Indian opposition spokesman declared: "In recent years, there has been no bigger disaster than the visit of David Miliband."

In the spirit of openness, I should state that I have a profound belief in the right of David Miliband to be a diplomatic disaster. I'm not sure I'd defend to the death his right to be a diplomatic disaster, but I certainly wouldn't try to bar him from the country for being a diplomatic disaster. I might even advise him to consider shouting "fire" in the middle of his next diplomatic disaster in the hope it will deflect people's attention from whichever diplomatic disaster he's then in the middle of. Of course, Miliband had not seen the Fitna film for which he was so desperate to keep Geert Wilders out of the UK. But he knew that it was very bad. None of the panellists on the BBC 1's Question Time had seen the film, but all of them knew that it was a nasty film and that its maker should be kept out.

The shadow Home Secretary, Chris Grayling, may or may not have seen the film, but supported the ban anyway, "if Geert Wilders has expressed views that represent a threat to public security." Which is to say: "I'm not sure if there's a fire. I'm not qualified to call that one. But if there were to be a fire then we would have a profound commitment to tackling it."

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