If I had a pound for every time I've heard someone tell me how terrible their girlfriends boyfriend was after the fact with scant regard for the fact that they were apparently the epitome of magnifience when they were a couple, I wouldn't have to go to work tomorrow.
Psychologists know that people create their past as they go along, taking the few vital chunks of fact they have and constructing meaningful stories to explain them. (This also seems to be how dreams work - random tweakings of the brain produce a few plot points and the storytelling part of the brain then constructs a bizarre story that manages to include carrots, chainsaws and being late). So when you've left a relationship (willingly or unwillingly) it's only natural to scrape together the bits of it that fit the moral you want to impart, cobble together a story that shows how they are the biggest bastard since the Sherrif of Nottingham and then tell all your friends how you apparently spent 3 weeks going out with Hannibal Lecter.
The same is true of many other situations, politics not withstanding, which is why I had a fit of giggles at this
Basically, an anti-war volunteer went to Iraq to be a human shield. He had good intentions and wanted to bring the plight of Iraq to the attention of the world media. While he was there he realised that Mr Hussein is a bad, bad man. He was shocked to discover that many Iraqis don't actually like being tortured for dissidence, living in fear or having to look at 60-foot tall pictures of their glorious leader. He was even more shocked to discover that many of them wanted the US to wage war and save them. He became a convert to the "let's go and save the poor Iraqis" school of thought.
All of this is well and good. Some people would agree, some wouldn't. But what made me giggle like a schoolgirl on ecstacy was this:
Last Thursday night I went to photograph the anti-war rally in Parliament Square. Thousands of people were shouting "No war" but without thinking about the implications for Iraqis. Some of them were drinking, dancing to Samba music and sparring with the police. It was as if the protesters were talking about a different country where the ruling government is perfectly acceptable. It really upset me.
Anyone with half a brain must see that Saddam has to be taken out. It is extraordinarily ironic that the anti-war protesters are marching to defend a government which stops its people exercising that freedom.
So, 5 weeks ago he was anti-war, now he's pro-war and anyone with half a brain ought to agree with him. Did he not have half a brain 5 weeks ago? Should all of the other protesters have had an epiphany in the last 5 weeks?
I really do despair of people that change their minds and then can't see why everyone else hasn't instantly followed suit.