In just over 3 months the World Cup is due to kick off in Moscow with a match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Like all big sporting competitions the World Cup will be designed to show the host country in as good a light as possible.
Meanwhile in a Salisbury hospital Sergei Skripal and his daughter are fighting for their lives, having been poisoned by a nerve agent; and a Wiltshire police officer who went to help them is also in intensive care.
If Russia is shown to have been responsible it would be grotesque for the England football team to play any part in what the Russian government no doubt hopes will be a propaganda coup. Boris Johnson at first seemed to suggest that the team should not go to Russia at all, but he then “clarified” his remarks to the absurd idea that an appropriate response might be merely for “UK officials and dignitaries” not to attend the competition. “Try to kill our people and we won’t let you have our referees” seemed to be the message. Continue reading “If Russia was probably responsible for the attack on Skripal, England should not play in the World Cup”
Today’s Diane Abbott interview with Mishal Husain in full and unedited.
She could be the next Home Secretary.
Listen here at 2.41.15
Continue reading “Sergei Skripal: The Shadow Home Secretary speaks out.”
I can’t bring myself to blog about the law today. The situation in Syria is so dire that it seems almost frivolous to write about anything else.
Tens of thousands civilians face imminent massacre. In fact, imminent is probably not the right word: they are being massacred as you read this.
Meanwhile the stand-off between Presidents Erdogan and Putin has led us into perhaps the most dangerous international crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The West has made a series of disastrous decisions and it will require inspirational leadership or good luck to avoid a regional disaster turning into a global catastrophe.
Unfortunately, in recent years Western leadership has been dismal and most of the luck has been bad.
President Obama – to whom, as American President, much of the rest of the world looks for leadership, has been a terrible disappointment. How excited we were to see such a civilised man in the White House; he promised so much. It seemed a little premature when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize a few months after assuming office, but one understood that the Nobel Committee was reflecting the excitement of the time.
Yet decent men can sometimes make bad decisions and with hindsight Obama’s 2013 decision not to punish President Assad for using nerve gas to kill at least 500 people, many of them children, has had terrible consequences. Not only did it allow Assad to survive in power, it also signalled to the world that you could not rely upon America’s promises, and indicated to Russia that it would henceforth have a free hand in Syria.
Of British politicians, strangely enough it is not so much Mr Cameron as Ed Miliband who must shoulder much of the responsibility for getting our response to Syrian events so badly wrong. In 2013 Mr Cameron proposed military action against Assad. Mr Miliband opposed his plans, and his arguments carried the day. Continue reading “A massacre is imminent in Syria. What are we going to do about it?”
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised but I am. I really am.
Liberal Democrats have often seemed lacking in principle, not really knowing whether they are free-market Gladstonians like Jeremy Browne the thoughtful and intelligent MP for Taunton who is standing down at the next election; or smug, incompetent social democratic meddlers like Vince Cable who, sadly, isn’t.
As a result the archetypical LibDem has a backbone of wet cardboard and no discernible principles at all, like Simon Hughes the monumentally pointless Justice Minister.
The MP for Wells is called Tessa Munt. Unlike other LibDems she does have principles. She doesn’t like pylons, for example.
She is a bit more flexible on windfarms, which she approves of in principle, although preferably not in her constituency.
She bravely stood up for sweeter mincemeat when the Government proposed to cut the minimum sugar content required under the Jam and Similar Products (England) Regulations 2003 from 60% to 50%. Continue reading “Is Wells MP Tessa Munt Stupid or Shameless? What on Earth Was She Doing On Putin’s RT?”