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Andrew Gilligan can confirm, for the first time, that five months before the invasion of Iraq the Attorney General’s advice to the government was that regime change was illegalHasn’t it been an exciting few months to be a lawyer? Once they just sat quietly in offices with stripey wallpaper and dado rails, sending out the bills. Now almost every couple of weeks, it seems, they hold the fate of the government in their hands.
When I arrived in Sydney it was raining. Throughout the 23-hour flight from London, where it was also raining, I had fantasised about walking off the plane into a wall of heat and heading for the beach. Just my bloody luck, I reflected, as I stood in the airport carpark and stared sulkily at the grey sky. ‘Where’s the sun?’ I asked the friends who picked me up at the airport. They were not sympathetic.
The trouble with this country is that nobody gets shot,’ said Srdjan, the tubby 39-year-old music promoter, as we piled into his ramshackle Citro
As of last Thursday, multiculturalism was officially declared dead in this country. The funeral took place in Brent Town Hall in the presence of the Prince of Wales and the Home Secretary and was accompanied by the National Anthem and the theme music from Four Weddings and a Funeral. Although the event was not billed in these terms, these were symbolic obsequies as emphatic in their way as the pouring of the ashes of English cricket into that fragile urn in 1882.
Shortly after Christmas I went to Haiti for the first time in 13 years. The collapse of the Aristide regime was still two months away, but the Caribbean republic was already descending into chaos. At the airport of the capital, Port-au-Prince, the familiar smells of drainage and burning rubbish hit me forcefully and it was as though I had never been away. Haiti’s history — a vicious cycle of coups d’états — had not changed either.
So, off to meet Sir Andrew Green, retired Foreign Office mandarin, now founder and chairman of Migration Watch, which is either an ‘independent think tank which has no links to any political party’ (Migrationwatch.co.uk) or is a ‘nasty little outfit with a distinctly unpleasant agenda’ (the Independent). It depends, I suppose, on where you are coming from. Whatever, Sir Andrew lives in Deddington, an extremely pretty village on the edge of the Cotswolds, in a lovely house of delicious honey-coloured ironstone dating back to the mid-18th century.
Rachel Johnson talks to Vernon Coleman, the one-man publishing sensation who has now turned his sights on the ‘lying little warmonger’ in Downing Street If you’re a Telegraph reader — as I do hope you are — you too will have seen those ads placed by a Dr Vernon Coleman, MB. Not the ones that ask ‘Does Your Memory Fail You?’ above the ink drawing of the man in a suit and specs, but the ones that ask, even more worryingly, ‘Looking for a Present?’ Turns out, Dr Coleman has got the perfect present for just about everybody.