This week's disgusting attack on London will naturally be seized upon by politicians of all hues to advance their various agendas. Opponents of the war in Iraq have lost no time in blaming Tony Blair and British engagement for the bombs that hit London and killed dozens and injured many hundreds. They have a point. As the Butler report revealed, the Government was explicitly warned before the Iraq war that our involvement would exacerbate the risk of terrorism in this country.
Backing the Americans in Iraq has not served the national interest, says Paul Robinson; we’d be more secure if we adopted a less interventionist foreign policy and reduced our military capacitySoldiers are not social workers. They fight and they kill — that is what they are trained to do. They are not trained to ‘do good’. Yet turn to the Ministry of Defence website and you will see that the very first words on the ‘Army Jobs: Army Life’ recruiting page are, ‘The British Army is a force for good.
If the Prime Minister really wants some of that ‘blue sky thinking’ of which he is so fond, and for which he bizarrely relies on the utterly discredited figure of John Birt, he would do well to take the ‘up train’ to Oxford and pop into the Warden’s lodgings at New College. From the Warden, Alan Ryan, he would be sure to hear plenty of candid words. Not comforting ones, necessarily; for Ryan, a leading theorist on politics and education and an authority on John Stuart Mill, is not known for mincing his words.
The craze for internet spread-betting that has swept through City trading floors and the suburban housing market has finally gripped me; for three weeks I’ve been a slave to gambling websites. Up nights, tapping away.... Actually, it’s one website — Politicalbetting.com — which is not exactly a gambling site, more an online tipping service. And I’m not looking to bet, I’m looking for David Cameron.