One important factor in New Labour’s special kind of political success has been its ability to capture independent institutions or individuals and convert them into accomplices. Again and again Tony Blair has pulled off this feat. In his early days he co-opted organisations as diverse as the Country Landowner’s Association, the CBI, the Government Information and Communications Service, the BritaininEurope campaign, and the Liberal Democrat party.
John Laughland talks to the Czech President, V
Owen Matthews goes on patrol with American soldiers in Afghanistan’s ‘Indian Country’ and sees them capture and interrogate suspects It was one of those wonderfully luminous Afghan days, the spring sky a vibrant baby-blue, the heat of the day cut by a breeze which blew though fields of poppies and winter barley. We were on the edge of the Khost highlands, where the fertile Khost plain starts to rise into the mountains of the Pakistani border — also known, not so affectionately, by the soldiers of Task Force One of the US army’s 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment as ‘Indian Country’.
Acts of brutality are carried out in the name of ‘reasonable chastisement’ but, says Rachel Johnson, banning smacking will only encourage children to believe that they have a right to behave as they pleaseWell, this promises to be a fair old punch-up. In the anti corner, we have some 350 parenting and counselling organisations, 180 MPs and peers, the Methodist and Catholic Churches, the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, the Lib Dems, 71 per cent of the general public (according to our old friend Mori Z.