Jenny Tonge and Political Reality

28 11 2010

Category: Politics, Middle East, Anti-Semitism

It’s hard to feel sorry for a man because he’s been elevated to the House of Lords, but I do.

That man is Monroe Palmer¬†– click here for a profile. The reason I feel sorry for him is that I can’t help wondering whether his elevation is an act of enormous cynicism by his party, the Liberal Democrats: That they have installed him as a counterbalance to Baroness Jenny Tonge. Read the rest of this entry »





Headlines or Progress

31 07 2010

Category; Politics

Diplomatic instruction manuals will need a new chapter after David Cameron’s speeches in Turkey and India. He has introduced an entirely new diplomatic gambit.

It’s a curious way to behave – you criticise your ally on the soil of another that ally they are in dispute with.

No doubt Pakistan is worthy of criticism for links between the Taleban and ISI; that criticism could have been made in a speech in the UK, in a neutral space like the UN or even in Afghanistan.

To go out of your way to do it on the territory of their traditional rival India may be bold, but it doesn’t seem very constructive. The main thing you succeed in doing is putting their backs up and making them act defensively rather than in an engaged and constructive way.

Is he seeking to make headlines or progress? Read the rest of this entry »





Hypocrisy

15 07 2010

Category: Law, Middle East, Politics

Weeks have passed since it was revealed (click here for article) that Russian agents had used forged British passports.

As already noted this has not met with quite the indignation that arose when Israel was accused of using forged UK passports.

To be a little more scientific about things I’ve had a look at all specific questions about misuse of passports in Parliament in the past month or so, and the country to which they relate.

Here they are. (click on the headline or under the photo to see the list) Read the rest of this entry »





Spot the Difference

13 07 2010

Category: Media, Middle East, Politics

Russian spy Anna Chapman has been speedily deprived of her UK citizenship, but there has been stony silence in relation to the use of false British passports by other members of the Russian spy group.

When it was alleged earlier this year that Israeli agents had used UK passports the reaction was quite different. As the Wall Street Journal noted a few days ago:

At this stage during the Dubai affair in mid-February, the Labour government had already summoned the Israeli ambassador and announced criminal investigations amid furious statements from all political parties. It expelled another Israeli diplomat a month later. The Guardian newspaper ran some 17 articles highlighting the passport accusations.

By contrast, a week into the Russian forgery story, there is not a hint of a diplomatic row between London and Moscow. The Guardian mentioned the fake passport allegations in two articles that lacked the breathless condemnation directed at Israel. The paper’s editorial on the Russian spy-ring ignores the passport angle altogether. Read the rest of this entry »