Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2013

Russia a large country that nobody likes

After the sensational rudeness of Dimitry Pleskov, "the voice of Putin" describing the UK as a small island that nobody listens to  at the St Petersburg summit, it is hard to see how much further the Russians could descend into fiasco. The tasteless Marie Antoinette costume ball, the vainglory of the spectacular corruption of late Putinism, all add up to a thoroughly nasty and inept display. After all, Russia may be a large country, but the large numbers of Russians who prefer to live in London do so because no one likes or trusts the secret policeman who stole the election in Moscow and idles his time seeking the death and torture of gay people. His support for the butcher Assad in Syria just shows that you really can judge a man by his friends.

British Interests

As the fallout of the government defeat in the House of Commons over the proposed military action against Syria rumbles on, it seems pertinent to ask a few questions. Despite various attempts to place foreign policy analysis in some kind of ethical framework, the fact is that military action exists within a purely Darwinian framework: Right does not prevail, unless it has sufficient might. There are many despicable governments on the planet- including, not least, the government of Russia- but we do not propose to remove their corrupt and criminal incumbents by force. That would be inviting a trial of strength with a foe that has a nuclear arsenal that is quite sufficient to render the concept of victory a meaningless one. The West has disputes with China over human rights that are no less serious that with pre-war Syria, but we do not propose the use of force against Beijing- we use the instruments of soft power and persuasion to try to ameliorate the oppressed in that huge country.