Priorities, please


Wake up to priorities! You seem to think that fundamental parliament comes before intelligent government.

It doesn’t! And intelligent government does not disrespect fundamental parliament.

There is a time and place for most, but probably not all, behaviour. For example, take your inappropriate attendance at that Seder evening. Maybe you thought your presence would mitigate the not infrequent evidence of your anti-Semitism. All you did was to exaggerate it.

Perhaps you need some lessons in common sense?

Shut Up, Jeremy

There is a time to speak measured statements opposing government decisions in favour of displaying sensible views of the Labour Party.

This is not one of those occasions. It would not have been shrewd for Theresa May to have sought a parliamentary vote. There is more than sufficient evidence of the crass behaviour by the Russians, either directly in respect of the Skripals or indirectly just by supporting the monster Assad.

And, taking note of the extraordinarily, even surprisingly, naive comments both about Yulia Skripal’s alleged abduction and about Syria’s chemical weapons.

Monsters and Maniacs

Just recently we have watched for the umpteenth time Gathering Storm (Albert Finney and Vanessa Redgrave) and Wilderness Years (Robert Hardy and Sian Phillips).

During that period of Churchill’s (non) career, the catchword for me is appeasement or perhaps the phrase ‘peace in our time’. There is a key difference between the participants in the Second World War and today’s Syria plus Russia against the Western World.

In the earlier scenario there was a clear difference between good and evil. Today we are dealing with Monsters (Syria, Iran and Russia) and Maniacs (the Islamists who wish to impose a caliphate upon all of us).

Rabbit asked Winnie-the-Pooh whether he would like butter or honey on his bread. “Both!”

So, what should be done: convince Russia that Assad is not worth protecting but retaining its bases need not be in jeopardy. At the same time, co-operation between Russia and the West to demolish ISIL would be hugely beneficial to both sides.

The Middle East

Old Moore’s Almanack (not to be confused with Old Moore’s Almanac) is an annual publication which is more than 300 years old. It is perceived to be of astrological interest and value.

I have invited myself to provide the following forecasts about the Middle East:

  1. Oil which is the mainstay of several countries including Abu Dhabi, Iran and Saudi Arabia will steadily reduce in importance.
  2. There will continue to be friction between Iran and its neighbours. The country will continue to make a nuisance of itself. It’s no wonder that the USA is taking a good hard look at the nuclear treaty supported and encouraged by ex-President Obama. (Old Moore says that leopards don’t change their spots.)
  3. New alliances will be formed with Israel, specifically by Saudi Arabia. Such alliances may lead to a strong solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict which is of no value’ to either side.
  4. The winter of the Arab Spring will result in a strong uprising by the Egyptians.
  5. As for Syria, with much reluctance the Russians will withdraw their overt support. This is because Putin will decide that Assad is not worth fighting for. There will be much more to be gained from combining with forces in the West to eradicate the Islamic threat. But not before many more thousands have perished.
  6. All of us will benefit a lot from the recognition that sometimes a bird in hand is not worth as much as two in the bush.


‘Newcomer’ what a translation! A new member of the exclusive Athenaeum Club? Surely not! The process of admission would, like similar Clubs in London and elsewhere, be demanding and exhaustive.

It seems clear that the Russians either have no comprehension or acceptance of the rules of engagement. The Russian Government (aka Vladimir Putin) is wasted on the international community. Vladimir P is clearly a worthy descendant of Vlad the Impaler. What an indictment of truth, what an awful example of latter day KGB behaviour!

Corbyn plus Lavrov plus Putin

There is no satisfactory balance to the one side of this equation.

We start with an apparent mixture of naïveté and disingenuousness (Corbyn), followed by a man who seems to see himself as a latter day Hermann Goering (Lavrov) and topped off by none other than a hardline KGB hood (Putin).

I wouldn’t like to meet them on a bright Sunday afternoon, let alone on a dark night.


The Labour doth protest too much, I’m sure.

The only way Corbyn (and probably some/most/all of the Labour left-wingers can deal with the slight of anti-Semitism  is to admit their attachment to pro-Palestinian causes.

You can’t really criticise those who perceive the Israelis’ behaviour towards their Arab cousins as frequently unacceptable. Or the deliberate growth in settlements as defiant. Unfortunately this attitude is one-sided.

Where is the criticism of the apparent Arab disinterest in solving the inherent humanitarian problems of the (displaced) Palestinians? Where is the balanced appraisal of the history of Israel since 1947?

Where is the recognition of the remarkable achievements of the Jewish population in the face of the terrible consequences of the holocaust? Count the number of the Israeli Nobel prize winners.

It simply is not balanced to accuse Israel of a one-sided deprivation of their Palestinian neighbours. Maybe that’s the price to pay for being the ‘chosen people’.

So it is absolutely essential for all those Corbyn supporters who have demonstrated their anti-Semitism one way or another to stand up and confess. And to show how they can maintain their pro-Palestinian approach at the same time as recognising and supporting Israel’s right to be and to prosper.

Dealing with Russia

Perhaps it’s important, if not critical, to determine who has the most to lose? And who cares the most? In dealing with Putin’s Russia, it might be necessary to conclude that, if he gets what he wants, the rest of his countrymen don’t matter. If in doubt, try reading John Le Carre’s Our Game and Single and Single.

Those in The West generally have a different mentality. We don’t play by the same rules, that is, assuming the Russians play by any rules. As a young lady once said to me about her husband:  ‘The Golden Rule: I have the gold, I make the rules’.

So, Russia has the gas which it supplies to Western Europe. What else? And can those countries which buy the gas get their supplies elsewhere?

In short, damn the novichok, damn Putin and his cronies, let’s do what’s right in the interests of our people.

Ball-tampering and Anti-Semitism

There’s nothing like being caught in the act. So young, innocent Mr Bancroft has no experience of attaching sandpaper to a cricket ball. Who does? Probably neither Steve Smith nor David Warner who clearly wiped their eyes with the same sandpaper, tears to follow.

History suggests, if not more, that Jeremy Corbyn has more than once been caught in the act of supporting those whose attitude towards their Jewish cousins is less than holy. Why might that be?

If you are fundamentally anti-capitalist and disapprove of the moneyed classes. If you believe that those Jewish cousins represent the moneyed classes, then so long as 2+2 =4, it is easy to credit Mr Corbyn as being on the wrong side of the liberal tracks.

The trouble with history is that it sticks in the books even if the original script is re-written. It looks as if neither Steve Smith nor David Warner nor Jeremy Corbyn can look any of their sceptics straight in the eye.