You are here
Brexit Britain 

The predictable Brexit crisis has now arrived

Mrs May has now presented to Cabinet the Brexit deal she has negotiated with the EU. As feared, it is a proposal that would leave the UK not only remaining bound to the EU but at a far greater disadvantage than under its current terms of membership. It is therefore totally unacceptable. There were reported ructions in Cabinet. It is bound by collective responsibility, but that doesn’t mean individual Cabinet ministers have accepted the deal. Since its faults are overwhelmingly obvious to Remainers as well as Brexiteers, it is extremely…

Read More
Jo Johnson Britain Europe 

Jo Johnson’s Brexit muddle

Currently in Los Angeles, which is coping with an enormous forest fire and the aftermath of a crazed gunman shooting dead 13 people at a suburban bar, I woke up today to the news that the transport minister and Remain supporter Jo Johnson had resigned from the government over the Brexit negotiation. In this account of why he resigned, he says one thing on which Remainers and Brexiteers will doubtless agree. This is the appalling way Theresa May has conducted the negotiation, bringing Parliament to the brink of a choice…

Read More
Jo Johnson Britain Europe 

All that matters now to save the UK: Theresa May has to go

According to the Sunday Times, Theresa May has 72 hours to save her premiership before a crucial back-bench 1922 Committee meeting on Wednesday. In my view, that should read 72 hours to save the country. Let’s cut to the chase. Forget the Irish backstop, transition extensions, the role of her chief Brexit official Oliver Robbins and all the other interminable details and lurches involved in this process. If the UK is actually to leave the EU, May has to go. If she stays as Prime Minister, it won’t. It is…

Read More
laughing Culture wars USA 

No laughing matter: Europe’s appeasement of Iran

Remarks this week about Iran by US National Security Adviser John Bolton contained some of the most ferocious language ever used by an American administration about a foreign state. Bolton told the Iranian regime: “If you cross us, our allies or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay. Let my message today be clear: ‘We are watching, and we will come after you.’” Earlier this year, the US pulled out of the nuclear deal…

Read More
Brexit Britain 

Faithless, craven and cowardly – the British government’s Brexit betrayal

We don’t yet know whether Brexiteers in the Conservative party will seek to bring down the Prime Minister Theresa May over the UK negotiating position that she forced through Cabinet on Friday. We don’t yet know whether the EU will accept her “compromise” package or will reject it with the contempt they have shown until now at any suggestion of a “pick and mix” approach to the EU’s customs union and rules. But what we can say with near-certainty is that what Mrs May has done is put in serious…

Read More
Iran Global conflict 

The Iran opportunity and European infamy

A senior Iranian official has accused Israel of stealing its clouds. Yes, you read that right. Clouds as in the sky. Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization, has said: “Israel and another country in the region have joint teams which work to ensure clouds entering Iranian skies are unable to release rain. On top of that, we are facing the issue of cloud and snow theft.” His evidence? A survey showing that all mountainous areas higher than 2,200 meters between Afghanistan and the Mediterranean were…

Read More
strange Europe Israel 

A strange and unfamiliar sound

A strange, startling and deeply unfamiliar sound was heard this week. A Trump tweet imploding, perhaps? Kim Jong-Un finally destroying his nuclear arsenal? A distant rumble from the Hawaii volcano? No. It was the sound of the European Union and United Nations loudly supporting Israel against attack. In the heaviest onslaught since 2014, southern Israel was attacked from Gaza this week by Islamic Jihad and Hamas launching dozens of rocket and mortar attacks, as well as bursts of machine-gun fire. An Israeli kindergarten was hit, although no one was hurt….

Read More
constitutional Britain 

Betraying Brexit voters spells constitutional crisis

The constitutional crisis bubbling just below the surface ever since Britain voted to leave the EU is now at the point of eruption. That crisis is the prospect of parliament pitting itself against the people. Remainers and EU negotiators are ganging up in a push to reverse Brexit through the back door. The House of Lords passed an amendment last week committing the government to outline its moves to enable the UK to remain in a customs union with the EU. The Commons will have a symbolic vote on this…

Read More
peace in our time Global conflict 

War, North Korea and the art of the deal

One of the many wonders of progressive folk is their, ah, flexibility. It’s an article of faith for the modern progressive that war must be avoided at all costs. War is uncivilised, barbaric, a throwback to a brutal past and never solves anything (yes yes, I know, presumably Nazi Germany wasn’t solved either…). Instead of war we must substitute conflict resolution, negotiation, soft power. That’s why the supremely civilised EU and the even more supremely civilised UK have downgraded their military capacity. So should an enemy (let’s pick as an…

Read More
brexit Britain 

Why the Judges Have Got it Wrong on Brexit

Legal experts have challenged the High Court’s judgment more effectively than Theresa May The High Court ruling that parliament must give its consent before Britain can begin to leave the EU is redolent with irony. The argument that parliamentary sovereignty must not be overridden was brought by people who themselves want Britain to remain in the EU and who so negate the sovereignty of parliament. Conversely Brexiteers, whose cause is the restoration of parliamentary sovereignty, put themselves in difficulties by inveighing against a ruling which seeks to uphold that same…

Read More