One hundred and thirty heads of government will be meeting at the impotent headquarters of the United Nations this week against the backdrop of warring members of the all powerful Security Council members, well, three of the five anyway. All powerful that is.
Outrage has been expressed that a UN aid convey was blasted to smithereens probably by helicopters overhead, probably by the Assad regime who knew the route of the convey and didn't want a ceasefire anyway. It wasn't much of a ceasefire however you look at it, but I share the outrage at a cowardly and despicable, murderous attack on people bringing aid to the needy. Reflecting once again the impotence of the UN in its current, outdated cold war form.
It now appears that a US airstrike which attacked Assad's troops as opposed to IS, the target we're supposed to believe it had in its sights may have been supported by our own RAF. At the time of writing I've not heard a denial or a confirmation from the MOD just the accusation from the media.
I wish Tim Farron and the Lib Dems had not lost their moral compass over the vote for airstrikes in Syria; as the only party to stand against the Iraq War they actually demonstrated some leadership, previously. Edmund Burke once said "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". He did not, however, specify what the something other than nothing should be.
Being a part of the problem and not a part of the solution is actually worse than doing nothing; doing something to help when one is able to and knowing the difference, that would be something. I would have preferred Nick Clegg remained as leader of the Lib Dems. Of course he was tainted with tuition fees, wrongly, and with the Lib Dems wipeout at the last election, wrongly. Looking at the sticking power of Saint Jeremy one wonders if Clegg might not have tried to hang on.
Personally I believe fear of Ed Miliband drove thousands of Lib Dem voters into the Venus Flytrap arms of the Tories in the South West, the Scottish Referendum did for them in Scotland, as it did for Labour and the tuition fees thing shows just how stupid public opinion can be. In the election which gave us the coalition the Lib Dems also lost seats, yes they held the balance of power, but if people wanted them to deliver their manifesto promises they should have put them in government.
Blair introduced tuition fees after promising to legislate AGAINST such fees, hypocrite. Cameron increased them, not Clegg, he simply declined to bring the government down over the issue at a time of financial crisis AND they're set to increase again under May. There's currently something of a building boom at many universities, which have seen their revenues increase by between twenty five and sixty plus percent recently.
This may be a good thing, but we have to weight the benefits to our economy now against generations of indebted graduates and the selling of a first class education to our competitors. I'd like to think that students coming to Britain (I cannot call it 'Great' at the moment) from countries with less than ideal human rights records will come to see and respect and adopt British and European values, but what are British values now?
We've rejected the co-operative effort which brought peace and prosperity to a Europe riven by wars for millennia and primarily because we don't want refugees from a war we helped to foment, and continue to exercise our forces on, from coming here. Generous eh. Compare that with the response by the good people of Canada who adhere to what were once our values far better than we.
Which brings us right back to the UN where Theresa May is now grandstanding for Brexit voters, saying that refugees should stay in the first safe country they reach and given that we're an island to the west of mainland Europe it won't be us so we can wash our hands. Politicians can be pure evil, but in this case she's just reflecting the selfish idiocy of fifty two percent of the UK population. And demonstrating yet again why the UN is not fit for purpose since it's misused by politicians like her for points scoring at home to no useful end whatsoever.
There is some hope though; if memory serves the Tories came to power with about thirty seven percent of the total vote, the Lib Dems are fighting for a referendum on the terms of our withdrawal from Europe and if the terms are no good then they would move to remain after all. What I wonder would happen if the forty eight percent with the sense to vote remain and all those who voted leave but who are now beginning to see through the lies, to the future implications of leaving, and of a one party Tory state, as opposed to the short term export boost from a weak pound were to vote Lib Dem?
Meantime will someone move to create a new constitution for the UN, something which might work in the twenty first century as opposed to in the aftermath of World War Two, and before we get embroiled in World War Three please. I hesitate to say we should quit the Security Council in protest because we seem to have become a nation of quitters, but I'd love to see some leadership towards a more equitable, common sense system, a bit like Europe actually.
Malcolm Snook Writer