I’ll start with the - to me - unusual and eyebrow raising appointment of Eddie Izzard to the Labour Party’s NEC. Labour seems to have been beset by internal appointment disputes this last few weeks and resulting in the resignation of Christine Shawcroft from the NEC over ‘who said what’ issues related to accusations of anti-Semitism. That, coupled with embarrassing connections to various Facebook groups and a history of poorly judged political meetings and associations on the international stage have put Mr Corbyn in something of a pickle. And it is a pickle he is reluctant to rid himself of. Whatever we may think of Corbyn (and unfortunately for him and his gang that err’s most of us toward negative thoughts) there has been a palpable absence of leadership, of clarity and involvement in the structures, attitudes and behaviours of the Labour Party as a whole. Radical political change may be what Corbyn wants but he has neither the knowledge nor skill - nor indeed the gravitas - to bring this about. And nor does anyone else in the Labour hierarchy. Go back to basics, Mr Corbyn and reflect the true wishes of your core membership - not the trendy, metropolitan and hysterical few who bleat ‘foul’ at every turn - and start representing your party as a proper opposition in parliament and, for added benefit, also start growing some of those things that I won’t mention here.
Somehow or other, Israel is always reported as an underdog, fighting evil forces that would have it destroyed. Yet we discover that it had plans to deport over 30,000 asylum seeking refugees back into the chaos of Africa and an improbable future life expectancy. Only interventions by some Israeli activists and the UN (surprisingly) have forced a partial rethink and cut the number down to 16,000 deportees. And guess what the solution they collectively came up with was ? The other 16,000 will be sent to countries in Europe - whether they (European states) like it or not. There is a huge moral dilemma over refugee status and what to do with the ever increasing numbers but there must surely come a point where Europe should not be encouraged/forced into taking yet more whilst an under-populated Israel is permitted by virtue of the UN to rid itself of the responsibility entirely. Israel plays the victim card well and quite apart from the political, religious and ethnic issues that surround its existence it is wrong for the UN to come to such a resolution as this. Israel may think it is special, but if it wants to be a part of the international community then it has responsibilities to accept asylum seekers who may have a different religious and ethnic polarity. That’s what globalisation means and requires. Play the underdog too often and there may well be a backlash. And just in case any folk out there think this is anti-Semitic, they are as wrong as wrong can be wrong. It is about proportionate and joint international responsibility for a global problem (and therein lies half the issue - that the rest of the world has to apologise to a state for even entertaining such a thought as anti-Semitism...the rest of us just get on with life, irrespective of any criticisms).
Back in Russia the finesse of diplomacy has long gone over the Salisbury poisoning incident. Child-like jibes are now being bandied about and foolish accusations that the incident was a British ‘plot’ to remove the football World Cup competition from Russia have all been aired rather stupidly. Russia has a long way to go to convince the world that it is a collaborative and peaceful neighbour. Every noise they make from the Kremlin underscores this attitude of belligerence and duplicity. Unfortunately for the mass of Russian humanity, they have no say in what their government plays at. If Putin has won a democratic election then call me Albert Einstein. Neither approbation has any credibility !
Concerns over technology company’s, their security of data, their ease of access to the ‘wrong’ kind of usage all trouble the Western world. How this squares with the universal public desire to share everything with everyone is a global challenge, a multi-cultural challenge that I somehow doubt the company’s themselves can solve. We can legislate, restrict, monitor, police - call it what you will - but if the fundamental user desire is for complete and total accessibility then this will be a hard objective to reach. Just about everything in the modern world is now within the domain of the public to scrutinise, observe, comment upon and condemn (from either an informed or ignorant perspective) and to change that behavioural trait is something that most governments will shy away from in the final judgement.