Cosy chats and posturing

Could the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have done more to prevent the murders of 30 Britons in Tunisia last year? In June 2015 the Britons and eight other foreign nationals were murdered when Seifeddine Rezgui attacked a beachfront hotel in Sousse, Tunisia. The attack, later claimed by Daesh, came just three months after 22…

Westland – 30 years of lessons

“Westland needs more Government interference in its affairs like it needs a hole in the head.” Paddy Ashdown never minced his words, as this example from a letter he sent to the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on January 3rd 1985 attests. It was the start of the Westland affair of 1985-86 and Government documents…

Defending Brexit

It was pretty sweaty in the House of Commons when I visited last week to attend the Defence Select Committee. As the temperature outside nudged 30 degrees I was glad I’d chosen shorts that morning, but the nuclear-flash of whiteness when my lower legs were revealed was not a pretty sight. Still, I was in better shape…

Chilling

  The Methodist Central Hall, which stands opposite Westminster Abbey in central London, hosted the first ever meeting of the United Nations in 1946. When I visited to watch the Stop the War Coalition’s (StWC) protest taking place outside on the day of the release of the Chilcot Report last week, there was little harmony…

Still hesitating while others act

You may remember the post last October where I described my efforts to help a Yemeni friend of mine who was trying to flee his country with his family. Yemen has been torn apart in recent months as Saudi Arabia and Iran fight a proxy war. My friend, Adim (not his real name) and many…

Stormy waters

At best it warrants only a footnote in this nation’s proud sporting history, but you need to be aware that in 1985 I jointly won the Enfield Lawn Tennis Club’s Under-16s doubles trophy with my mate, Jason Caddis. Of course, achievements of this magnitude don’t just happen by accident.  No, they take many afternoons whacking tennis…