These dodgy practices go way beyond Fox and Werrity
It’s happened at last. Liam Fox, one of the most gung-ho militarists ever to occupy the post of Defence Secretary, has returned to the backbenches. All the excuses and half-truths his supporters could come up with have not saved him. But his departure will be largely pointless if we don’t learn a great deal from the Werrity scandal.
A few weeks ago, I was sorting through some old papers and came across my first ever published article. It was a piece on Christian attitudes towards mental health, published in the (now defunct) New Christian Herald in October 1998. I was 21.
Welcome to the parallel universe of David Cameron. It is a world in which the Tories stand up for the poor, lead the fight against dictatorship and stop people from being given benefits on demand. It is a world that exists in a conference hall in Manchester this week, in a few daily papers the rest of the time, and in the less well-informed parts of the right-wing blogosphere. It has nothing in common with the world that most of us live in.
I don’t claim to be an expert at making political predictions. Some of my predictions have been woefully off-course. But yesterday (26 September) I made what must surely be the most precise political prediction of my life.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, however much time you’ve got, you can help to tackle the arms fair today. The most important thing you can do is simply to speak out by telling someone about the fair and why you oppose it.
On Tuesday (13 September), one of the world’s largest arms fairs will open in London. The London arms fair – known euphemistically as Defence & Security International (DSEi) – will see some of the world’s most vicious regimes and active warmongers send delegations to London to view arms and make deals.
I’ll soon be off to Greenbelt, a Christian festival that I really love attending every year. Thousands of people gather at Cheltenham for music, performances, worship, talks, debates and much more. I love it.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, appeared on Radio 4 this morning (10 August) and was asked about the underlying causes of the recent riots. He attributed them to a “sense of entitlement” among young people who were showing the effects of a lack of discipline in school.