« Labour leadership woes fail to lift Tories | Main | Sweden escapes left-wing grip »


Wish I'd realised this was happening and I'd have got down there. Did any of the other main parties have anyone speaking?

Modern Conservative; Hillary Benn - at the World Bank Summit in Singapore - sent a video message and you may recognise that Stephen Twigg (former Labour MP) is standing alongside Andrew Mitchell. Mr Twigg is Policy Director of the Aegis Trust (which co-sponsored the rally).

Regarding your final points Editor - you say the reliance on the UN for action is a cause for pessimism.

What realistic alternative is there? A 'coalition of the willing'? You've acknowledged that the US is overstretched and lacks the political will to get involved, so who would form such a coalition?

Doesn't the Fukuyama speech indicate Cameron would want a multiplicity of international agn]encies to get the blend of legitimacy and expediency right.

That's the reason for my pessimism, DVA. In a different world you'd have a nation like China deploying peacekeeping troops or the EU/ NATO providing logistical and air support to African Union forces but it seems that - for the time-being - unless the US is engaged it is difficult to deliver major interventions.

There's nothing stopping China deploying troops now, or anyone else. The essential fact is that no nation with significant troop numbers is interested in peacekeeping in Africa. The UN can't do anything in these circumstances - it's nothing more than the tool of its members.

Britain is bogged down, the US never does peacekeeping ops, France is only interested in former colonies. The sheer size of Darfur would mean two or three of the above would have to be involved, on top of multiple contingents from the AU, and other regular contributors (Bangladesh,Uruguay etc).

The Janjaweed are Arabs, and presumably Muslims - what is the Islamic community across the world doing to object to and reverse this stain on Islam?

If Muslims can be organised exceptionally quickly to react violently to an out-of-context quotation from a highly intellectual disquisition by the Pope, how come they can't do something about their brothers' genocidal behaviour in the Sudan?

They are Muslims only in the sense most Indonesians are Muslims - ie not really, it's a curious mixture of religious traditions. Similarly, the beliefs of the "Christians" in the south resemble more traditional central African superstition (not being explicitly negative, all religion is superstition imo). Ethnic/racial boundaries are even more blurred - none of the Sudanese look much like Arabs for example.

What has to be remembered here is that Sudan has essentially been in civil war for most of the last four decades. There's an extremely weak central state apparatus, struggling and failing to suppress insurgencies in the south, west, and north-east. It cycles in intensity - the former has just ended (for a while at least), the west is obviously horrendous, and the NE is tomorrow's conflict.

Thanks Ed; - now you say it I can see that is Stephen Twigg. Although I'd never noticed his close resemblence to Tony Slattery before.

While it's tempting to blame China's oil diplomacy for UN Security Council inaction, remember that Qatar sits on the UNSC as the proxy of the Arab League.

Good to see Darfur leading the news at 10 on the BBC. Can momentum be built to make some action a reality or will it just be as with Rwanda meaningless words?

Meanwhile, in London:

In a different world you'd have a nation like China deploying peacekeeping troops

But China doesn't want to do anything in Sudan or Zimbabwe, in fact it is supplying both countries and even buying farmland "abandoned" by white farmers in Zimbabwe.

How many demonstrators stood outside Chinese and Russian embassies ?

When is Britain going to impose sanctions on South Africa until it squeezes Zimbabwe to conform to civilised standards ? The man running Zimbabwe is the one Thatcher and Carrington put in control after Lancaster House a quarter-century ago.

If you want to intervene everything it might be time to start paying Sandline and let mercenaries do the work as subcontractors............having seen what proportion of young male school-leavers the British Army requires just to keep going, it is clearly impossible and the British Army already the smallest since 1913 will contract further still.

BTW...did anyone hear Radio 5 Live last night about the state of some British soldiers - and the dire state of medical care - it was John major who closed down military hospitals and decanted military casualties onto the GPs and NHS hospitals

I'm surprised that nobody has commented on the tasteless advertising banner in front of David Mitchell.

That a commercial company, particularly a company with a disreputable name like the one in question, should use human misery to promote their brand defies belief.

The "fcuk" campaign has been openly condemned by a judge of the High Court

In French Connection v Sutton (2000) Sir Donald Rattee said (obiter) "How can you talk about goodwill in connection with such a tasteless and obnoxious campaign?

"Fcuk is just a euphemism for the obscene expletive f***.

"It may be you have been hoist by your own petard in using such an extraordinary advertising slogan."

Let's hope that this humanitarian campaign is not similarly tarnished by its apparent association with this deeply unpleasant brand.

I should make it clear Monday Clubber that the fcuk image was on a t-shirt and not on a banner in front of Andrew Mitchell. I'm sorry if my photo montage didn't make that clear. I don't believe that the t-shirt was an official fcuk product either.

Underestimated within the problem is that Darfur is half a million km square: roughly the size of France. It'll take a lot of troops to achieve anything. And following Iraq and Afghanistan, assembling an international force that’s big enough to be effective will require credible exit conditions. Any outcome less than enduring peace simply means we have delayed the killing - so our goal has to be enduring peace. But is it credible that we can externally impose this upon the Sudan?

Enduring peace will only happen if Darfur becomes valuable to Khartoum, and it’s China who has that power to make that happen. As well as directly targeting Sudan, we should be far stricter with China that access to Western markets requires responsible foreign policy.

Thank you for making that clear, editor.

I am all for sanctions against a country that doesn`t live up to the standards of the civilised world but President Bush`s idea that they should just go into Darfur without the authorisation of the government there is madness.
If the UN start intervening in every country in the world where there are evil things occuring and believe they have the right to fight there way in the resources needed to do this would be enormous.It would mean us contributing yet more in money and men in fighting other peoples wars because at the end of the day it will be left to us and the Americans to contribute more thn anyone else as normal.
There is also the added issue of wether it is right for us to go into another country when that country isn`t threatning another country.While should we have the right to interfere in the internal affairs of someone else`s country.
There is also the fact that whenever foreign troops enter anothr country by force rather than by invitation this usually ends in more violence not less.

Britain and the USA should leave the UN and form the core of a new anglosphere bloc, into which despots, juntas and banana republics will NOT be invited, nor will they receive an excessively sympathetic hearing.

If Britain doubled defence spending, unemployment would fall, the defence industry would invest and grow raising tax revenues and expanding sales. We could afford to fix rogue states, bring them into the world economy and grow their trade.

If the rest of the world won't provide leadership, then the english speaking world should do so. Experience in threatres like Afghanistan is growing, and our military capabilies to defeat insurgencies are building.

The Blair doctrine of intervening was been held back by the Brown doctrine of refusing to invest money in security. Brown could stick his international aid where he likes. What these countries need is peace and an end to corrupt and brutal regimes, that fear no international retribution for their crimes.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker