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I think we should look to circumvent the Russian and Chinese vetoes within the UN. To do this we should use the 1951 Convention on refugees. The UN obligates us to take asylum seekers, and so far this has turned out to be an unlimited responsibility to us without any rights. As such I think we should widen the terms of the UN Convention to say that if we are obligated to take asylum seekers and the substantial cost that goes with it, then that should make us a player in the politics of the country producing the asylum seekers, i.e attaching some rights to these unlimited responsibilities. So though the Chinese and Russians are playing their vetoes, claiming the issue is just internal to Zimbabwe, we can say no, in having to take Zimbabwean asylum seekers that makes it international, and as we are having to take Zimbabwean asylum seekers it makes it personal to us, and that trumps their vetoes.

Clearly it's time we took China and Russia to task diplomatically. We should allow Ukraine and Georgia into NATO and helped Taiwan join international organisations. The US should undo its arms freeze to Taiwan as well.

Maybe then China and Russia will understand that if they want OUR co-operation they have to co-operate when we want it too.

We should set up a League of Democracies on a democratic basis with each nation having one vote weighted by size of population. Decisions could then be taken by majority voting. This overcomes a veto.

"The Conservative Party needs to be at least as sceptical about the UN as it is about the EU."

Well that's not a whole lot and it is not clear what Mr Hague is proposing. Action outside the EU if needs be, perchance? When NATO was discussing Georgia's and Ukraine's path to membership at the last summit Britain sat on the fence. Mr Brown had no opinions. So far as I recall, neither did Her Majesty's Opposition.

Gordon Brown was hopelessly politically naive over his initiative at the G8. It was inevitable that Russia and China would veto any sanctions idea.

He has now shown a complete lack of diplomatic savvy over his backstairs signing of the Lisbon Treaty, his frantic dash to Jeddah and now this.

His lack of understanding in foreign affairs mirrors his complete misreading of the domestic voter.

What did we really expect? It was pretty obvious the Chinese and the Russians would veto this.

Why are we wasting energy on pretending to care about Zimbabwe? We sold Zimbabwe out to Mugabe in the first place and gave him a knighthood for God's sake! Africa, on the whole doesn't care about our opinion. They want us out of their business and every time we interfere, we give them the amunition to say "the Imperialist British are behind the MDC" and give the corrupt Africans, Mbeki chief amongst them a reason to side with Mugabe.

If Africa are so convinced that African problems require Afican solutions, let's call their bluff and leave them to it. This means no more interference, no more mock outrage, no more hollow words and empty threats, and crucially, no more aid. Let's see how well they get on then.

Terribly sorry, Rhodesia /Zimbabwe, you wanted independence and now you have it. The British Empire has long gone so, if you want to chuck out Mugabe you will just have to arrange a revolution all by yourselves!

On a more practical note, there is no coast line to Zimbabwe, a large part of the British Army is caught up in Iraq and Afghanistan and quite a significant minority of the Zimbabwean population supports Mugabe. Our national interests are not at risk.

Is William Hague willing to explain to yet more grieving widows, orphans and parents of young soldiers for what their sons/husbands/parents died?

Leave well alone!

Well said, David_McD- we can't go on policing the world. Our obligations to Zimbabwe ended the day they ripped down the Union Jack and replaced the Queen with Robert Mugabe.

Thank God for Russia and China, which refuse to make the plight of the Zimbabwean people any worse by countenancing sanctions, not against the Thatcher-imposed nomenklatura whom sanctions would not effect in the least, but against the ordinary people.

And no, sanctions did not bring down apartheid in South Africa. That collapse would have happened long before if the ANC had not been so supported by, and supportive of, the Soviet Union. As things turned out, the Soviet Union collapsed (as it would have done anyway, Reagan or no Reagan and Thatcher or no Thatcher), so no one saw any further need to prop up the old South African regime in order to prevent the gaining of a Soviet foothold there.

Actually, Cleethorpes Rock, given we helped put Mugabe in there we still have a responsibility.

Fair point Raj, but they wanted Mugabe and it should be up to them to remove him. We had a hand in most countries at some point, but need to let go. As has been said, they wanted out of Britain and now they can sort themselves out.

We don't have an Empire anymore and need to stop trying to carve out a role in the world that's based on poking our noses in where it doesn't concern us.

"….given we helped put Mugabe in there we still have a responsibility"

No we do NOT. Mugabe was elected by one man one vote (even if but once!) and that was the choice of the people of Zimbabwe (or, at least, the majority Shone tribe).

Now, if enough of them want to get rid of him there will have to be some sort of insurrection, bloody perhaps, but one must hope that the MDC will manage to negotiate a climb-down for Mugabe and his cronies.

It is NOT our business any longer. We should gave no aid because this detaches financial accountability of the rulers to the ruled and we should not give asylum to refugees (other than to people who have a previous association with the UK) because this, effectively, encourages ethnic cleansing and hands over the country to the ruling clique/tribe.

Zimbabwe is potentially a rich and fertile country. They, the people who live there, will just have to work out a way of fixing things themselves. I wish them good luck but both we and they just have to understand that, for good or ill, the days of Empire are over.

The Conservative Party needs to be at least as sceptical about the UN all international institutions and internationalism generally as it is about the EU.

as i said in a post before, we should send in the s a s to get rid of him and his henchmen, we must stop him because if we don't we are going to have more people coming here and we have far to many as it is.

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