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Russia is a proud and sovereign nation, and we will not be able to turn it towards liberal democracy with hostility. We should be a critical friend of Russia, and there is a great opportunity for Britain to become the bridge between the US, Europe and Russia.

Cynical posturing to keep fasionable support at home, will do nothing to improve relations with Russia. Denis McShane should keep his advice to himself-he's wrong on almost every issue anyway-and the Conservative Party should discover some backbone!

A sensible move. It was somewhat hypocritical of Denis McShane, though, to accuse the Conservatives of this same sin, which has now been rectified by a withdrawal of cooperation with the EDC. If criticising the Russians over Georgia and still talking to them in the context of the EDC can be considered as hypocritical, how does McShane square talking to Sinn Fein while doing battle with the IRA? Didn`t Blair see this as one of his major triumphs and was McShane equally opposed to this policy?
Even so as the Russians seem impervious to international outcry about their invasion of Georgia, it must be right now to start imposing sanctions of this sort while keeping the door open in case the Russians become more amenable. The world is a small place and there are no such things as permanent enemies; or friends, for that matter

Good news BUT -

“We are already in the process of consulting our partners within the group, such as the Polish Law and Justice Party and the Czech Civic Democrats, about the way forward.”

I find that disturbing! As I've said before, these parties are not very nice (and that's putting it mildly).

Now Dennis McShane should turn his fire to his own party!

"our partners" - yuck!

Denis MacShane is just the Labour party rent-a-mouth, desperately trying to get back into government. It shows, with his 56% voting record.

I posted on my blog about the story in the Guardian, arguing that the Conservatives were not being hypocritical.

Then the announcement above was released from CCHQ and a follow up victory parade ensued at the Guardian. Only the Guardian did not provide the full quote, as I have pointed out, again on my blog.

So who are the real hypocrites?

Shaun Bennett @ 17.11 'Russia is a proud and sovreign nation, and we will not be able to turn it towards liberal democracy with hostility.'

I should think it is a fair assumption, that we would not be able to 'turn' Russia towards liberal democracy anyway, as long as Putin is in charge; he spent quite a chunk of his working life in the KGB, and that is NOT like the Civil Service here, it is/was a mind AND body organisation! So however big the 'bridge', it would be much use.

Added to that Mr. MacShane - for his own reasons - is playing the current game that is circulating in the Labour tactics Dept:, which is also 'cynical posturing'.!!!

Sorry, that should be --- So however big the 'bridge', it would NOT be much use.

Confused? You won't be if you address yourselves to the Ratbiter column on page 8 of the current issue (i.e. 22 Aug - 4 Sep) of "Private Eye":

"The party of the thoroughly modern David Cameron ought to be able to work with those other successful centre-right politicians Nicholas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel. But because Sarkozy and Merkel support greater EU integration, the Tories will have noting to do with them. They ally instead with assorted deadbeats and nutcases from fringe nationalist parties in the European parliament. When they move beyond the EU, they cut deals with Putin’s far more formidable and far more dangerous United Russia Party and try to advance the careers of its apparatchiks."

There then follows six more paragraphs, detailing how Tories in the Council of Europe pushed a former KGB man for president, tried to prevent Saakashvili of Georgia speaking at Strasbourg, and generally acquired the reputation of being Putin’s pawns.

What was that about “a week being a long time in politics”?

The Cold War is back, and back with a vengence.

Mr. Angry, we should be so lucky. The Soviets were evil but they weren't crazy. Putin isn't either, but the wave of Russian nationalism he's ridden not to power but to popularity is not rational and demands acts of "proof" of Russian imperial greatness that are actually directly contrary to Russia's own best interests.

Come on Malcolm, Putin may be fascistic politician stoking a new Cold War with the West, and a general enemy of democracy and liberty in the world, but he isn't in favour of the Common Fisheries Policy - so clearly the German Christian Democrats, French UMP, and Spanish Partido Popular are all much much worse potential partners.

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