Police Scotland Just Following Orders

Where does this mindless obedience lead us? We know fine well where this behaviour leads; history teaches us all we need to know, and this is precisely why we refer to the defence of “only following orders” as the Nuremberg defence. This leads to the deprivation of civil and political rights, the creation of categories of political crimes, and to the exact same thinking that brought us the re-education camps and concentration camps of the totalitarian and authoritarian régimes of the not so distant past – and this is no facile comparison.

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What’s the Russian for ‘Strong and Stable?’

Theresa May has laid down an ultimatum, the date of which has now expired, and the Russians are laughing in her face. In international politics this is never a good thing. She and her resident jester Johnson now need to come good on their threats, and, while it is clear Europe will have nothing to do with this idiotic standoff, no one knows if the Americans will now actually back them up. In the end Britain is left looking more isolated and vulnerable than it was yesterday, and that too is never a good thing in international politics.

Catalunya Responds to the Spanish Crackdown

Democracy – and it is difficult to accept that in 2017 we still find ourselves having to explain this – is all about the will of the people over the ambitions of those in and behind government. The Partido Popular, the ruling party in Madrid, is a minority government that now no longer has the support of Congress for the actions it is carrying out against Catalunya. In reality what we have is a western government using military-style measures with a military police force against an apparently “illegal” act of democracy without the consent of its own parliament.

Our Christmas Present from the United Nations

In the real world – a place both Netanyahu and Danon are ill at ease – we have to deal with real people and their real rights and claims. In the real world gods don’t act as guarantors. Laws do. In this case we have the current position of international law and the reality of Palestine and Israel as real and existing states with rights.