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August 12, 2008


David Duff

I am, by and large, a happy sort of a chappy but when I read articles like the one produced by David Clark, a red mist of anger and depression settles over me. When I read further and discover that he was a government advisor on foreign affairs I send the wife out to start digging the air-raid shelter! The man is a dangerous nincompoop, as can be seen by the ridiculous assertion that heads his column (for which, I grant you, he may not have been responsible in detail):

"The west can no longer stand idle while the Russian bully wreaks havoc"

Oh yes it can! We have no immediate and pressing strategic interest in Georgia or its disputed territories. Yes, it would be an advantage to us to keep Georgia independent and leaning our way but it is 'not worth the blood of a single Grenadier' to maintain such a state of affairs. The Russians *do* have a strategic interest, and even a 'moral' interest, if you like, since most of the disputed territories contain Russians. It's their backyard, not ours.

If, or perhaps, when, Scotland obtains independence, and if they were to start il-treating English residents (not an entirely unlikely scenario) and the Russians were to offer 'advice' and 'assistance' and help train their army, how will Master Clark feel then?

As for throwing the Russians out of the G8, the only possible harm that might do is if Putin splits his sides laughing. The G8 is a worthless talk-shop institution whose pronouncements are never lived up to by any of its members, and as neither China nor India are in the club its global economic ideas are useless. And when Clark suggests that we jolly well boycott the next winter Olympics in Russia, well, that proves my suspicion that he is fourteen and a half years old. It's the politics of the student union, or even, given the heading to his essay and his probable age, the politics of the schoolyard!


I like Clark's qualifier of Georgia's minorities: (those) 'that have remained under its rule'. Ossetians and Abkhazes are not in a hurry to re-join the republic; most Jews have left for Israel and most ethnic Russians for Russia. A few thousand remaining Armenians and Azeris have the choice: either leave or assimilate.

Ian Deans

David Duff, you might be correct on pragmatic grounds, but not on moral ones.

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