Is no-one else appalled by the violence in the Ukraine?

We do not hear much about it, but the occasional media reports confirm that people are being killed and  buildings are being shelled and blown up.The Ukrainian government  forces are laying siege to parts of their own country. We sometimes see pictures of Ukrainian tanks deployed and warplanes flying low. We are told the rebels are violent and being gradually defeated by the state.

Let me begin by making it clear I do not support Russian military involvement in the Ukraine, nor do I support the use of violence by the rebels. I am, however, worried that a pro western democracy  , encouraged and supported by the EU, is busy firing on its own towns  and destroying its own properties in a damaging civil war. Isn’t it time the  EU spoke out against the violence? Shouldn’t the UK dissociate itself from EU policy?

I want the UK to be an advocate and practitioner of democracy. That means we look for peaceful solutions to political problems. Disputes need to be settled through argument, through decision and votes in Parliaments, and through elections, not through the use of the bomb, bullet and shell. If a state lacks legitimacy with an important minority or even majority  of its citizens, that state needs to persuade them of its legitimacy by governing in their interests, or needs to allow them a peaceful way out. Trying to bludgeon people into submission to the authority of a state can work all the time great force is used, but it creates a false unity based on fear, not a true unity based on common acceptance of the state’s legitimacy.

The UK is showing the world how to deal with the potent issue of belonging and the question of the legitimacy of governments by the way it is handling the forces of Scottish separatism. Those who want an independent Scotland formed a party, started winning elections, made their case, and now have the opportunity to persuade the majority in just Scotland alone  in a free referendum that their country should be split from the UK. No-one in the rest of the UK thinks our response to Scottish separatism should be shelling Edinburgh or sending armed jets  flying low over Glasgow to terrify people into accepting the power of the UK. We accept there needs to be a good political debate followed by free votes to decide the matter.

So why when it comes to the Ukraine do we go along with the EU idea that the official government of the once whole  Ukraine has every right to use military force to put down separatist feeling? Some will point out correctly that the  rebels are using force whereas Scottish nationalists always have used peaceful democratic means to further their aims. That is true. We need to ask why the rebels in Ukraine thought they could not make progress politically through elections and arguments? We need to ask why can’t the central government in Kiev find the words and actions to get the sensible majority to lay down their arms and start talking? Why can’t Kiev engage with most of the rebels and isolate the violent leaders from their civilian supporters?

The Ukrainian government needs to seek ways to get the large majority of pro Russian Ukrainians to believe talking and voting represents the best way forward for them. That is a central task of democratic government, to gain and retain agreement over how we settle our differences peacefully. The government also needs to find better ways to disarm the rebels and to bring murderers to justice. Using more weapons against them is unlikely to restore the peace in a way which  creates a harmonious democracy. If the Ukrainian government succeeds in its war it will preside by force over a very split country, with one part only under control through fear. Surely that is not what the west stands for?

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85 Comments

  1. Richard Jenkins
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Excellent article but there is an answer to the question “We need to ask why the rebels in Ukraine thought they could not make progress politically through elections and arguments? “. Probably because Ukraine is less than a generation away from totalitarian rule, and that also applies to the government in Kiev.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Richard,

      It could be said that a great many other countries are less than a generation away from totalitarian rule too. There seems to be an inexorable shift in some quarters to the idea of a ‘one world’ government.

      Tad

      • zorro
        Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Yes, we can see how Ukraine went downhill into violence in a short time, but the Ukraine government seems immune from criticism by the US or UK.

        zorro

    • Alice
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      How about because there was a coup, parties that do not support the current politics were kicked out of the parliament (Rada) and earlier in the year almost persecuted? How about the fact that there is a whole lot of non-government military formations which already said that they do not have to obey the government if it orders them to do something they do not want to (should we epeat that they are sponsored by the oligarchs?) How about the stories I keep hearing from friends and relatives in Donbass saying that they are being shelled from a plane or having to hide from weapons which are actually forbidden, while they see on their own Ukrainian state TV that nothing of the kind is happening and big bad Putin is fooling them?

      It is unbelievably hard to imagine the amount of drama happening there, especially being a ‘Westerner’ who has lived safely in the more fortunate parts of Europe. I talk to relatives there and I talk to refugees from there. I hear about dead bodies all around Luhansk, I hear people complaining that Ukrainian forces broke the peace agreement, I hear about people going to protect their land and sincerely wondering why wouldn’t Russia send help, as it was supposed to according to the Kiev media. It is their opinion. Maybe they’ve been tricked into believing that (that is what pro-Kiev people tell me), maybe… but there is just too many of those who express this point of view in the area where the war is. And there is too many dead on both sides.

    • Vera
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Richard, because nobody negotiated with them…stop demonizing the rebels…Kiev started to bomb the civilians without any talks…

    • Allan Thomson
      Posted August 23, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      There is a piece of information missing. The rebels did not use violence first, far from it. They occupied buildings and made their demands in representation of the majority of people who wished a high degree of autonomy.

      It was Kiev that sent forces first to intimidate and later to kill the people there. It was they who killed several people at a checkpoint. Prior to this the rebels consciously refrained from any aggression, preferiing to occupy the buildings they were in. They knew what it would mean if they went on the offensive so they did not.

  2. Mark B
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    John Redwood said;
    “Shouldn’t the UK dissociate itself from EU policy?”

    Yes, but it can’t. We signed up to being a member of a proto-nation state. Remember ?

    “I want the UK to be an advocate and practitioner of democracy.”

    Well you can start that at home. And yes, I know you have spoken up for us (English), and I thank you.

    ” . . . sending armed jets flying low over Glasgow to terrify people . . . “

    I think the last thing the Glaswegians will be, is terrified. ;)

    Good stuff. But I would like to add this:

    If the EU had not tried to get the then President to sign the Association Agreement, which, as I am sure we all know, was not just about trade, but about further integration into the institutions of the EU through closer cooperation, then I’d doubt any of this would have happened. Also, I’d doubt it helped, when some IDIOT, let it be known, that he wanted the EU to stretch all the way from the Atlantic too the Urals. The Urals, being in Russia.

    Words are powerful. They have meaning. And when important, or even self-important people in high office speak, those words carry weight and influence the thoughts and indeed actions of others.

    If Putin was to turn up at Trafalgar Square, offering free cookies and Vodka, not to mention moral support for the over throw of the Government and the Head of State, and demand that London be a city state, just like the EU wants. What would our reaction be do you think ?

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      “If Putin was to turn up at Trafalgar Square, offering free cookies and Vodka…” add to this:

      … where Nigel Farage’s UKIP had taken up occupancy against the EU.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Indeed.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      …….”The UK is showing the world how to deal with the potent issue of belonging and the question of the legitimacy of governments by the way it is handling the forces of Scottish separatism”…………… So what are the policies of the legacy parties over 40 years on our membership of an ever closer union with the EU? Lies and deceit time and time again to deny the British people a say in their democracy and erosion of our sovereignty. We are witnessing the troubles caused by the incompetence of all three main parties on mass migration and importing huge costs and cultural problems upon us. We were never given a choice. When will our taxes be used exclusively for British people and not given away with no contribution by anyone who chips up here from the EU and elsewhere?
      The clock is ticking and knowledge is spreading. 8 months until those elections. Still no word from our dithering intrepid leader on what action he is taking on those who have and are returning from their fights in Syria and Iraq.

  3. Old Albion
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Indeed. Ukraine is a war started, albeit unintentionally, by the EU. When it made overtures for Ukraine to join.

  4. Richard1
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    It is extraordinary how the media caravan has moved on from Ukraine despite the continuing horrors there. The EU should certainly be saying that there is no question of admitting any country the govt of which carries out brutal repression of part of its population. If the EU won’t the UK should say we will veto the membership of any such country. Continuing to think of the Ukraine as a candidate country whilst this violence is being perpetrated by the govt is immoral (and foolish).

    In a related issue what do you think of Nigel Farage’s idea to extend the Foreign Enlistlement Act 1870 to cover terrorist organizations or unrecognized states such as the IS? It seems very sensible to me.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      As I understand that Act would already cover IS but the prescribed penalties do not included deprivation of citizenship, they are only fines and imprisonment.

      It can be read here:

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/33-34/90/contents

      Section 30 says inter alia:

      “”Foreign state” includes any foreign prince, colony, province, or part of any province or people, or any person or persons exercising or assuming to exercise the powers of government in or over any foreign country, colony, province, or part of any province or people”

      I think we should hesitate before we urge that people who are at present our fellow citizens, whether natural born or naturalised, should be deprived of their citizenship and thrown out of our society, and consider the possibility that a future government might abuse such powers and use them against us.

      There is also the thorny question of whether amendment of the law to include deprivation of citizenship as a potential penalty should be made retroactive; I don’t suppose that it occurred to many of the British jihadis who have gone to fight that this might be illegal and they might be fined or imprisoned when they returned, and even if that thought did cross their minds they wouldn’t care, but
      from our point of view if we were going to increase the criminal penalties to which they would be exposed we should have done that before they committed the crime and not set the bad precedent of doing it retroactively.

      • oldtimer
        Posted August 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        The man responsible for reviewing counter terrorism legislation said on WATO that powers already exist to remove British citizenship from those holding dual nationality.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 23, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          They do, and as I understand Theresa May wishes to remove the present restriction that a person cannot be deprived of his British citizenship if that would leave him stateless. Because these things drag on so I’m not sure where she is with that proposed legislation at this point, perhaps JR could enlighten us. Personally I would say that as IS claims to be a state, and as its adherents recognise it as being a state, then the UK should pass legislation deeming it to be a state just for this purpose of determining whether a supporter can be deprived of his British citizenship. But clearly there has to be a due process and I don’t think it should be retroactive.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Dennis

        The public see the LibLabCons letting them get away with murder.

        UK IS converts are, in fact, doing us all a favour in showing our leaders up.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          Denis – sorry.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted August 23, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

            Thanks, there does seem to be an all too widespread belief that I don’t know how to spell my own name.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Yes although there is an ancient punishment of exile. The advantage of stripping these people of citizenship would presumably include getting rid of the burden of responsibility for them. Jihadi John for example could be sent for judicial processing in the US whereas if he came back here we taxpayers would be forced to expend millions to human rights lawyers in legal aid, and then millions more in surveillance costs once he was released from custody. The US justice system on the other hand would be likely to take a more robust view.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 23, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          I don’t think we still have exile as a legal option, unless of course the government arranges for a magistrate in another EU country to issue an EU Arrest Warrant to get somebody who is being too much of a nuisance out of the way banged up in a foreign prison for an indeterminate period.

          Nor do I think that depriving somebody of their citizenship would absolve the government from its international obligation to protect their “human rights”. The whole point of the “human rights” idea is to gradually supplant the idea of “civil rights” by eliminating all distinctions between the humans who are citizens of a country and all the other humans who are not citizens of that country, persons traditionally known as “foreigners” or “aliens”.

          Even if this man had been deprived of his British citizenship that wouldn’t mean that the British government was freed from its duty to protect his “human rights” if he was captured by British forces; it has fully, indeed enthusiastically, embraced the international legal obligation not to torture him or even send him to a place where he might possibly be subjected to torture or inhumane and degrading treatment as defined by the court in Strasbourg.

    • Hope
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      How about bringing back Treason as an offence and amend it so that hate preachers and a like can be jailed without too much legal wrangling so that the citizens can be protected from Islamic extremism without fear of being labelled racist? Ban the burka, niqab it is against our culture and poses a real risk to security and identity of offenders. UK citizens conform to headress customs when in Muslim countries, the opposite should apply here. Also Sharia law banned, one law for all citizens, that is the one established in the UK over many hundreds of years; no ECHR or final jurisdiction outside the boundaries of this country. Animal welfare applied to all forms of food in line with UK laws, customs and culture. The country should not be apologetic for what it is, that is why people should come here- not a liberal welfare state with self entitlement without paying into the UK tax pot. How else is The Government going to impose a British culture to prevent radicalisation?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        The criminal offence of treason centres on a failure to comply with a duty of allegiance, as explained in the references that come up here:

        https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl#q=treason+duty+of+allegiance

        As most of the politicians we so foolishly keep electing dismiss concepts such as allegiance and loyalty and patriotism and nation as absurdly outdated they won’t be rushing to demand that anybody should be tried for treason. If they did, the next thing might be that some of them were put on trial for treason as well.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      It is very sensible, but now that he has suggested it, it will be ignored by Cameron and Co.

  5. matthu
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Shouldn’t the UK dissociate itself from EU policy?

    Ha ha! Where should we start? Which party leader – apart from Farage – will show the way?

  6. Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    I absolutely agree with you Mr Redwood that the violence in Ukraine needs to be spoken against loudly. Like the recent violence in other areas. Yet I don’t think that England-Scotland can in any way be compared with Israël-Palestine, Ukraine-Donetsk or other conflict areas: Once armed conflict has broken out (even in the case of N. Ireland with its paramilitaries or the Basque area in Spain) the road to peace is difficult and sometimes long.

    What would England have done in the seventies if some Scots had declared Scotland an independent country? (imagine it being military supported by another country). Hastily organise a referendum? I doubt it.

    Let us not fall for the temptation to blame the EU for everything under the sun. While Britain has been rather absent in diplomatic efforts concerning Ukraine, Germany and a few other continental countries have been and still are engaging with Russia to come to some arrangement which can satisfy both warring parties.

    I do commend the initiative by the Brit Richard Branson and a host of business leaders (Western, Russian, Ukrainian) to try and engage with the government leaders concerned. Like in any conflict, non-military means tend to be more successful.

  7. Gary
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    subtext: it’s the EU’s fault

    even after 200 years of mercantilism, economics by gunboat, and it’s always the fault of someone else.

  8. formula57
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Yes, so time now for sanctions against the Ukrainian government then?

  9. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Anybody appalled? Plenty I expect and can do nothing. Pitchfork/paper/words still not working. Answer seems to be sanctions on Russia and tit for tat with McDonalds. Below the headlines of course some of us are supporting the Ukraine military…Canada for instance with military gear, not quite weapons?

    Suddenly a journalist or two is knocked off in a place where its a certainty that your state of health is no concern, or anybody else’s for that matter. Answer is the MSM drops into massive scream mode – repeat for ever per 15 mins. Digital at its best.

    Out pops the usual suspects talking up the old stuff and looking hurt, and indicating action? EU not saying much? Any other EU Air force offering?

    etc ed

  10. agricola
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I think you will find that the elected government of Ukraine is combatting an armed insurrection backed by Russia in it’s eastern provinces. Have a reality check, the peaceful democratic citizens of Glasgow are not rocketing to earth the 09.15 Heathrow to JFK. Yes, both sides should be talking with a view to coming to a peaceful accommodation.

    Too many governments around the World think that the act of allowing a democratic election sanctions them to govern as they wish while ignoring those who did not vote for them. Witness what has happened in Egypt. They had a democratic election, but the ensuing government only acted for their own followers which led to a military coup.

    Before selling the UK as the epitome of democracy, and it is better than most, consider this.
    A House of Lords for gerrymandering legislation for the party in power.

    Scotland, Wales, and NI allowed to skew English political decisions in Westminster.

    A BBC allowed to act , not as a disseminator of news but as a propaganda machine for Guardianista socialist metro elite thinking.

    Lib/Dems allowed to interfere with Boundary Commission recommendations out of political spite.

    EU. overruling English law with no democratic mandate but enacted by closed door dictat.

    Denial of an EU. referendum for the past four years. I do not buy into the idea that it has not happened because the perfidious Lib/Dems don’t like it, nor does Cameron and many others in your party.

    Blocking the Chilcot report because it might look bad for the previous Labour government and Blair. If we ever get it I bet you it is heavily censored.

    We are in no position to pontificate over the actions of the Ukrainian government. They have had only a few years free of the Soviet yoke to get it right we have had since Magna Carta and still get it wrong. In fact democracy in the UK is in reverse at present.

    • zorro
      Posted August 23, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Perhaps the Ukrainian government can release the tapes from the control tower which captured the details of the flight? Perhaps they can show one bit of evidence of the Russian military column which their President said that his forces had destroyed….? …. Thought not….

      zorro

      • agricola
        Posted August 23, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        You could be right, the facts come a very poor second to the imperative of the moment. Black propaganda is ever present.

  11. JoeSoap
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    “The UK is showing the world how to deal with the potent issue of belonging and the question of the legitimacy of governments by the way it is handling the forces of Scottish separatism.”
    Really?
    First, every opinion poll in Scotland has shown fewer people want to stay in the UK than leave, whereas our situation vis a vis the EU is far more equivocal. Yet the Scots get to choose and our promised EU referendum is denied.
    Second, most people would say that it is fair for there to be equivalence between England/Scotland/Wales in terms of self-governance yet that hasn’t happened either.

    “I want the UK to be an advocate and practitioner of democracy.”
    Good, because it isn’t right now – we just have a long history of tolerance which keeps us from a Ukraine-style situation.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      More people want to STAY in the Uk than leave.. apologies

  12. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Successive British governments going right back to Thatcher bear their share of the responsibility for what is now happening in Ukraine.

    If she had thought that having secured direct public consent to the UK staying in the EEC with just eight neighbouring countries she should go back and ask us directly whether we consented to Greece being added to the arrangement then that would have set the precedent, and we would not now have a government which assumes as a matter of course that it can agree to add any other countries it wishes, including Ukraine, to the arrangement without bothering to ask us whether we are OK with that, and which has even had that deliberate exclusion of the British people from all decisions on further enlargement of the EU formalised in law, Hague’s so-called “referendum lock”, which has fine print providing a blanket exemption for all accession treaties that has already been invoked in the case of Croatia.

    I’m pretty sure that if Hague had written his law so that accession of Ukraine to the EU would automatically be subject to approval in a UK referendum then the UK government would not have been so casual about the EU making promises to the europhile faction in Ukraine and thereby stirring up first revolution and then rebellion.

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    JR: “We need to ask why the rebels in Ukraine thought they could not make progress politically through elections and arguments?”
    The example was set by the EU and USA by encouraging violent insurgency to overthrow the former elected President of Ukraine. This despite the availability of his replacement by democratic means. Some referenda were subsequently held in various areas of Ukraine and deemed ‘illegal’ by the Ukraine government and the EU. Furthermore, rather than entering into dialogue with Russia we have chosen to apply sanctions and remove them from membership of bodies where dialogue could take place. Our government talks about political solutions but then expels Russia from such fora.
    What has happened in Ukraine is the same as in Syria where a government is using military force to resist and overcome violent opposition to it. In the former case our Conservative-led government is happy to back the Ukraine government whereas in Syria it has wanted to do exactly the opposite. Just a year ago your leader and the then bellicose Foreign Secretary recalled Parliament in order to gain approval to become directly involved and to arm an assortment of anti-Assad rebels which would have included ISIS. Their policy isn’t about “elections and arguments” it is about taking sides – the incumbent government (after you have helped overthrow it, as in Ukraine) or the ‘rebels’ as in Syria. Just to remind you that in the case of Ukraine our government was complicit in provoking the initial crisis as members of the EU which has expansionist ambitions that are conveniently ignored. The EU in which the majority of your parliamentary party is determined to keep us entrapped.

  14. Turbo Terrier
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Very good entry.

    Even giving Scotland the vote may do what it was intended to do.

    (comments about attitudes of SNP radicals post a possible defeat in the referendum deleted as no basis for their content ed)

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    “Shouldn’t the UK dissociate itself from EU policy?”

    Yes of course it should.

  16. Richard
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The EU wants to continue its expansion eastwards all the way to the Urals as evidenced by a recent speech by Mr. Cameron.

    It does not matter to the EU how this is achieved and why should it care that the Ukraine is undemocratic when it is undemocratic itself ?

    The leaders, and those who make policy decisions for all 3 major parties, will be following the EU’s wishes to the letter.

    There really is no difference between our 3 major parties.

  17. Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I’m beginning to believe in isolationism – what have the events in Ukraine to do with us?
    Wherever possible we should keep out of other peoples problems; we keep being told that we no longer have an empire so why should we continue to be the world’s policemen? If Russia wants to take over Ukraine, so what? How does it impact on this country? It seems to be a corrupt basket case of a country and why the EU wants to get involved beats me and gives me yet another reason for wanting to be out of the EU.
    The Middle East problems are of far greater concern and the government should be urgently looking at all the possible scenarios, including a serious study of the threats posed here by Muslim extremists within this country. Cameron should be kicking people into action, not sitting on a Cornish beach.
    Meanwhile, I would observe that haven’t read any reports in the media that “Baroness” Warsi, or any of the Muslim MPs have expressed their concern over the murder of James Foley (etc ed)

    Reply I am sure they all do condemn the murder.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      English Pensioner said;

      “I’m beginning to believe in isolationism – what have the events in Ukraine to do with us?”

      Ditto. In fact I would go further. Had we not got involved in any of Europe’s little squabbles, we might have just hung on to out Empire, and we most certainly would have been a lot richer.

      When you consider that so many people are advocating trading with the Commonwealth as we use to, you can see what I mean.

  18. Graham
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Never mind disassociate – our stupid self seeking politicians are encouraging this advancement in every way possible – Turkey anyone.

    They hang on to jobs in politics because they are unemployable as anything else

  19. ian wragg
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I think it’s getting near your retirement John. You seem to forget that your government reduced us to a vassal state with all decisions being made in Brussels.
    What does our continental leaders suggest in dealing with the home grown Jihadists. Oops sorry, vacuum cleaner motors are this weeks priority.
    How goes the deficit, I see borrowing is up £1.5 billion on this time last year. National debt £1.3 trillion.
    You really must keep up John, there’s an election soon and we are seeing 5 years wasted never mind the Ukraine which is entirely the EU’s doing.

  20. The PrangWizard
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    The UK is part of the problem, that is your party, your government, your Prime Minister, being supporters of the EU, part of the group which stoked the flames to get this thing going.

    The domestic scene is not I think as benign as you imply – I suspect that the British Establishment feared Scottish violence, and thus granted concessions to stave it off. We had violence in Wales – remember Welsh nationalists burning English owned properties there? It is the English who have been peaceful, even minor dissent here has been met with Establishment threats.

    You seem to recognise that the pro-Russian people have a legitimate grievance and claim to autonomy if not outright merger with Russia – you do not mention Crimea, do you think the people there in the main wished to be part of Russia and that it turned out right for them in the end? Many people of the east see the government of Kiev as illegitimate and infiltrated with Fascists, this may be just part of the political rhetoric but something went badly wrong there but the EU is still egging them on. It is indeed time their grievances were listened to and recognised. Kiev must stop its aggression and murderers in its ranks brought to justice.

    And the threats and sanctions directed against Russia by the West could well turn out to be a serious mistake. Just where is the evidence that they have done all of the things that the warmongering US and EU have accused them of? For example how many times has the US said that 20,000 Russian troops were massing on the border with all that implied? Where are they now, did any ever cross? And are the US airforce B52 bombers still on English soil? Does the US still have the right, without consent to do this? They came here around that time so they were clearly intended to intimidate the Russians. Maybe that cloud will have silver lining – perhaps they will come in handy for elsewhere.

    Let us hope that when we need Russia’s help in fighting for our survival in the War of Civilisations which has started and which will need to be fought to the finish until the threat to our way of life is eliminated – there can be absolutely no negotiation with barbarian butchers – they will be gracious enough to give us their help – we will surely need it. Our forces have been run down by your appeasing and apologising government telling us just how tolerant and understanding we must be in the face of danger. And now I doubt if we could even defend our own people in our own streets.

  21. Bryan
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    The killing of innocent men, women and children in Ukraine by Government forces is appalling, but for the EU to spotlight this is to turn the spotlight upon itself.

    This would never do in a dictatorship.

    Where are the West’s imbedded reporters and cameras?

    Silly question!

    • Mark B
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Agreed

  22. Stephen Berry
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    “We need to ask why the rebels in Ukraine thought they could not make progress politically through elections and arguments?” (JR)

    The south-east of the Ukraine mostly voted for Viktor Yanukovych as President in 2010, an election he won. In February of this year he was overthrown by a coup d’etat in Kiev which was encouraged by the U.S. State Department and the EU. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. The rebels in the Donbas region figure they can play that game too.

    “No-one in the rest of the UK thinks our response to Scottish separatism should be shelling Edinburgh or sending armed jets flying low over Glasgow to terrify people into accepting the power of the UK.” (JR)

    It would be even more apposite to point out that there was scarcely anyone in the UK who thought that the correct response to an armed insurrection in Northern Ireland was for the British Army to shell West Belfast and RAF jets to bomb South Armagh.

    “If the Ukrainian government succeeds in its war it will preside by force over a very split country, with one part only under control through fear.” (JR)

    The civil war in the Ukraine has ensured that either in the short or long term, this country will split with the south-east going back to Russia. Putin of course, knows this.

    A terrific wailing noise arose from Western chancelleries when the people of the Crimea voted to join Russia. Now we see how wise they were. If you were a Russian speaking Ukrainian, where would you rather be at the moment, Donetsk or Sevastopol?

  23. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    You are getting to the pivotal ethos of democracy and we in GB , post war,have led the way, yet we cannot seem to prosletyse in this respect. We are seen as soft touches , and weak. Is our collective emotional intelligence a factor, for if we look at intellectual achievements of warring factions they appear to be bright enough, yet is is self evident that they are not?
    We only have one chance on this earth to live a comfortable happy life, so why do some find comfort in aggresion? beats me!

  24. Posted August 22, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    If the Ukrainian Government succeeds in defeating the rebels , it will still be faced with substantial dissent from much of the eastern part of the country . The matter , as you have rightly pointed out , can only be solved by a resolution made peacefully by its own people . The EU , Russia and the USA must keep out of this ; certainly we have no right to interfere . The EU and the USA made a great mistake in “taking sides” , it encouraged Kiev to believe that it could move towards linking itself with the West at a time when practically the whole of its economy was dominated and linked to the East . Just as the diverse ethnicity of “Europe” preclude national togetherness , so in the Ukraine – on a much smaller scale , does their diverse ethnicity do the same .

  25. Peter Stroud
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    The matter of Ukraine cannot be solved, without taking the Russian position into account. It is likely that we, and the EU, will have to accept that the Crimea is now part of Russia. As to the Eastern part of the country, God alone knows how that mess will develop.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    “The UK is showing the world how to deal with the potent issue of belonging and the question of the legitimacy of governments by the way it is handling the forces of Scottish separatism.”

    It helps greatly when the majority of people (the English) are the most tolerant, easy going, gentle, generous and most unfairly maligned people on Earth.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      I 100% agree.

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I don’t think we should be too complacent about the situation in our own country, by which in this context I mean the United Kingdom as a whole. Leave aside Ireland, it is less than a hundred years since the UK government, specifically Winston Churchill as Home Secretary, felt the need to put tanks on the streets of Glasgow to suppress what appeared to be the start of a workers’ revolt, allegedly “a Bolshevik rising”:

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/remembering-the-day-90-years-ago-1006816

    It is worth considering what might have happened in 2012 if the SNP had had another leader who reflected the views of some of his more extreme members, and he had come up against a British Prime Minister with a character similar to that of Churchill.

    Under the Scotland Act 1998 it is perfectly clear that the powers granted to the devolved Scottish Parliament by the sovereign UK Parliament do not include the power to declare Scotland an independent sovereign state separate from the UK, and there were strong arguments that its powers under that Act did not even extend to holding a consultative referendum on whether Scotland should become an independent state.

    If Cameron had persisted in his refusal to allow a referendum and gone to the Supreme Court in London then it is highly likely that the court would have ordered the Scottish government to desist from any plans to hold a referendum as being ultra vires, beyond its legal powers, and what then if Salmond had still persisted?

    Would we have seen the police shutting down the Scottish Parliament and civil servants sent from London to take over the government, would that have developed into a violent confrontation, and rebellion, a unilateral declaration of independence, and war?

    Cameron is no Churchill and he caved in and agreed to promote an Order in Council to expressly grant the Scottish Parliament the special power to legislate for a referendum; but then Salmond also does not give the impression of being someone who would have the backbone to dare to rise in potentially violent rebellion; we can only speculate about what course events would have taken if Cameron had stood his ground.

    Reply If a large number of people in Scotland wish to leave the union why would we want to stop them or seek to suppress them? Mr Cameron did the se4nsible thing in allowing a debate and a vote. We do not want pressed men and women in our union, and would not use force to keep them in.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

      Denis, I noticed that your link concerning the ‘tanks on the streets of Glasgow’ was to the Record which is a left-wing paper. Yes, there were tanks on the streets of Glasgow – used during the war as a publicity stunt to raise funds from the people of the city. Not quite the same thing as the very effective Marxist propaganda that has morphed into the ‘truth’ since then cynically using these photographs.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 23, 2014 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        The Record may be a left-wing paper, but its article seems fairly balanced and there’s no doubt that in 1919, after the war, Churchill sent English troops into Glasgow to suppress what was being seen as a revolt. The question raised in the article is whether or not this was an over-reaction on the part of a government gripped by the fear of Bolshevik revolution spreading from Russia and Germany.

        (other evidence offered which I do not have time to check -ed)

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: ‘Why should we want to stop them or seek to suppress them?’
      The answer will not be long in coming if there is a YES vote. It’s not just about Scotland. You yourself have said that in a democracy we do not always get our own way.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 23, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      JR, you ask:

      “If a large number of people in Scotland wish to leave the union why would we want to stop them or seek to suppress them?”

      and that is an interesting question, but more complicated than you perhaps imply because if a state instantly gives way to all demands for secession which may arise then obviously it is unlikely to endure.

      I don’t take the view that a state has a right to use any methods at all to preserve its integrity and ensure its survival, because fundamentally the state should only exist for the benefit of its citizens, but on the other hand a state cannot stand back and allow parts of its territory to be taken over by small groups whether they are Bolshevik revolutionaries or SNP activists or Islamic extremists or the Mafia.

      Nor am I convinced that the referendum in Scotland will discover the true will of the Scots regarding secession of Scotland from the UK, for a number of reasons starting with the ridiculous extension of the franchise to non-citizens who happen to be resident in Scotland at the time of the poll coupled with the equally absurd exclusion of Scots who happen not be resident in Scotland at that time, going on to the poor standard of the referendum campaigns being mounted by both sides, and finishing up with the certainty that even if the result of the poll is “yes” to independence then only a minority of Scots will have voted for it.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted August 23, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        Very good points Denis.
        I was out leafleting today (Saturday) and we covered 4 different areas of Glasgow. The difference in uptake is interesting and the leaflet is presented as a full A5 Union flag on one side. In Springburn and Govan which are working class areas the uptake was very good. In Govan we encountered the YES campaign who had a stall and had attached posters to walls in the area. I was subjected to swearing and abuse almost immediately. All those members of the public who witnessed this performance wanted my leaflets and asked why the NO campaign had not visited them, much to the fury of the YES activists.
        In Byres Road which is in the middle class west end, the uptake was not so good although we did get some kind support and encouragement. There was a Women for Independence group active 50 yards away. We received some unpleasant and offensive remarks from them as they passed us. We received one threat of violence from a passing individual.
        In the city centre we leafleted a mix of people at the top of Buchanan Street. The uptake was fairly poor possibly due to the rush of shoppers. There were no YES activists present and no unpleasant remarks were made to us.

  28. Tad Davison
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    John, I absolutely agree! I couldn’t have put it better myself, and I am so glad you penned that article because it is likely to have a greater impact than my own similar views and protestations. The context and comparisons are spot on! And if it’s OK, I will circulate it to others to make them see the power of your argument. The issues you raise proves yet again that the EU isn’t fit for purpose. They’re much too preoccupied with dictating the wattage of vacuum cleaners than to pursue an ethical foreign policy.

    Tad

  29. bluedog
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Dr JR seems to have forgotten some salient points.

    In the first instance the catalyst for separatism in the Ukraine is not just internal politics but the result of actions by an external power, Russia. So when we read that Ukrainian forces are shelling their own cities, it seems possibly that the shellees maybe Russians proper or Ukrainians of Russian descent who support the ambitions of Russian sponsored militias. To compare the situation in Ukraine with the situation in Scotland therefore seems misconstrued, to say the least.

    The second point relates to the Treaty of Budapest 1994 pursuant to which Ukraine surrendered its nuclear weapons in exchange for guarantees of territorial integrity underwritten by USA, UK and Russia. One doubts that the UK will ever again commit to such an obligation. But the situation is not unlike that in 1914 when the UK went to war to honour its 1839 treaty that guaranteed Belgium’s territorial integrity and neutrality. The difference being that in the current context the UK lacks the means to honour its Ukrainian obligations short of going nuclear, and that can’t be done without US consent.

    However, one can safely say that if Ukraine had remained a nuclear weapons power, Russia would not have been able to renege on its treaty obligations with impunity and the Western powers would not have been humiliated by Russian adventurism.

    • stred
      Posted August 23, 2014 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      Perhaps, if Ukraine had still been a nuclear power, the EU/US would have thought twice about arranging a coup against an president elected by mainly Eastern Ukrainians, corrupt or not.

  30. Elliot Kane
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    The reason why the EU is absolutely silent is very simple: it caused this whole mess in the first place, first with its aggressive expansionism and then by encouraging a coup against the elected government when things were not going to plan.

    I presume the party leaders of the Tory, Labour and Lib Dem parties are silent on the matter because they know this and they are Europhiles to a man. Were this not the case, their utter silence is, as you say, extraordinary.

    Personally, I agree with you that Britain is leading the world with the way we are handling the issue of Scotland, and it is my fervent wish that other nations would follow suit when dealing with independence movements. I suspect if this were the case we would soon have a few more countries, but a lot more happy and contented people and a whole lot less death, which is greatly to be desired, IMO.

  31. Posted August 22, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    If it were simply a case of Ukrainians in two of the eastern Oblasts seeking autonomy from the central government in Kyiv then it could be argued that it was wrong for that government to use force against them. However, this is far from the case despite what Russia’s propaganda machine and its many online trolls would have us believe. Russian media uses material cynically copied from other conflicts and pastes it onto reports about what they claim is happening in Ukraine.

    The ‘uprisings’ in the Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts are in fact being fermented by Russian agents and mercenaries, many of whom originate in places like Chechnya. It is not a civil war or an insurrection but an invasion of Ukraine by persons acting on behalf of the Russians. One only has to look at this so-called ‘humanitarian convoy.’ All the identical trucks have the distinctive white on black number plates of Russian military vehicles rather than commercial carriers.

    If the Russians succeed in their attempt to annex another part of Ukraine where will they go next? The Baltic? Poland? Finland? Past experience suggests all three are at risk.

  32. ian
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Why are the eu central banker and the imf lending ukraine 150 billion dollars which will never be repaid. USA companies now have the fracking rights for ukraine while destroying coal and steel in the east of the country. Russa has had no military involvement in ukraine at all. What happen to the plane sweep under the carpet Russian aid move into ukraine today without permission from ukraine government, so russa might be ready for a showdown. Are government people are only puppets control by the bankers and the military that”s what JFK and his family found out to their cost. Isis is western like 9/11 al kida. Now the west want syria and iran as friend. These are friend of russa, the chess game go”s on. One in seven people who go to work in this country, after paying tax to the government and interest to the bankers, going down to food bank to feed themselves. The bankers are filling your pension full of bad debt so you will have no pension, you will have food banks.What are you going to do about that john

  33. ian
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I no nobody believe it but that”s the best part that”s why they control the media, you will see as time go”s on

  34. Eddie Hill
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    You are quite right to ask why the rebels in Ukraine thought they could not make progress politically through elections and arguments, why Kiev can’t get the sensible majority (if, indeed, there is one) to lay down their arms, engage with the rebels and isolate their violent leaders.

    However, the answer is that this is generally not how people from that part of the world do things.

    This is one of the reasons why the use in the media of the expression “British jihadis” is really annoying me.

    There is nothing British about travelling to another country, engaging in its religious civil war, cutting the throats of captured journalists and taking selfies whist holding their severed heads.

    As I have said before, on your blog and on others, we keep asking these rhetorical questions and using these inappropriate expressions because our culture requires it. The culture of Russians, Ukrainians and immigrant jihadis however does not.

    In applying Western culture to the task of finding solutions to everyone else’s problems, we are tying ourselves in knots, wasting our time and money, getting our soldiers killed or maimed, and for what? More of the same next time round, except next time round, it’s all our fault.

    African, Asian and Middle Eastern cultures are trapped in their own version of the Middle Ages and we should leave them to resolve their own problems until hopefully, they emerge as liberal democracies,

    At present, they aren’t accustomed to liberal democracy, haven’t acquired it for themselves and don’t appear to value it, so it is wasted on them.

    As for the UK showing the world “how to deal with the potent issue of belonging and the question of the legitimacy of governments,” I don’t think so!

    We are currently in the throes of relinquishing our parliamentary sovereignty to a malign and self-interested foreign power, without putting up a fight!

    Which is a tragedy, considering this is the centenary of the start of one of our previous efforts to preserve ourselves from a similar fate!

  35. Posted August 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    There is no absolute standard of morality here. In 1972, the UK put an end to IRA no go areas in Operation Motorman. Then, for 10 years or so, we tried to put down Republicanism by military means – and it could have worked. Then, over the next 15 years, we came round to the idea of power sharing, which is not necessarily going to work long term.

    If the Ukrainian Government allows a referendum over Eastern Ukraine’s future, is the referendum to be held in the whole of Eastern Ukraine or just in the two Russian speaking cities? The results might be different.

    It is understandable that, having lost Crimea, Ukraine doesn’t want to lose any more territory. There will only be a role for British mediation if the Ukrainian Government decides that it cannot prevail militarily.

    Reply The military were meant to enforce the criminal law, not to attack republican positions. There were a series of bad events on both sides which greatly increased the bitterness.

    • zorro
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      That’s an interesting interpretation of what went on in Northern Ireland. The army never tried to put down Republicanism by military means or at least try and crush it.

      zorro

  36. oldtimer
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    It is appalling. The action appears excessive but in the absence of reliable on the ground reporting, it is difficult to know exactly what the Ukrainian military are up against. For example it is claimed that some of the resistance is provided by well armed and well trained men from Russia. Their brief is, no doubt, to cause trouble not to negotiate. If Putin is running the operation, then it suits him to continuing provoking the Ukraine in this way to see how the cookie crumbles. Sanctions do not appear to have had much effect; he just imposes his own sanctions in response. He probably calculates that time is on his side and that he can hurt the West as well as, if not more than, the West can hurt Russia. After all winter is coming and the West relies heavily on Russian gas. And the West`s attention has now be drawn to the Middle East and what to do about the Islamic State, including potentially reaching an accommodation with Assad to attack the IS within Syria.

    Regarding security of energy supplies, I read that Belgium has had to shut down a nuclear reactor because of suspected sabotage – I wonder who was responsible for that? And the inspectorate has shut down other nuclear power stations for inspection. Some are not expected to restart. That is leaving a hole in Belgium`s electricity supply capacity which it will have to find from elsewhere, yet to be determined and secured. Somehow I think that wind farms and solar panels will not be up to the job.

  37. agricola
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    There is something very odd about the working of this diary site.

    I make a submission, it is tagged as awaiting moderation. I close the site and come back to it hours later. The submission having disappeared now pops up, still awaiting moderation despite it’s time slot being much earlier than responses published. What goes on. When I then close the site and re-open it to find it has disappeared yet again.

    Similarly if there is deemed to be something wrong with the name or e-mail address on posting it says so, but there is no way to go back to the submission and correct any errors. So much time wasted.

  38. BobE
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Keiv was the original capital of Russia. Never, ever will Russia let it go. Get used to that and back away from the entire situation. Allow Russia to resolve the situation as its their country.

    • stred
      Posted August 23, 2014 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      When the D Day memorials were held, the new Ukrainian President met Putin and some discussions were held. Shortly before, there was a documentary on the History Channel in which old American, Canadian and British soldiers told about their experiences. One of them mentioned that the first prisoners they took did not look like Germans, -they were Ukrainians. Other Ukrainians of course were fighting in the East, but on our side, if you count an alliance with Russia as so.

  39. Tad Davison
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    The BBC have just given air time to yet another ‘expert’ with dubious credentials – Edward Lucas – who has written about the ‘new’ cold war. He lays the blame for the present crisis firmly at the door of Russia. I never heard him once mention anything about the Clinton administration violating the agreements of 1991 after the fall of the former Soviet Union. Agreements that guaranteed Russia would not be encircled with NATO countries or offensive missile systems. But the political map in this instance doesn’t lie.

    These people are a joke! The BBC must deliberately search them out. The BBC depends upon an ill-informed public blindly swallowing this rubbish. I had no time for the Soviet Union at all, but I do feel that a policy of détente which Kennedy tried to bring about could have worked. The US wouldn’t have needed to spend massively on so-called ‘defence’ and run up so many budget deficits in the years after his assassination. Money that could have been put to far better use. The USSR would have imploded in on itself sooner or later anyway because of its flawed ideology, and then Russia could have been brought into the fold as a partner, not as a constructed and antagonised adversary.

    The present situation is indeed potentially very serious, but it needn’t be. We just need to modify the foreign policies of the US and the EU and remove the idea that constant expansion is a good thing. I am absolutely appalled that Labour’s EU mouthpiece, Kathy Ashton, is allowed to get away with the things she says and does, and anyone who is seriously contemplating voting Labour at the next General Election needs to search their consciences, because she’s one of the worst protagonists. I bet she’s nowhere near the front line if and when it all kicks off. It’ll be down to people of a certain age group like my own kids to do her dirty work. I can tell her and her kind that I won’t be silenced if any of mine come home in a body bag!

    I am absolutely convinced there is more to this goading and expansionism than meets the eye, and when the BBC wheels these so-called ‘experts’ out to spout propaganda without someone else giving the opposite view, it’s fairly easy to arrive at that conclusion. They are literally playing with fire, and fire can often engulf the person who deliberately starts it. Best not to go there in the first place and seek a better solution, but alas, diplomacy won’t make the ones who Eisenhower described as ‘The Military Industrial Complex’ any money, and therein lies the root of it all.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • zorro
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, and remember George Orwell worked for the BBC, knew the value of power/propaganda, and foresaw the future. Do you not wonder why John would not get a sniff at ministerial office now? He won’t go along with their agenda….

      zorro

  40. ian
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Nato and military again with threats, seem to control the stock market with them. That”s what central bankers with military media friend do get you to spend lots of money on the people behalf which you will never be able to pay back like the 1st world and the second wars with western terrorists on the side. You lost the empire last time because of the fed. Look like lots borrowing and spending to come and lots of interest to the bankers and half country people on food stamps, dave & george hoping to ride it out and lose the election, can they hold the bankers at bay. If they let the stock market go it war. Always a bull market somewhere

  41. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Am I allowed to know why you decided not to publish my comment?

  42. zorro
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Another good challenging article John, which shows the wolf behind the sheep’s clothing. I wonder what machinations would go on to prevent the UK leaving the EU…?

    The Ukrainian situation is a tragedy for the poor civilians in East Ukraine suffering shelling and bombing from their own national army. What a powerful President who needs his army to invade his own country!

    The people of East Ukraine had spoken democratically about how they wanted to proceed, but instead of negotiating, the forces in Kiev decided to force the issue militarily. How can that country now be healed? Another example of poor Western foreign policy not operating for national interests but those of others….

    zorro

  43. James Reade
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Comparing the UK-Scotland situation to the Ukraine situation is the most appalling thing here.

    Is Russia or some other global power arming and supporting the “Scottish seperatists”? Has part of Scotland already been taken over by that other global power, having been invaded?

    If this was happening in Scotland, and there were armed uprisings against British institutions in Scotland, would you be suggesting that the UK government pursue only diplomatic measures to resolve the differences of opinion?

    I have to say, this is one of the most bizarre and ridiculous lines of argument I’ve seen on here.

    • zorro
      Posted August 22, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      What on earth are you talking about? The Eastern Ukrainians had their vote before the fighting started. They had stated their views. There was a stand off and then the fighting started.

      If Scotland votes for independence, and then we change our mind and won’t let them go (perhaps after a junta taking over in the rUK) and decide to stamp our authority in Glasgow, what do you think will happen?

      Russia has not invaded the Ukraine and you know it. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black in the bizarre and ridiculous argument sphere.

      zorro

      • James Reade
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Russia has not invaded the Ukraine? Are you sure now? I guess you’re not referring to Crimea since that’s now Russian? And ignoring what’s happened these last few days? Or maybe it’s all just one big conspiracy theory?

        I’m utterly delighted that you believe that the Eastern Ukrainians had a free and utterly representative vote on independence before the fighting started. Which parallel universe did this happen in, again?

  44. Jesper DK
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for writing the common sense message of peace. We need more politicians to do the same.

    Jesper, Denmark

  45. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    I think this conflict confuses the majority of commentators who follow the doctrine of political correctness – the BBC prefer not to talk about it.
    They have no interest in telling the news – only in putting their own left wing slant on whatever story they see fit to follow.

    It’s not clear who should wear the ‘victim’ and ‘oppressor’ status so they are unsure which side to support. In addition it looks like the actions of the EU, the home of political correctness caused the conflict so they are treading carefully.

  46. Max Dunbar
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    People in Scotland, and Glasgow in particular, are hardly strangers to one party rule. It’s just that we have swapped one lot of socialists for another even more extreme and intolerant bunch who brook no dissent. An ‘Allende’ moment over Glasgow? Interesting idea but I would hate to see the City Chambers damaged for the sake of taking out a few councillors.

    As to what the West stands for, that is a question that is becoming less and less easy to answer with the passage of time. Your Party appears to be indecisive and slow on the uptake. In fact I don’t think they have clue how to proceed with foreign policy at the moment.

  47. Denton Wasserman
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Richard, not sure where you got your facts, but the reality is RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE. they invaded the Crime and now they are trying to invade the East. what seperatists ? the heirarchy are all Russian citizens !! Putin invaded Ukraine and Ukraine has BEEN FAR TOO calm and collected. Can you imgaine if several thousand french soldiers came to the UK and occupired 2 southern parts ? would the UK sit there and negotiate. THESE ARE RUSSIAN TERRORISTS – MERCENARIES in the donbas region. they need to be annihilated. I commend Ukraine for it’s patience in dealing with a foreign invader , but enough is enough. Western media needs to report the facts – UKRAINE WAS INVADED BY RUSSIA. SIMPLE AS THAT.

  48. Doug Rice
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I don’t believe that the Scottish population, in weighing independence, or the chances of pursuing it peacefully within the constitution, witnessed hostile armed gangs in the streets of London, their MPs beaten in Westminster, heard themselves referred to as ‘sub-human’ by members of the cabinet or even the PM himself on the BBC, or saw laws enacted to ban Scots Gaelic from schools and airwaves.
    The Kiev govt is a wholly different animal from any hitherto accepted into the EU, it is a (bad ed) enterprise which breaks its promises as quickly as it gives them and is quite content to bludgeon the entire people of Ukraine into quiescence as long as it is financed by the West. In such circumstances it is a little much to fault the people of Donbas for resorting to self defense.

  49. Yesenia
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    The use of force is unacceptable. However, when innocent civilians are cruelly killed – women, men children, who have parts of their body torn off, what can one do?
    Rebels are being demonized while the crimes committed by the Ukrainian government are not even known to the western reader.
    Before rebels took up their arms, they asked the government of Ukraine to recognize Russian as one of the official languages. They also asked for federalization of Donbass. Is this undemocratic? The answer to both requests was NO. The government would not even agree to negotiate with people. Then the separatists, as they are called by the Ukrainian and western media, carried out a referendum, at which 80% people voted for independence of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics.
    Then Kiev sent armed troops to the region and started “mopping up” the area, shelling and bombing residential areas, schools, hospitals, maternity hospitals. Even churches were not spared. Every day scores of civilians die.
    The western media are silent about it. They are too busy demonizing Russia and rebels, as well as imposing sanctions. On Russia.
    In the meantime, Russia accepts thousands of refugess from south eastern Ukraine and sends a humanitarian convoy. How many western countries supported this act of humanness? None!
    In the meantime, innocent civilians continue to die – women, men, children, old people…, their bodies being torn to pieces. Survivors find in their yards human flesh strewn around everywhere – somebody’s legs, heads, and other parts of the body.
    People in the West! Wake up! Your media are lying to you.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
    Published and promoted by Thomas Puddy for John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU
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