Daily archives: September 30, 2015

Grand Designs

I just watched an episode of Grand Designs, about a man with MS converting a cave home, which was the most uplifting piece of television I have seen for a long time – and thus naturally not on the BBC. I was particularly pleased as recent episodes had concentrated on rather unpleasant stinking rich people building luxury palaces, to the extent I was thinking of giving up on the series.

The connection is a stretch, but on the subject of homes, I am not surprised by the media witch-hunt against Michelle Thomson, an extremely effective new MP. The Police have confirmed that Michelle herself is not under investigation. As always, those who challenge the British establishment will come under every angle of attack that can be contrived. Michelle should resist the pressure being placed upon her by hypocritical unionist politicians and media, and everyone should calm down while the police inquiry into the other people involved is concluded.

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Syria and the Law

The legal position is perfectly clear. Syria has a recognised government, that of President Assad, represented at the United Nations. That government is legally entitled to call on Russian military assistance. Russian military action against ISIL is therefore legal.

By contrast, US and French military action has neither the sanction of the Syrian government nor the sanction of the United Nations Security Council. It is therefore plainly illegal.

Neo-con propagandists have attempted in the last fifteen years to promote a new doctrine known as the “responsibility to protect”. This is identical to intellectual justifications of Imperialism from sixteenth century Spain through to Victorian England and Imperial Russia. It holds that misgovernment of less developed nations justifies military action against them by more developed countries out of humanitarian concern. It runs directly to the established international law of non-interference and the need for Security Council sanction of military action. The “responsibility to protect” is not enshrined in any generally accepted international treaty – certainly nothing that overrides the provisions of the UN charter – and is not accepted by the large majority of the countries in the world. It is not customary international law and remains a propaganda phrase, not a legal concept.

Finally, I should add that on precisely the same arguments, Russia’s intervention in Ukraine is, beyond any doubt, illegal.

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