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Not all bad, but bad

November 24, 2016 23:22

Most of us will be glad to see the back of 2015, a year that was book-ended by terrorist murders in Paris and saw the rise of knife terror in Israel. But the passing of 2015 offers little respite; the brutal truth is that 2016 is likely to be just as bad, if not worse. Daesh and its acolytes are organised, funded and determined to strike in the UK. As if that short-term threat is not bad enough, the long-term prospects are even worse.

The Iran nuclear deal pushed through by President Obama, with the active backing of our own government, is a calamitous mistake, effectively handing the world's leading funder of terrorism the opportunity to construct its own nuclear weapon. But that is of a piece with the Obama administration's foreign policy, which is clueless and dangerous. Clueless in Syria, useless in Crimea, weak in Afghanistan, appeasing in Iran; a frighteningly dangerous cocktail of incompetence - and that is without even mentioning President Obama's deliberate chilling of the US's relationship with Israel. At the very least, 2016 will herald the long overdue departure of John Kerry, the worst Secretary of State in living memory.

Whatever failings Hillary Clinton may have, at least the certain Democrat nominee in 2016 has a serious grasp of foreign policy and a team that might be able to restore some basic US competence. Unfortunately, that cannot be said of many of the leading Republican contenders for the presidency.

More parochially, however unexpected the return of the first majority Conservative government since 1992 may have been, that shock was as nothing compared with the rise of Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour leadership. Even now, over 100 days into his leadership, it still seems almost unbelievable that a man who spent three decades on the fringes of politics, alongside some of the most unpleasant and disreputable figures on those fringes, is now the leader of the Labour Party. For our community, it is - to put it mildly - worrying. And, with that, may we wish all our readers a happy new year!

November 24, 2016 23:22

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