The Spectator's Notes

Our spies have stopped chasing subversives. That's why we're in so much trouble

Plus: The reshuffle muddle gets deeper, the BBC's Israel problem, and Parliament's crisis of legitimacy

26 July 2014

9:00 AM

26 July 2014

9:00 AM

Peter Clarke’s powerful report on the Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham schools is confirmation of the weakness of David Cameron in demoting Michael Gove. When Mr Gove appointed Mr Clarke to conduct the inquiry, there was execration — even from the local police chief — about how wickedly provocative it was to put a policeman with counter-terrorism experience into the role. But Mr Clarke was just the man and his inquiry has swiftly and efficiently uncovered serious problems of Islamist bullying and infiltration. Too late to reap a political reward, Mr Gove is vindicated. The next time this problem arises — and there undoubtedly will be a next time in another British city — what minister will have the courage to do what he did?

The Clarke report also highlights the error of the ‘securocrats’ in discarding the concept of subversion. MI5 proudly boasts on its website that, since the end of the Cold War, it has not investigated subversion. By concentrating only on actual terrorism, it has failed to understand how Islamist extremism works, particularly its power in intimidating fellow Muslims and preaching a pseudo-religious political narrative in which the West is always in the wrong. The Trojan Horse affair is exactly about subversion. As with the original beast, our own guards failed to spot what was within the gates. When Margaret Thatcher was education secretary in the early 1970s, the Chief Rabbi, Immanuel Jakobovits, told her that her job made her ‘the real minister of defence in this country’. Islamists understand that concept, and work ceaselessly to weaken that defence. Mr Cameron has moved the only minister who really understood this. As Prime Minister, he directs the security agencies. If he is proud of the Gove legacy, as he says he is, he should charge them to investigate subversion once more.

Just as we are lazy about extremist ideology, we are overzealous on the more practical side. A friend writes to say that he posted a tin of electrical spray to a friend in Northern Ireland. It never arrived, and when the Post Office was contacted, it admitted destroying it. He also sent a Zippo lighter (still in its packaging) as a birthday present. The parcel arrived minus the lighter, with a note saying it had been destroyed because it contravened the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act. Apparently the Post Office now even proscribes the sending of ordinary scent. Delivery firms happily take on such tasks, so it is destroying its own business as well as its customers’ property.


In my column in the Daily Telegraph last week, I teased the government’s website for not reporting its own reshuffle accurately. Actually, the confusion was deeper than I had understood. Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet Office Minister, was made Lord Privy Seal. Lady Stowell was made Leader of the House of Lords, but — disgracefully — without a seat in Cabinet. Her salary gap was to be made up — also disgracefully — from Conservative party funds. In addition, she was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Only afterwards did someone discover that the Chancellorship of the Duchy is a royal appointment and therefore cannot be held by someone paid by a political party. So poor Mr Letwin had the Privy Seal taken from him before it had even reached his hands. Lady Stowell is Lord Privy Seal: Mr Letwin is Chancellor of the Duchy. Now Lady Stowell has decided not to take the party money after all. Should she and Mr Letwin swap jobs again? These errors are small versions of the New Labour confusions when Tony Blair tried to abolish the Lord Chancellorship over a weekend. There do not seem to be officials around any more with the courage or knowledge to point out the difficulties in advance. It is a style of government which manages to be sloppy and arrogant at the same time.

One of the Downing Street claims put out in defence of the Lords having no representative in the Cabinet for the first time in British history was that Lord Carrington, when leader, had not been in the Cabinet. This is not true, as could have been established by one call to the person concerned, who, though 95, is alive and well. ‘Of course I was in the Cabinet,’ he says.

If, as polls suggest with slightly greater force after the exciting reshuffle, Labour win the next general election, how few votes can they do it with? It has been a strange feature of 21st-century British general elections that a party can win them with historically tiny numbers of votes. After getting a decent 13.5 million votes to win in 1997, Tony Blair won almost as big in 2001, with 10.7 million. He won again, in 2005, with a mere 9.5 million. No one had won an overall majority with so few votes since the Conservatives in 1924, when the electorate was more than 50 per cent smaller. In 2010, nobody won, but David Cameron’s Conservatives got 10.7 million to win 307 seats, whereas Blair’s 9.5 million had won his party 413 seats in 2005. If one party can rule supported by less than 25 per cent of the electorate, how long will legitimacy survive?

In what must have been a spoof, protestors recently marched on Broadcasting House to attack the BBC’s bias in favour of Israel. On the Today programme on Tuesday, the corporation exhibited this evil tendency by putting on two Jews, one of whom condemned Israel unreservedly for its Gaza incursions, and the other of whom thought we should be sad about the deaths on both sides. It would have been unthinkable for the BBC to have run a similar item in which two Arabs discussed exactly how wicked Hamas was. But my real complaint is not so much about the allocation of moral blame as about the lack of explanation. Large parts of the Arab world — Egypt, the Arab League and so on — are fiercely critical of what Hamas is doing. This is hardly mentioned on the BBC, which can cope only with a simple story of Palestinians versus Israelis.

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Show comments
  • Sean Grainger

    Tags will be longer than article soon.

  • BillRees

    The BBC is incapable of presenting a balanced report on Gaza.

    I’m afraid that Israel is, for the BBC, forever in the wrong.

    Until the Israelis meekly surrender to their enemies and allow themselves to be put to the sword, the BBC will never show them any sympathy.

    The sooner our national broadcaster has the licence fee taken away from it, the better.

    • clarasanta

      I sure wish I actually knew what kind of bottle rockets they are sending to Israel, I know that Israel has a missile industry going full force just like their Uncle Sam does. Oh yeah is the Hamas still using those effing surplus F-4s that they used when I was in Vietnam? By the way I am glad the Vietnamese won that war how about you BillRees?

      • BoiledCabbage

        Sure, the Hamas use F-4, from its aircraft carriers……

    • Damaris Tighe

      During the last Gaza spat they rolled out a token Israeli who, out of all the confident, articulate, English-speakers they could have found, was woolly, inept & had problems with English.

    • Andrea Monica

      My name is Andrea Monica.i am here to testify on how Dr.Zaba helped me. I saw a post on a particular site sharing testimony on how these great spell caster brought back her ex. Initially, i thought the post is unreal but I later had a second thought and another person still share his testimony on how he brought back his wife.so i contacted the spell caster as instructed by the post. I have no option than to try my best because my husband left me with my three kids for another woman after a minor misunderstanding. Me and my husband got married over six years and we lived so happily. At a certain time my husband started behaving strange.Before I knew what was going on, he left me and go for another woman who works in the same office with him. When I saw the post, I contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me not to worry that my husband will come back to me in two days time once he finish casting the reunite spell. To my greatest surprise, my husband came back to me begging for a second chance.and we are living happily together as one family again. I want to use this medium to let everyone here know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please kindly contact Dr.Zaba, the great spell caster via his email {Makiaderspelltemple@hotmail.com}because he can done the unexpected.Wish you all the Best too! his website http://makiaderspelltemple.webs.com

  • Blindsideflanker

    No they have stopped ( or never started) chasing certain types of subversives, don’t want to be called Islamophobes now do we?

  • Damaris Tighe

    ‘MI5 … has not investigated subversion’: tell that to Tommy Robinson.

    • UKSteve

      Tell that to anyone who has stood for parliament for UKIP, like my mate.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Interesting. Can you say more?

        • UKSteve

          Phone tapped from when he became a branch chairman – and badly so. Lots of problems with his phone line, heard almost equally by people on the phone. echoes, clicks whistles, calls cutting off….

          It really ramped up after he was chosen by his branch to stand in 2010.

          And LOTS of interference on his laptop at home, over the internet.

  • Faceless Bureaucrat

    I used to believe that there was no possible way that Michael Gove would become Leader of the Conservative Party. However, if as it seems, the choice to replace Cameron is now either the ridiculously over-hyped Theresa May or Michael Gove, my money is now on Gove…

    • Archibald Heatherington

      Many of us want Boris! Apparently (see Yougov) he would repel 2 million voters to the Lib Dems and pull back another 2 million from UKIP. That could win us the election!

      • Aldabaran

        Get Cameron out!

        • UKSteve

          Get real!

          VOTE him out!

  • Thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family?

    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in TEXAS,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website http://bravespellcaster.yolasite.com,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com} , Thanks.

    Are you passing through any of these problems,

    DO YOU NEED YOUR EX BACK VERY FAST

    DON YOU WANT YOUR LOVER TO LOVE YOU AS NEVER LIKE BEFORE

    ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM A LONG TIME SICKNESS

    ARE YOU FACING FINANCIAL PROBLEMS

    ARE YOU SEEKING FOR A GOOD JOB

    DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A HOUSE OWNER

    ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A FIRST CLASS GRADE

    DO YOU WANT TO COME OUT FIRST IN YOUR EXAMS

    ARE YOU A STAR AND YOU WANT TO BE SO POPULAR TO THE WHOLE WORLD

    DO YOU WANT TO BE RICH

    DO YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO KEEP MOVING

    DO YOU HAVE A COMPANY OF ANY KIND AND YOU WANT IT TO EXPAND

    DO YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE TO KEEP TO YOUR WORLD

    ARE YOU FACING ANY MARITAL PROBLEMS

    ARE YOU FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO GET PREGNANT FOR YOUR HUSBAND

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCING MISCARRIAGES ANY TIME YOU TAKE IN

    DO YOU WANT TO COMPETE IN ANY LOTTERY GAME

    ARE YOU FACING HARDSHIP

    HAVE YOU BEEN THREATENED BY SOMEONE

    DO YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN ANY THING YOU LAY YOUR HANDS ON

    IS YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER BEHAVING STRANGELY

    ARE YOU FACING WITCH CRAFT MANIPULATIONS

    DO YOU WANT TO CAST A STRONG LOVE SPELL ON YOUR GIRL OR BOY FRIEND

    DO YOU NEED MAGIC POWERS TO DO ANY THING YOU WANT

    ARE YOU FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO CHOOSE A LIFE PARTNER

    DO YOU WANT YOUR PARENTS TO BE PROUD OF YOU

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCING FAILURE AND DISAPPOINTMENT IN ANY THING YOU DO.(ETC)

    If you are facing any of these problems all you just need do is to contact him immediately email ( bravespellcaster@gmail.com )…..

  • Thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family?

    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in TEXAS,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website http://bravespellcaster.yolasite.com,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com} , Thanks.

    Are you passing through any of these problems,

    DO YOU NEED YOUR EX BACK VERY FAST

    DON YOU WANT YOUR LOVER TO LOVE YOU AS NEVER LIKE BEFORE

    ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM A LONG TIME SICKNESS

    ARE YOU FACING FINANCIAL PROBLEMS

    ARE YOU SEEKING FOR A GOOD JOB

    DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A HOUSE OWNER

    ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A FIRST CLASS GRADE

    DO YOU WANT TO COME OUT FIRST IN YOUR EXAMS

    ARE YOU A STAR AND YOU WANT TO BE SO POPULAR TO THE WHOLE WORLD

    DO YOU WANT TO BE RICH

    DO YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO KEEP MOVING

    DO YOU HAVE A COMPANY OF ANY KIND AND YOU WANT IT TO EXPAND

    DO YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE TO KEEP TO YOUR WORLD

    ARE YOU FACING ANY MARITAL PROBLEMS

    ARE YOU FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO GET PREGNANT FOR YOUR HUSBAND

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCING MISCARRIAGES ANY TIME YOU TAKE IN

    DO YOU WANT TO COMPETE IN ANY LOTTERY GAME

    ARE YOU FACING HARDSHIP

    HAVE YOU BEEN THREATENED BY SOMEONE

    DO YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN ANY THING YOU LAY YOUR HANDS ON

    IS YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER BEHAVING STRANGELY

    ARE YOU FACING WITCH CRAFT MANIPULATIONS

    DO YOU WANT TO CAST A STRONG LOVE SPELL ON YOUR GIRL OR BOY FRIEND

    DO YOU NEED MAGIC POWERS TO DO ANY THING YOU WANT

    ARE YOU FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO CHOOSE A LIFE PARTNER

    DO YOU WANT YOUR PARENTS TO BE PROUD OF YOU

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCING FAILURE AND DISAPPOINTMENT IN ANY THING YOU DO.(ETC)

    If you are facing any of these problems all you just need do is to contact him immediately email ( bravespellcaster@gmail.com )………

  • Cherry Blossoms Doonan

    !!! How Dr.Ukaka Save My Broken Heart Of Marriage Today !!!

    My Name is Robert Rivas .I will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me..The girl i want to get marry to left me 4 weeks to our weeding for another man..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on her Facebook and she changed her Facebook status from married to Single…when i went to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me..i lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life…I tried all i could do to have her back to all did not work out until i met a Man when i Travel to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job…he told me he gonna help me…i don’t believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to US the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he’s busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday…My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done ..she said,she never knew what she’s doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that again.it was like am dreaming when i heard that from her and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my wife called and he said i haven’t seen anything yet… he said i will also get my job back in 2 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume working on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with kids and i have my job back too,This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help.you can mail him on this e-mail; freedomlovespell@hotmail.com i cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and you can also contact him on his web site: freedomlovespelltemple.yolasite.com

  • Smithersjones2013

    If one party can rule supported by less than 25 per cent of the electorate, how long will legitimacy survive?

    Oh its gets worse than that. The combined vote of Labour and Tory in 2010 was 37% of those eligible to vote. By almost 2 to 1 we now oppose the so called ‘ruling party’s’.

    The collective vote share of the three establishment parties in 2010 was 58%. If as is possible that vote share falls below 50% the post war consensus will be smashed. Given the anomalies in our voting system and the unrepresentative nature of parliament in such circumstances (being stiffed with representatives who represent less than half the electorate what future Parliament?

    As for the Lords farce it seems that Blair parody Cameron even has to mimic his inspirations cock-ups.Remember the kerfuffle about a commoner taking over the role of Lord Chancellor?

    Perhaps it is Cameron who should be made subject of the Dangerous Goods Act?

    • Damaris Tighe

      ‘being stiffed with representatives’: love it; is that what’s called a Freudian slip?

    • John Grundy

      … can one party rule supported by 25% of the electorate comply with UNs Universal Declaration of Human Rights “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government” (see leading article in this Spectator edition).

  • liam

    Cut and paste from the Mi5 website:

    “Since the late 1980s, especially following the end of the Cold War and the collapse of Soviet communism, the threat from subversion has declined. It is now considered to be negligible. We do not currently investigate subversion.”

    [https://www.mi5.gov.uk/home/the-threats/other-issues-former-threats/subversion.html]

    THE THREAT FROM SUBVERSION IS NOW CONSIDERED NEGLIGIBLE! What planet are they on? No wonder the government seem so half-soaked about issues of internal security that many of us see happening right under our noses.

  • Cherry Blossoms Doonan

    !!! How Dr.Ukaka Save My Broken Heart Of Marriage Today !!!

    My Name is Robert Rivas .I will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me..The girl i want to get marry to left me 4 weeks to our weeding for another man..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on her Facebook and she changed her Facebook status from married to Single…when i went to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me..i lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life…I tried all i could do to have her back to all did not work out until i met a Man when i Travel to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job…he told me he gonna help me…i don’t believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to US the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he’s busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday…My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done ..she said,she never knew what she’s doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that again.it was like am dreaming when i heard that from her and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my wife called and he said i haven’t seen anything yet… he said i will also get my job back in 2 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume working on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with kids and i have my job back too,This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help.you can mail him on this e-mail; freedomlovespell@hotmail.com i cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and you can also contact him on his web site: freedomlovespelltemple.yolasite.com

  • Agrippina

    Most folks know that Hamas is supported by Turkey (apparently we want them in the EU) and Qatar. Saudi, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt etc do not support the Hams they see them as trouble makers and therefore have not lifted a finger to assist them.

    We have sold plenty of arms to Saudi over the yrs, either it is junk or we haven’t showed them how to use it, either way, if they wanted to they could help the Hams they choose not to do so.

    You will note that Saudi, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, UAE etc do not accept syrian refugees, same issue, they do not want trouble makers in their midst. Our idiotic govt accepts them.

  • monty61

    I moved post office branch from the one in the village to the one in the next village because I was being asked by jobsworth staff what was in my packages. It seems that the Post Office centrally seem to think it can demand that, with no shame or embarrassment at all – privacy gone at a stroke.

    Luckily the bloke in the next village has more sense and accepts the answer ‘nothing dangerous, I’ve read the leaflet’ (which is exactly what you express when you tick the check box when using an internet courier).

    If the bloke in the next village eventually gets replaced by a jobworth then I’ll immediately move all my business online – very simple to do and generally cheaper. The Post Office deserves to go down the pan for this, quite frankly. I’m utterly disgusted with them.

  • dado_trunking

    Q: Who is Mikhail Govebachev?
    A: A centralist politburo nutter, very popular indeed with FATCHERITES.

  • mikewaller

    From my experience, Moore and most of the rest of the Establishment are at serious odds with most British people on the Palestinian question. For example, a number of years ago I asked a very mixed bag of folk at a creative writing group with whom their sympathies lay. 13 out of 14 said the Palestinians. Any suggestion that this all a result of the line taken by the BBC can be discounted at once. As they have recently had to admit, decades of their telling us that immigration has been the best thing since slice bread has done not more than make people very cross with the BBC. It may be that we, unlike the Americans, have been around long enough to consider ourselves an indigenous people, naturally side with nations we consider disposed. It may be that the sheer power of the pro-Israeli lobby puts us off. [According to the BBC the one member of the US House of Representatives who spoke sympathetically of the Palestinian cause was ousted at the next election by a very heavily funded rival]. It may just be that we really do not like being told what to think so relentlessly, with even those of Jewish ethnicity who seem to be more open-minded, usually twisting round at the last minute to support the cause e.g Hugo Rifkind in the Spectator a couple of week ago. It may be that Israel continually tries our patience by taking ever more land and continually telling us that their circumstance exactly match theirs in respect of Arab terrorism.

    However, at the root of it all, when we look at what has happened to the Palestinians over the past seven decades and their violent reactions to it, we are put in mind of the old French verse: This animal is very dangerous; it attacked, it defends itself. All this said, I cannot help but think that if Israelis adopted an approach with which we were more comfortable – and we have no desire whatsoever to see them driven into the sea – it would be a lot better for all concerned. As a minor bonus it would also resolve the deep disjuncture between the UK’s political class and the great majority of its people on this issue.

    • Tom M

      I don’t now about your 13 out of 14 people it might be they listen to the BBC rather than understand the history of the region.
      How can anyone not notice that borders were proposed by the UN in 1947 to solve this crisis. The Israelis agreed the arabs didn’t. The arabs immediately started a genocidal war to eradicate the state of Israel. THey don’t accept borders that include Israel. The arabs tried again in 1967. And again in 1973.
      In light of that what in your opinion could be a rough guess at what the Israelis think about the sincerity of its neighbours?
      Do you watch the television and take note of what is happening in Libya,Iraq and Syria at this moment? Do you honestly believe that Hamas is any different to those lunatics?
      Does it never give you pause for thought that Hamas leadership has no interest in the well being of their population when they know full well that if they try hard enough Israel will lose patience and retaliate to the mortal danger of the population of Gaza? It might be of course that the population of Gaza are happy with their elected representatives actions as this is exactly what Hamas promised they would do when standing for election. Perhaps you might like to comment upon that.
      Does the stated aim of Hamas to eradicate Israel and all jews not send a chill down your spine? Just what do these people have to do or say they will do before you will consider withdrawing your support from them?

      • mikewaller

        You are absolutely right in thinking that most people in this country have very little time for the various Arab nations as they seem to be entirely incapable of producing a half way decent government and stable society. However that hardly helps your case because we think that the decision to impose by force a non-Islamic nation state in the midst of that lot was an act of ideological lunacy. Common sense suggests to us that they are going to keep attacking until eventually some massive change in the geo-political landscape offers them their chance. The old Irish saying “England’s peril, Ireland’s hope” springs to mind. As I have said elsewhere, the Jews waited 2000 years for their return, the Irish 800 years to kick out the British, the Kurds 80 years or so to expel the crusaders. Why will the Arabs be any different? They have the numbers.

        Our problem is that because Israelis are a lot more like us than are the Arabs and because of the enormous blood-debt Europe owes the Jewish people, we are almost certain to get drawn in. On top of that there is the small matter of the Israeli atomic bomb and the virtual certainty that one or other nearby Islamic state will eventually get one too. That is why you would do a whole lot better with us if you were frank about the strengths and weakness of your case and did not take us for a bunch of naive idiots. A good start would be forcing all your extremists settlers back into pre-1967 Israel as they weaken your case immeasurably.

        • Tom M

          “….we think that the decision to impose by force a non-Islamic nation state
          in the midst of that lot was an act of ideological lunacy…..”
          We? The decision was taken by the UN and included all the interested countries in the world (Britain abstained). That is to me is the best decision you are going to get for a territorial dispute on this planet. That is the point from which I start. If this is disputed then there can be no other solution except a military one. That is what the Palestinians have chosen. Perhaps you would like to debate this point?
          “Impose a non-islamic state…..” suggests that the jews had no claim on the territory. We can argue all day about numbers and when they came and went but the fact remains the jews were never imposed on a non-islamic state. I would venture to say that the Islamic state was imposed on the jews (around 638 if memory serves).
          As far as pre 1967 borders are concerned I would point out that they existed before 1967 and the arabs started a war to alter them (and again in 1973). Why would anyone believe them now especially someone living in Israel?
          As to the strengths and weakness of my case, my points I will continue to make because I think that in the middle east there is not one arab country I would grace with the term civilised and they have always tried to use military force to eradicate the stae of Israel. That is wrong.
          Has Israel always played fair? Not at all. Remind me of a country that does so in times of war. The weaknesses of my case? That’s for others to point out and I’m very happy to debate the subject and be corrected if I’m wrong.

          • mikewaller

            I really don’t know what to say to you; you have to believe what you believe; but as an outsider the problem seems to be intractable. I have just checked Wikipedia with regards that original UN vote which was by simple majority of the General Assembly. Those voting “for” largely comprised European countries, white European Dominions, and countries in the Americas, presumably in thrall to the US. I have always presumed that the outcome was a combination of collective shame on the part of Caucasians over the holocaust and a strong desire on the part of the US in particular not to have a large influx of Jews into their own countries. All Islamic countries voted against and would no doubt have seen it as yet another act of Imperialism. As for who was there first, if the Holy Books are to be believed, the Canaanites.

            I write none of this with pleasure because I know I would be far happier in Israel than I would be in any neighbouring country. The trouble is I simple gleaned most of the above from a few minutes on the computer; those who oppose Israel’s existence drink it in with their mother’s milk. They say the first rule of politics is “When in a hole, stop digging”. It seems to me good advice. The nightly pictures of massive destruction, dead bodies, weeping women and children are so horrendous that they have even managed to make Putin’s murderous activities in the Ukraine the second item. [It very much puts me in mind of 1956 when the stupid conspiracy between Britain, France and Israel over Suez served to mute the World’s reaction to the barbarism of the Soviet invasion of Hungary.]
            Were I in charge, I would do two things First, restrict retaliation to tit for tat by, say, returning one for one incoming rockets. Might not work, but the the PR damage would no where near so great. Second, I would resurrect the issue of the enormous property losses inured by Jews throughout the middle East when they were driven out flowing the creation of Israel. With that thrown in the melting pot with the right of return there might just be scope for some form of international arbitration.

          • Tom M

            We’re getting closer.

          • mikewaller

            Seemingly so; but please don’t make the mistake with me of believing Jewish interpersonal skills – which I believe to be exceptional – will ever fully persuade me of the merits of your case. My standpoint is well caught in a Times’ headline now 50+ years old “Two Wronged Peoples”.

    • Damaris Tighe

      I don’t think the folk at a creative writing group, even if a ‘mixed bag’, are very representative of the British public! I should imagine Mail readers are more representative & the comments at the end of a recent Mail Online article on antisemitism which got thousands of up ticks, were very supportive of Israel’s position. There were several pages of them.

      • mikewaller

        I live literally in middle England, now some miles away from my erstwhile Creative Writing group. Yet still the message is much the same. Frankly I would put more weight on my informal soundings that the editorial policies of the appalling Daily Mail and the extraordinary organisational powers of the Jewish lobby. I think part of what is going on is an instinctual reaction to the current killing spree in Gaza along the lines: “If that is what they do to anybody who crosses them, what might they do to us if we did?” And just in case that seems a reaction solely targeted at Jewish people, such thinking could not be more wrong. Last night I heard that fool, Lord Winston, trying to argue in the House of Lords that there were no similar reactions to Arab barbarism in the Middle East. Oh yes there is! In that case along the lines: “How dare they lecture us on our way of life when given free rein, they do things that even violent Irish Nationalists would blush at. In short, appear on the world stage behaving as unconscionable brutes and that is exactly what civilised people will think of both you and your supporters.

        • Damaris Tighe

          I knew you were going to excoriate the Mail! But don’t you see, it doesn’t matter what you think of the Mail. It’s very popular with middle england & their commentators represent middle england. I’m sure you hate their opinions, but there it is.

          As for the ‘Jewish lobby’, what rot. I’m not even going to dignify it with a comment.

  • Aldabaran

    Great piece (of course) Mr Moore.

    Cameron’s sacking of Gove was (yet another) blunder.

    He seems to be in his terminal Gordon-Brown-Jacqui-Smith phase.

  • rtj1211

    Mr Moore

    It would appear that the Western MSM can only cope with ‘Kiev vs Putin’ in terms of what is going on in Ukraine right now.

    Would you agree that the self-declared autonomous regions of Ukraine, the EU and the USA also have significant roles??

    I find this lack of attention to truth somewhat troubling too. No doubt you don’t, as it conforms to your beliefs in US exceptionalism (which is as racist in its conception as you could ever hope to achieve).

  • Michael Ernest Corby

    Re government re-shuffle: there are people who now about various nuances and arcane regulations and rules. However, either they are not consulted, or if they are they are sidelined when they do not produce the “right” answers. After going round this circuit a few times they tend to stand aside and wait for the prat fall.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Michael Gove for PM please. Get rid of the napkin-folder for heavens’ sake.

  • Cayla Mella

    I want to use this opportunity to tell everyone about Dr Shiva of reunitingexspell2@gmail.com on how he help me reunited with my husband after 2 months of divorce.My husband divorce me because he saw another woman in his office and he said to me that he is no longer in love with me anymore and decide to divorce me.I seek help from the Net and i saw good talk about Dr Shiva and i contact him and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me which i use to get my husband back within 2 days.If you need his help Email him at reunitingexspell@yahoo.com

  • Andrea Monica

    My name is Andrea Monica.i am here to testify on how Dr.Zaba helped me. I saw a post on a particular site sharing testimony on how these great spell caster brought back her ex. Initially, i thought the post is unreal but I later had a second thought and another person still share his testimony on how he brought back his wife.so i contacted the spell caster as instructed by the post. I have no option than to try my best because my husband left me with my three kids for another woman after a minor misunderstanding. Me and my husband got married over six years and we lived so happily. At a certain time my husband started behaving strange.Before I knew what was going on, he left me and go for another woman who works in the same office with him. When I saw the post, I contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me not to worry that my husband will come back to me in two days time once he finish casting the reunite spell. To my greatest surprise, my husband came back to me begging for a second chance.and we are living happily together as one family again. I want to use this medium to let everyone here know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please kindly contact Dr.Zaba, the great spell caster via his email {Makiaderspelltemple@hotmail.com}because he can done the unexpected.Wish you all the Best too! his website http://makiaderspelltemple.webs.com……

  • Miller Moore

    OMG!! This is certainly a shocking and a genuine Testimony..I visited a forum here on the internet on the 20TH OF JUNE 2014, And i saw a marvelous testimony of this powerful and great spell caster called DR OSAUYI on the forum..I never believed it, because i never heard nor learnt anything about magic before.. Not a soul would have been able to influence me about magical spells, not until DR OSAUYI did it for me and restored my marriage of 8 years back to me and brought my spouse back to me in the same 24 hours just as i read on the internet..i was truly astonished and shocked when my husband knelt down begging for forgiveness and for me to accept him back.. I am really short of expressions, and i don’t know how much to convey my appreciation to you DR OSAUYI you are a God sent to me and my entire family.. And now i am a joyful woman once again.. here is his website: Email:(OSAUYILOVESPELL@YAHOO.COM) Mrs Miller Moore from England City….

  • Lorna Harron

    I want to use this golden opportunity to appreciate the great spell caster called Dr.ogboni, for helping me get back my relationship with my ex lover when he ended and turned his back on me for quite a long period of time. email: Dr ogboni,i performed a spell for me and within 48 hours after the spell had been casted i receive a call from my ex saying that he is sorry for hurting me and that he will not do such thing to me in his life again, I was surprised but later accepted him back. Anyone that is in the same line of problem or having difficulties in there marriages should contact Dr.ogboni on his email address: ogbonispelltemple@gmail.com

  • Lorna Harron

    My name is Lorna Harron, and I base in USA…My life is back!!! After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids . I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr momodo, which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet,I came across allot of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. i also come across one particular testimony,it was about a woman called Sonia,she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Dr momodo’s e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before Dr momodo, is really a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man… If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve all your problems for you. Try High momodospelltemple@gmail.com anytime, he might be the answer to your problems. Here’s his contact: momodospelltemple@gmail.com

  • terry oneil

    Author of this article is made to a look a complete fool this week Michael Gove was completely wrong on trojan horse hoax.

    on the imaginary trojan horse

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-31923024

    “A series of official investigations found the claims to be groundless.”

    as for charles moore praising peter clarkes flawed and biased report on the trojan horse. Firstly we now know it did not even exist, maybe Mr Moore can ask how we can recoup the £36,000 of tax payers money that was paid to peter clarke for one months work which resulted in the production of a piece of made up fiction which damaged the lives of innocent teachers and children! somehow i doubt we will get one ounce of honesty or admission of wrongdoing from these hypocrites.

  • philip

    Hello Every one that read my testimony

    i know that this are websites for

    prayer and i don’t want to abusive here

    or may be you think am here to make

    advert i just want to share this life

    experience with you all most of you

    might not believe in spell casting or

    think it evil which is never so that

    was what i also think at the first

    stage but when i get close to it i knew

    it never evil or bad even in the Bible

    there were spell caster who served God

    and also performs Miracle. just give it

    a little step of faith and things will

    change back for you. Am here to testify

    what this great spell caster done for

    me. i never believe in spell casting,

    until when i was was tempted to try it.

    i and my husband have been having a lot

    of problem living together, he will

    always not make me happy because he

    have fallen in love with another lady

    outside our relationship, i tried my

    best to make sure that my husband leave

    this woman but the more i talk to him

    the more he makes me fell sad, so my

    marriage is now leading to divorce

    because he no longer gives me

    attention. so with all this pain and

    agony, i decided to contact this spell

    caster to see if things can work out

    between me and my husband again. this

    spell caster who was a woman told me

    that my husband is really under a great

    spell that he have been charm by some

    magic, so she told me that she was

    going to make all things normal back.

    she did the spell on my husband and

    after 5 days my husband changed

    completely he even apologize with the

    way he treated me that he was not him

    self, i really thank this woman her

    name is Dr fara she have bring back my

    husband back to me i want you all to

    contact her who are having any problem

    related to marriage issue and

    relationship problem she will solve it

    for you. her email is

    drfaraspelltemple@gmail.com

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