Miliband did well today. The Telegraph reports his saying that "the sight of Russian tanks in a neighbouring country on the 40th anniversary of the crushing of the Prague Spring has shown that the temptations of power politics remain." But check out the Telegraph readers’ posted comments (scroll down) if you want to get yourself massively dispirited: thin streaks of would-be testicular contempt for Miliband and ‘Bliar’-‘Nu’ Labour/pseudo-sophisticated hatred for the faltering US imperium/veiled admiration for far-flung Russian ‘toughness’.
Cameron has applauded Miliband for going to the Ukraine but tried to up the ante in talking to BBC News: "I think the only language a bully understands is when somebody stands up and says, 'Look, what you've done is wrong...' Prime ministerial, do you think? Sky News further report him as saying “Having Russia as member of the G8 at a time when her troops are still on the sovereign soil of another country I think is inappropriate.”
The 10 O’Clock BBC News decided to follow David Davis and 'shadow immigration minister' Damian Green in giving Neighbourhood Wardens a hard time, soberly repeating the Tory allegations of ‘cheap policing’, with a slight implication of the advancing horrors of the so-called surveillance state. The focus seemed entirely upon the punitive potential of wardens, not on their value to those local people who might know them as individuals, trust them and welcome them. Personally I have observed these Wardens to be of plenty good use to the deprived wards of Scotswood and Benwell in West Newcastle. (One Stewart Carse from Co Durham was the Warden the BBC hit upon to make his case in less than ten seconds.) Online I see the BBC reporting Damian Green to the effect that ‘the government should be freeing up regular police to tackle serious crime.’ Okay then, if you’re running on a law and order auction, you Tories, I look forward to your bids.
Having cast doubt on the government’s concern for our ailing urban 'communities', the 10 O’Clock News then offered some plaintive noises about people who invested in buy-to-rent barely-built second properties in Spain – now suffering from the catastrophe in the building trade which has followed the credit crunch as night follows day. For sure, I hope these punters get out of the hole they dug for themselves, just for their own sakes, but honestly, how many of us – in turning on the nightly national/world news at a time of geopolitical turmoil, only to hear about such essentially private misfortune – could give an effing toss?