19 March 2014

Crimea matters, for all sorts of reasons

I don't know what has appalled me more - Putin's cynical opportunistic land-grab of Crimea, the almost complete abrogation of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Guarantees for Ukraine by the UK and US, or the extent of leftwing and rightwing moral relativism about the whole thing.

I started by writing an article about how Crimea is what happens when isolationists are in charge.  However, the reaction of much of the public is not just the isolationism that has been bred by the left (the "the West is evil as as bad as anyone else" brigade) and the right ("we're safe, they aren't coming for us, just our friends, who we can ignore"), but the moral relativism attached to what is going on.

In this age of competing media, it is easy to turn on Kremlin propaganda in English from Russia Today, and for critics of the status quo on left and right to cynically dismiss reports from the plurality of Western media sources as propaganda, but it's naive and delusional.  What is going on in Ukraine is old-fashioned power politics, because Vladimir Putin has sniffed weakness from the West and knows it will do little - as long as Barack Obama is in power, David Cameron remains beholden to the appeasement loving Liberal Democrats and the Germans remain paralysed by their own history.

So let's first knock out some of the lazy assertions, promoted by Putin's regime:

04 March 2014

So after all that

Dad was diagnosed as having terminal laryngeal cancer in April 2013 and was told he wouldn't see Christmas.
Well he did, and it was the biggest family Christmas we have had for a very long time.

I am not going to publish my eulogy to him on here.  He used to read this blog regularly and said I was bound to upset some people, but he enjoyed it.

So what I am going to say is to reflect on the dignified way he put up with the deterioration of his life and the inability of medical professionals he saw to treat his cancer.