The lessons of the fall of communism have still not been learnt

The air is filled with noisy outrage about the moral emergency of the day. We are, according to the leaders of every major political party, in the midst of a crisis of capitalism. However bountiful the free market system may have been at its best, it is now in such deep disrepute that any politician who wishes to remain credible must join in the general vilification.

Even in this storm of condemnation, everyone has to admit that there is actually no alternative to free market economics or to the private banking system. So the competition is strictly between adjectives: “responsible” or sometimes “socially responsible” banking are great favourites, but now Ed Miliband has produced something called a “national banking system”, which is presumably not to be confused with a nationalised banking system. The Miliband neologism is intended to suggest banking that takes the concerns of the nation (or the population?) as its own. Whether he sees this role as voluntary or enforced was unclear from his speech last week.

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The credibility of politics itself will be in the dock with Huhne

Meet Ed Davey, our next deputy prime minister. Well, conceivably so. On Friday, Davey was promoted from the junior ranks of the Coalition to take the Cabinet seat vacated by Chris Huhne. In his new, politically prominent role as Energy and Climate Change Secretary, he will almost certainly come to be seen as a potential successor to Nick Clegg, whose so-called “Orange Book” brand of Lib Dem politics he shares. If the party performs badly in the general election, Clegg will step aside, and the Lib Dems will then have to decide quickly whether to lurch to the Left under someone such as Tim Farron, or to retain their moorings in the real world with Davey.

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India tells Britain: We don’t want your aid

Pranab Mukherjee and other Indian ministers tried to terminate Britain’s aid to their booming country last year – but relented after the British begged them to keep taking the money, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The disclosure will fuel the rising controversy over Britain’s aid to India.

The country is the world’s top recipient of British bilateral aid, even though its economy has been growing at up to 10 per cent a year and is projected to become bigger than Britain’s within a decade.

Last week India rejected the British-built Typhoon jet as preferred candidate for a £6.3 billion warplane deal, despite the Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, saying that Britain’s aid to Delhi was partly “about seeking to sell Typhoon.”

Mr Mukherjee’s remarks, previously unreported outside India, were made during question time in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament.

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Falkland manoeuvres are ‘entirely routine’, says William Hague

William Hague told the Sky News Murnaghan programme that commemorations would go ahead to mark the 30-year anniversary of the Falklands conflict.

But he said Britain supported the islanders’ self-determination and would seek to prevent Argentina from “raising the diplomatic temperature” on the issue.

Mr Hague said: “(The events) are not so much celebrations as commemorations.

“I think Argentina will also be holding commemorations of those who died in the conflict.

“Since both countries will be doing that I don’t think there is anything provocative about that.

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Syria: Russia and China’s resolution veto shames UN, says William Hague

Foreign Secretary William Hague accused the two countries of encouraging further bloodshed after they vetoed a resolution in what he said marked “an hour of shame” for the United Nations.

Intense diplomatic efforts failed to secure their support for an Arab League-backed plan for President Bashar Assad to relinquish power and allow democratic elections.

The setback came as the brutal crackdown by Damascus against pro-democracy protesters reached new extremes, with more than 200 reported killed in a bombardment of the southern city of Homs.

News of the bloodshed stoked the passions of around 150 missile-throwing protesters who gathered at Syria’s embassy in central London yesterday to demand the expulsion of its ambassador.

Riot police were forced to defend the building after several demonstrators burst in and two officers required hospital treatment for injuries – one suffering a suspected broken elbow.

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Irish Coffee


An Irish woman of middle age visited her doctor to ask his advice
to revive her husband’s libido.

‘What about Viagra?’ asked the doctor.

‘If ONLY….. BUT not a chance’, she answered, shaking her head side to side, ‘He won’t swallow an aspirin.’

‘Not a problem,’ replied the doctor. ‘Give him an ‘Irish Viagra’…

‘What ’tis Irish Viagra?’ she asked with an interested question mark on her face.

It’s when you drop the Viagra tablet into his coffee. He won’t taste it. Give this a try. Then, call me in a week, about how well everything is.’

Not a week later, she called the doctor, who directly inquired about progress.

The poor dear woman exclaimed, ‘Oh, faith, begorrah! Oh humility bejaysus! T’was horrid! Just terrible, doctor!’

”Really? What happened?’ questioned the doctor with surprise in his voice.

‘Well, I did, just as you advised: I slipped the Viagra tablet in his coffee. The effect was immediate!
He jumped straight up, with a smile on his face, a twinkle in his eye! With one swoop of his arm, he sent the cups and tablecloth flying. He ripped me clothes to tatters. His own included. Then he took me, then and there, so passionately on the Table Top!!
T’was a nightmare, I tell you, an absolute nightmare!’

‘Why so terrible?’ asked the doctor, ‘Do you mean the sex, you shared together, wasn’t good?’

‘Freakin’ jaysus, ’twas the best sexual activity we’ve had, since our honeymoon; and certainly I’ve had in 25 years! But sure as I’m sittin’ here and tellin’ ya, I’ll never be able to show me face in Starbucks again!’

Time to delegitimise the UN

Upwards of 200 people are reported to have been massacred in Syria in the latest in a series of atrocities in that country which have left thousands of people dead as President Bashar al-Assad ruthlessly clings to power. Yet the UN has failed to act:

‘A United Nations Security Council effort to end the violence in Syria collapsed in acrimony and a veto by Russia and China on Saturday, hours after the Syrian military attacked the ravaged city of Homs in what opposition leaders described as the bloodiest government assault in the nearly 11-month-old uprising.

‘The Security Council voted 13 to 2 in favor of a resolution backing an Arab League peace plan for Syria, but the measure was blocked by Russia and China, which opposed what they saw as a potential violation of Syria’s sovereignty.’

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, according to his spokesman, ‘deeply regrets’ this failure:

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