Friday, 20 February 2015

Times letter: government showed Putin & others our weakness in Syria

Sir, Instead of chest-thumping for Nato about how Russia is a clear danger to the Baltic states, Michael Fallon and the government ought to reflect on just why it is that President Putin appears impervious to the West and Nato’s opposition to his activities. Terrorist groups were not alone in watching gleefully as the West chose inaction (in Syria) or limited action (in Libya and Iraq) — despite the use of weapons of mass destruction against civilians, the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and the occupation of large swathes of territory by extremists. 

John Slinger

Friday, 13 February 2015

My Times letter on rape sentencing

Sir, You report that “Britain leads Europe on sending rapists to jail” (Feb 12), with 5,408 prisoners serving sentences for rape in England and Wales in 2013. What is truly startling is that this number, despite appearing large in comparison to our neighbours, is only a tiny fraction of the number of rapists in our midst. There were 24,043 rapes recorded by the police in the year to September 2014, and the Office for National Statistics estimated that 85,000 women were victims of rape or sexual assault by penetration in 2012. 

If all rapists were actually caught and convicted, our prison population would mushroom overnight.

John Slinger

Online at The Times here

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The government has presided over our military & diplomatic decline

There can be no better or more tragic metaphor for Britain's decline as a global military and diplomatic power under this government than our minuscule contribution towards the anti-Isis coalition. The MPs on the defence select committee have done a great service by describing Britain's military intervention as a "strikingly modest" response to a grave threat. The Prime Minister must be held to the solemn, statesmanlike pledge he gave last year in Parliament when he argued that our intervention was designed to "see ISIL degraded and then destroyed as a serious terrorist force". 
Defence reviews, spin and blandishments cannot mask the reality that the government is following, rather than leading the public in this vital matter of international affairs.

View my writing on foreign policy here