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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

So, Red China's head is on a state visit. Whilst I see the necessity of not being actively hostile to countries like Communist China, can someone please tell me why we roll out the red carpet (literally red!) for people like this? I mean business meetings with the Government is ok, but parading down the Mall with the Queen and the Household Division, having London landmarks lit up in red and having gigantic Chinese flag stuck on Horseguards Parade? I find it quite repellent. State visits should only be granted to visitors from moderately acceptable regimes. 'nuff said.

As for those elections in Azerbaijan, there are reports about quite a lot of irregularities and there has been at least verbal censure from the West, though I doubt anything much in practical steps will happen, as I hinted at recently. Katy at blogrel has some good news on the mood she picked up from Azeris about the Karabagh conflict. I think that is also the most practical solution to the conflict. All sides, particularly the outside powers, can keep their strategic goodies, but it would improve the lot of the people actually having to live there on the ground.

In the current imbroglio over the new anti-terror laws I notice one oddity about Blair's stance in regards to how he treats the advice of the "professionals", ie the police and intelligence services. It seems they are the best fount of knowledge when it comes to balancing political goods, in this case security and liberty. At the same time, there is some disgruntlement by Blair about Sir Christopher Meyer's views on Iraq. What this underlines is how, when it came to making the decision about Iraq, Blair was quite happy to ignore the wishes of the "professionals", ie the diplomatic corps and the military, when making a political decision. And quite rightly so, too. Strange though, that now the professionals agree with him, he's quite eager to roll their expertise out. Funny that . . .

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