putin photo




The first political demo I was ever moved to attend was way back in August 1968 when, as a spotty schoolboy, I went to Earl’s Court exhibition centre to join a forlorn protest against Soviet Russia’s invasion of Czechoslovakia, snuffing out the relatively liberal ‘socialism with a human face’ policy of the Prague Spring.

It was also the occasion of my first TV interview and I recall watching myself with pride on the News that evening squeaking indignantly about the ‘brutal dictatorship’ that was Communist Russia.

More than forty long, hot summers have passed since that day, and how much has changed in Europe – and yet how little, recalling the French proverb that ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’.

The Soviet Union may have gone, ( and the Czechs and Slovaks have agreed to part) – yet the brutal dictatorship of ex-KGB man Vladimir Putin is just as bad and murderous as the geriatric regime of Leonid Brezhnev who sent the tanks rolling into Prague.

As the horrific downing of Flight MH17 by a Russian missile and the callous looting of its murdered passengers by Russian military thugs proves to the world, in so many ways the Russian bear remains a wild pariah animal, outside the pale of civilised behaviour.

Yet we should not forget or forgive the fact that it was the actions of the EU that opened the gates of Hell in the Ukraine. By openly attempting to absorb that unhappy country into its ever open maw they poked the bear with a sharp stick. The idiocracy in Brussels must bear their share of responsibility for the innocent blood that has flowed since.

As for David Cameron’s shouty response to Russia’s appalling actions: it bears all his usual hallmarks of much huffing and puffing, to be followed by….er…..absolutely nothing.

Never mind Ukraine, if he really cared about curbing Russia, Dave would have done something about that state’s bestial behaviour here in Britain. I mean the unresolved case of the hideous poisoning of the exiled Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who was slipped a lethal dose of polonium by Putin’s agents in a London hotel back in 2006.

Former US President Teddy Roosevelt said American foreign policy should be to speak softy, yet carry a big stick.

In Cameron’s case, he will be remembered for shouting loudly but brandishing a soft stick made from the purest putty. His attempt to persuade his fellow EU leaders to take a ‘hard line’ with the unsmiling men in the Kremlin will have the same result as his pretend bid to block Juncker, which ended, unbelievably, in the two men performing a chummy high five together.




And speaking of shouts and silences, the Lib Dems have always prided themselves on being the party of the environment and eco warriors of the purest Green hue.

That image – like so many of that failed party’s broken promises ( remember student fees?) – now lies in ruins.

The Lib Dem Environment Secretary, Ed Davey, an even more fanatical Greenie than his disgraced jailbird predecessor Chris Huhne, has just authorised construction of the first wind turbine farm off the Sussex coast, involving a massive 175 turbines which will wreck such nationally known beauty spots as Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters cliffs.

Davey’s insane pursuit of heavily subsidised, ugly, and inefficient wind farms at the expense of such alternatives as nuclear power and fracking will not only destroy what remains of our natural beauty, but push up your energy bills too.

Both the National Trust and the South Downs National Park Authority oppose the Rampion wind farm.

But where does Eastbourne’s current MP, Davey’s Lib Dem colleague Stephen Lloyd, stand on the issue?

We don’t know, because all we have heard from Stephen so far is the sound of silence on this most vital matter.

So unless he speaks up soon and unequivocally condemns Davey’s madness, we can only conclude that Mr Lloyd also supports the destruction of his constituency’s gorgeous coastline.

Eastbourne voters can only draw one conclusion: vote LIb Dem if you want sky-high fuel bills and the end of our beautiful coastal cliffs.





Talking of Eastbourne voters, I am about to meet the Gay Rainbow, a group representing Gay and Lesbian over-50s in the town.

I want both to hear their concerns, and – as I do with all other interest groups – explain why libertarian UKIP is the true party of freedom, standing up for individual rights and keeping the over-weening state out of our lives ( and our bedrooms).

I shall also try to dispel the absurd notion spread by our enemies that UKIP is in any way homophobic. One of our recently elected MEPs is openly Gay, along with many other candidates.

In fact, UKIP is a lot more representative of the population at large, both straight and gay, black and white, rich, poor and middle, than the other three parties of political wonks, geeks and weirdos. (Yes, Dave, Ed and Nick : this definitely means you!)




 first world war graves photo


Like the other Nigel, I spend a lot of my time touring the battlefields and cemeteries of the First World War.

Not only did my father fight in the war, his brother died in it, aged just 18. As a historian and journalist I write often about this most tragic of conflicts. So I have very personal, as well as professional, reasons for my interest.

I have just returned from leading a tour group around the western front ( www.historicaltrips.com) and was struck, as we approach the centenary of the war’s outbreak in a few days’ time, by the number of young people visiting the graves.

I am proud that so many young Britons want to pay their respects to those who fell for their freedom.

But I am always struck by the absence of Germans of any age : it is predominantly Brits who also visit the vast German cemeteries like Langemarck near Ypres.

The Great War and the Second World War that grew out of it, was caused by a naked German power grab. Let us hope that today’s Germany is truly a changed land, and had learned the lesson the hard way: the disparate countries of Europe cannot be united against their will and you should not try to do economically what you so disastrously failed to achieve militarily.

A visit to the battlefields on their doorstep might drive that lesson home.


Photo by Bohan Shen_沈伯韩

Photo by Bert Kaufmann

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