Articles & Published Letters - 2008
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Ukraine's steady progress towards EU membership - Conservative Home, October 7th 2008
I've recently returned from Ukraine, a country I've visited many times in the past. The occasion this time was the eleventh EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, of which I am vice-chairman.
The brutal application of the death penalty in Iran - Conservative Home, September 5th 2008
Yesterday in the European Parliament I spoke in the monthly debates on human rights that take place at the end of each plenary session (which would have taken place in Strasbourg had the building's roof not caved in).
Rethinking our party's official position on the International Criminal Court - Conservative Home, July 17th 2008
The Conservative Party is officially opposed to the International Criminal Court. Britain is a member of the court, but we as a party have based our opposition to the court on the suspicion that it would be susceptible to malicious prosecutions and political manipulation.
The dilemmas of an ethical Tory foreign policy - Conservative Home, July 16th 2008
Foreign policy is an ethical minefield - or at least it should be. The crusading left-wing journalist John Pilger once wrote about an interview he conducted with the late Alan Clark MP, who was then defence minister.
The Anti-Chávez axis - The Daily Times (Pakistan), July 15th 2008
The rescue of Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages who had been held for years by FARC guerrillas marks more than a turning point in Colombia’s long war against its drug-running Marxist guerrillas. It also confirms the emergence of a new troika of Latin American leaders.
Biodiesel is an important part of foreign policy - Conservative Home, July 8th 2008
As a political issue, biodiesel has oscillated sharply on the agenda between preference and pariah in the past few years. This fluctuation is interesting, not least in the context of David Cameron's emphasis on environmental protection.
When free trade becomes a free-for-all - Conservative Home, June 24th 2008
An embracing enthusiasm for free trade is one of the defining characteristics of the modern Tory party but it was not always thus. Traditionally Liberals adopted a more laissez-faire approach to external commerce and Tories tended towards protectionism, at least until the landmark Corn Law repeal of the 1840s.
Rescuing a Revolution - St Petersburg Times, May 19th 2008
There is no more depressing sight in politics than a leader who, desperate to cling to power, ruins his country in the process. By his recent actions, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko now looks like he has joined the long list of rulers who have sacrificed their country’s future simply to prolong their misrule.
Give Taiwan credit for democracy - Taipei Times, April 30th 2008
While protests over China's crackdown in Tibet and the debate about Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence continue to fester, the injustice of Taiwan's ongoing international isolation has barely stirred a flicker of interest despite Taiwan's recent presidential election and referendums on UN membership. This neglect is not only shortsighted, but may also prove dangerous.
Backing Kazakhstan's 'great game' - The Guardian, February 18th 2008
Those who oppose western rapprochement with Kazakhstan cite the country's lack of political and human rights. But, while Kazakhstan has not gone down the "colour revolution" route to democracy that other post-Soviet republics such as Ukraine and Georgia have followed, its timidity about reform does not justify isolation.
Why we need to take the EP more seriously - Conservative Home, February 13th 2008
I won’t comment here on the party board decision to top-list incumbent MEPs, apart from to say that as someone selected twice in open hustings I am the last person to complain about the party membership having the final say. However, the very fact that the top-listing compromise exercised so many of our blogging members would tend to suggest just how important they consider the job of an MEP to be. Or does it?
Sharia and the Archbishop of Canterbury - The Daily Telegraph, February 9th 2008
For once, we may have cause to be grateful to the European Court of Human Rights. It ruled in 2003 that sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy and European values.