SKETCH: Dostoyevsky Off the A-Level Syllabus

Cameron reported a number of cautious, prudent and responsible measures to deal with the shirtless, bareback, gun-slinging psychopath with a nuclear arsenal.

Edward Miliband cautiously, prudently and responsibly urged him to be marginally less prudent and cautious, insofar as prudent responsibility would allow.

Miliband urged the Prime Minister to apply “maximum influence on allies” – up to and including the use of sarcasm.

The Prime Minister said Russian activity in the Crimea was “completely indefensible” – something the Crimean army has amply demonstrated. He also said in this grave hour, the Russian behaviour will “incur consequences”.

The Royal Family will not be going to the Paralympics.

They mean it to sting, all right. That’s a cut direct. How will Putin respond? The stakes are high. Europe is a tinderkeg.

The suspended preparations for the G8 will continue in a state of suspension. Be under no illusion: that’s not a go-slow, it’s an actual interruption. It’s a lacuna, the Foreign Office says, not a hiatus. That’s how serious it is.

Ministers won’t meet their Russian counterparts. Immigration talks will be postponed. Dostoyevsky will be taken off the A-level syllabus.

This retaliatory inactivity is a diplomatic strategy at which our world-class civil service excels.

On the positive side, a Facebook page has been set up so the leaders of Russia and the leaders of the Ukraine can talk to each other. And we in the West can only pray – ‘like’ each other too.

In the event that this robust package of doing nothing doesn’t succeed, the second phase of sanctions will start immediately. That is, immediately after Christmas.



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Quote of the Day

Former Miliband guru Arnie Graf reveals Labour’s disconnect with the working class:

“On one of my trips to the U.K. in the autumn of 2013, I bumped into one of Ed’s strategists in Portcullis House. He asked me if I was assisting the staff on Ed’s trip that was to take place in a few days to one of the regions. I told him that I did not have knowledge of his planned trip.

He told me that Ed was going to give a talk at the region’s annual fund raising dinner and that prior to the dinner he had invited the media to join him at a local coffee shop to listen to a conversation he planned to have with a minimum wage worker. The point of the conversation was to show how difficult it was for a minimum wage worker to get on in life.

There was only one problem. No one had been able to locate a minimum wage worker for Ed to talk with.”

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