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Gale’s View

by your MP Roger Gale

How long will it be before the Russians, possibly in the guise of Eastern Ukrainian “rebels” drive through from the east via Mariupol and establish a land bridge between the neo—Soviet Union and Crimea?
I know that this is not the burning question on the lips of the man in the public bar of the Rat and Ferret and I understand that there is a body of opinion that believes that MPs ought to spend their time either in Westminster or, preferably, in their constituencies dealing with parochial issues. I happen to think, though, that it matters in terms of the future security of the United Kingdom in general and that it might very possibly have an impact on whether the lights In our schools and hospitals stay on.

Until we are self-sufficient in renewable energy, and that will not be the case for many years to come, we will be dependent upon others to the east for our fuel supplies. There is also the small matter of freedom and democracy throughout the wider Europe and beyond that needs to be borne in mind The wider Europe represented not by the European Union but by the Council of Europe has made great strides towards democracy and freedom of speech but recent events suggest that we have to remain mindful that the task is incomplete. There are Russian troops in Georgia and Moldova. Russia has annexed the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine, and made part of a sovereign country a Kremlin-controlled dominion. To the east of Ukraine, in Donetsk and Luhansk, just to the south of the area where I was very recently observing the parliamentary elections, “rebels” backed by Russian weaponry and troops, are in large part in control.

Does this matter to the people that I represent in Margate and Herne Bay? I think that it does. The prospect of a new cold war has exposed the impotence of the EU when it comes to serious strategy and it has revealed how willing many of the EU’s nation states are to roll over and offer homage to the strong man in the Kremlin. The United Kingdom, not alone but in a minority, has recognised both the danger and the need to take robust diplomatic action and to impose tough sanctions against a regime that, left unchecked, will drag society back to the dark ages of post-war Europe. The question now is will others follow our lead and the answer to that question, more than the immediate threats posed by religious extremism and disease, is likely to determine the nature of the world that our children and our grandchildren grow up in.

Herne Bay Gazette, November 27th 2014

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