The current pain and distress that is emanating from various corners of the world is only a snapshot of the chaos which some of us allow to impact our world view from time to time. If we were truly able to measure the way in which men and women are being threatened, injured and killed on a daily basis across the earth, our focus on specific locations would be very different to what has been unfolding this weekend. However the biased screens in my home are pointing us to the Ukraine and MH-17, to Gaza and the atrocities being unleashed by the Israeli Army and finally to Iraq where the city of Musa has been cleansed from all Christian residents. In order to attempt to bring some of these points of conflict into order, our Prime Minister is spending time acting alone and also in concert with the European Union, and in dialogue with Barack Obama on the need for MH-17 to be addressed. The meeting rooms of the United Nations are also being kept busy as we try to contribute towards the pressure on both sides in the conflict in Gaza. It is hard to find anywhere that seems to be focusing on the dispersal from Musa. In any event these are simply three pins on a map that is actually covered in pins, each one reflecting a conflict that we should be aware of and concerned about.
One of the challenges we face is that our Political Leaders, inevitably playing to our motivations and interests to a huge extent, are not wanting to address such International issues until we all discover the plane was full of Europeans, or until the conflict begins to play itself out in our media and on our streets. Another is that the consequence of trying to solve International problems, is that we quickly realise how small a part we can play on our own, and even in the context of a group of nations, the UK is seen for the small nation it really is. An example of this came in the wake of the European Elections from the leader of the Tory MEPs, Daniel Hannan who tweeted on 1st June “FIFA, the UN, the International Olympics Committee, the EU: all international bureaucracies tend to corruption and producer-capture.” Whilst his comments regarding FIFA and the IOC might well ring true, neither agency can really be compared to the UN and the EU, whatever the failings of all of these agencies on occasions. However if that is how one of our key Political leaders sees the UN and the EU, our prospect for playing a significant role in the attempts to address Gaza, rescue the bodies from MH-17 and find a place where we can support Iraq without returning to the nation as invaders is severely limited. It is clear that we do need greater wisdom than these tweets would suggest are available from at least one leading MEP.