Two sets of birthday wishes.
First to Justin - who is having his fourth anniversary of blogging at the glorious Chicken Yoghurt. My hat is well and truly off to you sir.
Secondly Happy Birthday Nick Clegg. As a birthday treat I just thought I'd say well done for your call to stop arming Israel. Here's a sample;
It's nice to be able to say something nice about him for once - keep up the good work!
The past two weeks have been a telling indictment of the international community. We have an outgoing US president sanctioning Israel's military response and an aching silence from the president-elect. We have a European Union encumbered by clumsy decision-making and confused messages.
And at home we have a prime minister talking like an accountant about aid earmarked for Gaza without once saying anything meaningful about the conflict's origins. Gordon Brown, like Tony Blair, has made British foreign policy effectively subservient to Washington. But waiting for a change of heart in Washington is intolerable given the human cost.
Brown must also halt Britain's arms exports to Israel, and persuade our EU counterparts to do the same. The government's own figures show Britain is selling more and more weapons to Israel, despite the questions about the country's use of force. In 2007, our government approved £6m of arms exports. In 2008, it licensed sales 12 times as fast: £20m in the first three months alone.