PETER HITCHENS: Meet the liberals who condemn Trump's failed putsch
PETER HITCHENS: Meet the liberals who condemn Trump’s failed putsch – but happily condone a real one
Donald Trump is a dangerous yahoo who may well destroy what is left of the USA’s constitutional government before he is finished. I do not in any way defend him.
But there is something almost comically hypocritical about the establishment’s shocked reaction to the January 2021 failed putsch which he is accused of inciting.
Once again I must point out that the same liberal elite types happily condone a much worse putsch, one which succeeded and which has helped to drag Europe into its worst war for more than 70 years.
Mr Trump is alleged to have sought to prevent the democratic outcome of the 2020 Presidential election. If he and his allies did so, this was a disgraceful thing. If you believe that power in free societies is decided by votes, then you cannot support such a thing. Your own politics cease to matter. It goes to the very root of law and power.
So why did major Western nations accept without protest the violent, lawless overthrow of Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014? This shameful event, achieved by a yelling mob, was led by people who make Mr Trump’s supporters look like Greenpeace and who openly threatened violence if they did not get their way.
PETER HITCHENS: There is something almost comically hypocritical about the establishment’s shocked reaction to the January 2021 failed putsch which Trump is accused of inciting
Why did major Western nations accept without protest the violent, lawless overthrow of Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014?
Yanukovych is not very nice either. Few Ukrainian politicians are. But the fairness of his victory in the 2010 election is grudgingly accepted even by his opponents.
What is more, at the time of his overthrow, he had made a clear offer of early elections to test his mandate. The offer was endorsed and put to the Ukrainian opposition by a group of EU Foreign Ministers who had taken part in drawing it up and would have guaranteed it.
Did the protesters think their faction would lose those early elections? Who can say? But it is beyond doubt that the Kiev parliament voted illegally to remove him. It clearly lacked the votes needed to do so under the constitution. It also failed to follow the procedures set out in that constitution.
Those who condone the removal have tried to excuse this blatantly lawless act on the grounds (among others) that Yanukovych had fled the country. But recent research has exploded this claim, too.
At the time of the Kiev putsch, Barack Obama’s White House did not condemn the violent removal of another elected President, or the Ukrainian parliament’s blatant defiance of its own constitution.
Instead it released a statement that praised the ‘constructive work’ done by the Ukrainian parliament. The US Ambassador in Kiev tweeted merrily that it was ‘a day for the history books’, which doesn’t seem very disapproving.
Our own Foreign Secretary William Hague misled Parliament, saying incorrectly that Yanukovych had been removed ‘by the very large majorities required under the constitution’, and adding, quite unjustifiably: ‘It is wrong to question the legitimacy of the new authorities.’
Donald Trump is a dangerous yahoo who may well destroy what is left of the USA’s constitutional government before he is finished. I do not in any way defend him
There is, as yet, no sign of the Commons Privileges Committee taking this matter up. Lord Hague (as he now is) broke off contact with me after I drew his mistake to his attention.
The terrible eruption of large-scale violence in Ukraine, the growing danger of long-term European war, Russia’s illegal seizure of Crimea, the splitting of the country and the terrible toll of death and destruction all began with the putsch against Yanukovych.
It is one of the most significant events in European history since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. It is time we were honest about it, and time it received proper attention. It is at least as important as Donald Trump.
I have been amused by the sudden eruption of interest in the life of the late Nobby Pilcher, a 1960s drug squad copper who was disgraced for evidence tampering.
I do not know if Nobby was really the inspiration for The Beatles’ Semolina Pilchard. But we have always had a soft spot for him in my house because he taught Mrs Hitchens to drive.
This was no ordinary driving school, featuring as it did a special lesson on ‘how to cut up a London taxi-driver’. But it served her well in the days when she had to drive our battered Volvo round the homicidal streets of Moscow.
It was battered because a Soviet lorry had driven into it one night, when I was driving, and we could not get the damage fixed. It looked as if it had been in the Battle of Jutland. The Russians soon learned not to mess with her.
Odd war drama is not for patriots
I see World On Fire, the embarrassing BBC attempt to rewrite the history of the Second World War, is back for a second series. In this odd drama, Britons are rather often portrayed as bigots of one kind or another.
Only Lesley Manville, who has decided to enjoy playing a monster (rich, middle-class, conservative), enlivens the weary agitprop.
Is this stuff made so that it will eclipse the great war films of the 1950s, when drama was still allowed to be patriotic?
I see World On Fire, the embarrassing BBC attempt to rewrite the history of the Second World War, is back for a second series
I love this cool summer with its dark skies, occasionally interrupted with breezy, sunny days. It reminds me very much of my own English childhood, long before people got it into their heads that summer was a time of perpetual hot, dry weather.
I also laugh at the way the computerised forecasts on my phone are so wrong, but vanish without trace as they are proved incorrect. And I wonder two things. How is it that this return to cooler weather is not seized upon by climate prophets as evidence that the future will in fact be temperate?
And how is it that experts who cannot predict the weather pattern in Somerset next week claim to know the destiny of the whole planet, for decades to come? The climate fanatics have abandoned all normal caution and proportion. And we know from the Covid panic what that leads to.
Restoring George Bell, the best thing I ever did
Eight years ago, I and a group of friends and allies took on the task of rescuing the reputation of a man we believed to have been falsely convicted of a terrible crime.
The late Bishop George Bell of Chichester (not, please, to be confused with the disgusting proven criminal Peter Ball) was accused, nearly 60 years after his death, of child abuse.
If you take on such causes, you may expect to be accused of sympathising with such crimes.
It mattered because George Bell, unusually for the Church of England, had been a man of huge moral courage, an anti-Nazi before it was fashionable, an ally of German resistance to Hitler and a courageous opponent of the British bombing of German civilians, a proper Christian position.
I am pleased to say that last week the C of E finally admitted it had been wrong to convict him without a fair trial (a serious legal review showed that the evidence did not stand up).
They abandoned attempts to wipe his great name from the record and restored it to a building long called after him. I forgive them with all my heart. And I consider this may be the best thing I ever did.
Source: Read Full Article