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DAILY MAIL COMMENT: No half measures on arming Kyiv, PM

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: No half measures on arming Kyiv, PM

Too often obsessed with petty rivalries and mundane point-scoring, our parliamentarians were humbled yesterday by a leader whose nation is in genuine existential crisis.

Volodymyr Zelensky’s moving oration was a lesson in dignity, courage and national pride. And it sent this heartfelt message to the whole of the civilised world: Ukraine’s struggle is your struggle.

Beneath the ancient beams of Westminster Hall, he warned MPs and peers that for all the heroism of its military, if Ukraine falls, an emboldened Vladimir Putin will turn his attentions to other nations in his mission to reconstitute the Soviet Union by force.

In his passionate address, he praised Britain for its support from the ‘first seconds of war’. And he singled out Boris Johnson for uniting the West behind Ukraine.

Britain and the West should be straining every sinew to give Mr Zelensky everything he needs

Comparing his country’s struggle against tyranny to Britain’s stand against Hitler, Mr Zelensky said: ‘Freedom will win.’

We hope and trust it will. But without help from democracy-loving allies, the grim truth is that his forces will eventually succumb to superior Russian numbers.

He is crying out for fighter jets not only to force the Russians back, but also to protect Western tanks, as well as troops, civilians and infrastructure. ‘We have freedom,’ he said. ‘Give us wings to protect it.’

Rishi Sunak insists nothing is off the table. But so far the PM has announced only that we will train Ukrainian pilots.

Britain and the West should be straining every sinew to give Mr Zelensky everything he needs. No half measures.

While our politicians dither over donating more firepower, the Ukrainians are paying a terrible price in blood.

Mr Johnson is right to point out that we have Typhoon jets, tanks and long-range missiles doing nothing on military bases.

It would be better to deliver such a devastating arsenal to the Ukrainians as soon as possible. That is the only way to guarantee our own long-term security.

Fears that Putin could use this as an excuse for nuclear retaliation are exaggerated. He’s been issuing such threats from the start. Of course, if we are to give hardware without leaving our own military dangerously short, Mr Sunak needs to urgently rethink defence budgets.

But what are the alternatives? Either letting the conflict grind on indefinitely, donating enough weapons to prevent Ukraine losing, but not enough to win and halt the slaughter. Or risk Putin, despite taking truly colossal losses, somehow snatching victory from the jaws of defeat through sheer force of numbers.

Neither can be contemplated. Boris pledged Britain and Ukraine would be brothers in arms. Over to you, Mr Sunak.

Pathetic Prevent

The Prevent strategy is intended to identify and deradicalise potential extremists.

Yet with half of recent terror attacks being carried out by offenders known to the scheme, its effectiveness is pitiful.

A damning review finds it has lost its way as a consequence of political correctness and misplaced cultural sensitivity.

Officials treat potentially murderous homegrown jihadis with kid gloves, while over-emphasising the far-Right threat.

The Home Secretary says reforms will focus on saving lives, not social work.

But what is it about our national institutions that so many of them get clogged up in woolly-minded wokery?

  • Mr Sunak has pledged to bring prosperity back to Britain. But the planned 6p hike in corporation tax and the scrapping of the super-deduction is bound to deter business, especially in his beloved science and innovation sectors. The CBI is right to call for tax breaks. Mr Sunak’s restructuring of Whitehall is all very well. But ministers and civil servants must focus on growth – not moving offices.

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