The most important thing happening in the world at the moment is the Pakistani army’s assault on Waziristan. Here is a good account by Anatole Lieven of what is at stake, and what is likely to happen. He is very cautiously optimistic about the fight against the Pakistani Taleban, but believes the Pakistani army will not take on the Afghan Taleban. My only quibble with Lieven’s piece is that his summary of Pakistani attitudes to Afghanistan is based on a single quote from an “old shopkeeper in Peshawar”. This is the kind of thing I do, but aren’t professors at King’s College meant to be a bit more rigorous?
Another really interesting read this morning was Boris Johnson’s savage attack on bankers’ bonuses. I have also been wandering around – contemplating the prospect of higher taxes for the next decade or so – and feeling vaguely outraged that the people responsible for doubling the national debt, are currently rewarding themselves with vast bonuses. Boris Johnson (Mayor of London, lest you forget), has been one of the last defenders of the City – calculating presumably that they remain a useful source of income and employment in the capital. But even Boris has had enough now. When people like the boss of Barclays threaten in this morning’s FT that they will leave London, if we deprive them of their bonuses, I hope they will now find a rush of people holding the exit door open for them. Read more