I applaud Prime Minister David Cameron's decision to pull the UK out of Durban III, the UN-sponsored conference on racism taking place in New York later this month. This chimes nicely with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's strong, public opposition to Durban II, which he reiterated in a speech last November.
Why, you might ask, would I be pleased about UK non-participation in a conference on racism? It is because Durban I and Durban II, the two previous conferences, degenerated into one-sided anti-Israel hate-fests, rather than constructive conferences on racism. Nick Clegg strongly urged the Labour Government to pull out of Durban II, but Gordon Brown refused to do so.
Last week, I heard it suggested that the UK was indeed poised to pull out of Durban III. I also heard suggestions that this decision had the active support of senior figures from across the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition, from the Prime Minister on down. That would make sense, given what the Deputy Prime Minister had previously said about Durban II. The newspapers now say that the Prime Minister intervened personally on this matter, and who am I to ever argue with the newspapers? Either way, the Government headed by David Cameron and Nick Clegg has reached the right decision, reflecting Mr Clegg's past comments on the Durban process.
And the reform to the law on universal jurisdiction has today reportedly got the Royal Assent, in line with a clear previous pledge from Nick Clegg (and from the Conservatives). Indeed, it was piloted through the House of Lords by Liberal Democrat ministers, and the Jewish Chronicle now reports that the Lib Dem Lord Palmer played a crucial role earlier this week...