Monday, January 06, 2003

A hot tip on the Iraq war

Roy Jenkins, Britain’s home secretary and chancellor and nearly prime minister in the 1960s, has died, rather disconcertingly while I was in the middle of reading his biography of Churchill.

Britain was supposed to have a conference on Middle East peace next week, but Israel has banned the Palestinian delegates from traveling.

Cute story in the NY Times Sunday about a New Orleans prosecutor in a capital case who wears ties with nooses & the Grim Reaper on them.

Brits and gambling. Foreign sec Jack Straw says that the odds of war in Iraq are 60-40 against (the last figure on Slate’s Saddameter was 68% for). And Ladbrokes lowers the payoff for bets that Iain Duncan Smith won’t last out the year (as head of the Tory party, if you didn’t know, and if you didn’t, that’s just one reason he’s probably going) from 3:1 to evens. But if you’re planning a flutter, my handicapping is in favor of war and against IDS leaving that soon, simply because of lack of alternatives.

Britain is planning to ban replicas of guns: when fake guns are banned, only fake criminals will have fake guns. If there’s ever a ban on replicas of crime policies, Blair would be in trouble.

Still no word on exactly what the “hot pursuit” policy re American troops really is on the Afghan-Pakistani border.

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