DAILY MAIL MEMMENT – Party madness is a weapon in Vladimir Putin’s favor

Another day, another lurid account of a Downing Street ‘party’. Leave aside that it was a surprise for Boris Johnson’s birthday and lasted just minutes. Continue the constant drip, drip of accusations.

But isn’t this just proof that we are in the grip of a collective madness? As Britain obsesses over parties, Vladimir Putin is busy building his powerful war machine. The machine is ready for action. 

Yesterday’s news that we are pulling diplomats out of Ukraine suddenly made a threat which has been rumbling in the background for months terrifyingly real. It puts Partygate in its real context.

'Leave aside that it was a surprise for Boris Johnson’s birthday and lasted just minutes. The constant drip, drip of accusation goes on'

‘Leave aside that it was a surprise for Boris Johnson’s birthday and lasted just minutes. It continues to drip and drip with accusations.

If Russia does invade – and with thousands of troops and materiel massed on the border that could happen any day – the whole Western political class should hang their heads in shame.

Through disunity and mixed messaging they have handed Putin a gift-wrapped opportunity to expand his autocratic empire at Ukraine’s expense.

Nato has been the guarantee of peace for 70+ years. But now, it is in turmoil. Because it is dependent on Russian energy, Germany does not want to offend Putin.

French President Emmanuel Macron undermines the alliance further, describing it as ‘brain-dead’ and calling for the creation of an EU army. Russia should be shaking its head.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden says a ‘minor incursion’ might not be enough to justify the most extreme sanctions. Is there a better invitation than that?

However, in spite of the failures of its partners, the UK stood firm behind Ukraine. We have provided armaments and training and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has condemned Putin’s bellicosity and Germany’s growing reliance on Russian gas.

While a military reaction is unlikely, Russia should be assured that economic ruin will not result from any incursion.

If Europe fails Ukraine, Putin’s greedy eye will fall next on some other former Soviet state. Appeasing dictators is not a good idea.

Take away the tax.

Boris Johnson rejected eight requests yesterday from Boris Johnson to confirm the plan for an increase in national insurance contribution.

He’s clearly wavering, so let’s hope he now follows his Tory instincts and scraps this deeply unpopular increase.

'As families brace themselves for a brutal cost of living squeeze, pressing on with this tax hike would be cruel and tin-eared'

“As families prepare for a severe cost-of-living squeeze, it would be cruel to continue with the tax increase.

Yesterday, the hugely respected Institute for Fiscal Studies said delaying it would have ‘no major impact’ on plans to boost health and social care funding. 

However, business leaders caution against pushing ahead because it may threaten jobs and increase inflation.

Families are bracing themselves for an extreme cost of living pinch. It would be cruel to continue with the tax increase. His Cabinet don’t want it, nor his backbenchers, nor the majority of voters. Boris, do them all a favor and increase the tax.

Broken asylum system

Emad Al Swealmeen (pictured), 32, started building a bomb factory at a rented bedsit as early as April, according to police

Police say that Emad Al Swaalmeen (pictured), 32 years old, built a bomb factory on a rented bedroom as far back as April.

An Iraqi who arrived on a visitor’s visa from Baghdad. Claimant claimed asylum while pretending to belong in Syria. Claim rejected. Appealed. Lost. Verdict upheld. Verdict upheld. Reapplied under false name. Rejected. Appeared again.

This is the story of Liverpool bomber Emad Al Swealmeen’s seven-year bid for refugee status. He tried to change his name, religion and nationality but was refused every single time.

So why wasn’t he deported? He slipped under the radar, according to the Home Office. He was actually quite typical.

Some 12,000 claimants have been here a decade or more without a decision – and that’s just those we know about. 

The majority will not return, making it easier for migrants to cross Channel. Ministers talk tough, but they can’t hide the truth. The asylum system has failed to meet its purpose.