Tag Archives: Harry and Meghan

Tom Arms’ World Review

Ukraine

Drones are playing an increasingly important role in the Ukraine War, especially on the Ukrainian side. Russia may have more ships, men, missiles and tanks. But the Ukrainians are proving masters at producing drones to counter them.

At sea they have pioneered the development and use of naval drones which have successfully attacked Russian ships and shore side storage depots at the Russian naval base of Sevastopol. The drones are equipped with a souped-up jet ski engine; a camera in the bow and one amidships, a satellite dish and 200 kg of high explosives. They are operated by a “captain” sitting hundreds of miles in a bunker with a joystick not dissimilar to the one he used aged 10 in the local video arcade.

Each naval drone costs about $250,000 and the Ukrainians plan to have another 100 produced early in 2023. In the air, the Ukrainians have remodelled Tupolev TU-141 reconnaissance drones left over from the Soviet era. They have simply fitted the Russian-made drone with high explosives. The aerial drones were used this week to target Russian airfields from which the Russians were launching crippling attacks on Ukraine’s power grid.

But there is a political problem with the Ukrainian air drone counter attacks. The airbases are inside Russia and NATO is keen to geographically contain conflict to Ukrainian soil so that it does not escalate into a World War Three. It has therefore limited the range of the weapons it has supplied to Ukraine. But the aerial drones used this week were from Ukraine – not NATO. So, it could be argued that Kyiv is sticking to the approved script. But to be on the diplomatic safe side, the Ukrainians are refusing to confirm or deny responsibility for the attacks. No one, however, thinks it could be anyone else.

Germany

Several disturbing – and so far not fully discussed – revelations have emerged from this week’s crushing of an alleged German coup plot. Briefly, leaders of far-right terrorist group known as the Reich Citizens Movement were arrested for plotting to storm the Reichstag (German parliament), overthrow the government, return Germany to is pre-World War I Imperial government, and install a German aristocrat businessman as Kaiser Heinrich XIII.

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The Lib Dem connection to the Harry and Meghan Documentary

I was more surprised than I should have been when I watched the first episode of Harry and Meghan’s eponymous Netflix documentary. I jumped (and cheered a bit, not going to lie) when I saw someone I know being interviewed.

James Holt is now the Executive Director of Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Foundation, which aims to “unleash the power of compassion to drive systemic cultural change.”

Liberal Democrats may remember him as the party’s former Head of Media and as a special adviser during the coalition years. He was always one of the most positive and hilarious people to work with. I knew he’d gone off to work in the office of Princes William and Harry but had missed that he had continued his work with Harry and Meghan when they moved abroad.

His old local paper, for which he once worked, the Shropshire Star, reported that he was “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new right hand man” last year:

He previously served as the couple’s UK spokesman, and has also worked with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

He also worked as head of communications for Sir Nick Clegg during his term as deputy prime minister.

The 38-year-old, who grew up in Shrewsbury, joined as a trainee reporter with the Shropshire Star in 2004, having graduated with a BA in Journalism at Lincoln University. He went on to write for the Star’s sister title, the Shrewsbury Chronicle, and during that time he spent six days embedded with the British Army in Basra.

Writing for both the Star and the Chronicle, he described coming under fire 10 times during his short stay, and learning about the deaths of two soldiers from Shropshire.

I wonder if James is the reason behind Meghan’s endorsement of Miriam Gonzalez Durantez’s brilliant charity Inspiring Girls on her Spotify podcast. . Back in August, Miriam expressed her gratitude to Meghan for doing so. Writing on Instagram, she talked about how difficult it could be to get much needed celebrity endorsements for the charity:

…publicity for the charity is enormously important for us to get as many (and especially as many diverse) role models as possible – and endorsements from famous women bring publicity that translates into many more role models for the girls. But I despair that if I ask a busy nurse or teacher for their support, they normally do it there and then, even though they have little time and resources – and yet if I ask a famous woman with huge teams and endless resources, I often need to beg them for it!

It is super-unusual in the world of social causes to find somebody with international projection who, as Meghan Markle did this week in her podcast website, will showcase a charity like Inspiring Girls without having even been asked for it. British newspapers have criticised her podcast as per usual. But I take my hat off to her for her generosity – if only other women at her level would act more like her on this!

I am sure it will surprise none of you that I have a lot of time for Meghan and Harry. What is not to love about a fellow liberal minded feminist? I think the way that Meghan in particular is being demonised in the press is disgraceful and rooted in misogyny and racism. Honestly, if you think that Meghan is our biggest problem at the moment and not the divisive, demonising, witch-hunting political culture stoked by the worst government we have had in our lifetimes then I seriously question your values and priorities.

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