Friday, 13 February 2009

It's only money (4) + Dresden

A curious episode at the House of Commons yesterday when Gordon Brown excused his appointment of now-discredited banker Sir James Crosby to the financial watchdog, the FSA, on the grounds that he had been recommended by an independent committee. Since when have Brown and his Labour apparatchiks regarded the recommendations of expert committees as binding?

A couple of days before, they had seen nothing wrong with disregarding the conclusion of their expert committee on drug misuse that Ecstasy should be downgraded from Class A, nor with vilifying the committee’s chair for good measure. Come on, Gordon, you’ll have to do better than this!

On this day....64 years ago, 750 British bombers attacked the railway marshalling yards at Dresden in an attempt to disrupt Hitler’s plans to move more men to the Eastern Front, but they also started a ferocious firestorm that destroyed 11 square miles of the city. The next day, 450 USAF bombers attacked. Some fires burned for a week, and although the death toll was never established, it was almost certainly more than 40,000.

“Bomber” Harris had learned well from the Luftwaffe’s tactics earlier in the war. They had sowed the wind, he said, and now they were reaping the whirlwind.

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