The other day, I noted that Edinburgh Council had banned filming at school events (such as nativity plays) where not all parents have given their consent. They have now rescinded this ban. Yay!

I would praise this as a victory for common sense, but unfortunately the Council only reversed their decision after parents threatened to take legal action against them. This is pointedly ironic, because the Council put the measure in place specifically to avoid lawsuits from parents (in case photos or films fell into the hands of paedophiles).

In other positive news, the US government has found Iraq’s 12,000-page declaration to be a “mostly accurate” description of their arms capabilities, and declared that they will wait until the weapons inspectors issue their final report before committing more troops and resources to the Gulf region.

Ah, shit, I just made that one up. Predictably, Bush & co. are holding firm to their policy of “Guilty until proven innocent, and even then we won’t believe the verdict.” I find their eagerness to go to war–jumping at any opportunity to pull the trigger–really scary.

With Al Gore ruling himself out of as a candidate for the 2004 presidential elections, political pundits are now giving King George good odds of winning a second term. Now that goes beyond scary and well into actively terrifying. A few months ago, a Channel 4 poll found that more than a third of people in the UK consider Bush a greater threat to world peace than Saddam Hussein.

Iraq has complied with the new UN resolutions, and in doing so has proved itself willing to find a diplomatic resolution to the current crisis. Why can’t we do the same? By continuing the military build-up in the Gulf region, and by talking nothing but the language of war, the West may be just trying to scare Hussein into following through on his promises. Speak loudly, and carry a big stick? This is almost the definition of brinkmanship. It’s a dangerous game, and one I wish we would stop playing.