I left my phone at work, which meant I had to rely on Nicola’s radio alarm and Radio 4 to wake me up.

So I have something on my mind.

Is it regarding the defacement of a David Beckham portrait with the word “loosers” and whether the word is in reference to Rebecca Loos or just a very common spelling mistake.

Is it regarding the new knowledge of the risk of passive smoking? Whether this really is a new risk, or just something that’s been contributing to “normal” levels of health and life expectancy and simply wasn’t known about?

No it’s about the Archbishops of York and Canterbury, and their concerns about double standards in the Middle East. While I agree that stories like this harm our country’s previously good reputation, I disagree as to whether we should be able to subject ourselves to double standards.

Any state that sets itself up as an international policeman, that seeks on its own authority to enforce international law, or indeed simply claims to be free and democratic should have two sets of standards; these being the ones by which it judges others, and the one by which it lives itself. The standards by which we judge ourselves must be higher than those by which we expect others to behave.

That we live to these standards negates any argument that the behaviour of other nations or organizations against ourselves, themselves or others justifies lowering our standards of behaviour. Terrorists and despots may necessitate tough action, but we must remain fair and humane ourselves if we still wish to consider ourselves democratic and just societies.

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