DAILY MAIL COMMENT: West must hold its nerve to thwart Vladimir Putin

‘For the want of a nail, the kingdom was lost.’ Even children can understand the meaning of the proverb: That seemingly unimportant acts or omissions can have grave and unforeseen consequences.

At long, long last, Western leaders seem to have got the message. Amid mounting pressure to follow Britain‘s lead, Germany and the US – followed by other Nato allies – have overcome their reluctance to supply modern battle tanks to Ukraine.

This diplomatic breakthrough, after months of dithering and false excuses, may be a major turning point in this bloody war.

The machines – pledged after a powerful rallying cry by Boris Johnson in the Mail – should help Ukrainian troops repel a planned huge spring offensive by Russia and then, God willing, drive the invaders into a full-blown retreat. Ultimately, that is the only way to end this terrible conflict.

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: At long, long last, Western leaders seem to have got the message. Pictured is Putin at Moscow State University on January 25

Germany and the US – followed by other Nato allies – have overcome their reluctance to supply modern battle tanks to Ukraine. Pictured is a German Leopard 2 battle tank

Yes, this is a dangerous moment. Vladimir Putin may regard the authorisation of tanks as an escalatory act. However, the West’s reluctance to provoke the Kremlin has not so far stopped Putin’s indiscriminate bombings and murder of Ukrainian civilians.

The dictator’s goons have warned a Russian defeat could trigger a nuclear response. But we cannot allow those threats, terrifying as they are, to weaken our resolve. Answering President Zelensky’s plea for tanks is simply the right thing to do.

If Putin conquers Ukraine, despite all the heroism of its people and arms shipments, he would start planning his next move to expand Mother Russia’s frontiers. Tyrants everywhere, including China, would be emboldened.

This, in the end, is a global fight for freedom. It is democracy versus evil autocracy. The West must stay united, hold its nerve and do everything in its power to ensure Ukraine’s victory.

Rishi’s route to victory

It would be an understatement to say things look bleak for the Tories.

A country mile behind Labour in the polls. Seemingly lurching from crisis to crisis. And racked by toxic infighting.

Yet all is not lost. At a Chequers ‘away day’ today, Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet will be told there is a route to election victory.

And the Mail agrees. But to win the Prime Minister must not only be a steady hand on the tiller. He must inspire voters with a bold vision for the country, based on traditional Tory values – low taxes, economic growth, strong borders and law and order.

Mr Sunak must also target Sir Keir Starmer’s many weaknesses. Labour’s leader spinelessly refuses to defend MPs bullied for standing up for women’s rights, longs to rejoin the EU, supports damaging rail strikes and wants open borders. Mr Sunak must punch these shortcomings like a bruise.

It won’t be easy for him to turn around Tory fortunes. But while the path to power again is narrow, at least there is a path.

At a Chequers ‘away day’ today, Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet will be told there is a route to election victory. Rishi Sunak is pictured at his first PMQs in October

BBC anti-Tory bias

Nobody is suggesting BBC chairman Richard Sharp is doing a bad job.

The heinous crime he has been accused of is being a one-time Tory donor with links to Boris Johnson. But if he was appointed to reset the corporation’s blatant liberal-Left bias, he’s failed spectacularly.

So why are the big guns of BBC News waging war 24/7 against him? And why are anonymous staff whispering in the corridors? The chairmanship is a political appointment made by the incumbent government – and always has been.

Indeed, for evidence of cronyism look at Tony Blair. He picked as chairman Gavyn Davies, a Labour member whose wife was part of Gordon Brown’s inner circle. And for director-general, he chose Greg Dyke – a card-carrying party activist and donor.

The problem is blinkered BBC staff are driven insane by the fact a Tory has been allowed inside Broadcasting House at all.

Nobody is suggesting BBC chairman Richard Sharp is doing a bad job. So why are the big guns of BBC News waging war 24/7 against him?

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