Monday 17 September 2007

Palin's new Europe

Michael Palin's latest series on The New Europe (Sunday nights, BBC 1) had a brilliant start last night with visits to Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Albania. It is excellent to see the programme enjoyed 7.5 million viewers. Albania presented itself as if to caricature and clearly failed to impress Palin, but the most moving testimony came in Sarajevo and Mostar, where Palin talked gently to local people who had experienced the full effect of the terrible war in the nineties. Lest we forget, this war which left Sarajevo under siege for three years and dotted with landmines for the next seventy years, happened with the connivance and complicity of the Major government. Indeed some of those whose inaction allowed so many to perish have the gall to present themselves as honest brokers in debates on foreign policy today. It is good to be reminded so elegantly of just what the war meant to so many people's lives.

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