"While I am proud of some of the things we have done as a government I actually think we need to really hard-wire fairness into what we do in the next phases of fiscal restraint. If we don't do that I don't think the process will be either socially or politically sustainable or acceptable."
STUNNING violinist Nicola Benedetti becomes as tightly strung as a Stradivarius when pop babe Rihanna’s name crops up.
I must have hit a bum note after asking why the sexy Scot doesn’t make more of her fabulous figure — when she suddenly flies off on one.
So I guess Nicola won’t be posing for the lads’ mags anytime soon. Pity, because she looks fit as a fiddle when we meet at Edinburgh’s plush Sheraton Hotel.
The classical musician is wearing skinny jeans which show off her long legs. She’s also busty with a washboard flat tummy, tottering around 5ft 10in in her Dune platform wedges.
But Nicola doesn’t always take the bonniest photo — she’s beaky in pics sometimes, which is weird because in the flesh she’s an absolute knock-out.
Nicola says: “It’s eight years since I won Young Musician of the Year. In the next eight years I’d hope to be a better violinist and I’d like to have started a family. I’ll be in my early 30s so I would probably like a baby or two by then.”
Better get busy making sweet, sweet music, Leonard. Lucky boy...
Only a shift in military momentum will end such talk. The balance of power that currently favors Mr. Assad could easily be overturned. Providing the rebels with as few as 500 Stinger missiles and 1,000 tank-busting R.P.G.-7’s could potentially cut the conflict’s length in half. And grounding Mr. Assad’s air force, keeping his tanks off the roads, and neutralizing his command-and-control would be likely to bring him down within a couple of months.
Nor should the U.S. be joining the dangerous game of arming the insurgency, which seems to be getting plenty of weapons from other sources. All of the risks of the proliferation of weapons into a fragmented insurgency of uncertain identity and aspirations, so blithely dismissed by the op-ed hawks, remain as intense as ever. There are still vanishingly few, if any, historical examples of such a strategy actually leading to a rapid resolution of a civil conflict, and all too many examples of it making conflicts longer and bloodier. Nor is it likely that providing weapons will provide the U.S. with great influence over the groups they are. I see no reason to believe that armed groups will stay bought, or stay loyal, just because they were given weapons, or that the U.S. would be able to credibly threaten to cut off the flow of weapons if groups deemed essential to the battle used them in undesirable ways. As a general rule of thumb if you really think that a group might join al-Qaeda if you don't give them guns, you'd best not give them guns. At this point, the flow of weapons may be as unstoppable as the descent into protracted insurgency and civil war, but that doesn't mean that the U.S. should heedlessly throw more gasoline on the fire. At the most, it should continue its efforts to help shape some form of coherent political and strategic control over those newly armed groups.
At one point in the trial, the prosecuting barrister asked Mr Datta, a colorectal surgeon at Guy's and Thomas's NHS Trust: "Can you tell us what a douche is?"
With those judo contestants – and I realise this will probably sound appallingly sexist – I couldn't help wondering about their soft limbs battered black and blue with bruises.