Finland joins NATO
Good news that Finland has now joined NATO.
This means that Finland is better protected and the Alliance is stronger.
Putin sought to bully the nations of Europe into letting him do whatever he wants - as Finland was neutral for many years this was sometimes described as seeking the "Finlandisation of Europe."
Instead Putin's bullying has driven formerly neutral countries like Finland and Sweden into the arms of NATO - instead of getting the Finlandisation of NATO members he has brought about the NATO-isation of Finland.
I want to write a few words about Sweden which applied for NATO membership at the same time as Finland, an application still being held up because of security concerns expressed by the government of Turkey.
I hope agreement with Turkey can be reached to withdraw their veto so that Sweden too can join - and an honourable agreement which may well include better co-operation against genuine terrorists but should not facilitate persecution of people who just happen to belong to certain ethnic groups and express opinions which the current government of Turkey disagrees with.
I have personal reason to be well aware that some of the people who the current Turkish government is concerned about really are terrorists: I was one of hundreds of people who once had to evacuate a ten storey building because actual PKK terrorists threw a Molotov cocktail through one of the ground floor windows.
However, the existence of the PKK and other terrorist threats against Turkey no more justifies attempts to lock up - or worse - any advocate of the rights of Kurdish and other groups which are minorities in Turkey just for holding opinions that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan doesn't like than it would have been right, say, to lock up members of the SDLP in Northern Ireland during the troubles unless there was actual evidence implicating them in the crimes of the IRA.