Grant Woodward: What we’d give for a leader with Churchill’s bottle now

CLOUD CUCKOO LAND?: Jeremy Corbyn said he regretted that Jihadi John had not been arrested.
CLOUD CUCKOO LAND?: Jeremy Corbyn said he regretted that Jihadi John had not been arrested.
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SO what are the options then? Do we listen to Jeremy Corbyn and turn the other cheek?

Or should we go in all guns blazing and try to wipe the so-called Islamic State off the face of the planet?

First Corbyn. The idea that this man could one day be Prime Minister became even more chilling in the wake of the Paris attacks.

His claim that the French were to blame for the atrocities because they bombed IS in Syria was an insult to the dead and made you tremble for the Britain he would create.

His stance was a haunting echo of the appeasement that helped trigger the Second World War and allowed Adolf Hitler to murder millions.

But surely not even Neville Chamberlain would have spouted the claptrap he’s been coming out with in the past few days.

Corbyn’s regret that Jihadi John, the beheader of aid workers and journalists, couldn’t have been arrested rather than assassinated proves he’s living in cloud cuckoo land.

The Guardian, meanwhile, has been busy warning that military responses to the slaughter of innocent people in cold blood could be illegal.

God help us.

Do you really think Winston Churchill would be wringing his hands over the niceties of taking out fanatics who put a bullet through disabled people at a rock concert?

Are we meant to shrug our shoulders when cowards are gunning down people on sunbeds, at music concerts and while they’re enjoying a meal at their local restaurant?

And surely it can’t be morally right to abandon vast swathes of the Middle East to a group that would take countries back to the dark ages and impose a brutal regime on its people.

The answer is not to stop confronting IS but to ramp up efforts to destroy both them and their poisonous ideology.

We should start with air strikes against these nutters in Syria.

That’s what France did in the wake of the atrocities in Paris. It was a golden opportunity for David Cameron to show his mettle and prove Britain truly stands shoulder to shoulder with the French by joining in.

Yes, the PM lost a Commons vote on sending in the war planes two years ago but after Paris surely he’d get his way.

Instead we got the same platitudes trotted out about how we’re right behind the French nation.

If that’s the case then prove it. Actions speak louder than words.

Of course, it’s not quite that simple.

There’s a chance that bombing could lead to us sending in ground troops – and do we really want to to commit British men and women to a difficult and hellish war against a deranged death cult?

Then there’s the argument that further military action is exactly what IS want.

Some reckon it will bring them even more recruits because they can paint it as an attack on Muslims by the “Crusader West”.

So it would be helpful if as many British Muslims as possible came out and denounced IS and its slaughter of innocents.

Many have, including Leeds imam Qari Asim who said that “as a Muslim, a Briton and a human being, I will not stay silent on attacks on our societies in the name of my faith”. Good on him.

We need others to follow suit and send a message to IS that they don’t buy into their hate-filled ideology.

But there comes a point where the talking has to stop, when the West says enough is enough and its nations come together to confront this evil.

Besides, if we do go to war with IS at least we’ll be fighting for something that really matters this time – nothing less than the survival of our way of life.

We just need someone to lead the way. What would we give for another Churchill now?

The 90s were far more fun

I HAD the pleasure of the company of James Brown and Alan McGee the other night.

Leeds lad James founded Loaded magazine and Alan discovered Oasis.

The pair of them swapped anecdotes at an Evening With... type event in Hull of all places – and thoroughly entertaining it was too.

After a couple of hours of potentially libellous onstage stories about everyone from Pete Doherty to Paul Weller and Courtney Love, I had a chat at the bar with Alan (who sticks to the fizzy water these days).

Asked how he’s ended up managing the Happy Mondays, he said: “Because basically everyone else was dead.”

The night reminded me how great it was in the 90s to have genuine mavericks like Brown and McGee leading the way.

James effectively invented a genre with Loaded – but it’s no wonder it’s no more and that last remaining ‘lad’s mag’ FHM folded this week.

The fact is there’s no one worth writing about. The great 90s characters – like these two, the Gallaghers, Damien Hirst and a ton of sportsmen from Ronnie O’Sullivan to Eric Cantona – have been replaced by a bunch of robots.

Who’s going to say or do something outrageous from the current lot? Ed Sheeran? Coldplay? The latest X Factor winner?

I honestly pity today’s generation, they’re surrounded by blandness. We 90s kids had it so much better.

Put addicts at back of NHS queue

HEALTH workers up in Scotland are campaigning for a new drug to be made made more widely available. It’s called Naloxone and it can prevent heroin users from overdosing.

Now I’ve got huge sympathy for the families of those who get themselves hooked on a drug like heroin to the point where it’s a lottery if they live or die.

But at a time when funding cuts to the NHS have seen spending on important medicines slashed, should the likes of Naloxone really be a priority?

It may sound harsh but heroin addicts make a concious decision to take the drug, knowing full well what they’re getting into.

Compare that to Otley youngster Sam Brown, who was born with life-limiting Morquio Syndrome but hasn’t been able to get the drug he needs because the NHS thinks it’s too expensive.

When junkies could be ahead of a six-year-old in the queue for lifesaving medication, you really know a country’s got its priorities screwed up.