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Nato troop deployment is a vital response to defend Europe against Putin

Force for good

THE massive Nato troop deployment is a vital response to defend Europe against a monstrous dictator who will otherwise keep coming.

Some who think Putin can be appeased will consider it a provocation, just as they foolishly believe Nato ­provoked him in the first place.

The massive Nato troop deployment is a vital response to defend Europe against monstrous dictator Putin

The massive Nato troop deployment is a vital response to defend Europe against monstrous dictator PutinCredit: Reuters

Both assertions are nonsense and misunderstand his character and motive.

Putin considers it his destiny to establish by conquest a new Russian empire stretching far beyond Ukraine’s borders.

His TV channels are awash with Kremlin stooges spelling it out and urging him on.

Yesterday his mass-murdering ­barbarians shelled a packed shopping centre.

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Their depravity knows no limit.

The West cannot just cross its fingers.

We did that for 20 years. Look how it turned out.

But the very best deterrent is not these new Nato forces, welcome as they are.

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It is to keep arming and supporting Ukraine to repel Putin’s hordes.

That will continue to hit us hard financially.

But one key lesson from Putin’s deranged war is this: We can’t have freedom for free.

Time for action

WE don’t need mere hints from the Prime Minister that more help is coming with soaring bills.

Nor do we need more Boris “boosterism” — the sunny optimism he thinks raises morale even when there’s little to cheer about.

Boris Johnson must stop talking about tax reductions and deliver them

Boris Johnson must stop talking about tax reductions and deliver themCredit: AP

That tactic’s worn thin.

We now need direct and rapid action.

Boris says he understands the pain ordinary people feel at the supermarket checkout or petrol pump.

Fine, PM . . . use your powers to ease it.

Slashing fuel duty again is a start — but only if retailers are forced to pass it on.

Their record is woeful. We need a cut in VAT and green levies on energy too.

And it wouldn’t just help families and businesses.

It would help Boris shore up his own parlous position with his party.

As rebel backbencher David Davis says: “We want our Government to stop talking about tax reductions and deliver them, so we are no longer the highest-taxing Tory government in history.”

Absolutely right.

Losing gamble

WHY can’t the Tories just say no to nanny state lobbying outfits?

What’s in it for the Government to ban betting promotions and enforce affordability checks on all punters?

Banning betting promotions will damage racing

Banning betting promotions will damage racingCredit: PA

We know they’re trying to tackle problem gambling. But talk about a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

The damage to racing and the Treasury’s own tax take will be huge.

And punters might ditch legitimate bookies for dodgier ones giving them less grief.

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If voters wanted constant, hectoring socialist interference in their lives they would elect Labour governments.

Will the Tories listen? Don’t bet on it.