Every day another item stated as fact turns out to be based on foundations of sand. The Independent reports today on how the much-vaunted backing of the new democracies of central and eastern Europe doesn’t in fact exist at all. Added to their list of non-supporting nations of that region I would add Hungary, whose Prime Minister signed up to the Euro Eight letter of support but later backed down saying he did so in a personal capacity not as PM. Polls in Hungary and across the region show a majority of the public opposed to the war.

After Donald Rumsfeld labelled the east Europeans as ‘new Europe’ there were more than a few right-wing commentators who waxed at length about how the experience of real oppression during 40 years of communist rule made the ‘new Europeans’ more aware of the need to defeat Saddam – it was an oversimplistic argument and one that, like so many we have heard in the past month or so, has not stood the test of events.