DARFUR UPDATE: Tim Collins calls for an army of mercenaries: ” So, for $1.3bn – approximately £700m at current exchange rates and half of Sudan’s military spend – you could field, feed and sustain an army for a year that could beat anything in Africa , permitting you to deal with the Sudanese forces and their attendant militias. A cost too far? Well Live Aid raised $300m in a single concert to buy food for a starving Ethiopia in 1985. In the UK alone we’ve apparently just drunk more than £1bn in booze over Christmas. So put in those terms it is not so much.”

There are, as he notes, legal and diplomatic issues.