Walking Away: The Formation of British Foreign Policy

chopper_bitterlakeBritain is to be led by Hammond and Rory Stewart to the leading-edge of a confrontation with Russia, almost before we are out of Afghanistan. Scandalously Douglas Alexander does not even attempt to mount an alternative view. John Warren investigates.

Libya is a failed state. Until recently Britain had much to say about the country, and combined its rhetoric with a long and difficult public (yet often cordial) relationship with the Libyan regime; or less publicly, to operate closely with the regime (or so it seemed when some of Britain’s less admirable activities allegedly and unexpectedly emerged out of windblown filing cabinets, that revealed secret memos rifled from abandoned government buildings in Tripoli [Guardian 4th September, 2011]).

Since 2014 Libya has effectively dropped off the ‘radar’ of British public debate in the media, and even ceased to be part of the common discourse of our politics, save recent grim reports of the incursions of IS into the country, brutally killing Egyptian nationals working in Libya: as a cruel reminder to us all that the Libyan State’s capacity to defend itself has now completely collapsed.

There is little attempt in Britain to place this disastrous outcome for Libya in any current British political or policy context, in spite of Britain’s recent involvement in the Libyan revolution (2011-12), which has now ended in such an unfortunate, if almost unnoticed way. The only other reminder to us that Libya has finally disappeared as a recognisable, modern country, is to note that its coastline has been reduced to serving as a launch pad for mass clandestine emigration for refugees fleeing North Africa for the uncertain ‘promise’ of safety in Europe; a hazardous journey across the Mediterranean by boat, facilitated by every crook and gangster who can exploit human misery, from bases in a country that has so recently and so quickly been reduced to utter ruin.

Let us therefore examine, as best we may, how Britain formed its Foreign Policy on Libya; what Britain has claimed for this policy, and what effect this policy has had on Libya, Africa, the Middle East; or even Europe.

The Libyan Revolution which eventually overthrew the Gaddafi regime came to world public attention when there were serious protests in Benghazi against the government in February, 2011. The Libyan government responded by sending tanks into Benghazi in March. By 17 March the UN Security Council had passed a resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. A hastily organised coalition-of-the-willing, including France, Britain and the US enforced this no-fly zone.

There appeared to be some initial doubt that the US was as keen on both a no-fly zone or military action as Britain, followed by post-mission suggestions that Britain had interpreted the zone more aggressively than the UN intended, or the US desired. In any case this hasty coalition ‘in-the-air’, led to Britain bombing targets (probably air-defence systems) on 20 March.

On 24 March the Foreign Secretary, William Hague was reported by the Daily Telegraph as saying that Britain would continue “robust action” against the Gaddafi regime, and that the case for military strikes was “utterly compelling”.

On 26 April Hague reported to the House of Commons in the following terms:

“Britain has continued to take a leading role in international efforts to protect civilians in Libya and the case for action remains compelling: Qadhafi’s regime persists in attacking its own people, wilfully killing its own civilian population. Our strategy is to intensify the diplomatic, economic and military pressure on Qadhafi’s regime and since the House last met we have made progress on all those fronts” (Conservative Home, 26 April).

This is not quite a full or wholly informative explanation of the ‘timeline’ of Britain’s involvement. I have withheld something significant, because the British public were clearly not supposed to know anything about it at the time, or probably ever. How different the world looks when such a deft adjustment is accidentally discovered; especially if the official policy before the revelation of the withheld information may be contrasted with the outcome; such as the events as they unfolded towards August, 2014, and ever since with deepening, dark consequences for Libya. By then, of course Britain had gone; and replaced its “leading role” with silence.

Let us insert the missing item in the timeline. On 7 March, 2011 the Foreign Secretary was obliged to come to the House of Commons publicly to take “full responsibility” (his words) for a catastrophically botched clandestine military-secret service combined operation in Libya.

The Guardian Online reported that Hague was obliged to explain why a secret mission “had left Britain severely embarrassed when an eight-strong team including special forces were detained after landing in Libya by helicopter at night”. Hague confirmed that he had authorised the decision to send a team of MI6 officers and SAS soldiers into Libya, which was hastily withdrawn after “a serious misunderstanding about their role, leading to their temporary detention” by the Libyans.

The Foreign Secretary’s statement did not explain precisely the nature of the “misunderstanding” of the MI6 officers’ and soldiers’ role; but we need little help from imagination to speculate that the purpose of the mission was not likely to be to attack air-defence systems, or even less likely, simply to offer protection to Libyan citizens from the Libyan regime. Through this clumsily revealed operational blunder however, it seems reasonable to deduce that Britain was involved in this political revolution at close-quarters (or attempting to be), up to its neck.

While one mission was withdrawn, at the same time Hague said that the recently formed Interim National Council in Benghazi was in contact with British Ministers and Foreign Office officials, and had welcomed the idea of a British diplomatic mission to Libya. Notably, however the British Embassy was closed in March, 2011 (although its operations may have been suspended as early as February), after the British Ambassador Richard Northern had allegedly been discovered by Gaddafi to have been in contacts with the rebel Transitional Council in Benghazi. It is not difficult to figure out the broad, general direction of the British Government’s political strategy, or its aims; if we elicit these from the tenor of its deeds rather than its words.

Over the next six months the Libyan revolution spread and the regime began to disintegrate. On 17 October, 2011 Hague announced the reopening of the British Embassy in Tripoli. In his official announcement he said this;

“Today marks a watershed in the UK’s relations with Libya. Having been one of the first diplomatic Missions back into Tripoli after its liberation, we have now formally re-opened our Embassy and appointed an excellent new Ambassador to Libya Sir John Jenkins. This is further recognition of the great progress the National Transitional Council has made in stabilising Libya and re-establishing the country’s role as a full member of the international community”.

Hague continued,

“The Libyan people’s decisive break with the past means we are now able to open a new era in UK-Libya relations, building on our military, political, diplomatic and humanitarian support to the Libyan people during their revolution.”

The “break” was the collapse of the regime. Gaddafi was killed at Sirte in the Libyan desert on 20 October, 2011.

On 16 July, 2012 Hague visited Tripoli, and while admitting that the country still faced some challenges with lawlessness and security, Libya was now what he described confidently as “a tremendous success story”, following the recent elections of a new Libyan government.

On 12 September, 2012 the US Ambassador, J Christopher Stevens was killed with three other Americans in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. Thereafter, Libya slowly disappeared from the political and media spotlight, and less was heard about Hague’s tremendous success. Benghazi became a dangerous place to visit.

On 21 January, 2013, following a terrorist attack on the remote Amenas Gas refinery in neighbouring Algeria in which 80 people were killed (including three British nationals), Hague reacted by denying that Britain’s intervention in Libya had fuelled extremism in the region.

On 2 August, 2014, following escalating fighting in Tripoli between militias that, it seems, had been ever-present since the Revolution; Britain closed its Embassy. These militias (or others like them) had been crucial in unseating Gaddafi, and had subsequently made it difficult for any central government to establish security. There was a security vacuum in Libya, just as there had been a security vacuum in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

On 4 August, 2014 HMS Enterprise was diverted to Libya (Daily Telegraph, 3 August) in a Royal Navy operation on Foreign Office advice; and took off at least 110 people from Tripoli, mainly British but including other nationalities, to take them to safety; in an operation that the BBC chose to describe as “not a rescue mission”, as “there were still commercial means to leave Libya”.

Darkness has descended over Libya. There are no nightly live TV news reports from either Benghazi or Tripoli in 2015. There are no glowing tributes to ‘success’. Libya has disappeared.

This ‘achievement’ in Libya is William Hague’s major contribution to diplomacy as Foreign Secretary. The one benefit to Hague and his colleagues of carrying out this policy without British ‘boots-on-the-ground’ was the consequent facility of everyone in Government so easily to wash their hands of all responsibility for the catastrophe that has befallen Libya: unlike Iraq or Afghanistan where British military presence on the ground has proved such an unfortunate, constant reminder of our political failure. Cameron thus felt able to describe Hague as a “first-class foreign secretary” when he sacked him.

The current outcome in Libya was quite obvious to many critics when Britain formed its fatal policy. For example, The Brookings Institute (Santini and Varvelli) ‘The Libyan Crisis seen from European Capitals’ (1 June, 2011) argued that:

“even if Qaddafi were to fall, the outcome might not be a peaceful transition to democracy but protracted instability or civil war that could have significant consequences for the region and for Europe. In the future the need for a process of national reconciliation in Libya, the creation of new institutions and a renewed balance between the various components of power will require a major commitment to “state building””.

There was no major commitment to “state building” in British policy, but then there was no plan; no grasping of full responsibility for what Britain had so ably helped to set in motion. We have neither the resources nor the planning capacity for such actions; nor indeed, from all recent evidence across the globe, do we possess the basic competence, still less the resolve: the proof is in the only evidence that ever matters – the outcome. Britain moved seamlessly from belligerent to bystander when Gaddafi fell. This was uncannily close to the Iraq model; there was no plan. We simply walked away.

This is Britain’s latest political legacy bequeathed both to the Middle East and to the British people. It follows inexorably Britain’s military defeat in Basra; Britain’s strategic failure in Afghanistan; and now disaster in Libya. All in a single decade, a prodigious achievement in futile logistics, lost life and treasure expended.

The only conceivable justification for any of these adventures, even in the morally flexible world of realpolitik, would be success. The only redeeming quality in realpolitik is that there is no excuse for failure; and it is scarcely a surrender to bias to claim that in Libya there is absolutely no success to show. Indeed, the consequences from Libya’s collapse have already spread out over the Mediterranean to Europe, in leaky vessels jammed with refugees; or it oozes slowly out of Libya over North Africa like a deadly virus. David Anderson, Professor of African Politics, University of Warwick, has suggested that the incursions of Boko Haram in Nigeria were at least in part enabled by the transfer of armaments from Libya, which fell into dangerous hands following the collapse of its central government.

Young girls disappear from northern Nigeria into unnamed forms of slavery; in seeking to understand this obscenity, we may look for links, to form the patterns, to make the connections; these, we may reasonably reflect, do not rely on discovering the source of such chain reactions in recondite, impenetrable origins; the beating of a butterfly’s wing. Britain has failed on any cold, independent, calculated measure of success in Libya, that has not been seduced into silence by Britain’s extraordinary political capacity for short-term memory loss, or geopolitical narcissism.

Britain has failed: and yet, this is Britain: we fail, we never admit it and therefore we never learn, and whether Conservative, Labour or LibDems are in government – the folly never, ever seems to end. To use words first used by Rory Stewart to describe our Foreign Policy failure in Iraq;

“we are crippled by what we are” (‘Occupational Hazards’, 2006: Epilogue, p.425-6).

How wise were his words; authenticated by his own experience. Unfortunately what cripples us runs very deep in the culture of the British State.

I would ask one simple question of the Foreign Office, that I believe highlights the degree to which our long history of international diplomacy is not necessarily a sign of the profound wisdom we too easily and gratuitously claim to possess in that loftily urbane indulgence of hubris to which we British are only too prone in the exercise of international power politics.

With reference to Afghanistan: how many fluent Pashtun speakers are there advising on policy formation in Whitehall? Here, I am not speaking of the native-born Afghan translators who have served the British Army on the ground in Afghanistan, and have since been poorly served by Britain in return; I am writing about the number of fluent Pashtun speakers permanently on the Afghanistan desk in the Foreign Office?

Having lost Basra, failed in Afghanistan and participated in the total demolition of the Libyan state; it now seems that, even before the last few agitated grains of swirling dust, blown into the arid air of a military compound by the last British helicopter lifting-off from Afghanistan, have yet had the opportunity to rise or settle back on the impervious, unforgiving ground of Helmand; Hammond, Stewart and Douglas Alexander have already moved on.

With that sophisticated insouciance that allows our politicians to move ever forward without a single backward glance at the lengthening trail of international political detritus left trailing aimlessly in our wake as so many numbed, broken casualties of our ‘interventions’ round the world; Hammond, Stewart and Alexander have advanced seamlessly to the next crisis in which Britain’s robust intervention, we can complacently rest assured, is going to make a decisive difference: in Ukraine.



Categories: Commentary

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36 replies

  1. And let’s not forget Syria,where without the astonishing House of Commons vote,Westminster would also have been up to it’s armpits in another fiasco.
    When are they going to wise up and realise that the empire has gone and that we have neither the influence nor funds to get involved in other people’s affairs.
    The Empire was about exploiting other people’s resources for the benefit of a minority in Britain and that was the “justification” for so much UK inspired conflict around the world.
    Now,the politicians wave the flag of democracy around as the justification for their actions but usually it is still the same old same old,protecting the interests of the City of London and friends at the expense of the natives who get in the way.
    Good article.

    • The Empire was about exploiting other people’s resources for the benefit of a minority in Britain and that was the “justification” for so much UK inspired conflict around the world.
      That is exactly what this is all about,money and banking families having these countries murdered. Libya was a jewel of modern progression and was destroyed before the dumbed down western society had a chance to see its success. we as a people, are not part of these vile purveyors of death.

  2. oh mr alexander is far too busy looking for his next easy little number just like the two who have recently been caught selling their wares to all who will pay the most, let’s be honest who would concentrate on a job when you are getting your P45 shortly ,he will be sadly missed for all the great things has achieved for his constituents i bet they all wish him well in his future endeavors ,well done Douglas .

  3. An excellent and accurate article John.

    On Ukraine, we have already been duped here by our pro American press. So much so that the dubious rhetoric of ‘Russia -bad, America – good’ has taken root into our collective consciousness.

    For those wishing to read an alternative overview on the Ukraine situation, I would highly recommend Robert Parry’s article ‘ Wretched US journalism on Ukraine’ available here:

    http://www.spinwatch.org/index.php/issues/propaganda/item/5738-wretched-us-journalism-on-ukraine

    • Did anyone see the appalling propaganda rubbish in yesterday’s Metro (the online one)? Based on a completely unsupported bit of paranoia and russophobia from a former senior RAF officer (since knighted), the Metro claimed that Russia was a) threatening UK passenger aircraft and b) preparing to attack Britain!

      I’ve complained to IPSO but even if the paper has to retract at some point, the damage is done and lots of gullible people will believe the lies.

  4. Whitehall’s “foreign policy” is an adjunct of Pentagon hegemonic foreign policy where the real power and directives emanate from. Hammond, Stewart, and Alexander are the usual risible expendable puppets. That’s the genuine “realpolitic”.

  5. Indeed excellent. Mr. Warren might have added that the reliably estimated death toll from our illegal and criminal interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq is between 6 and 8 million (not the 100,000 routinely quoted for Iraq; there is also an estimate of 30,000 for Libya from the likewise criminal bombing campaign).
    In the light of these and other “adventures”, Britain might rightly be seen as part of a different “axis of evil”; an international terrorist rather than a liberators of oppressed peoples. Of one thing we can be sure – none of these interventions is about bringing “freedom and democracy”.
    What also needs to be highlighted is the shameful role of the mainstream media in all this, especially clear in the cover-up of the illegal US-instigated coup which led to the Kiev government’s war crimes in eastern Ukraine and in the demonisation of Russia that has led us to the brink of a third world war.

    • I never thought I would say this but George Galloway has a point about leaving the middle east and North Africa to those directly involved like Saudi Arabia. Sadly, Warmongering suits the arms manufacturers and failed politicians at home as a dangerous distraction from their failings

      • Like you I never thought I’d be saying this, but for no particular reason I was trawling YouTube the other day and found myself watching Galloway’s pronouncements over many years about the UK’s involvement in the Middle East, and was struck by how often events have proved him correct in his “no intervention” views.

    • http://WWW.Stopthewarcoalition has some interesting articles on Putin’s role in Ukraine

    • US-instigated coup? Kiev government’s war crimes in eastern Ukraine? Paul, I have no time for the western media, but I think you should be a little more sceptical about the Russian media, too. As a resident of Finland for nigh-on 30 years now, I do not believe a word that comes out of Moscow. It was only when Yeltsin came to power that Moscow finally took responsibility for the outbreak of the Winter War in 1939, an outburst of honesty quickly rescinded when KGB Putin took over, with the reqriting of school history text books yet again. The only thing I’d say in defence of the Russians is that their fears of American encroachment are no doubt both genuine and well-founded. The trouble for Ukraine is they’re caught in the middle between two equally cynical devils.

  6. We can achieve nothing militarily in the Ukraine, that much is obvious. The UK and the US failed in failed states – what makes them so sure of a big win now? This isn’t Iraq. It is not Afghanistan. It is not Libya. It is Russia’s backyard, and russian forces are not tribal guerrillas or poorly “equipped” potted plant soldiers. This won’t be a fight where we can nickle and dime on the butchers bill and send in poorly resourced troops fighting for an ill defined objective

  7. the paradigm of continual war encourages the relevance of the nation state.

      • The UK government announced they were not going to send arms or provide military assistance to the Ukrainians? It was an independent/ cross party defense committee who criticized the government for inaction and not having a strategy?

        You’re not hugely interested in details on this site are you!

        Out of interest what is your solution/ strategy to deal with the situation?

  8. When profit relies on War – War becomes profit.

  9. Scotland’s immediate and increasingly urgent ‘foreign policy’ priority is to democratically remove an absolutely corrupt British state from our territory.

  10. Good article. The political and diplomatic failures in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan are being swept under the carpet. I am not sure we should view Ukraine/Russia through a Libyan prism though. We would do well to avoid military adventurism but we do need a stronger response to the crisis. Non military support to the democratic Govt in Ukraine has been too weak. There is little sign of a coherent strategy on Russia that looks beyond Putin. We should be offering the carrot to the Russian people as well as the stick to Putin. Apparently Putin said at the G8 that he had a strategy and the West merely tactics. He was right about the West.

    Andrew

  11. Excellent article. British foreign policy has been driven by private self interest for centuries. History just keeps repeating itself.

  12. The UK government announced they were not going to send arms or provide military assistance to the Ukrainians? It was an independent/ cross party defense committee who criticized the government for inaction and not having a strategy?

    You’re not hugely interested in details on this site are you!

    Out of interest what is your solution/ strategy to deal with the situation?

    (Sorry, that was to John.)

  13. On 10th February Peter Dominizcak, Political Editor of the Daily Telegraph began an article as follows: “Britain could provide ‘lethal’ force to assist the Ukrainian government in its fight against pro-Russian forces, Philip Hammond has suggested”. Hammond is the current Defence Secretary. He appears to be broadly supported by Rory Stewart MP (Ex-FO and an expert on the failures in Iraq). Douglas Alexander incidentally had challenged Hammond to say under what circumstances the British Government would change its mind on not using “lethal force” (Guardian 10th February); the implication is that the Government, or some members of it (and the Opposition) are perhaps more hawkish than the PM.

    I believe that the situation in Ukraine is much more complicated than the primary colours currently being painted in the media, certainly in the UK. The Russian borders have moved hundreds of miles east of where they were under the post-war, Warsaw Pact. The closer we come to Russia’s heartlands the more sensitive the politics. The complexities of Ukraine, and its nightmare history (I suggest Timothy Snyder’s ‘Bloodlands’ here) do not offer easy solutions. I would rather hear much more from those countries most closely affected; not just Ukrainians or Russians, but Poland and Germany. I think Britain should take a supportive role in a united European political solution, advised by middle-European States.

    I do not claim either foresight or special wisdom. I begin and end with a desire for caution. At the same time I would ask a simple question of the West; just where does it think Russia should draw its borders; and how does it propose to persuade the Russians?

    We also should remember it appears that there may be some doubt that Putin actually exercises a great deal of control over the Ukrainian rebels he is supposed to manage like a master puppeteer. This is not an original development either in Ukrainian history.

    I am continually reminded of the horrors of WWII, particularly brutal in Ukraine; even Stalin was never in control of Ukraine (he lost a General in a Nationalist ambush). There were various Nationalist armies (UPA, UNRA etc). Some Nationalists like Banderas, fought with the Germans, then against them; others fought the Russians; some appear to have fought each other, if not everyone. Then there was the Waffen-SS Galizien to add to the mix. Nothing has ever proved certain in this world; welcome to Ukrainian history and politics.

    • The reference to the ‘Ukraine’s nightmare history’ fails to make clear that Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany were responsible for the vast majority of this ‘nightmare.’
      Unhappily Stalin was in control of Ukraine during the early 1930s. Post-1945, many Ukrainians had very good reason to try and prevent him regaining control.

    • John, you say “The Russian borders have moved hundreds of miles east of where they were under the post-war, Warsaw Pact”. I’m not sure what you mean here. The borders of Russia are exactly where they were previously, except for annexing the Crimea and parts of Georgia.

      I can only assume that you are conflating Russia with the Soviet Union in exactly the same way some people conflate England with the United Kingdom. How would you feel if Scotland got independence and people referred to England’s borders being moved?

      Then you suggest asking where “…Russia should draw its borders”. I wonder why you don’t consider the views of the people on the other side of those borders?

      As you’ll know from Bloodlands, a significant part of Ukraines WW2 history was when Stalin invaded Poland and moved the Soviet Union’s borders to the west. More than enough people died as a result of that to consider letting anyone change borders in the same way again, especially Putin.

      • I appreciate your point about the conflation but I am not insensitive to the interests of others. I merely wish to underscore how far Russia has retreated since the Cold War; and Russia has also suffered form the incursions of others; the population loss in WWII was 50m [five-zero; (Erickson, ‘Barbarossa’, 1994)]. It has shaped Russian politics. Underlying my ‘conflation’ was the fact (call it realpolitik if you will) that ‘de facto’ Russia decided the policy of the Warsaw Pact. I think I have made clear that I do seek the views of states bordering Russia (see my other response in this thread); nor is it an answer to declare that Russia (under Putin) should have no power or influence over its borders. Who, precisely is going to “let” or ‘not let’ Putin change anything? This is precisely the language, and politics, I wish to avoid.

        This is the last place in the world I would choose to be belligerent. The history of the “Bloodlands” is a description of how difficult it is for anyone to exercise complete authority there.

  14. Hi John,

    Great answer.

    Aye. Is complicated given the history, the famine and ww2.

    The best response Britain can have is soft power. Tim Garton Ash nailed it for me! Get the BBC involved on both sides to undercut the nationalist propaganda on both sides. I’ve traveled a bit and (outside of Scotland lol) they are generally very trusted.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/01/putin-stopped-ukraine-military-support-russian-propaganda

    • Ill-informed political meddling by the BBC is the last thing anybody needs. In Scotland we have learned first hand that the BBC simply cannot be trusted to provide “reliable information and a scrupulously presented array of different views”.

  15. Excellent article – and illuminating responses from your readers. My question is – Who has given Cameron the right to send troops to the Ukraine? He wouldn’t ask his ‘Better Together’ Scots naturally, but does he have the support of the UK population to get militarily involved in this next war? Who/ what is pushing him? It wouldn’t be the industrial/ military clique would it? If not, who/ what do you think is letting him loose?
    As has been mentioned ad nauseum, the Ukrainian territorial cum ethnic problem has a long, often troubled history; surrounding Russia’s borders with ill-intentioned gunnery was only going to get its Government to lash out. Wasn’t it?
    Having a lovely war every other year, is not too many peoples’ idea of fun, but I like to think in this case that Russians are pretty hot chess players, whilst we have yet to show distinction even in tiddly-winks. We are going to get our arses whupped, again. Time we were outa there.

  16. @ Johnson – I can only assume that your information as to how trusted the BBC are came from the BBC. Its ability to hype its own reputation is central to its whole propaganda operation. I’m not sure that the internet has reinforced it.

    As to British involvement in the affairs of other countries, I am sure that by the law of averages the life of someone, somewhere, somehow must have been saved by British involvement. However, many more have died or been maimed and their lives destroyed by the pseudo moral crusade of the British elite. One day the people of this island are going to pay a terrible price for their lack of awareness that what goes around comes around. People everywhere in the UK need to make a stand against the involvement of British armed forces in the affairs of other people.

  17. Here’s how foreign policy is cooked up: Jacob Rothschild has a word with a gofer like Peter Mandelson. Mandelson then has a meeting with the DG of MI6. “Jacob wants you to step up the arms deliveries to ISIS and make the photoshopped beheadings more realistic.” Or he might say “The Ukrainians are dragging their feet. Jason Gresh at the US Embassy asked them to mount a false flag and they’ve done nothing. Can’t somebody get them to shoot down a passenger flight over the war zone?” That’s how it’s done. No kidding. In fact I met Mandelson in the street about a month before the shooting down of MH17. He was going to a meeting with John Sawers. As for Jason Gresh (Assistant Army Attache at the US Embassy in Kiev), he sent an intercepted e-mail asking the Ukies to mount a black op. He was also looking for me on Google. Hell, I’m a player! Question: who is behind the ousting of Mossad’s man on the Intelligence and Security Committee? Is it the new MI6 DG Alex Younger who put the Telegraph up to it? Has the worm turned? I’ve been taking the piss out of these idiots for long enough! Six must be sick of serving the chosen ones by now. They got Maxwell. Why don’t they go for Lord Big? There are plenty of American and Russian generals who’d be pleased as Punch.

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