Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Do as I say, or I'll stamp my feet

I don’t know whether the Russian state was or was not behind the poisoning in Salisbury.  And unless the UK government has information which it has yet to release, then it does not know either, despite having rushed to point the finger.  Russia isn’t the only possible culprit either; as Craig Murray points out, there are other credible potential villains.  I tend to suspect that Russia is the likeliest, but am struggling to see a strong enough motive for carrying out the attack, let alone doing so in such a way that they would obviously be the top suspects.
But even if we give the UK government the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they know what they’re talking about, how wise is it really for a middle-sized offshore state to start issuing ‘ultimatums’ to a state like Russia?  I understand and agree that no state can idly stand by and allow another state to target and kill civilians at will (although the UK position on that would be a great deal stronger if they hadn’t been actively engaged in doing the same thing elsewhere), and that, if the evidence is strong enough there has to be a protest, backed up by some sort of diplomatic action.  But an ultimatum?
There’s something very old-fashioned about the idea of one state issuing an ultimatum to another.  Hitler issued more than one before invading countries, and Chamberlain issued one to Hitler before declaring war on Germany.  But normally, they’re issued either by opponents who are roughly equal as a prelude to stepping outside to settle the issue, or else by the playground bully as a pretext for the thrashing which is to follow.  Even in the times in which they were more commonplace, my memory of history doesn’t bring to mind an instance of one being issued to the bully by the child receiving, or about to receive, the thrashing.  The reason for that should be obvious.
It strikes me as yet another example of the delusion suffered by those who govern us that the UK (or Great Britain as they’d probably prefer to call it despite its inaccuracy as a description) is still a global power in the face of which others should be quaking in their boots: a great power which can throw its weight around and force others into line.  Whilst they certainly need to be disabused of that notion, I’d prefer, on the whole, to find a better way to bring that about than picking a fight with Russia.

1 comment:

Spirit of BME said...

How right you are, deep in the English DNA there is a firm belief that “Make the world England” is alive and well.
Lots of support today about the attack from our Allies, but words are cheap and we will await what action, if any takes place.
It`s screamingly clear from the coverage that this story from the start is “managed” as media is simply not asking basic questions. The most troublesome is “Where is the evidence?” Now, Mrs May could well have slam dunk case based on espionage feedback but is unable to bring to the table as it would expose the source or the technology involved or the gathering was outside current legislation.
So, the statement she made in the House on Wednesday came to a clear conclusion, but Brother Corbyn came to another and this is odd, because as leader of HM Loyal Opposition and a member of the Privy Council (bad move Brother and another of your principles down the pan) national security is not a political question and he would have the same intelligence briefing as the Prime Minister.
No one is asking what level of intelligence was given to Brother Corbyn, but we know from the past in the Wilson era that the South Bank Boys (MI6) and the Millbank Boys (MI5) viewed Wilson, when dealing with the USSR as “untrustworthy” and not a chap and amended their reports accordingly.