Sunday 20 November 2011


Cameron with interim prime minister of Egypt
I suppose that in every job, there should be a training period at the beginning, a time during which the person learns on the job, often with the bosses eye firmly fixed on the most important decisions to be made.
In the case of the first or prime minister of a country that is a little more difficult because, in theory at least, he (or she) is the big cheese. But even this republican blog accepts that previous prime ministers have paid tribute to the advice given to them by the Queen, and the counsel they should be able to call upon most of all is that of the senior civil servants  from departments of government. The professionals

So whilst it is excusable that band new, squeaky clean David Cameron would want to make his mark early on foreign policy matters, it surely must have occurred to him, or to his foreign policy advisors in Downing Street or the FCO, that not only was he the first western leader to visit Cairo after the overthrow of Mubarak, but he was the only one to show any inclination to do so. It might also have occurred to him or them to wonder why that was.

King Farouk
Research, which if he didn't have the time or the wit to do, someone should have thought of, would have told him that the military has had a hold on the governance of Egypt since the overthrow of King Farouk in 1952 which it engineered with the help of the CIA. (Farouk's son was king for about a year, but as he was only 6 months old when he succeeded, it was surely Col Nassar who was calling the shots.) It was, then, very unlikely that the Army was about to give up power willingly in 2011.

So Cameron's visit to meet the new "interim" rulers (the military) was a somewhat dangerous and daring piece of foreign policy. Hailing the coming of democracy to north Africa was something over which he might have been well advised to "wait and see".

For, although there is to be an election, the military has made it clear that the new constitution should include a place in government for the military, and that that place should be shielded from any civilian oversight. 

Now, it is possible that that might be a sound idea. The relative stability of Egypt has been guaranteed over the last 60 years, possibly in part thanks to the firm hand of the military, under Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak in turn. And, in any case, we cannot judge the needs of every country by the needs of our own (as if we had any real democracy anyway). However, a state in which the military plays a role in government without any oversight of the people is not a democracy, and Cameron looks rather foolish to have hailed it as such.

Mr Hague and Mr Myers
The worrying thing is any role the FCO may have had in this piece of foreign policy. There was a time when the London FCO Arab desk might have been able to offer suitable advice about how to tread in this area. Maybe it still can and was ignored by a headstrong and none too clever Foreign Secretary (his judgement has to be called into question over his appointing his young friend and driver as a special advisor, and sharing expensive hotel bedrooms with him). Maybe there is no one left in the FCO who dare question the political masters, or maybe they just don't have the skills any more.

Whatever the reasons, Cameron's enthusiasm looks rather naive.

And as Syria explodes into civil war, there are those who are asking why Britian and France are not rushing to the aid of the "insurgents" as they did in Libya. Oh yes, the situation is more complex in Syria, and the military machine maybe stronger, but there are many similarities. The reason given for intervention in Libya was that we could not stand by and watch a dictator kill his own people. I failed to understand that at the time as we do that all  all over the world. But now it looks weaker and weaker as over 2,700 civilians including 100 children have been killed by Assad's forces.

It wouldn't be anything to do with the fact that Syria hardly has any oil worth talking about, could it?


  1. Cameroon may be cheering on the Egyptian 'democracy' to establish the mindset in people that 'democracy' must needs have the military involved, because the way things are going here he is going to need them to quell the dissenting people, as the 'dictatorship of the unelected EU becomes more and more apparent to the people of Britain there will be significant 'unrest' rearing its head very very soon.
    The PTB only intervene when they can make a fast buck out of their interference in sovereign states affairs, Syria...who cares, they have nothing worth having it would seem (as you so rightly pointed out) nor apparently does Bahrain, Somalia, Ethiopia...and how many other places. It is time that 'war' was made an international criminal act no matter how powerful the aggresor may be. What is needed is a sort of universal accord between all the countries of the world maybe it could be called the United Nations...oh sorry they tried that one didn't they and all it turned out to be was a way of subjugating smaller weaker nations to the Rothschilds/Rockerfellers depredations in their search for profit!
    Oh well back to the drawing board (or waterboard as the case may be!)

  2. Only very slightly on topic.

    Back in the early Seventies, our TA Company Colour Sergeant (a regular soldier, nearing retirement) had been a young soldier in the Suez Canal Zone whilst Farouk was still King of Egypt.

    He told this story. A British checkpoint had stopped Farouk's car and been rather brisk with the occupants. There was a great row and the corporal in charge was told to write a report. With considerable exertion, licking his pencil, he wrote " XX hrs, we stopped a car that had three wogs in it.."
    "You can't write that!" he was told "That car belonged to His Majesty King Farouk!" So he had another try.
    " XX hrs we stopped a car which contained His Majesty King Farouk of Egypt and two other wogs.."
    He had to do another rewrite.

    Incidentally, with regard to Syria, I gather that there are very inflammatory outside broadcasts being beamed in from Saudi Arabia, encouraging the rebels/insurgents/freedom fighters to visit their wrath upon the Christian community. If this does occur, it will be a re-run of what has already happened in Iraq and Egypt.

  3. What civil war in Syria would that be Tris - The one made up by the media?

  4. I would doubt people who are too scared to reveal their name when slagging off other people.

    I go by facts not personalities and Alex Jones has exposed and predicted most of what is going on in the world just now and provides the links to where you can get the facts for yourself.

    The same goes for Webster Tarpley so maybe you can go to Syria as well and confirm what is going on instead of just slagging people.

  5. I like your idea of the United nations things , nominedeus. I see no reason why that wouldn't work if it were properly organised and didn't have some silly "important" nations at the top with special powers.

    I wonder if we should give it a go.

  6. Some good articles there CH. November 30?

  7. LOL Brilliant story Mr S....

    How are you, you've been a bit quiet recently. Are you well?

  8. Well, difficult to tell, Billy, when you've lost all faith in what anyone, including the BBC tells you.

    To think that once upon a time you could have trusted the Times, as a journal of record. Huh!

  9. Tris,

    I'm fine but am frantically busy plotting.

    Of course, I always keep an eye on the blog but often don't have time to make a contribution.

    Best wishes,

  10. I inadvertently took down a post from Anonymous. (I've been getting a rash of them lately and have been deleting them from my inbox without reading them. It appears in this case that it was a genuine post.)

    It read:

    "Alex Jones is a fruitloop

    His advertisers are Bunker building paranoids

    I would doubt any info that Alex Jones embraces."

    I apologise to you Anonymous.

    As for your comment, I dunno. I'd never heard of the bloke before. It's rather difficult to judge these guys on cable on America. Some of them are good (eg: Olbermann) and some are indeed complete nut jobs (eg: O'Reilly) and that's not just a reflection of my political views, it's a reflection of their MO!

    Maybe if Danny's been following this he can give us a lead on it.

  11. Ah Mr S,

    That's good to hear.... both that you are well, and that you are plotting.



  12. I apologise to everyone for the delay in answering your posts.

    My internet connection was so poor last night that it "timed out" before reaching the blog.

    I did manage to read emails, and I sent some too, although whether they arrived or not, I have no idea.

    And I think I may have bought rather a large quantity of one book from Amazon, or maybe I haven't bought any. I had to keep trying to resend my order.

    I'd best sort that out now, and look at some alternatives to the BT 'connection' (that's an exaggeration) that I have.

  13. Your Bologlist Munguin, has gone all weird and when you click on a link it opens at the RSS feed.

    Many of the links are no longer active.

  14. Tris

    I understand the multiple book problem, once managed to buy the same book three times that way

    I listened to Alex Jones for a few months and looked at his Prison planet website

    He comes across in the Glenn Beck line, paranoid conspiracy theories. all New World order and Black Helicopters and 9/11 was an inside job, assuming it wasn't Mossad that week

    If you don't know of him then you are fortunate. He insults the intelligence

  15. Lupus:

    I tried the blog list. It seems to be working fine here. Maybe the problem is at your end?

  16. Anonymous:

    Thanks for the info. I must admit I've fallen about laughing at some of the talk jocks in the US.

    It turns out I didn't buy any books at all... Ho Hum.

    Bloody BT

  17. If the Tories were not being advised by their erstwhile drivers, moody best men and failed tabloid hacks then perhaps these preposterous gaffes might not happen so often as they do.

  18. If only Munguin...

    Excellent news Wolfie. Glitches are the very devil...

  19. Teachers strike tris.


  20. Teachers strike Anon?

    Tell me more...

  21. We have Occupy who have now taken over an empty UBS building and renamed it Bank of Ideas, clever that, the unions no doubt will be having a march and after hearing the anger of Londoners the other week on the Stephen Nolan show with Edwina egg on your face I feel that a scrambled disruption is simmering.

    cH bugger blogger

  22. I don't think that there is any doubt that even the supine Brits are, as you say, simmering.

    Governemtns have behaved badly to people before, but this lot are so utterly obvious in their contempt of ordinary common people getting in the way of their plan.

    They take what they want, and they refuse to give anything but the very least they can to people who are not "them".

    We are all becoming bitter and angry. And I suspect we are not as timid as we were in Thatcher's day.

    By next summer there could be big trouble.