Thursday 16 August 2012


I returned to the UK today to be astonished by private confirmation from within the FCO that the UK government has indeed decided - after immense pressure from the Obama administration - to enter the Ecuadorean Embassy and seize Julian Assange. 

This will be, beyond any argument, a blatant breach of the Vienna Convention of 1961, to which the UK is one of the original parties and which encodes the centuries - arguably millennia - of practice which have enabled diplomatic relations to function. The Vienna Convention is the most subscribed single international treaty in the world. 

The provisions of the Vienna Convention
on the status of diplomatic premises are expressed in deliberately absolute terms. There is no modification or qualification elsewhere in the treaty. 

*Article 22* 

1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter 
them, except with the consent of the head of the mission. 
2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises 
of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the 
mission or impairment of its dignity. 
3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of 
transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution. 

Not even the Chinese government tried to enter the US Embassy to arrest the Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen. Even during the decades of the Cold War, defectors or dissidents were never seized from each other's embassies. Murder in Samarkand relates in detail my attempts in the British Embassy to help Uzbek dissidents. This terrible breach of international law will result in British Embassies being subject to raids and harassment worldwide. 

The government's calculation is that, unlike Ecuador, Britain is a strong enough power to deter such intrusions. This is yet another symptom of the "might is right" principle in international relations, in the era of the neo-conservative abandonment of the idea of the rule of international law. 

The British Government bases its argument on domestic British legislation. But the domestic legislation of a country cannot counter its obligations in international law, unless it chooses to withdraw from them. If the government does not wish to follow the obligations imposed on it by the Vienna Convention, it has the right to resile from it - which would leave British diplomats with no protection worldwide. 

I hope to have more information soon on the threats used by the US administration. William Hague had been supporting the move against the concerted advice of his own officials; Ken Clarke has been opposing the move against the advice of his. I gather the decision to act has been taken in Number 10. 

There appears to have been no input of any kind from the Liberal Democrats. That opens a wider question - there appears to be no "liberal" impact now in any question of coalition policy. It is amazing how government salaries and privileges and ministerial limousines are worth far more than any belief to these people. I cannot now conceive how I was a member of that party for over thirty years, deluded into a genuine belief that they had principles. 


  1. 'British Colonialism' in all its arrogance.

  2. I think that the Westminster common sense gene and intellect has gone on holiday.

    Spectacular own goal.

    Now, if think this same imperial administration would not push the envelope top suffocate Scottish Independence, you have evidence to the contrary.

    These poeple live in another century.

    They will back-peddle but the fact that they said they could and even would do this speaks volumes.

    Beware the wounded empire, it will eat its own, if it thinks it needs to do, to survive.

  3. So an embassy can machine gun a police officer from it's doors and remain inviolate, but when the Yanks want their pound of flesh that ruling goes out the window?



  4. It is amazing how government salaries and privileges and ministerial limousines are worth far more than any belief to these people.

    very true just look at Alex Salmonds snp they have abandoned any pretense to Independence and political oblivion in pursuit of Q2 and retaining office

  5. Sure is CH. It always comes back to bite them on their stupid fat bums.

  6. LOL Wolfie. David Cameron and Nick Clegg have gone on holiday. I don't associate common sense or intellect with either of them.

    You are 100% right on the dirty tricks though. The secret is we have to make America want us to be independent. The Mrs Clinton will phone the fool at Downing street, give him orders and within minutes we'll be singing Scotland the Brave and flying our own flag on our own castle.

    As for living in another century, how I wish the did in reality. And if it tries to eat me I'll give it some nasty indigestion.

  7. Hi Conan.

    Yes. They are contemptible. I knew that they lacked experience and common sense, but this could, if they push it, be the end of British consular services.

    I just hope it doesn't reflect too badly on Scotland's services overseas.

  8. Niko. Go to bed and take your medicine like the nice doctor told you or I'll put you back in the straight jacket.

  9. From the Home Counties - [that's whaur the punters elect the UKGov, ken]

    This idiotic and illegal initiative by Hague has offended and dismayed all the usual Tory voters I met in the village pub yesterday. [These are educated and informed people, not just Daily Mail readers]

    A couple of the guys had relatives working for the FCO overseas and they were very worried about the potential reactions.

    An awful lot of people are beginning to realise that this UK government has finally lost it and may as well become the 51st state.

    Niko - I totally agree with whatever you are struggling to say, whatever it is, I think.

  10. Flash News Update

    Hague threatens to send gunboat to Equador and demands his GCE (failed) Geography result be reviewed.

  11. Hi Barney: Thank you for that. One of the things about being in the colonies is that you only really get the colonial point of view, and of course, we all know that that doesn't matter at all.

    So, it's good to know how those that count are thinking.

    And on this rare occasion it seems that we are thinking the same thing. :)

    As I suspected, there is a real worry that some countries will take advantage of what Britain has threatened to do.

    Nice to see you here again... (I quoted you the other day, for which thanks!)

  12. LOL Wolfie... Is that where he was heading?

    With his abilities he'll end up in Cambodia...

  13. Assange Facts

    Due to ongoing media distortion and the inability of the MSM to report this case adequately, we publish this from Occupy London…

  14. Barney

    Sine Niko became a born-again Tory we've all struggled with his posts.


    Left a message for you on Sophia's blog!

  15. Should have been "Since Niko..." but, who cares, no-one reads this blog anyway!

  16. Thanks CH. That was enlightening.

    I'm very surprised at Sweden having such a poor record on human rights.

    I'm sure there is an explanation for this.


  17. Erm. It seems you read this...

    Thanks for the message on Sophia's blog. I may read it sometime...

  18. Oh, I did read it.

    Gaelic is only one of the many languages in which I've been insulted over the years, I'll have you to know....


  19. Erm,

    We all only read this in the probably vain hope that Niko will come out of the NuLabour closet and post something sensible.

    He's tried it on his own blog but has never succeeded so I thought he might have better luck on here but after three or four years even the most optimistic of us are flagging.

    I blame his piles but maybe there's another reason.

    Mrs N. told me at the bingo that he had a little inability but that he could still maintain a stiff upper lip.......

  20. Well, I knew there was a reason, but I'd never have guessed that the main attraction was Niko.

    Still everyone to his taste.

    I see he's having a wee rant about the SNP's methadone killing loads of Scots... He's a card though isn't he.

    I'm glad you've been erm, talking to Mrs Niko at the bingo. The poor soul needs a friend.