Category Archives: India

While England Slept

It is quiet now. The Chancelleries of Europe and the great buildings of state in Whitehall are empty. The beaches of Europe are crowded, wives speak to their husbands away from the bustle of normality and claim them as human beings they recognise, and perhaps even like, while children discover  their parents. Soon these havens of gentleness and calm will be gone for us and real life will return again. But not yet, Good Lord. Not yet. We are dimly aware that somewhere else life is very different: fires rage across central Russia; flood renders millions of Parkistanis homeless without food, water or shelter; oil still drifts ashore on the beaches of Louisiana; and a stray bullet kills a young soldier in no mans land in Afghanistan  and leaves his family sobbing in Peckham, Surrey or Sunderland. It is, at this moment under the sun,  no business of ours.

Lodged in our consciousness is a longing for quietism. Why should not life always be like this? No business of ours. Yes, please, say the children, to another ice cream. It is argued that Britain was at its most glorious best when it concentrated on trade, when it was the manufacturing centre of the world and British merchant ships were to be found in every corner of the globe, when Britannia ruled the world and nasty wars were fought in far corners of it without undue cost to the taxpayer. In this mythical account there are no colonies or continental wars, no struggle for Empire. But would we not be better off now if we withdrew from all this nastiness, disengaged, increased our trade, made more goods in Birmingham and Manchester, and exported more to the BRIC countries, Brazil, India, Russia and China? If we could double our trade with BRIC from 2.5% to 5%. preferably  in the blinking of an eye, it would be very, very, helpful. Pity about Pakistan. Oh, well, you cannot please every one, can you?

What about the many and manifold dangers of this wicked world, Iran, South Korea, the Middle East and world terrorism? Leave it to the Americans, they seem to like that sort of thing. Policing the world, something we used to do ourselves before we saw the light. From where I am standing there is a great deal of light. As I said to Obama. Good luck to you mate. If you want to push a resolution through the Security Council, and so long as it doesn’t concern our trading partners Russia, China, India and Brazil, you can rely on us. You can’t say fairer than that. As for terrorism. as I told the Pakis, stop exporting it, its your problem, deal with it. Terrorism! Now there’s an ugly word. Answer me this. Do they have a problem with terrorism in Switzerland (do they have a problem at all!), Sweden or Luxembourg? No trouble there. Think about it.

Well William, here is a chance for us, lets get of the jolly old whirligig, and settle for peace and harmony, prosperity, and a new golden age. In your heart of hearts, you there on the beach, you know we are right.


Leave a comment

Filed under Cameron, Coalition Government, Conservative Home, Financial Times, George Osborne, Guardian, India, Obama, Politics

More Big Mouth

I am really surprised. I’m a straight speaking forthright sort of chap. I always speak out and give people my opinion and I am not going to stop now. Some Jonnies from the Foreign Office tipped me the wink that in foreign affairs it is not always a good thing to tell other countries  in public what you think about their policies and funny ways. At Eton we were taught not to worry about that kind of thing. Work out what you want to say and get it out  there. It’s always been my way. I put it to you that there is a limit to the number of countries who need to hear your views. Let’s say not more that a hundred or so.  If you arranged a short number of overseas trips you could p..s them all off in no time. Take a meeting of the European Heads of State, you could p..s of twenty eight countries in less than two hours! How about NATO? You can include North America in your mission.

And why am I dong this? I can envisage you saying this. In the modern Tory Party we have some interesting guys. I’m sure you will agree with this. Take Michael, for example, he can use words that you won’t find in the Short Oxford Dictionary. You’re laughing at me . Don’t believe me? I always take the Dictionary with me if I know he is going to be there. Well, Michael has introduced me to the idea of mutabilty. Now to you and I that is an unusual word but what it means is that we live and breath with the certainty of change. Or to put it bluntly, life is short – especially if you are a politician. You don’t have long. Of course there are exceptions, Mrs T? The  blessed Gordon. When I think of Gordon in the morning I imagine that as I look through the window at the back garden I see a rhino. No really, a rhino can do a lot of damage in a relatively short period of time and it is difficult to persuade  it to go away.You try, if you don’t believe me. Anyway, I digress, Michael makes the point that we do not have long to change Britain in our image and we had better get on with it. If it is worth doing, do it. Michael’s philosophy is my own. If you are bound to annoy all those Heads of State you had better get on with it. How long do we have? Well our Tory members think not long. When we asked them about the dangers to the Coalition and how long they thought it could survive, they were pessimistic. A lot of them thought we wouldn’t survive two years and many thought no  more than one year. George thought this far too short when it comes to the economy. He points out that there are twenty chapters in his economics textbook and he has only reached chapter four. (My advice was to read faster!!) Anyway, to come back to the main point. I do not have much time to tell all of these Heads of State what I think about their policies (Sarah, bring the Diary and remind me where we will be next week). But I shall. Count on it.

Leave a comment

Filed under BBC, Big society, Cameron, Europe, George Osborne, India, Labour Blogs, Liberal News, Michael Gove, Pakistan, Parliament, Politics, Treasury

Big Mouth, Little Britain

Hello, you out there. I’m going to boast a little. I have been in this job only three months and I have  not only shaken up Britain -Small Government Big Society-, he, he, he –  but I am changing Britain’s tole in the world for good and I hope for ever – or at least until the next General Election. And by the way I am fixing that, the date and circumstances of an election, so if you think you can easily throw me out think again. Don’t try it! In this I am helped by William [Hague]. He is a real historian, if I ever met one, and knows all about Walpole: no foreign wars, no army to wage it, a few ships to make it difficult for nasty powers to invade us, and local militia (I have been thinking of beefing up the School Cadet Service and the Territorial Army). When I look at what has been happening abroad I am truly appalled: foreign wars in places like Iraq and Afghanistan;  following the Americans into those god-awful places, Kossovo, do you remember it; slavishly following the European Union line; cowtowing  to Canada in NATO. You name it, we did it! No more. William is wise in all this. He tells me that we could not have defeated the Spanish Armada but for the storms that dashed their ships on the rocks; and it took us fifteen years to defeat Napoleon and we would not have done that but for the Prussians. And the two World Wars? Well as I said to Obama, we should have left to you. It would have saved us a lot of grief. I have changed all that. You can’t engage in these wars if you do not have an army, air force or navy can you? Liam is knocking them all down to size.We need to sell goods and services around the world. We want those countries who  are large and growing powerfully to buy from us. Why not? We can make things too. Countries like Turkey, India, China, Brazil, and South Korea. I have a Plan. I go there and act humble. I tell them about our needs. I support them vocally and denounce their enemies (sorry about that fraulein). I become their buddy (this is a strategy I learnt at Eton, by the way). So what if I annoy other countries. Who the hell in Britain wishes to toady up to Germany and France – otherwise known as the European Union! And how much more can we sell to Israel? Be reasonable.

Now some people question both my judgement and character. They describe me as combustible, excitable and something of a bully, and  they complain that I am alienating  powerful players in the world. They are entitled to their opinion. But did you not know that Britain has traditional ties with our Turkish  friends, that we meet more curry than any other type of  meal! We can eat more curry still, take it from me. And now for a word on immigration. The question has been asked whether Turkish membership of the European Union would result in hundreds of thousands of Turks settling in Britain. Perhaps, yes, perhaps no. With a bit of luck we might be out by the time they get in. Joke joke! But then you can’t have everything in life can you? Did I ever say you could?

Leave a comment

Filed under BBC, Big society, Cameron, Coalition Government, Conservative Home, Guardian, India, Iraq, Liam Fox, Liberal News, Liberal Vision, NATO, Nick Clegg, Obama, Pakistan, Politics, Turkey