Friday, March 28, 2003
Regime Change - 28th March 2003, 0.30

This was not a major factor in my support for the war but it is certainly a war aim when it comes to the BBC. One of the war aims of the blogosphere should be regime change at the BBC preferably accompanied by privatisation or break up.

I can stand a lot of things but I can't stand someone sucking up to the French. Paul Reynolds writes a profile of Dominique de Villepin and his speech to the IISS that is neither balanced or impartial. The French Foreign minister is hardly damned with faint praise.

Dominique de Villepin is a very attractive figure, and is not, according to fellow Frenchman Francois Heisbourg, chairman of the IISS, an "assembly line product of the French meritocracy." France still believes war was avoidable. He is an author (about Napoleon) and a poet as well. One felt that he spoke with the voice of France at the moment.

Just to show that he is not alone, a supportive member of the audience is gushingly quoted...

I also spoke to Sir Weston, a classic Brit, in the front row of the audience. Sir John is a former ambassador to Nato and the UN. He turned out to be critical of British policy and said that it had been a "cop-out to denounce France." He reminded me that he had written a poem in the subject, which he is rather proud of, though it is a pastiche of something Philip Larkin once wrote. Its last two lines read:

"But tell our children we're a lesser country
If common sense is ruled by moral fervour."

I am sure that Dominque de Villepin, a fellow poet, would have approved.

You would think that Villepin had announced an earthshaking diplomatic overture, some rabbit from a hat that France would use to bridge the rift, given the pedestal on which he so deservedly stands. But no...

But a senior former American diplomat I spoke to afterwards murmured that the French minister had said nothing new.

So the French Foreign Minister made a diplomatic speech in London where he made no attempt to start a rapprochement with the UK or the US and, for this, is transformed into some diplomatic guru by the BBC. The only consolation I can see is that even New Labour will become sick of this crap and turn them off, saving us all a license fee.


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