Thursday, February 26, 2004

A Government of Promiscuous Buggers?

No, I'm not talking about the mysteries of the Blair-Mandelson axis, or the late marriage (to his Public Relations consultant, no less) of Gordon Brown. And how dare you think that I would even hint at these matters!

The issue is the alleged bugging of Kofi Annan and Heaven alone knows who else by British intelligence services. Of course the national interest argument is as simple as I am, old Kofi is not a British citizen so if the gains from his bugging are justified by the costs (including any potential embarrasment) then so be it.

However we are not dealing with a government who think too much about the national interest except as an add on justification to whatever course of foreign affairs they want to take (a disease that is endemic throughout the political classes), in that "of course removing Saddam / signing up to the single currency / doing America's bidding / starving the third world is in our national interest, otherwise I would never have proposed it." Oh yeah? Sounds like shoehorning to me.

We are dealing with a government who believe that British forces should be deployed to enforce "international law", and it is far less of an after thought than the national interest. Now I realise that international law is an amorphous concept, but bugging foreign diplomats is a pretty big no-no, and there doesn't seem to be a general exception to the UN for this.

Now I don't worry about this but for a government that does (and constantly uses not only international law but the will of the United Nations as a justification) it plainly should. The sounds of hoisting by home made petards can be distinctly heard.


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