Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Is Mark Thatcher Alone?

I do pick my moments to be off the watch, so sorry to my select band of readers. What a scorching couple of weeks for foreign affairs!

Of course the most important question is just what the Tories should do now that the Bush Administration has been proved beyond the merest shadow of a doubt that America is not our friend. Where have the mea culpas been from all the right wing Atlanticists now that the Bush administration have deposited on the Tories from a great height? Battered wives show more guts. (Please email me the best examples of really lame explanations from Atlantacists, Anglospherists, etc.) And then there's Russia and the Telegraph (I'll probably deal with the latter soon). It's all heating up.

However I want to concentrate on something far less important to us, and that is Mark Thatcher's attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea. Unless some blinding evidence of his innocence were to arrive then I think we can safely say that this idiot son is up to the plot to his armpits. Not that this is a bad thing as Equitorial Guinea is run by your classic case of an African chief mad man and they would be well rid of him for a more run of the mill ruthless thug (Saddam is looking for a job by the way).

The question that is troubling me is was he really doing this on his own? The British have shown a vast degree of interest in sub-Saharan Africa since Blair came in, as have the Yanks. Spain also has an interest being the old colonial power and it is hard to imagine the son of a former Prime Minister moving on something like this (after all he has a whole load of money) without some sort of British government knowledge. And what about Jeffrey Archer? Would he be that stupid to get involved with something so dangerous almost immediately after getting out of prison if there wasn't some official nod? Actually knowing Archer he probably would.

The other main plotter, Simon Mann's Executive Outcomes has been almost an unofficial arm of Britain's Africa policy (and South Africa's). And the less we mention Mann's other venture Sandline, the better.

Talking of idiot sons, David Hart may not be the sharpest tool in the box - but he is well connected running a couple of the more strident pieces of enemy interference in the 1980s (such as the Union of Democratic Miners). According to this admittedly unreliable report he's now saying nice things about Blair such as “Blair’s objective is to retain power. I don’t find that distasteful.” Who'd have thunk it?

Now I don't claim to have a scrap of non-circumstantial evidence to link these people with the British government, and unless some massive piece of evidence comes in I propose to say no more about it. It's just odd, that's all.


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