This is hilarious! In France, Germany and Spain beleaguered US ambassadors are being hauled over the coals, Obama has to explain himself over the phone to Hollande and Merkel, in the UK former members of the establishment are queuing up to say GCHQ needs to be reined in – yet Cameron is still banging on about injunctions and bloody D notices!
When in doubt, deny it, muzzle the press and wait for the fuss to die down. Is that it, Dave? Tried and trusted, stiff upper lip and all that?
36 years ago Anthony Sampson wrote in The Arms Bazaar:
… there is no real British equivalent to the fierce rivalries between American companies, each abetted by the rival services. What the British intimacy [between government and the arms companies] does ensure is secrecy. The arms sales may be carefully scrutinised by the diplomats and defence officials in private, and may be turned down, in such cases as Chile and South Africa. But the British parliament are not allowed to share in the decisions or to know how the sales are apportioned; and the British public are never told the extent to which they are arming the world.
Does any of that sound familiar?
Don’t worry, Dave, it’ll work this time too. The Brits are used to being shafted. After all, life is so much easier when you leave the thinking to someone else. And never – never! – shall the British public be told the extent to which they are harming the world with their intellectual laziness and moral cowardice.