As legal sharks Schillings caused my publisher to back down, causing me to have to self-publish The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known, we have needed to think imaginatively about promoting the book. One plan will involve promoting some individual short quotes. I have been through the book and extracted some personal favourites, which I need to whittle down to about ten.
Any of these strike anyone as particularly attractive or a turn off?
Autobiography is a form in which individuals observe sharply the failings of others, but are themselves near-perfect.
It is not always the man society finds most respectable who is likely to try to do what is right.
Thousands of senior British diplomats, civil servants and members of the military knew of our policy of acceptance of torture.
You don’t have to be a saint to call torture when you see it.
Diplomats rather pride themselves on not caring.
Blair believed that he alone was the judge of right, and did not care how many had to die to prove it.
Blair’s policy of “Projection of hard power” was simply the return of formal Imperialism.
In conflict with Cook over ethical foreign policy, Blair would always overrule his Foreign Secretary, especially if the interest of the UK arms industry could be invoked.
The great fallacy of the Blair years was that foreign conflicts could be seen in black and white, as goodies versus baddies.
George Washington was fighting for the right to keep black people in chains.
Executive Outcomes ?” as enthusiastic a band of white killers as has been unleashed on Africa since King Leopold ran the Congo.
UN official, I regret to tell you, too often means corrupt and untrustworthy.
Having met Spicer, I was worried about his intentions and didn’t trust him.
A fundamental part of this new Blair doctrine was to be the ultimate privatisation ?” the privatisation of killing.
The Sandline Affair was a deeply squalid plot to corner the market in Sierra Leone’s blood diamonds.
It was the old story ?” trained white men go in, shoot up a load of Africans and gain control of key economic resources.
Sandhurst has been responsible for educating those who generated untold repression and economic ruination in Africa.
President Abacha died in bed with three hookers, from an overdose of Viagra. I quipped that it would take days to nail down the coffin lid.
The Customs and Excise team told me that the recommendation was that both Spicer and Penfold be prosecuted for breach of the embargo.
The dossier was returned to Customs and Excise from the Crown Prosecution Service the very same day it was sent. It was marked, in effect, for no further action.
The decision not to prosecute in the Sandline case was the first major instance of the corruption of the legal process that was to be the hallmark of the Blair years.
Hundreds of thousands of people have died in Iraq, including thousands of British and American soldiers, but some people have made huge amounts of money from the war.
Tim Spicer has made a fortune out of the Iraq War.
Tim Spicer has long been an advocate of shooting civilians in case they have bombs.
Butchering your live victims’ limbs with a machete is only more horrific in its immediacy than planting a car bomb or bombing an Iraqi town from the air in your invulnerable jet.
I realised that I was almost certainly the only person in that room who had never killed anybody.
Isaac was the product of the sores of Africa: he was a hardened killer, but he was also the little boy forced to kill his own mother.
Having led the way in African nationalism, Nkrumah was pioneering the forms of economic mismanagement that were to destroy the economies of the continent and bring starvation and immeasurable suffering to millions.
Those who did benefit, massively, were the dictators, their cronies, and the bonus-quaffing Porsche-driving bastards of the City of London.
Africans have destroyed their own regional trade, for the protection of corrupt private interests.
These first years of Rawlings in power unleashed political terror on Ghana which outstripped anything done by British colonial rule or by Nkrumah.
“That’s about the right number,” opined the Prince, “We have about six hundred and fifty MPs, and most of them are a complete bloody waste of time.”
There are some things that are too weird even for me, and the lower reaches of the Royal household are one of them.
Personally, I never understand why people accept honours, when there is so much more cachet in turning them down.
The United States, in what seemed to me an absurd example of political correctness, sent a delegation of blind election observers.
I was myself to encounter more electoral fraud in Blackburn than I ever did in Ghana.
In West Africa, among people who wear silk suits and are driven in Mercedes, the standards of truthfulness sadly leave in general a great deal to be desired.
Valerie Amos is the very antithesis of a democratic politician. One of the Blair inner circle, she rose to Cabinet level without ever having faced the electorate.
At launch over one third of Travant’s first equity fund came form DFID. A few months afterwards Baroness Amos, ex DFID minister, joined the board of this profit-making private equity firm.