Never Trust a Man without a Waistcoat 391

Contrary to the usual mainstream media inaccuracy, Sir Ivan Rogers has not resigned from the FCO as he was a Treasury civil servant. The clue is in the phrase “resigned on principle”. FCO people are not big on principles.

Indeed, the FCO was almost as strongly against the Iraq War as it is against Brexit. Yet the only two British diplomats who resigned on principle over the War on Iraq/Terror, those disastrous Blair/Bush policies which have devastated the Middle East and multiplied a hundredfold the terrorist threat, were Carne Ross and myself. We were also among the very few British diplomats I knew of at the time who always wore waistcoats. Which just goes to prove that the lack of a waistcoat is definite evidence of deficient moral character. (I have not forgotten the resignation of Elizabeth Wilmshurst, who was an excellent FCO lawyer but not a diplomat).

Brexit is a disaster for the UK, but probably will not spread as much harm across the entire globe as the invasion of Iraq. I do not expect to see any FCO resignations over it, much as they may mutter in the canteen. The government continuing to pay the fees for their children at the UK’s most expensive boarding schools, continues to be the main motive in life for the vast majority of British diplomats. It is strange to think that 15 years have now passed since my first Ambassadorial appointment, and had I not suffered from a conscience I would now be on my final, and probably very senior, Ambassadorship. Tim Barrow, who takes over as British Ambassador to the EU, joined the FCO two years after me and I knew him slightly. He was a very humorous though somewhat earnest young man. Crucially, I recall he wore a waistcoat.

My two autobiographical books, Murder in Samarkand and The Catholic Orangemen of Togo, rather give the impression that the FCO is full of nasty bastards. In fact this is not true at all. I was just extremely unlucky in my two last postings. Before that I had some really admirable bosses including Brian Barder, Michael Llewellyn Smith and Christopher Hum. Like them, many other prominent FCO types including Jeremy Greenstock, Christopher Mayhew and Charles Crawford (who turns up to criticise this blog from time to time) are among the nicest people you could wish to meet. I am pretty certain all of them are horrified by BREXIT, but I am equally sure the institutional culture is such that their successors will all work on at the FCO to try to make the best of an appalling job. It is rather like a determination to slit your own throat neatly and accurately.

Ivan Rogers’ strictures on the lack of government planning and preparedness are quite correct. Brexit is a seat of the pants exercise resulting from a ruse to hide political divisions in the Tory Party. The only definite principle appears to be that the preservation of a pure stream of racist thinking on immigration is sacrosanct, and every other interest or policy must be sacrificed to that. In Liam Fox and Theresa May, the political leadership lies in the hands of two people lacking totally in the required intellectual capacity, while all the senior civil servants who support them – including Tim Barrow – are engaged in a policy with which they fundamentally disagree. I think we are about to see a pig’s ear of a policy with a pig’s arsehole as a result.

I am now back from holiday, and starting working again, though as you may have gathered still in somewhat whimsical mood.


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391 thoughts on “Never Trust a Man without a Waistcoat

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  • Herbie

    More fake news from the BBC.

    The Kuennsberg creature again.

    “Independent studies have shown that the media has become establishment attack dogs against Jeremy Corbyn specifically since the failed coup against his leadership. The BBC has been no exception in the distribution of misinformation.”


    “The Trust said there was “no evidence of any intent to deceive or distort”.”

    Lying gits!

  • bevin

    “I wonder if Craig (and i mean Craig, not “commenters”) has anything he’d like to add to his current posts on the subject in the light of the release in Washington the other day of the declassified report on the hacking/interfering with the Presidential election?”
    Thus enquired Habbabkuk.

    Perhaps this will help:
    From an interview with Craig Murray:

    “When I saw the report the other night I genuinely believed that was The Daily Mash or some other humorous site that had done a spoof. It seems such a mockery of what we’ve had, which is weeks and weeks of assertion without evidence. And it was so totally devoid of evidence, that I thought it must be a joke,” he told RT.

    He added that the report failed to cite any factual evidence “because the assertions it is making are factually untrue.”

    Murray believes that the report is full of “illogical assertions built on nothing.”

    “The report asserts, for example, that President Putin must have ordered the hacking. It doesn’t say that the hacking of the election or influencing actually happened. But it says: ‘If it happened, he must have ordered it.’ And as evidence, it gives the fact that after the election, Russia did not question the validity of the election process and that it in some way supposes that Putin ordered that the process be hacked. It is nonsense,” Murray explained.

    He also lambasted the document for making RT the centerpiece of the alleged Russian effort to undermine American democracy.

    “[The report] makes it seem illegitimate and wrong for a media organization to broadcast any information that doesn’t go along with the American government’s wishes. One example is that the report states that RT broadcast a program critical of fracking, and that it proves that RT was setting up to undermine the American economy,” he said.

    “That’s an astonishing assertion. There are millions of Americans, who are against fracking! It’s a blatant attack on the freedom of the press and an attempt to limit the area of legitimate debate.”

    • eldudeabides

      Thanks Bevin (and RobG) for the transcript and link to Craig’s piece on RT.

      The US regime’s allegations against Russia are quite clearly constructed by legal people, the type that play with words. And I have been detecting the same in recent days from Obama, with him dancing legally on the head of a pin.

      Their claims are something you’d have seen on the great 80’s tv series, Yes, Prime Minister……or on some John Cleese/Python sketch.

      BOGUS ALLEGATION ‘If it (hacking) happened, he (Putin) must have ordered it.’
      PROOF – Russia did not question the validity of the election process THUS must have Putin ordered that the election be hacked.
      REALITY – Neoliberalists cannot accept that they lost the election, and still want to go to war with Russia.

      MY BOGUS ALLEGATION – if my dog was poisoned last night, it must have been Putin.
      PROOF – Putin never questioned the health of my dog today in his daily state press conference.
      REALITY – my dog is playing with the cat here tonight, and is in swell health.

      The US and UK regimes are now so far gone, and are so chocker-block full of liars and perjurers, as to be a farce.

      Nobody takes them seriously – apart from their faithful Lord Haw Haw propaganda corporate *media*

  • John Goss

    Now Kara-Murza’s life has been saved by Russian specialists he is free to make unfounded accusations once again. As fickle as Resident Dissident himself see the second link and find his thank you to the doctors. I found nothing on his website thanking them for saving his life. Only Blame Putin, Blame Russia nonsense. Of course Russians themselves pay no heed to this shit.

    In the September elections the Khodorkovsky Open Russia candidates standing for the Yabloko (it means Apple) Party managed to retain all the seats they held previously (zero) with a decreased percentage of the vote. 😀

    • Resident Dissident

      Statement by Evgenia Kara-Murza, wife of Open Russia coordinator Vladimir Kara-Murza, who was hospitalised on May 26, and was subsequently diagnosed with severe kidney failure due to some type of intoxication.
      “The condition of my husband, Vladimir Kara-Murza, who has been in the intensive care unit in N. I. Pirogov City Hospital No. 1, has clearly improved. There have been some positive signs; and the doctors have reduced the level of drugs they have been giving him. We now have hope that Volodya will recover.
      Our family would like to express the deepest gratitude to doctors Alexei Svet and Denis Protsenko, of City Hospital No. 1, to professors Eran Moshe Segal and Alexander Tartakovsky, as well as the company Imedical Israel, and personally to its director Gregory Sambulov.
      Many thanks to everyone who has supported us during this difficult time, for your expressions of help and sympathy, and to those of you who have been praying for Volodya’s health, and wishing him a speedy recovery.
      Thank you to you all!
      Evgenia Kara-Murza”

      From the first link which Goss of course ignores since it exposes his previous and repeated lies – looks pretty much like the doctors being thanked to any sensible human being. Of course the KGB does have some form when it comes to hounding dissidents.

      Would the September elections be same ones you dishonestly and rather stupidly provided a link to a YouTube video claiming they were US Democratic Election ballots – for which another apology is outstanding????

      • John Goss

        That was when the family were still in Russia. The second link you posted contains nothing but the usual Open Russia slurs that have no foundation in reality. You know they are a bit like your perpetual slurs on Russia. But that is understandable because it is where you get your bollocks from.

        “Of course the KGB does have some form when it comes to hounding dissidents.”

        Your second link showed an altogether different Kara-Murza family opinion on Russia. The thanks were short-remembered.

        • Resident Dissident

          When else do you think the family should thank the Russian doctors? Does it have to be in a format that you prescribe in order to count. The fact is you have repeatedly lied on this matter to try and further your entirely unequivocal support for Putin (who is not Russia whatever you might say). A decent person would apologise.

          • John Goss

            You are the liar. You persistently blamed Russia and Putin before any diagnosis had been made with snide comments like I suppose he poisoned himself. You should apologise but you have no shame.

          • Herbie

            “Putin is not Russia”

            There would be no Russia without Putin.

            Yeltsin and your Banking mates would have it carved up and dismembered just as they’ve done everywhere else they’ve got their filthy thieving hands.

            You in on a cut of the spoils, eh.

          • Resident Dissident

            What I actually said was

            “I daresay Mr Goss will say he poisoned himself”

            Which is of course exactly what you and your friends in the Putin controlled State media did (someone either lying or breaching patient confidentiality rules in the process). I made no judgement as to who or what was behind the poisoning at the time.

            Unlike yourself – I always distinguish between Russia and Putin – so I knew your comments were of course another fabrication designed to support your ends.

            A decent person would apologise – but you seem intent on further fabrication. But please carry on you are just demonstrating who is the true durak.

          • Resident Dissident

            “There would be no Russia without Putin.”

            That just demonstrates your total ignorance of the Russian people and their history

            I think you will also find that capital outflows from Russia have accelerated somewhat even from the ridiculously high levels under Yeltsin.

          • Herbie

            Your ignorance knows no bounds at all.

            Russia simply would not exist today had Putin not stood up to the West.

            Simple as that.

            On outflows.

            It’s not at all remarkable that capital outflows have increased under Putin.

            He’s cracking down on your thieving mates!

    • Resident Dissident

      Yep – fascist organisations are ok as long as they support what Mr Goss believes in. Sounds like the Molotov Ribbentrop pact this time repeated as farce.

  • Sharp Ears

    Donald Trump blasts ‘fools’ who oppose good Russian ties
    6 hours ago

    US President-elect Donald Trump has posted a series of tweets condemning those who oppose good relations with Russia as “‘stupid’ people, or fools”.

    Mr Trump vowed to work with Russia “to solve some of the many… pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!”

    His comments came after an intelligence report said Russia’s president had tried to aid a Trump election victory.

    Mr Trump said Democrats were to blame for “gross negligence” in allowing their servers to be hacked.

    In a series of tweets on Saturday, Mr Trump said that having a good relationship with Russia was “no bad thing” and that “only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad!”

    He added that Russia would respect the US more when he was president.


  • Sharp Ears

    Israel’s ambassador sorry over ‘take down’ Sir Alan Duncan comment

    ref the front page of the Mail on Sunday.

    But hey, there’s nothing with which to concern ourselves.

    ‘A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The Israeli Ambassador has apologised and is clear these comments do not reflect the views of the embassy or government of Israel.

    “The UK has a strong relationship with Israel and we consider the matter closed.” ‘

    It was ever thus.

    How humiliating. This was a plot against a Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth.

  • Mike

    Didn’t Carne Ross take a job in PR, representing the moderate head choppers (presumably using sterilised blades) and moderate rapists (presumably wearing condoms) in Syria otherwise known, ostensibly, as official opposition? Hardly a road to Damascus conversion is it?

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