A couple of interesting things from the news:
- Peter Hennessy on comparisons between the Cold War and the `war on terrorism'. (Hennessy's book The Secret State is great for those, like me, who are fascinated by all this Cold War stuff.)
Hilarious piece about Jack Straw's student-political antics in Chile in 1966:
``We had the impression that Jack Straw, the appropriately named chief troublemaker, was acting with malice aforethought. This impression might be entirely mistaken and I should hate to start a witch-hunt, but he seemed deliberately to have brought matters to the point where the British Council had to intervene.'' (Alexander Stirling, then the British Ambassador in Santiago)
This one is especially amusing because of the earlier gnashing of teeth which accompanied the news that MI5 held a file on Jack Straw (described, apparently, as a `Communist Associate') when he was leader of the NUS.
Now, the purpose of MI5, as its website tells us with commendable openness, is
to protect national security and economic well-being, and to support the law enforcement agencies in preventing and detecting serious crime.
And now we discover that he started his career by doing his best to create a diplomatic incident. Who could be a more natural Foreign Secretary?
On a slightly related note, David Blunkett hasn't replied to my letter yet. This is most irritating. I (and sixty-million odd others) employ the man to run the country, and among other things that entails explaining what he's doing when we ask him. He isn't doing his job. It's not really clear what he is doing, but there was something on the radio this morning suggesting that, not content with corralling asylum seekers into concentration camps in Britain, he's going to build camps in Albania instead. He's obviously insane and possibly more of a threat to the state than Straw was. Gah.