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Thursday, August 21, 2008


There must have been a time when Britain had a Foreign Secretary. Was it back in the days of the last Tory government?

During the reign of Tony Blair he largely decided foreign policy and had bag carriers such as the ‘Startled Rabbit’ and ‘Caravanning Margaret’ to do his bidding. Today we have the Gap Year student. I find it laughable that he should have ambitions to succeed Gordon Brown when he is one of the problems in this lamentable administration.

So who decides policy and makes statements at the Foreign Office?

I ask because the recent statement by the FO alerting Britons to the ETA campaign in Spain has caused widespread anger both in government and media circles here.

A provincial paper that I read each day has on the back page a ‘Palmas’ (palm) and ‘Pitos’ (whistles) caption. Yesterday’s whistle was for Foreign Secretary David Miliband:

“Su comunicado alertando a los británicos sobre la campaña de atentados de ETA en zonas turísticas españolas es un ejemplo impropio de un país de UE, que debe ser más mesurado en temas tan sensibles.”

You can see Madrid’s point. The bomblets have neither caused damage nor injured or killed people and certainly haven’t deterred Britons from living in or holidaying in Spain. However by its statement the Foreign Office has given ETA the success it craved. Well done the Gap Year kid!

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