Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Undeclared Intelligence?

So 23 Russian diplomats are to be expelled, and Prince William, unless she meant some other Royal Family member such as Princess Alexandra, will not be going to the World Cup. Oh, the terror that that must have struck into the hearts of Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov. If the 23, about 40 per cent of the Russian Embassy's staff, were known to be undeclared intelligence agents, then why were they all allowed to be here in the first place?

Theresa May has form, of course. She called a General Election because Labour, Lib Dem and SNP MPs were having the temerity to oppose her. It cost her her overall majority. And now, after she has given her best Mary Poppins performance to Putin, he has spoken for the world by laughing in her face. For all the boozed-up and coked-up baying of the Nanny Complexes behind her, it is long past time for her to unfurl her umbrella and fly away.

Yet it is considered outrageous that the Leader of the Opposition should presume to question her, instead of engaging in whatever fawning sycophancy would have been considered more appropriate to someone who is not the heiress of Margaret Thatcher, but the latest of the Tory ladies whom Thatcher used to make Dames but would never have dreamt of making Ministers. Those, too, would have regarded "or, indeed, any member of the Royal Family" as a killer blow in the international affairs with which they were mercifully never permitted to concern themselves.

It is nice of May to adopt Labour's policy on the Magnitsky Act at long last, although it will be interesting to see the precise form of words, since the real thing would bankrupt her party. Labour should put down an amendment to put the caffeine back in, and another to extend the whole thing to Saudi Arabia.

"We will freeze Russian assets wherever we have the evidence that they might be used to threaten the lives or safety of British citizens or residents," she advises us, thereby admitting that no such freezing was already being imposed. A 24-hour, instead of a 10-day, ultimatum is itself "a flagrant breach of international obligations". And Britain has an undeclared chemical weapons programme. In fact, it is based very near Salisbury.

But there is a nasty side to May's incompetence. As Home Secretary, she turned Manchester into a haven for the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. The result was the Manchester attack, which strikingly also occurred at a time when she was riding low in the polls. That was in the run-up to a General Election. Is this? We shall very soon see.

And as Home Secretary, she granted British citizenship to assorted Gulf and Russian cash machines, which duly dispensed their contents to her party, and damn the danger in which that arrangement placed the rest of us. Last night, we were finally informed that Sergei Skripal had become a British citizen. When, exactly? On the say-so of whom, exactly? Surely not within the last 10 days, Prime Minister? After all, no one had bothered to mention that he was British during the first nine days after he had been attacked.

Ho, hum. Another cold spell is coming, maybe even snow. Keep warm. Be grateful that Vladimir Putin has not turned off the gas tap. Be grateful, in other words, that Theresa May is a person of the utmost insignificance.

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