UK Irrelevant in World Affairs

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by AndyPipkin, Nov 13, 2017.

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  1. At current prices that won't even get you 1kg of rice.
  2. Oh I've done my reseach ... Quids in mate 8)

    1 North Korean Won equals
    0.00085 British Pound
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  3. I'd agree. Stop mucking about in foreign parts wasting lives and money. Anyone who fancies a bash at being the enforcer of western morality can fill their boots. We'll buy popcorn and watch. Keeps us for being "morally obliged" to every Mo, Abdul and Khalid who turns up claiming our actions made them refugees.
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  4. Guardian article - automatic ignore.
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  5. Hardly irrelevant, and still punches above its weight even if in less obvious ways like giving to others.
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  6. Irrelevant in World Affairs if you ignore finance/economics, education, research, international organisations, intelligence services and the military....
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  7. Bit like the Romans then. :)
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  8. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    Powell isn't entirely wrong though he lays the blame in the wrong place.

    The foreign office was confidently reassuring it's various hosts that brexit would never happen, that the EU was the only place to be and the referendum a done deal for the remain side.

    Hence come June 24th every government and international body around the world suddenly realised that the smug and condescending department charged with understanding political developments in their countries had no clue about their own country.

    Which.... was embarrassing for them.

    Even in the 50s the FCO was excluded from government policy, particularly over Suez, as it had it's own agenda. It chewed up ministers over the intervening decades who had the choice of going native or being embarrassed by little failures until out of office. Even Maggie Thatcher couldn't tame them, hence she often embarked on her own diplomacy and foreign policy.

    Seems that little has changed.

    Course Boris being put in charge of them didn't help things. His mere appointment saw diplomats around the world break out into barely suppressed laughter. Writing limericks about statesmen being ******* is possibly the highlight of his skills.

    Now I can't say that I know any ambassadors. I'm not a fan of ferrero rocher anyway.

    If the Permanent Undersecretary of State for the FCO appoints them in his own image though...

    I really can't comprehend any way in which the UK's interests and influence could possibly be worse served.

    Smarmy, arrogant, elitist and devious are just a few of the words that spring to mind, but this is our shop window to the UK for the rest of the world.

    Course we have lots of money to give away, in order to buy influence. Foreign aid, overseas development and the like.

    Which to me represents little else bar having to tie a big fat pork chop around our diplomat's necks in order to get a labrador to play with them.

    Your mileage may vary, could be you think a public schoolboy tosspot who enjoys the possibility he might be connected to MI6 is the right and proper image we should portray. There is after all the odd rupert on these boards.

    Still Powell's snowflake remainerism still highlights a problem in government which predates most of us. Namely that the Foreign Office has a large budget and access to whatever talent it may require and yet still fails miserably, probably even counterproductively, in achieving any useful influence in the world.

    Which curiously enough is pretty much their job.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017 at 6:51 PM
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  9. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    I wouldn't suggest ignoring Powell.

    Whilst a new Labour apparatchik he was probably one of the most capable of their number. Their back office team was far superior to their front benches or leadership.
  10. If he honestly believes the UK, Germany and France are small nations then I am somewhat suspicious that he's deliberately spouting crap sound bites to push an agenda, or not as bright as he should be.
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  11. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    Yes he is spouting an agenda, though there is also some truth in what he says.

    His brother performed a similar function under Thatcher, hence there is thirty odd years of backroom experience ( and the secrets behind the headlines no doubt) to back up what he says.

    Shame he's chosen to highlight it in a partial and typically snowflakey way.
  12. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    For instance..

    Opinion | No One Knows What Britain Is Anymore

    "But Britain is now but a modest-size ship on the global ocean. Having voted to leave the European Union, it is unmoored, heading to nowhere, while on deck, fire has broken out and the captain — poor Theresa May — is lashed to the mast, without the authority to decide whether to turn to port or to starboard, let alone do what one imagines she knows would be best, which is to turn around and head back to shore."

    Now yes you can take this as a foreign snowflaker's whinge fest. And in may places it is.

    But again there is some truth in what is said, or at least some truth in the confusion felt by many who are connected to Britain's diplomacy and image abroad.

    As I pointed out above the narrative spun over decades by the foreign office has been consistent. It wasn't deal with us because we are powerful but rather deal with us because we have a powerful voice at the heart of Europe.

    Foreign journalists, diplomats and dignitaries don't go for a poke around the Shires, they go to London. London of course being some half crazed and self entitled country within a country.

    Rectifying this situation is going to become a political necessity before long. I doubt many within the bubble are even all that aware of it at present.
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  13. Let's put this all into perspective. The U.K. is:

    - 5th strongest economy in the world (out of 195)
    - Still classed as a "Great Power" (along with China, France, Russia, Germany, Japan, USA).
    - as a "Great Power" it still influences the world
    - is a permanent member of the UN Security Council (along with China, Russia, France, USA)
    - has a blue water navy
    - has the ability to enforce its power globally
    - has the biggest stick in the yard when it comes to knocking seven barrels of manure out of any other country (and the deterrent includes keeping the US and Russia orf our land!)

    Of course, citing the above shows we are punching above our weight....... Bloody snowflake guardianista journalist doom seeking naysayers. I shit 'em.

    And people are still shitting themselves over Brexit! Why?! We can still hold our own. The above shows that.

    As for the earlier statement of leaving NATO, I personally think we should. Let's put our stake in the ground and tell Europe that at the next party, you can sort yourselves out. France can take the lead role. And we'll supply the weapons (lend lease) to all sides (IMHO of course).
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