As is well known, ‘security’ is the last refuge of the scoundrel hoping to wrap himself in the flag and command unthinking, unquestioning all-party support. Today’s National Security Strategy shows all the signs of being drafted by a clever Civil Servant (typos and all: to spare their blushes I will show them where they are for a small consideration).
But some how it doesn’t ring true. Take, for example, the Guiding Principles. I quote
2.1 Our approach to national security is clearly grounded in a set of core values. They include human rights, the rule of law, legitimate and accountable government, justice, freedom, tolerance, and opportunity for all.
Unless we have to ‘do business’ with people who see things differently, in which case we will roll over and hope they tickle our tummies - & not with the bayonet. Oh, and get Goldsmith to change his Opinion again, while we're at it.
2.2 We will be hard-headed about the risks, our aims, and our capabilities.
And how’s this for hard-headed ? We invent the risks (Saddam’s 45-minute WMD’s threatening
2.3 Wherever possible, we will tackle security challenges early...the way to reduce the security consequences of issues such as climate change and rising energy demand is to take the tough decisions now to tackle them.
Unless they appear to be expensive and/or will not materialize in the life of the current Parliament, in which case we will hatch grandiose plans, and do precisely nothing. But then again, we only said ‘decisions now to tackle them’, not ‘decisions to tackle them now’. Haha ! Sharp cookies, these Civil Service strategy-drafters !
2.4 Overseas, we will favour a multilateral approach.
Right up until the UN declines to pass the Resolution we want. Then we’ll ask the
2.5 At home, we will favour a partnership approach. Traditionally, the Government has been expected to deal with the threats and risks to national security …
But we are rather hoping to offload this burden to Someone Else, and particularly in ways that are off balance-sheet
2.6 Inside government, we will develop a more integrated approach.
Well now I think about it - we won’t. I mean, we know BERR (formerly DTI) is trying to get energy costs down to keep our industries in business, whilst DEFRA (formerly BEARDY) is ecstatic about high energy prices because it will force everyone to give up using energy – but, hey, competing viewpoints are healthy for the battle of ideas, no ?
2.7 We will retain strong, balanced and flexible capabilities.
Sorry, as a former soldier my will-to-fisk has deserted me at this point, we are in a realm beyond parody
2.8 We will continue to invest, learn and improve to strengthen our security.
I am not making this up, you know