Monday, 25 March 2013

British Island Outposts (2) - Cyprus and the Bear

History Corner again: Cyprus this time.  A few days ago in comments to her post on the adolescent troika and their jejune conduct, the estimable Hatfield Girl wrote:
"One of the unacknowledged problems of England being so remote from the EU and in particular the Eurozone, is that imperial experience and knowledge is untapped. No English civil servant's political antennae would not have twitched at the very word Cyprus, never mind Cyprus and Russian bank deposits. They'd have been in with the Treasury and the Foreign Office, and Defence, before you could say Makarios. I wonder that these troikerenes didn't notice not one but two British sovereign bases on the island. Why here, they might have said to themselves (but didn't)."
An awful lot of non-civil-service Brits would have those antennae, too.  They would recall how, when the famous Iraqi WMDs were being touted by Campbell, it was the British bases on Cyprus that were "under threat":
25 September 2002 - The Sun newspaper has the headline: "Brits 45 mins from doom" about the threat to troops in Cyprus.
Now what might they be doing there ?  What's the connection with Russia ?  Readers are invited to google their way to the answers - or to take a look at the atlas.  No surprises when we read - Cyprus crisis: UK experts fly out to advise on bailout.  Ah yes, the bailout.  And an RAF plane was needed - to ship over sackloads of Euros.  Well of course.  Just as Gazprom was arriving at the other end of the island - what Great Games !
Don't Twist My Tail

Draw up a sandbag, swing the lamp ... it all takes me back to 1974, when it was the Turks that had Cyprus in their sights.  Yours truly was a young subaltern in an austere barracks in Germany when the signal came. The details of Operation Platypus don't seem to be in the public domain yet so my lips are sealed (even if some chaps don't seem quite so reticent). Suffice to say, a number of measures were taken, sending a message that a martial nation like Turkey wouldn't fail to understand. 

Whatever the juvenile idiocies of the troika and the Eurozone, I have a feeling the Russians will know where they stand vis-à-vis ourselves on this one.  It will be interesting to see how the bear makes its displeasure felt towards countries who are simply twisting its tail.   Remember the Gazprom song ... cut the gas for everybody !
 

ND

13 comments:

Roger said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that in say 6 months time we will discover that the Cypriot contribution to the bailout was an illusion. Not however an illusion to the EU bankers, who merely want the bailout to look a bit harsh to the folks back home. Then there is the alleged Russian dosh - who is to say it is still lurking in Cyprus and did not creep out the back door about 1 month ago.

As for listening posts etc - a game we can no longer afford - and we need the gas.

Blue Eyes said...

What proportion of the foreign aid budget would 6 billion euros be??

Bill Quango MP said...

On Saturday Ken Livingstone was reminding everyone on the radio that the people of Cyprus were particularly upset that this 'deal' was being foisted on them by the Germans who had invaded and carried out terrible atrocities on the Island during WW2.

History was never his strong point.

Demetrius said...

Verden?

Nick Drew said...

A bit further to the south and west, Demetrius

Demetrius said...

This could be a wrong call but start with this link. This site has had to move recently so a browser search may send you to the wrong one.

http://www.baor-locations.org/Osnabruck.aspx.html


Andrew Zalotocky said...

Cut the gas for everybody...I thought that was the Conservative Party song!

Nick Drew said...

it's a very catchy number, Andrew - lots of people have adopted it

hovis said...

Greetings From Nigeria, where I can tell you the locals at the banks I am visiting, are looking on the whole thing with head shaking incredulity.

It will be interesting to see how the Russians react but interesting to se if if the backdoor was left open via the London subsidiaries.

Blue Eyes said...

Hovis, that was being suggested on Newsnight. The relevant Cyprus minister was not being drawn on it. What an absolute shambles.

Nick Drew said...

I am sure you will have some stories for us from Nigeria, Hovis ...

Electro-Kevin said...

My mother in law lives in Paphus.

The Russians wouldn't dare !

(I have night sweats about her being airlifted back)

CityUnslicker said...

the back door was left open. Plus the sign posts have been out for several months to those in the know. After all Cyprus rejected a bail out just last year...