Wednesday 23 February 2011

Who Shot The Fox?

In the period 1956-1957 the British Army had a full Armoured Division in Libya, the 10th, tac sign a fox’s head. It had been an expansion of one of those remnant military bases we had around the world following WW2 and maintained on a just in case basis.

When the Suez Crisis arose the Division was intended to create a threat to the West of Egypt to split the Egyptian forces when the British and French attempted to assert control over the Canal on behalf of the Suez Canal Company and its owners in the City and Paris.

For those of us either in the trade or on reserve Libya was high on the list of postings we did not want. We had heard too many stories from those who had been there done that in the previous decade.

Mercifully, President Eisenhower and the USA would have no truck with any of it and the oil and currency crisis which followed ensured our early departure.

Yet, especially since the oil and gas were tapped, we have been prone to meddle and instruct to little or no purpose. This has led to a number of unhappy situations of which the Lockerbie bombing is probably the major one.

There is now an allegation that those at the top in Libya, formerly Blair and Brown’s good friends, had a lot to do with it. As if we didn’t really know.

What is going on in the countries in the Arab world was predictable. There is a scene in the film “Das Boot” where the submarine has gone to a depth where the pressures are too great and the rivets start popping, pipes give up and the vessel begins to flood. They manage to survive.

The trouble at present is that the pressures have been building up for some time and the lessons of history ought to teach us that if certain pre-conditions for trouble and chaos go critical then the ships of state in question will begin to go down.

Did all these states believe that you could have a large educated under class with no real prospects together with an even larger helot population for the dirty work and hope to survive once food prices rose and other shortages developed?

We have seen some leaders out of the escape hatch in a hurry with more to follow. They are all a lot better provided for than many of the defunct monarchies and aristocracies of the Empires and States of old that collapsed.

They could often be seen wandering the spa’s of Germany and Switzerland and taking tea in the hotels of London eking out allowances from our government. Some would hunt in the Shires.

The present bunch of redundant rulers will do a lot better than that. They own much of London already as well as holdings in the many companies that extract so much from us and other countries.

Meanwhile Cameron goes on a lecture tour pretending that we have some say in the matter. I hope he has read up on oil and currency crises.

One thing he hasn’t got is the ability to put in an Armoured Division and he can’t even invite the former rulers to a fox hunt any more.

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