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Nicholas Clark
December 14, 2008 15:13
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    Frank and I, unlike the civil servants, were still puzzled that such a
    proposal as the Europass could even be seriously under consideration by
    the FCO. We can both see clearly that it is wonderful ammunition for the
    anti-Europeans. I asked Humphrey if the Foreign Office doesn't realise
    how damaging this would be to the European ideal?

    'I'm sure they do, Minister, he said. That's why they support it.'

    This was even more puzzling, since I'd always been under the impression
    that the FO is pro-Europe. 'Is it or isn't it?' I asked Humphrey.

    'Yes and no,' he replied of course, 'if you'll pardon the
    expression. The Foreign Office is pro-Europe because it is really
    anti-Europe. In fact the Civil Service was united in its desire to make
    sure the Common Market didn't work. That's why we went into it.'

    This sounded like a riddle to me. I asked him to explain further. And
    basically his argument was as follows: Britain has had the same foreign
    policy objective for at least the last five hundred years - to create a
    disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against
    the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and
    Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Italians
    and Germans. [The Dutch rebellion against Phillip II of Spain, the
    Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, and the Second World War - Ed.]

    In other words, divide and rule. And the Foreign Office can see no
    reason to change when it has worked so well until now.

    I was aware of this, naturally, but I regarded it as ancient history.
    Humphrey thinks that it is, in fact, current policy. It was necessary
    for us to break up the EEC, he explained, so we had to get inside. We
    had previously tried to break it up from the outside, but that didn't
    work. [A reference to our futile and short-lived involvement in EFTA,
    the European Free Trade Association, founded in 1960 and which the UK
    left in 1972 - Ed.] Now that we're in, we are able to make a complete
    pig's breakfast out of it. We've now set the Germans against the French,
    the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch... and
    the Foreign office is terribly happy. It's just like old time.

    I was staggered by all of this. I thought that the all of us who are
    publicly pro-European believed in the European ideal. I said this to Sir
    Humphrey, and he simply chuckled.

    So I asked him: if we don't believe in the European Ideal, why are we
    pushing to increase the membership?

    'Same reason,' came the reply. 'It's just like the United Nations. The
    more members it has, the more arguments you can stir up, and the more
    futile and impotent it becomes.'

    This all strikes me as the most appalling cynicism, and I said so.

    Sir Humphrey agreed completely. 'Yes Minister. We call it
    diplomacy. It's what made Britain great, you know.'

[pp.119-120 _The complete Yes Minister // The Diaries of a Cabinet Minister
by the Right Hon. James Hacker MP._ v "The Writing on the Wall" *]

Currently it's at

(or s/bz2$/gz/ if you really want a 25% larger download.)

coming soon to a CPAN mirror near you soon as

shasums are

1097fbcd48ceccb2bc735d119c9db399a02a8ab9f7dc53e29e47e6a8d0d72e79  perl-5.8.9.tar.bz2
60dfe024286299b547895b6bc8f41c20c7e83d292f3a406e113ba1951aa38da1  perl-5.8.9.tar.gz

md5sums are

1cb52a76ce77fa300218da96577793ec  perl-5.8.9.tar.bz2
2c8d78a61fb8c4c2c19fc514eb591500  perl-5.8.9.tar.gz

The use.perl announcement will be in a day or so, once it's had time to
propagate round CPAN. The symlinks in $CPAN/src a day or two after that.

Blame transfer protocol complete. S.E.P. field now fully enaged.

Nicholas Clark


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