Daily Archives: March 2, 2009

Jim Pickard

It’s been interesting following Digby Jones since he left the department of business at the end of last year. Read more

We’re all looking forward to Gordon Brown’s lecture speech to the joint session of Congress on Wednesday. This is his big chance to tell America’s lawmakers that they were responsible for the global financial crisis. His regularly repeated thesis, after all, is that the economic catastrophe started in the US (because of lax national regulation) and infected other economies (because of lax global regulation). He’ll surely take this opportunity to tell Congress how it is, to their face – won’t he? Read more

The Foreign Office finances are dire. Its small budget has been hit hard by the collapse in sterling. The consequences are slowly beginning to emerge. As we reported today, Britain is set to withdraw the vast majority of the police seconded to EU reconstruction missions around the world. That will put the UK’s contribution to civilian operations in hotspots like Afghanistan, Georgia, Palestine on a par with Slovakia’s. So much for being a big player in Europe.

These kind of reconstruction and conflict prevention missions were a top UK priority. Gordon Brown even pledged last year to muster a 1,000 strong standing force of civilian volunteers. That now seems like a pipedream: the UK can no longer even afford its existing deployment of 100 police. Read more