There is quite a lot about the affair of the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko (almost certainly by the Russian secret service) in London. Much of it is quite interesting but there was a line in an article in the Sunday Times that really made my blood boil when they quoted an unnamed minister:
Amid signs that his death could cause a diplomatic row, Tony Blair concluded the cabinet meeting by saying “the most important issue” was likely to be Britain’s long-term relationship with Moscow. Another minister present said: “It caused some alarm that this case is obviously causing tension with the Russians. They are too important for us to fall out with them over this.”
I had to re-read that a couple times as I could hardly believe my eyes:
“…They are too important for us to fall out with them over this…”
So a foreign government can murder someone in Britain with a radioactive substance and some shit in the cabinet is more concerned that we retain good relations with the murdering guilty party? I would dearly love to know which minister said this. Did anyone catch a reference to this remark elsewhere which says who it was? If the Russian state murdering people in London is not just about the best and more righteous reason to ‘fall out’ with a foreign government, then what the hell is a good reason to fall out with a regime? Moreover, to make that remark where it would enter the public record more or less tells Putin he can murder anyone he likes in the UK as relations with the Kremlin are what really matter to HMG.
No doubt the mystery minister is peeved that the late Mr. Litvinenko has the temerity to get himself assassinated on British soil for daring to bad-mouth the psychopathic Vladimir Putin. Yes, the sooner this tiresome freedom-of-speech nonsense is suppressed so that intergovernmental relations can return to normal, the better.
Truly, the state is not your friend.