THERESA the Terminator really is a piece of work. We warned our readers last November that she’d zapped Conservative courage. How calculating and venal she is really has been vastly underestimated.
Entirely undaunted by her catastrophic lack of popularity (how many minuses can an ‘approval’ rating descend to?), she has taken it upon herself (on whose advice, we wonder) to invite the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei to participate in building Britain’s 5G network, eroding trust among our Five Eyes Allies (the world’s most complete and comprehensive intelligence alliance).
Never mind the leak and the denials and the investigation into it that now has become the story. Never mind even (though indeed we really should mind) about further straining of the UK’s ties with Washington and ruining the long-in-the-coming State visit of the President of the United States. These are the lesser of our immediate concerns the chief amongst them being Mrs May’s decision itself and its wilful disregard of our own national security which will be put at serious risk.
In coming to it she ‘sided’, it’s been reported, with four of her ministers during a meeting of the National Security Council on Tuesday, and against the advice of five others – Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Trade Secretary Liam Fox. The latter all rightly opposed any Huawei involvement in the UK’s 5G network, in line with not just the US position but Australia’s too.
The ministers she favoured were none other than those ideologically extreme ‘remainers’ – Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, de facto Deputy Prime Minister David Lidington, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright and Business Secretary Greg Clark.
The decision, according to another avid remainer, junior minister Margot James, was on advice from the National Cyber Security Centre which sits within GCHQ, the government’s digital surveillance organisation. If so, we really have to worry what deep rot has set into it.
If its staff are under the illusion that China is not an immoral and amoral country, of infinitely greater economic and political power than Russia, of huge ambition and of far greater threat to the West, that we should be seriously worried about, they really should not be working there.
Once more the question is begged of why the naysayers did not resign from the Cabinet there and then when their advice on such an issue of national interest was ignored. How could and can Jeremy Hunt as Foreign Secretary and Gavin Williamson as Defence Secretary countenance it? Are they so emasculated?
There are still some Tory MPs prepared to put their heads above the parapet. Brexiteer MP George Freeman is one. He tweeted:
Would we let China or Russia supply our warships? No. We need to be equally careful about our 5G infrastructure: @TomTugendhat & I flag #cybersecurity in @smh on the #Huawei decision: https://t.co/EdTheoLkpk
— George Freeman MP (@GeorgeFreemanMP) April 24, 2019
Speaking to The Herald and The Age in Australia he also stated the obvious which seems to have escaped our illustrious PM, Kim May, that cyber security must be a major pillar of national security.
‘Would we let China or Russia supply our warships?’ he asked. ‘No. We have to ask the same question about our digital operating systems, and be sure that we are secure. Future generations will not thank us for not asking the question.’
The remainer chair of the Commons Foreign Select Committee, Tom Tugendhat, also has serious reservations. He has previously sounded a warning on Huawei and has repeated it, saying that the decision would cause the UK’s allies to ‘doubt our ability to keep data secure and erode the trust essential to Five Eyes co-operation’.
What all this makes you wonder is how the vote of the Executive of the 1922 Committee on changing the rules to enable the ousting of Mrs May sooner rather than later would have gone had her latest treacherous decision on Huawei, in direct contradiction of the national interest and the Five Eyes Alliance, then been known. Bearing in mind she should not still have been in situ to make it, that an honourable Prime Minister would have resigned long ago
Tragically for us we remain stuck with a Prime Minister who is no defender of the national interest – the reverse in fact – who looks likely to survive to at least October 31, a period of time in which she can inflict ever more damage on us.
No, don’t assume she’ll be gone after a trouncing at the EU elections. What’s the betting that by hook or by crook she wriggles out of them taking place at all courtesy of some promise to her EU masters that a customs amended WA will be agreed soon after? Why wouldn’t they choose to go along with that charade? And why would the Conservative Party not go along with it rather than fight elections in which they will be clobbered?
Here at TCW we continue to count the days for reality to strike the suicidal Tories.
Today is Day 22 . . .