Non aviation content. Play nice – No religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.

Moderator: Flyin'Dutch'

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By kanga
#1691235
JoeC wrote:Sir Bernard was a Principal Private Secretary not a Special Advisor.


.. ie a Civil Servant, and served Ministers of more than one Party, and more than one Prime Minister, with apparently equal integrity and no improper loyalty to any. :thumright:

[I just happened that his time with one particular Prime Minister put him more in the media spotlight than most PMs' Press Spokesmen have had to be; not his fault ..]
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By kanga
#1691307
I absolutely think it wasn't right to leak anything from NSC, however apparently trivial the topic, or the superficial short-term interest in who thought and said what. If Ministers and chiefs of Defence, Intelligence, Security and military entities feel they cannot in NSC brief and discuss freely without subsequent betrayal or, worse, misquotation or misattribution, then Ministers and so policy may end up underinformed or misinformed. That can cost success, money and lives.

Yes, I do feel strongly on the subject. No smiley.
Colonel Panic, Flyin'Dutch', johnm and 1 others liked this
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By kanga
#1691310
eltonioni wrote:These aren't normal times though, we have an authoritarian PM with no skills... political or social.


Even if one believes that, it doesn't IMHO reduce in any way the importance for policy and maybe lives of respecting the confidentiality of the NSC as a forum.
johnm, Colonel Panic liked this
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By eltonioni
#1691350
I don't doubt that at all, and in general agree absolutely, but there must be exceptions to any political rule if it is to be worth upholding in general.

There are whole lists of things that might be worthy of revealing to citizens that concern their relationship with an (potentially) authoritarian regime. What would it take to get the juices flowing; a curfew, secret detention without trial, UDI, the military running the police, state press regulation?

How high does the bar need to be for the future security of the UK's communications infrastructure to be revealed? That seems an especially low bar to me, and not even one that should have decisions taken in secret security committees by a prime minister against the advice she's been given. The problem here isn't the leak, it's the decision.

Orwell's books seem more like instruction manuals than novels these days.
By johnm
#1691361
The leak is a symptom and we should worry about the disease and that is a broken democratic system and a complete collapse of trust within the political system and of the political system.
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By kanga
#1692426
I was bemused to see illustrated on the front page of today's DT, here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-the-papers-48209607

.. the headline 'Thatcher would have blocked Huawei', attributed to Pompeo.

HMG is in current position in the 5G debate because of the terms of the privatisation of GPO Telecoms as BT whereby the Board of the latter came to have a fiduciary duty only to their shareholders (however they see that), not to 'the nation' in any sense. For their customers it means 'if you want security as well as connexions it'll cost you extra'. The selection of Huawei as provider of earlier infrastructure has already cost HMG (ie, the taxpayer) a lot of money in security measures to airgap or otherwise mitigate (eg by bulk encryption) its own communications from Huawei digital switches, as well as costing UK as a whole loss of jobs and current and future pertinent expertise in Marconi, because BT was bound to accept the cheaper bids from Huawei. This was the 'free market' working, presumably, 'efficiently' precisely as intended by the proponents of the privatisation. Now, presumably, if Huawei is kept out of 5G for the wider security interest of the nation, the nation will presumably have to pay some other, more expensive, provider(s).
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By Flyin'Dutch'
#1692432
Quite a bit to do about Huawei but with the Chinese already having the control over a nuclear power plant do we really have to worry about a bit of internet hardware?
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By kanga
#1692442
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:Quite a bit to do about Huawei but with the Chinese already having the control over a nuclear power plant do we really have to worry about a bit of internet hardware?


Actually, yes, if that bit of hardware enables remote interference with the working of that nuclear plant, and much else on which our security and economy may depend .. :roll:
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