The British Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary: Squeaky clean, making the right sounds at the right time, the epitome of today's political class of elected representatives
Jeremy Hunt, the British Foreign Secretary, has apparently made a reference that he would welcome Kay Burley of Sky News as a potential Number Ten spin doctor. Kay Burley? The one as famous for her questions "How do you go to the toilet" as is her news outfit with its "Hey guys! Looking for some revenge for 9/11?" in Iraq and reporting that Gaddafy was bombing civilians in Tripoli. And apparently, she turned the idea town.
Jeremy Hunt is the type of person who would spend his youth speaking about the special attributes of "The Englishman" in public debates as a schoolboy, delighting audiences with soundbite snippets such as "The Englishman always arrives early for a meeting but brings a cast-iron excuse with him if he is late", or "The Englishman spends hours in the Spanish sun poring over Wisden's cricket almanac".
In short, and let us not turn this into a personal attack piece, Jeremy Hunt is a soundbite politician, not unlike any other these days just as the Mainstream Media are their facilitators.
SKY News, the BBC and many others in the UK, like their counterparts elsewhere, have presented some very dubious slants on international events in the recent past, biased beyond belief, usually with an anti-Russian message to create the "them" which justifies the "us" and remembering that if you wish to control someone, all you have to do is make em afraid (and her I use the gender neutral pronoun, em, for "him/her").
So this Eastertime, we see Jeremy Hunt climbing onto a high horse, saying that the United Kingdom can and must do more to help Christians who are the victims of persecution. After his negative comments about Russia which at the time amounted to scandalous insolence, abrasive intrusion and unfounded scaremongering - some might say slander - and his claim that failure to deliver Brexit may create social havoc, here we find once again an example of "Britannia rules the waves" talk. What is he going to do, invade someone? Bomb them from 30,000 feet? Shoot them in the whites of their eyes? Civilize them with the Bible and the Bullet?
While it is patently obvious that the persecution of Christians is unacceptable, it is also true that Moslems have been the victims of persecution by Christians for centuries, as have Jews. Not so long ago Jews enjoyed more freedom in the Ottoman Empire (Moslem) than they did in Western European (Christian) countries where they were forced to eat pork or to convert, or else were exiled at best or burnt to death at worst. In the Iberian Peninsula, Jews had to invent their own cured sausages containing bread or chicken to fool the authorities into thinking they were eating pork chouriço (Portugal) or chorizo (Spain), or so the history book says.
I am singling out Jeremy Hunt partly because of his rudeness against Russia and because he is a very good example of the kind of politician pervading political strata, claiming to follow the interests of those they are supposed to represent. They, and he, are probably well-meaning and honest to themselves in their beliefs and nobody is accusing him or them of criminal wrong-doing. The point is that with the enormous mountain of problems building up in the world around us, politicians like Jeremy Hunt waste their time with soundbites against Russia or a bandwagon-style speech in favor of Christians, or against a no-Brexit scenario, instead of doing something useful.
What is the legacy of today's political class? Let us take a quick look at the horror called Planet Earth at Easter time, 2019 (and while doing so let us remember that Easter is based on a Pagan Lunar calendar and the name is taken from the Pagan Fertility Goddess Eostre, who was depicted holding a symbol of eternity, the egg, with no beginning or end, and a symbol of fertility, the rabbit).
For a start the planet is a disgusting cesspool of pollution from the bottoms of the oceans to space, and people are this week demonstrating in London right under Jeremy Hunt's nose and being arrested for bringing this issue into the public eye. In London, where the courts are preparing to hear the Assange case and no doubt jump to their bedmaster's call from across the pond to extradite him to the USA just because he outed their revolting acts of torture and other human rights abuses across the globe in their illegal wars. They forced detainees to sit in pools of excrement, they beat them, they set dogs on them, they confronted them with snakes, they forced them to commit sodomy and other acts of sexual depravity, they forced them to wear urinated women's panties on their faces, they forced Moslems to eat pork.
Now, if a country is gallivanting around doing that to detainees, I want to know about it so I praise Mr. Assange for telling us. True, on Planet Earth 2019 he will probably be punished for it, by those perpetrating these acts or by the country which spawned this seed of Satan. And Jeremy Hunt's country in this case will play a strong hand in making this happen.
As for Brexit, Jeremy Hunt and his government could not have got it more wrong and could not have screwed a country worse, so utterly and completely, even if they had meant to do it. In claiming that there will be unrest if Brexit is not delivered, he forgets that there are more of those who do not wish for Brexit and so if it is delivered, the consequences will be worse. There is not a single person outside the United Kingdom, except for a few fanatics, that do not see the common sense which spells out a dire message for the UK in the event of any form of Brexit.
As Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Mr. Hunt should be concentrating on keeping his country together, not supporting Brexit in a snide and underhanded way with quips and comments and remarks. This means canceling Brexit as a bad idea. As Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary he should be explaining to us how his department (albeit before he took over the post) came to support terrorist groups in Libya on their own list of proscribed groups (LIFG), Libya, the country which his Party decided to attack in 2011 against the terms of UNSC Resolutions 1970 and 1973 (2011), an attack in which war crimes were committed and which rendered the African country with the highest Human Development Index a failed State, fighting countless civil wars with its institutions collapsed, crawling with terrorists and people unable to go out to buy a loaf of bread. Sterling job.
As Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Mr. Hunt should be placing his country in the forefront of peace initiatives, using London as a base for discussion and debates and dialogue, not mouthing off about delicate situations in places which are no concern of his. He should be more concerned with what the UK did to the inhabitants of the Chagos Isles. As Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Mr. Hunt should be placing his nation at the forefront of Europe, inside and not locked out, leading issues such as climate change, extinction of species, global warming, pollution, world peace, with a focus on education and development and not intrusion and deployment.
But what do we see? Soundbites. And soundbites. And more soundbites. We see a United Kingdom mesmerizing the rest of Europe with its utter stupidity in following the result of an idiotic, illegal referendum which anyway was merely a non-binding consultation and whose result is based on misinformation, disinformation, and barefaced lies, a decision which will have serious economic consequences as a result of any form of Brexit, even a soft one. If he knows this and carries on blindly, then it defies logic how he is FCO Secretary; if he does not know this, then how come everyone else in Europe and over half his country do, but he does not?
As Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, he should be repairing the image of his country after it prostrated itself at the bottom of the planet's most fetid legal sewer and tarnished itself indelibly with the savage and illegal act of butchery in Iraq, then Libya and then involved itself on the losing side of terrorists in Syria, where nuns, Christian nuns, were raped and disemboweled, where little Moslem boys were murdered because they belonged to the wrong religion, where little Moslem girls were raped before and after being beheaded and after watching their parents get tortured to death.
As Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary he should be apologizing for the atrocities committed by his country in drawing lines on maps, dividing nations and peoples then massacring the "natives" if they complained. He should be rehabilitating the image of his people for example in Ireland where even today the British are still considered by many as an untrustworthy bunch of butchers, murderers, thieves, torturers and child molesters because of the horrors undertaken buy the Black and Tans 100 years ago.
This is the legacy of decades of Foreign and Commonwealth Secretaries pursuing policies of soundbites instead of righting the wrongs of yesteryear, making their country a global player for good, and the UK could do so much in this with its verve, inventiveness and that special quality which it the ability to laugh at itself, a sign of emotional maturity and balance.
These, unfortunately the policies of Jeremy Hunt are devoid of. So this Easter maybe he can reflect on being the first to do something about serious issues, rather than dropping soundbites here and there and walking on, as if nothing had happened.
Finally, I justify my label "Lightweight" by claiming that until Jeremy Hunt does anything worthwhile and substantial, instead of throwing insults and making empty soundbites, he will never be the heavyweight material which constitutes a strong and valid Prime Minister.
For this he needs balance and vision and to adopt a social policy which cares for his own people instead of cutting subsidies on Excel sheets and he needs to place his country at the heart of the international community, not at its nether end.
Photo 1: By U.S. Department of State from United States - Secretary Pompeo Welcomes UK Foreign Secretary Hunt to Washington, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76097295
Photo 2: The author, 2018
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey works in the area of teaching, consultancy, coaching, translation, revision of texts, copy-writing and journalism. Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru since 2002, and now Co-Editor of the English version, he contributes regularly to several other publications in Portuguese and English. He has worked in the printed and online media, in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly magazines and newspapers. A firm believer in multilateralism as a political approach and multiculturalism as a means to bring people and peoples together, he is Official Media Partner of UN Women, fighting for gender equality and Media Partner with Humane Society International, promoting animal rights. His hobbies include sports, in which he takes a keen interest, traveling, networking to protect the rights of LGBTQI communities and victims of gender violence, and cataloging disappearing languages, cultures and traditions around the world. A keen cook, he enjoys trying out different cuisines and regards cooking and sharing as a means to understand cultures and bring people together.