Last Thursday a friend of mine commented on social media about an blog that was published on ‘The Conservative Woman’ website and the title interested me ‘Britain is now ruled by civil servants‘. The website is not something I have spent much time looking at before, the only reason I had visited it was when Laura Perrins who is one of the co-editors seemed to be on Question Time with some regularity and her platform was because she represented their organisation. Not only do I disagree with her main theme throughout the website that we need to leave the EU, but found her apparent determination to create confrontation and arguments on the shows very hard to enjoy. The blog on her website last Thursday was written by a person called Bruce Oliver Newsome who is described as a ‘lecturer in international relations at the University of California Berkeley and an expert on global security risks, international conflict and counterterrorism’. The day after he wrote that piece he then wrote another which relates to the challenge created by Huawei in his view which is strongly linked to the previous article. Indeed his argument about how the civil service rule the UK and his piece about Huawei both focused heavily on the approach taken by Gavin Williamson and how his apparent disclosure regarding China and Huawei had led to his dismissal as a Minister. The idea that the Civil Service can determine who is a Minister and who gets sacked seems to ignore the fact that the Prime Minister who may well be inspired by all sorts of people including elected and appointed people and even websites like Conservative Woman is the person in charge. It would be foolish for a PM to ignore the Civil Service, but to blame them for her decisions is ridiculous. Indeed as someone who works in America and may even be an American, one would assume that the Prime Minister whilst certainly not a President would be understood as having some power for as long as she is in office. Despite his technical background and the need for the piece to appeal to people less familiar with how technology can be a challenge as well as a benefit on his second piece Bruce did refer to the area of risks from a technical point of view but he also wrote “The following year  Britons voted to leave the EU, and Americans voted for Donald Trump to become President. The US hasn’t had a more pro-British President in decades, but May’s government has contrived to further embed Britain in European defence and security union. The civil service is pro-EU and anti-American. The civil service’s favour to Huawei is fundamentally anti-American, just as its favour to the EU is fundamentally anti-American.”
It seems rather bizarre for such a ridiculous statement to be promoted by a body claiming to be credible in the world of politics.
In terms of the technology I admit that when my Blackberry which I had owned for many years finally died I was persuaded by the salesman at EE to go for a Huawei rather than a Samsung phone. I also confess that one of the main products I work with for a range of our clients, whilst sold and managed exclusively by a British Company unlike its competitors that are owned by companies that are based in America or other Nations, is manufactured in China like almost all of its competitive devices including Samsung. The reality is that almost everyone who owns or rents a TV will be providing a home for a Chinese product. Beyond that is the fact that last years level of our trading with the following nations and many others that we also trade with will matter enormously in future years. We cannot afford to ignore our relationship with any of these nations, and clearly need to grow our connections with all of them.
As far as security is concerned, clearly what we buy and how it is structured will matter but the closer our relationship with all nations, the better the prospect for resolving such matters or using our economic influence to demand openness from the Governments and their manufacturers wherever possible. On the other hand to treat one nation as being king over all the rest and promoting fear about certain other nations will potentially lead to war as indeed Gavin Williamsons stupid speech a few months ago on 11th February implied.