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Thread: Is there a UK "deep state"?

  1. Default Is there a UK "deep state"?

    That's the title of a piece by Anthony Barnett on OpenDemocracy a couple of days ago:
    Yesterday's Observer ran an important scoop, an account by Carne Ross who was our expert on Iraq at the UN from 1997 to 2002, about what happened when he had to give evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry. Overall, it seems clear now that after Blair took his early decision to back Bush's storm to war at the start of 2002, all parts of the permanent apparatus in Britain collaborated with rather than defied his recklessness. I have no doubt that a big factor in this is a whole range of personal, corporate and departmental interests in blindingly supporting the United States military-security machine whatever it does. As a result, while those like Manningham-Buller who took a different view were sidelined, no alternative strategy was seriously considered or researched. In Carne Ross's words,
    the documents tell a... clear and appalling story: there is not a single mention of any formal discussion, by ministers or officials, of alternatives to military action. It is hard to pinpoint a graver indictment of the government's failure.
    But the passage that really stood out for me in what he had to say was this, his opening paragraph:
    I testified last week to the Chilcot inquiry. My experience demonstrates an emerging and dangerous problem with the process. This is not so much a problem with Sir John Chilcot and his panel, but rather with the government bureaucracy Britain's own "deep state" that is covering up its mistakes and denying access to critical documents.
    I have always had the view that British government consists of a non-stop series of minor conspiracies most of which fail but that as a whole the British state accepts civilian leadership.
    So I was astonished a while back, in the days of Gordon Brown, to hear a loyal Minister privately refer to "the deep state in the home office", implying a reactionary, shaping force that would seek to get its way when it could. Astonished and shocked. The "deep state" has a specific meaning and origin in Turkey where an Ataturkist (ie secular, nationalist and anti-democratic) element of the Army penetrated the state and conspired to control it, organising coups and in effect running a shadow military dictatorship limiting the freedom of political parties and retaining a stranglehold on Turkish democracy. For example, the deep state was implicated in the assassination of openDemocracy's colleague Hrant Dink. Talk of the Deep State in Turkey is not to indulge in a 'conspiracy theory' it is to refer to a well-established, ongoing conspiracy. One of the great struggles currently underway now in the country is between the "deep state" and the elected government of Recep Erdogan which, thankfully, the government seems to be winning.
    So I took the Minister's remark to be the rhetorical exaggeration of a man under stress and not a description of an ongoing, informal network that despises democracy and seeks to shape how Britain governed from the shadows.
    But here is Carne Ross, another experienced insider, but this time in a considered and public fashion, using the same phrase to suggest the existence of some such force in Britain
    I posted a comment under my own name.

    There are a few more comments too and I can't believe the naivity of most of them. From contributors to a site whose readership is supposed to be politically sophisticated too. :rolleyes: On the evidence available in those comments, there is quite simply no realistic hope of waking people up to the fact that they really are SHEEPLE.

    My comment with a link seems to have prompted a dozen downloads of that Ola Tunander deep state article from wikispooks though so that's something.

    A few more comments wouldn't go amiss if anyone feels inclined.
    Peter Presland

    ".....there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims"
    Guido Preparata. Preface to 'Conjuring Hitler'
    "Never believe anything until it has been officially denied"
    Claud Cockburn


  2. #2

    Default Better late than never...

    In today's Guardian, the deep state glimpsed and, for once, acknowledged:

    I cannot avoid the conclusion that, just as the Pashtun are said to be "hardwired to fight", so now are certain western regimes. War is about sating the military-security-industrial complex, a lobby so potent that, long after the cold war ended, it can induce democratic leaders to expend quantities of blood and money on such specious pretexts as suppressing dictators in one country and terror in another.
    Simon Jenkins

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ks-afghanistan
    "There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

    Joseph Fouche

  3. #3

    Default

    Peter - thanks for that.

    Some risible comments on that thread.

    Carne Ross is behaving courageously, but I think he points the finger in the wrong direction when he writes:

    I (Carne Ross) testified last week to the Chilcot inquiry. My experience demonstrates an emerging and dangerous problem with the process. This is not so much a problem with Sir John Chilcot and his panel, but rather with the government bureaucracy Britain's own "deep state" that is covering up its mistakes and denying access to critical documents.
    I do not believe that the core problem is "government bureaucracy".

    Rather it is the deep political forces which operate to shape and manipulate geopolitical events, and the public record of such events.

    "Government bureaucracy" is a tool occasionally used by these deep political forces.

    Carne Ross is confused when he equates this "government bureaucracy" with the "deep state".
    "It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
    "Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
    "They are in Love. Fuck the War."

    Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

    "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
    The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Klimkowski View Post
    Peter - thanks for that.

    Some risible comments on that thread.

    Carne Ross is behaving courageously, but I think he points the finger in the wrong direction when he writes:

    I (Carne Ross) testified last week to the Chilcot inquiry. My experience demonstrates an emerging and dangerous problem with the process. This is not so much a problem with Sir John Chilcot and his panel, but rather with the government bureaucracy Britain's own "deep state" that is covering up its mistakes and denying access to critical documents.
    I do not believe that the core problem is "government bureaucracy".

    Rather it is the deep political forces which operate to shape and manipulate geopolitical events, and the public record of such events.

    "Government bureaucracy" is a tool occasionally used by these deep political forces.

    Carne Ross is confused when he equates this "government bureaucracy" with the "deep state".
    I agree Jan.

    It is sooo hard for former high-ranking FCO people to see the wood for the trees. Craig Murray is another example. He paid a high price for a principled stand against complicity in pure evil, but he needs to earn again and he's tasted the perquisites of rank in the service of the State - peremptory cashiering or reduction to the ranks is so very hard to take. His solution is to cultivate a dissident public image but he tiptoes around issues which risk marking him as something a little more dangerous than that of the token in-house awkward sod - or should that be Court Jester? He just knows in his gut that there are boundaries he must respect and so talks about fixing a system which is frankly beyond fixing.

    They cannot seem to see that it is the State itself - in service to interests totally unconnected (or rather antagonistic) to the real interests of the mass of the population - that is rotten to the core.
    Peter Presland

    ".....there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims"
    Guido Preparata. Preface to 'Conjuring Hitler'
    "Never believe anything until it has been officially denied"
    Claud Cockburn


  5. Default

    Thanks for the link to the deep state article Peter, it's great.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Jarman View Post
    Thanks for the link to the deep state article Peter, it's great.
    It's on DPF too. Peter Lemkin introduced DPF to Ola Tunander about a year ago and I've been an avid fan of his ever since.

    I just dug out another of his 'hard to find' papers and put it up on WikiSpooks. It was presented to the 5th Pan-European International Relations Conference at The Hague in 2004 and, like the other, is well worth studying.


    It's probably a bit long to post here in full but there is a pdf version too which someone may care to upload.
    Peter Presland

    ".....there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims"
    Guido Preparata. Preface to 'Conjuring Hitler'
    "Never believe anything until it has been officially denied"
    Claud Cockburn


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