Gone AWOL …
Now that the secret is out – the AUKUS ‘security partnership’ as it’s called on the official government website – there are some interesting developments. There’s the French reaction and there are some details being chewed over in the weekend papers.
The main news item making the front pages is that France has recalled her ambassadors from Washington and Canberra. For some inexplicable reason they didn’t recall their Ambassador to the UK even though they’re cross with us as well. Never mind that these two recalls are unprecedented, never mind that French diplomats have let drop some observations which are certainly revealing – more on those below – there’s one point which the MSM are overlooking, one question they’re not asking: where’s M Macron? Why haven’t we heard from him? What is going on? Only the DT gently mentioned this strange fact in the middle of their report:
“President Emmanuel Macron has not commented on the issue since Mr Biden’s announcement of a strategic Indo-Pacific alliance with Australia and Britain, leading France to lose a nearly $100 billion deal to build diesel-electric submarines.” (paywalled link)
It’s odd that the MSM are so reluctant to raise this question. They only report what the French Foreign Secretary had to tell the world. Here’s his statement:
“’At the request of the President of the Republic, I have decided to immediately recall our two ambassadors to the United States and Australia to Paris for consultations. This exceptional decision is justified by the exceptional gravity of the announcements made on 15 September by Australia and the United States.” (link)
Interesting choice of words by M Le Drian: he decided, he was not ordered to do so by M Macron who only ‘requested’. There’s more though and the French Corps Diplomatique is clearly in disarray. They told the German paper ‘Die Welt’ that they hadn’t been forewarned and only learned of that treaty through Biden’s press conference. However, we learn from The Times that “officials in the US said that they had been unable to arrange a conversation with Étienne earlier in the day.” (link, paywalled). You decide if this is diplomat-speak for ‘the ambassador was not at his desk’ or for ‘our phone lines were down and we couldn’t reach him’.
Meanwhile, various French diplomats are fuming and stamping their well-shod feet all over the place. One official, the French EU Minister, even called this a slap in the face of the EU – yes really. We learn however that all wasn’t well in France, that storm clouds were already gathering:
“Many French officials conceded that France’s failings contributed to the loss of the contract. Commentators noted that in January Les Echos, the financial daily, reported that the deal was in “turbulent waters”. Le Figaro quoted an official as saying: “The Australian government had lost confidence in the ability . . . to deliver the submarines on time. We haven’t done the job properly.” (link, paywalled)
Apparently, it’s not as if the French were working really hard on delivering those submarines, so no wonder that the Aussies were not impressed and looked elsewhere.
The Times – later copied by the DM here – informs us that only ten people here in the UK knew and were involved in the negotiations which seem to have begun in March this year, apparently initiated by Australia. Only then were the USA approached. And then – oh, this is too delicious for words! – we read:
“By the time of the G7 summit in Cornwall in June, the plans were well under way. As the French were occupied with the unfolding so-called “sausage war” over the Brexit divorce deal, Johnson, President Biden and Scott Morrison, the Australian prime minister […] thrashed out the details of a top-secret pact that would later be known as the AUKUS defence and security alliance.” (link, paywalled)
Oh my aching sides! Macron was fighting that ‘sausage war’ while serious, strategic decisions were made. Both France and the EU, more occupied with thwarting the dastardly Brexit Brits, had taken their eyes off what was happening in the Pacific and what China was doing.
It’s they themselves who’ve been shown to be irresponsible and not trustworthy. No French fingerpointing, no wails from Brussels can change that. There’s for example the time factor. The French-Aussie contract was signed in 2016. How long does it take to build 12 diesel-engine powered submarines? More importantly, there’s one other aspect, explained after the horse had bolted, ahem: after the pact had been announced and secrecy was no longer an issue:
“Defence sources […] questioned whether the French — who also have nuclear-powered submarines — would have been willing to share their sovereign capabilities with the Australians. The defence source said that it was different for the British given the fact the Australians were in the Commonwealth.” (link, paywalled)
Ah – so the Commonwealth, despised by Remain and the Westminster ‘elite’, does have its use after all, doesn’t it! There’s also more to AUKUS than just building nuclear submarines. I think that this is the actual reason why not just France but French EU politicians are upset – never mind that Brussels and especially Germany are as much at fault as the French are:
“The Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said, it is “a partnership where our technology, our scientists, our industry, our defence forces will work together to deliver a safer and more secure region that ultimately benefits all”.”(link, paywalled)
It’s about future developments in science and technology, something the EU has failed to address in their green madness. You only need to see the assessment of The Times reporters to appreciate the importance of this pact, to appreciate the far-reaching implications of this deal:
“AUKUS will boost security, prosperity, the sharing of technology. We will work together in all domains including space and cyber. In the UK it will create hundreds of highly skilled jobs, delivering on our prime minister’s policy of levelling up across the country. The Indo-Pacific is increasingly the engine room of the global economy. That best explains the UK’s tilt towards the Indo-Pacific.” (link, paywalled)
Just so! Their concluding paragraph reads like a rah-rah-rah piece, as if all the Remain battles had never happened. Observing that the past months have shown that really big issues need ‘like-minded’ nations to work together they write:
“To do this Global Britain needs to keep sailing out into the world, with shared purpose and vision, forging new alliances like AUKUS to preserve our collective security and prosperity.” (link, paywalled)
Amazing, isn’t it! Who expected to read such phrases in RemainCentral! Still, some Remainers are alive and kicking in The Times editorial offices. Their commentator Matthew Parris, arch-remainer that he is, has the nerve to write:
“Failure to inform, to discuss, to confide, and the embarrassing of Emmanuel Macron as he faces presidential elections display a kneejerk Anglo-Saxon contempt for allies whose friendship we need so much.” (link, paywalled)
Good gawd! No AUKUS because it might be unhelpful to the wannabe Napoleon, or because we really ‘need the French’ who have tried their utmost to strangle us during the Brexit negotiations? Words fail me! I think Mr Parris is simply hurt that he wasn’t ‘in’ on this secret. Regarding that secret: it strikes me that the ten people concerned were old(ish) white men – correct me if I’m wrong, if there were women involved who aren’t named.
I leave you with my very heretical assessment: perhaps nothing leaked about that Treaty here in the UK because wimmin were absent. Hm.
Photo by EU2017EE