The recent BBC series on Tolstoy's War and Peace was an interesting adaption. It explored the various undercurrents still in play today. It also provided a subliminal backdrop to the PR man's achievement of his preferred date, in the middle of the European Championships and prior to the pivotal NATO Summit, in Warsaw, in July. But we are in a game of two halves, so, is Cameron approaching his Borodino moment?
Can the John Milton Brigade be decisively defeated and consigned to the pit or shall it take the democratically elected European Parliament to see them off finally by 2017 with a war of political attrition? Consequently, it was no surprise that on the vary day Donald Tusk circulated the "New Settlement" proposal, the US Secretary of Defence, Ashton Carter announced, before his official Defence budget submission was presented to Congress, the Quadrupling of US defence expenditure in Europe from 2017: the signal sent is unmistakable: "if the Brits desert you - America won't".
Clearly the JMB are still in denial over the lesson of Suez and Grenada as NATO seeks to address and bolster the military concord comprising the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Dmitry Medvedev warns of the dangers of a "New Cold War". Only a rampant Russia not migration or ISIL represents the true potential existential threat to UK National Security - we all know this. The PR man claims to be a late convert to National Security but given the US economic security outlook is based on Shale Oil and Electric Vehicles, and Russia appears to be seeking preference shares in Saudi Aramco - what is Cameron's response?
Tragically, the nation shall divide on generational lines and business on small verses medium and large scale enterprises.
However, it also came as no surprise that Margret Thatcher's former political secretary, John Whittingdale, now our leader at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which recently acquired the Government Data Protection Portfolio in order to implement the agreed December EU Data Protection reforms came out for leaving Europe. A necessary tragedy? Perhaps, for John, who is definitely no political maverick shall fulfill his Cabinet Duty regarding Data Protection legislation. He shall also be needed for the healing process in the reconciliation phase. Having studied the reports he has mainly authored from the Select Committee, he like Ed Richards, Sharon Whites predecessor at OFCOM, is a fair man but infiltration is a dangerous political game. What of Ed Vaizey's position though? Leadership and who does the actual leading does matter!
The same sense of fair play cannot be said of Colette Bowe (the former OFCOM Chair, now in banking oversight), given last week's release of further cabinet papers from the National Archives (which incidentally should have been released at the New Year) that highlight Bowe's role in leaking the Solicitor General's letter (on her own initiative?) when she was Trade Department Press Officer, to bring down her boss Leon Britten and Michael Heseltine. Bowe then had to be protected by the then Cabinet Secretary, Lord Armstrong [who has a starring role in the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill] to hold the government together. So, what expos‚ material shall be leaked in the run up to decision day? Indeed, what is deemed so damaging that it could not be released according to tradition at the New Year? Anyhow, Bowe, putting it politely, is now a marked political target having just been burned by someone, somewhere. And here I was of the opinion that Bowe was merely, to use a Cold War phrase: an instrument of the imperial hypocrisy!
In January various further 5G Road Maps from such as AT&T and R&S were proposed.
But observe the further undercurrents as we approached Barcelona week that emanated from Tim Cook, who echoing Tim Wu's "The Master Switch" language launched a front and centre attack on the political establishment in the US regarding the iPhone and Net Neutrality. Shall it go all the way to the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution or can a legal accommodation be reached between the NSA and FBI? Readers should reacquaint themselves with my "IPv6 - and the Communications Capability Gap Program" blog for the relevant issues. (It appears that the FBI have botched it legally now that it transpires that they had 12 previous goes at getting Apple to access other iPhones). This episode comes on the back of India stuffing Facebook over allegedly neo-colonialist doctrines concerning Net Neutrality but can Facebook push back?
Sadly, the JMB and the Authoritarian State politicians in then the UK and OFCOM just don't get the concept of the distinction between an Open Internet and Net Neutrality nor the distinction between "freedom from" and "freedom to". The all pervasiveness of the Internet and the Dilemmas it accrues is universally acknowledged but Net Neutrality and the political and technological forces and market forces (investment, skills, competition, innovation, entrepreneurship and regulation (standards)) it has unleashed shall for sure put an end to many a vision of a sovereign state. We have seen nothing as of yet to what it is going to beget for future generations.
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