Revealed: Dozens of UK former senior officials profit from fossil fuel corporations, rubber-stamped by Whitehall committee

By Mark Curtis, Declassified UK, 4 February 2021 New research finds that dozens of senior UK defence, foreign office and intelligence officials find employment with oil, gas and mining corporations once they leave public office, rubber-stamped by a Whitehall committee which pays little attention to potential conflicts of interest. Such private profiting from energy companies […]

Intelligence/GCHQ: Declassified

Articles ‘What has Wikileaks revealed about David Cameron and the Conservatives?‘ (Defend Wikileaks, 2019) ‘What has Wikileaks revealed about the Blair and Brown governments?‘ (Defend Wikileaks, 2019) ‘MI6’s secret “multi-million pound” Cold War slush fund’ (BBC, 20 November 2017) ‘Snowden files reveal US and UK spied on feeds from Israeli drones and jets‘ (Guardian, 29 January 2016) ‘Secret […]

Treasury paper for the Future Policy project, ‘Economic strength’, July 1959

Paper is an assessment of the relative strengths of the powers. “The UK [sic] influence and capacity for independent action has been greatly weakened in the last decade by the repeated sterling crises: if the UK could maintain a strong external financial position that would much improve its relative position within the West… UK is […]

J.Downie, Treasury official to R.Clarke, Permanent Under Secretary, Treasury, 3 July 1959

“I suppose that the ultimate policy aim (to put it rather grandiloquently) is to conduct our affairs so as to maximise the capacity of the United Kingdom to influence the course of world history in a way satisfactory to us. At least, I take this to be the object for any country with pretensions to […]

PUS’s Planning Committee: ‘Comments received from posts on paper entitled “Sources and means of influence in the modern world’”, 4 December 1968

Notes that a paper was circulated to posts in August. “Several comments emphasised that, as our power to intervene militarily in various parts of the world was reduced, the importance of our non-military effort overseas particularly such aspects as information work and diplomatic persuasion would significantly increase”. Paper then notes seven proposals on aid. “(i) […]

Denis Allen, Permanent Under Secretary, FCO, to all heads of post, 16 August 1968

Encloses a paper which “attempts to expand the Secretary of State’s thoughts on the sources and means of influence in the modern world”, whose contents “have been generally approved”. Paper: “Sources and means of influence in the modern world”, July 1968 “It is this distribution of our economic interests, deriving in many cases from our […]

Permanent Under Secretary’s Steering Committee, Review Committee on Overseas Representation: The basic assumptions, 14 October 1968

Foreign Office paper endorsed by the Foreign Secretary and circulated for information. “The basic aims of our overseas policy are peace, prosperity and freedom for Britain. They are not divisible. International instability prejudices our prosperity as well as our freedom… The scene for the conduct of external policy has been revolutionised not only by sophisticated […]

FCO, UN Department Paper, ‘The New International Economic Order’, January 1975

“The aspect of the New International Order [sic] which has attracted most attention is the altered distribution of economic power, as exemplified with particular prominence by…OPEC… The so-called ‘new international economic order’ is, in fact, a set of demands by developing countries for control of their own natural resources, transfer of resources to them by […]

Are British ministers consistently misleading parliament on their Middle East policy?

By Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 17 May 2018   Two British ministers have recently been forced to resign for misleading parliament. Last month, Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned, saying she had mistakenly misled parliament over whether her department had targets for deporting illegal immigrants. Last December, Damian Green, who was effectively Theresa […]

How Britain engaged in a covert operation to overthrow Assad

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 25 April 2018 Some commentators in the British mainstream media believe the UK has “done nothing” in the war in Syria and lament the failure to help stop it. In fact, Britain has engaged in a covert operation with allies to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad for more than […]