Has Wikileaks told us anything we did not know? I am not sure it has. We are all aware that behind the façade, nations treat each other with suspicion and, at times, outright hostility. That is the essence of the realpolitik of international relations: to treat our friends as enemies and our enemies as friends. And providing it all remains within a tolerable range, nobody much minds.There is also something quite reassuring that behind the ideological battle lines between Israel and many of her neighbours, there is a comforting unanimity of concern about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Of course, it must be embarrassing that all these anxieties have been so graphically laid out in the media, but so far there have not been any earth-shattering revelations.
One interesting vignette is the remarks attributed to the UK’s Prince Andrew on the subject of corruption. Andrew is Queen Elizabeth’s second son and he has long acted as a trade ambassador for his country. Like his father, he is known to hold trenchant views and it is no great surprise that he seems to regard bribery as an occupational hazard and is alleged to be critical of UK regulators. [Read more…]