August 7, 2007

Britain Discovers Its Retreatist Foreign Minister

When Gordon Brown picked former Kofi Annan deputy Lord Malloch-Brown to handle Foreign Office management of the UN, Africa, and Asia, Americans groaned at the message that the appointment made towards appeasement and unaccountable internationalism. Americans knew Mark Malloch-Brown from his attack on American free speech last year, and his insistence in 2005 that despite a plague of sexual exploitation scandals and the Oil-For-Food scandal that the UN was "not in the mood for more wholesale change".

Now the British can get to know Malloch-Brown as the man who wants to give away the British veto power at the United Nations -- to the EU:

The United Kingdom should lose its independent voice at the United Nations and hand over its seat on the Security Council to the EU, according to the new Foreign Office Minister, Lord Malloch-Brown.

Last October, when Lord Malloch-Brown was the UN's deputy secretary general, he told EU diplomats in Brussels that the EU was heading towards one single seat within the UN institutions. "I think it will go in stages. We are going to see a growing spread of it institution by institution," he was reported as saying.

Lord Malloch-Brown said he hoped it would happen "as quickly as possible. I'm a huge fan of it."

He's a huge fan of it, or at least he was, the Brown government insists. Apparently the Annan acolyte suddenly decided to eschew his internationalist ambitions, or at least that's what 10 Downing Street wants Britain to believe. The Foreign Office put out a statement that explained that Malloch-Brown had said that before becoming a government minister.

No kidding. It was a few months before taking the job; everyone can read the calendar. It wasn't a "youthful indiscretion" but a rather clear statement of his philosophy. How did Malloch-Brown go from being a "huge fan" of giving up British sovereignty and rank to becoming a staunch defender of the UK's privilege at the UN?

The Conservatives have rightly raised an alarm about the direction Malloch-Brown will take the UK in his current assignment. However, it could be worse. They should take heart -- he could have been put in charge of the BBC, or perhaps Defence Minister.

UPDATE: David Miliband is Foreign Minister, as CQ commenter Anthony in Los Angeles reminds me. Malloch-Brown is Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, which is bad enough, but not quite as bad as I wrote in error earlier.


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Comments (17)

Posted by edward cropper | August 7, 2007 6:42 AM

Could anyone really trust someone closely connected to Kofi Annan? This little jerk was and is a career politician, an anti-Semite, a money grabber, and just about anything else negative you could use.
The English people once brave and noble have gone the way of many Americans. Weakened by gutless politicians who continue to be re-elected by promising more and more pork, they have become so material in their thinking true patriotism and moral courage is a thing of the past.

Posted by docjim505 | August 7, 2007 6:46 AM

In all fairness, it isn't unreasonable to expect a man to change his official position to match that of the government when he becomes a cabinet secretary. It's also a bit unreasonable to expect that every member of a cabinet have ideals and philosophies that are identical to the PM's. However, it's natural to wonder just how whole-heartedly he'd support his new-found positions.

Time will tell of Malloch-Brown will loyally support the official policy of the Brown government or use his ministerial position to sabotage it when he has the chance.

On another note, I have to wonder how a person gets to a place where they think that handing over the sovereignty of their own country is a good idea.

Posted by Anthony (Los Angeles) | August 7, 2007 8:24 AM

Slight correction: Malloch Brown isn't Foreign Minister -- that's David Miliband. Malloch Brown is "Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN" and serves under Miliband. (source: Still, that doesn't change the fact that he's a) contemptuous of us and b) a rabid EU-phile.

Posted by mike davidson | August 7, 2007 8:25 AM

Just for the record, Malloch-Brown is neither Foreign Minister, nor a member of the Cabinet.

Posted by Bennett | August 7, 2007 8:58 AM

If the UN actually mattered, this might be a big deal.

Posted by David M | August 7, 2007 9:41 AM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 08/07/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Posted by John Steele | August 7, 2007 10:12 AM

I fully agree with Malloch-Brown. The EU wants to have a common foreign plicy and I see no reason why their single foreign policy should be expressed through 25 UN votes and TWO permanent seats on the Security Council (Britian and France) with TWO VETOES.

That of course assume tht the UN mattered, but as long as we are in it we have to take it somewhat seriously aqnd ought to insist that everyone play by the same rules, especially the western democracies.

Posted by Palamas | August 7, 2007 12:36 PM

Whether the EU should have a common foreign policy or not, the fact is that it doesn't. Poland and the Czech Republic are frequently not on the same page as Spain and France, and the truth is that what Malloch-Brown is looking for is a way to silence those EU states that don't agree with his UN-centered (and generally US opposing) approach to foreign policy.

If the EU should have just one vote at the UN, how about the Organization for African Unity? How about the Conference of Islamic States? How about the Commonwealth of Independent States, if it's still around?

Posted by mags | August 7, 2007 12:53 PM

Edward Cooper,
'once brave and noble'
Are you implying that our troops in Iraq and afghanistan are neither. Also are you claiming our citizens that have been killed/injured in terrorists attacks at home sadly lacking in both.
How dare you imply we are cowards when you seem to have no idea about the british peoples view on the war in Iraq.
'true patriotism and moral courage is the thing of the past'
I will extend your best regards to the victims of the 7/7 tube bombings, the relatives of the dead and the limbless trying to re-build their lives i will inform them that our closest allie thinks we lack moral courage.
How far back do you want to go. No courage when the U.S funded I.R.A bombs that were killing british women and children.
The U.S had no moral courage to stop the funding after numerous prime ministers pleaded.
The irish american vote was too important ,so some gleefully continued to call drinks,'kill a brit', and 'car bomb'- ironic now.
You make me sick we are still in Iraq,we are not calling for withdrawal without Iraqi sercurity,we don't define 'victory'. We understand no-body traditionally can 'win ' this,we knew this before.
We are not calling for timetables,we know from history occupation in a guerilla war can takes years.
We are not in a left/right war on stupidity that makes you look weak and unsure and horribly divided at a time of war.
Maybe if you took your arrogant head out of your arse and asked us you may learn something.

Posted by edward cropper | August 7, 2007 2:49 PM

you don't have a clue what I said or what the hell you are talking about.
I won't dignify your blathering rant by saying more.

Posted by Blaise | August 7, 2007 6:16 PM

Not much opposition on this from France, I bet.

Posted by lexhamfox | August 8, 2007 12:06 AM

I expect France to cling to their Security Council seat much stronger than the British. The Minister is absolutely correct. It does not make sense for Britain and France to have seats while nations like India go without. Lord Malloch-Brown was stating the obvious and the Torygraph silly season is in full swing. Ed does not get that it is August and this kind of drossy story is merely a seasonal symptom and not serious journalism.

Mags is absolutely right to take offence to Croppers post.

Posted by Eg | August 8, 2007 4:05 AM


Should the UK fail to hold a public referendum on the New EU Treaty(the Constitution), a path which Gordon Brown is currently pursuing

…this, in itself, is just part of the plan proposed by the new EU constitutional treaty - that the EU should have its own foreign minister (or 'High Representative') who will act on the world stage as foreign minister on behalf of all the EU's 27 member states.
just as with Group 77, NAM or any of the other various UN voting-block coalitions, likely as not, the individual UN seats will be retained with each of its designated EU-UK/French UNSC Ambassadors voting in unison. The other alternative and one also pursued at various times is the, albeit unlikely, possibility of expanding the UNSC.

Despite Gordon Brown’s recent visit the US and his excellent job blowing smoke, it was, as far as I’m concerned, nothing but a con-job. Brown might be a friend but I wouldn’t look any further. For that perspective here’s one such piece but there are quite a few others:

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown signaled "the end of the affair" with US President George W Bush in their first talks, putting Anglo-US ties on a more formal basis, commentators said yesterday.


They also highlighted Brown's use of the phrase "full and frank" - usually diplomatic code for cool - to describe the meeting.

"The love-in is over. Everything about Gordon Brown's demeanor at Camp David yesterday proclaimed that a new chapter is opening in Britain's relations with the United States," said the mass-market Daily Mail in an editorial.

"Indeed, Brown was businesslike almost to the point of coolness," the conservative daily noted, while headlining its main news piece on Monday's talks the "End of the Affair."

We’ve seen the European Quartet/Concert, the League of Nations, and now the UN and EU…given both history and deteriorating conditions on the international stage, I certainly have my doubts about any continued longevity of these two latter.

Posted by mags | August 8, 2007 7:52 AM

I am so sorry i was unaware that you oozed dignity.
There wasn't much dignity in your comments about the people in the U.k.
If i don't know what your talking about tell me .
Explain why my comments show that i don't know what i am talking about.
Why 'blathering', what have i got wrong.
By patronizing me and dismissing me for my ' rant' you are acting like an 'American stero-type.
I am saddened and disapointed at this.

Posted by edward cropper | August 8, 2007 1:37 PM

your argument is not with Ed but with me. You have taken what I said and implied things that never entered my mind. I erred by saying the English people once brave and noble have gone the way of many Americans. What I meant and failed to say was MANY of the English people have gone the way of MANY Americans. I, like most Americans have great affection for those Brits who continue to have the intestinal courage that made you the friend America remembers.
I called your comments blather because knowing my real thoughts that is exactly what they were.
I have no desire to prove anything to you or anyone else about what I actually meant. Other than leaving out the word some, I stand by what I said. The rejection of Tony Blair by a considerable number of English citizens because of his stand with the USA in the war on terror makes my point better than I can.

Posted by mags | August 9, 2007 3:38 PM

I did think i was addressing you. We have a habit of shortening names
Madonna is called madge here .It ' is mean't to be friendly.
I don't know whether you remember but about 50% of the U.K were against the invasion from the start . There hasn't been a massive change and it is not used as a poltical football.
Ministers resigned in opposition. to it. The rest of us were led to believe tony blair would use his influence with Bush to stop him bombing the shite out of iraq. Encourage the u.s to reconnect with the road map and address America's blinkered view of israel.

So obviously this didn't happen.
The reason tony had to go is that he put your interest before ours.He let another country dictate our foreign policy, We obviously then had no say on your methods used in bagdad, torture,abu graib, rendition, gitmo and soldiers who are understandably not peace keepers.
It would of had more support if the U.N was involved.
Please don't lecture me on the un i am well versed.
There should be a supported broad international body.,of equal parties.
If Americans slag of the U.N ,and call it irrelevent and powerless why did you expect saddam to take any notice?
We are not calling for americans troops to withdraw,we don;t have politician's scream and each other.
We have learn't from our experience in northern ireland.
As with the U.S we should be able to put our interests first.
We agree on the threat of islamfascism we disagree with the methods being used.
Bush ignored the iraqi study group recommendations including TB input.
Blair and our generals have made comments about the lack of post war preparations.
This therefore had an effect on our security and we couldn;t do anything about it.
Blair had to go when the spin they put on the
Why do expect other countries to do whatever you want,if we disagree you slag us off and in some incidents want to boycott.
We have had enough of U.S doulble standards and hyprocrisy.
An unequal allie( you still won;t extridite wanted I.R.A terrorists,but insists it works the other way.)
You are a divided coutry isolated from the world if you think that is a good thing then i pity you,

Posted by edward cropper | August 9, 2007 4:40 PM

you and I have some common ground. I will not go into that because it would take too long.
Your last response was a reasoned presentation with points of view that are worthy of contemplation.
I may be biased but I truly believe Americans are still some the best, most generous people in the world. The sacrifice we have made in the
defense of freedom is equal to any you can name. Are we a marred people? Yes, just like all other nations.
Do we err in our international efforts? Yes badly at times but our record is still pretty good.
Are we a divided country, no. We have serious disagreements among ourselves but you can't believe all the negative tripe you read in the Times.
London or New York.
When the chips are really on the table Americans always rally around the flag.
The rest of the world had better hope that we remain strong and united, because without us, warts and all things will only get worse.
This will be my last response on this subject because I am sure other bloggers are tired.


Edward Cropper

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