Here’s another one for the select committee reviewing foreign interference. Visitor from Britain Charlie Parton of the Royal United Services Institute was on Morning Report this morning telling us to avoid Huawei because they are Chinese and different from us. At least he does us a favour by making it clear the matter is political not technical.
To their credit, Radio New Zealand introduced his session by saying that “This is despite the head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre saying strict controls could offset any risks with using Huawei.”
Given the massive cluster-f**k that is Brexit, quite why we are expected to take any notice of political advice from anyone in the United Kingdom is beyond me.
Morning Report describes the Royal United Services Institute as independent. If you believe that you know there are fairies in the bottom of the garden. It is a haven for retired generals and intelligence operatives masquerading as diplomats. Just another organ of British soft power.
It was the venue last month where UK Minister of Defence Gavin Williamson gave his extraordinary speech where he warned that the United Kingdom was going to bring “hard power” to Asia with the Navy’s flagship carrier HMS Elizabeth and its complement of the massively expensive multi-role F-35B aircraft. It later emerged that the ship wouldn’t be operational for another two years, and Theresa May was against the idea anyway.
HMS Elizabeth’s sister carrier is the recently launched HMS Prince of Wales. Gavin Williamson will most probably not be in office by the time it is operational which will be fortunate for its crew. The last time Great Britain sent its very newest warship with that name to Asia it was promptly sunk by the Japanese. A combination of British hubris and sheer incompetence was to blame. The aircraft carrier that was supposed to accompany it ran aground in the West Indies, its commander Admiral Tom Phillips thought that Japanese aircraft did not have the range to reach it, that their pilots were incompetent, and that the ship’s anti-aircraft weapons were invincible.
It would be interesting to know who brought Parton to New Zealand, and whether there is any coincidence in the timing, with the Select Committee due to deliberate on overseas interference in our politics very soon. It does look like interference in our politics to me, this time from the UK.