Saturday 16 July 2022


'America doesn't have friends--only acquaintances.' Kissinger.

'We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.' Lord Palmerston, House of Commons, 1 March 1848. 

Countries should not have friendships but they do now - the UK thinks America is our eternal friend but the only special relationship the US has, as M.R.D. Foot the historian said, is with Israel.

Selwyn Lloyd, the future British Foreign Secretary, when offered the position of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs by Winston Churchill at first wanted to decline, because he spoke no foreign languages and had never, except for his war service, been abroad. Something not uncommon among upper middle class Englishmen in 1951. 'These are two excellent qualifications for the job,' said Churchill.

Axel Oxenstierna, Lord Chancellor of Sweden from 1612 till his death, confidant of King Gustavus Adolphus and then Queen Christina, of whom he was at first regent: 'Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?' (Letter to his son, 1648)

Talleyrand in the French Revolution of 1830. He went to the window, looked out at the street fighting and said `I see our side is winning.' Someone asked him `Which side is that?" and Talleyrand, very shocked, replied `I shall tell you tomorrow.'

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