BBC Radio 4 - The Today programme - 26 October 2018
How the murder of Jamal Khashoggi finally put the spotlight on UK arms sales and the war in Yemen
Heathrow Expansion Plan
Can There be Honour in Talking With Dishonourable Men?
With our Prime Minister’s fulsome apology (in early May 2018) to Abdel Hakim Belhaj for our government’s role in his rendition to Libya and subsequent torture, a line of sorts was drawn under the relationship that had existed with Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. From that perspective, the relationship could be characterised as simply a regrettable mistake.
Yemen is a country of paradoxes. In classical times it was called Arabia Felix – but today it is a most unhappy place. The people are generous – yet they have nothing to give. They are hospitable – but many of them have not the wherewithal to be hosts, their houses having been destroyed by the three-year old war that continues to lay waste the country.
A crisis action plan is necessary to avert negative fallout. Most companies have done little in the way of preparation for crisis. The following exciting hypothetical scenario can help put matters right.
Banking scandals have abounded since the financial crash of 2008. PPI, tax avoidance, FOREX manipulation and LIBOR rigging have all created challenges for relationships between banks, regulators and the public. As a result, the British government has felt impelled to do more. In March 2016 it introduced the Senior Managers Regime (SMR). The intention has been to impose a duty of regulatory responsibility on managers in the sector.
Mark Somers, June, 2017
A former boss of mine in the Army, Brigadier John Deverell CBE, the founder of risk, governance and crisis solutions consultancy Deverell Associates, assesses that SMR now requires a different sort of manager with a different ethos, as he points out at http://www.deverellassociates.com/senior-managers-regime-parallels-british- armys-concept-leadership/.
Most family offices and family firms do not have a crisis management plan. The principal and the CEO will be relying on their ability to see the potential for things going wrong and reacting in good time. But the reality can be very different; an incident can quickly spiral out of control and become a crisis. Then, without a plan in place that allows for an organised response, it may not be possible to get off the back foot.
The banking “recklessness” described by William Rees-Mogg did not result from the departure from the gold standard
Sir, I am surprised at the suggestion (Opinion, William Rees-Mogg, July 20) that the gold standard represented some sort of halcyon age for Britain and the United States.
With Muammar Gaddafi’s death a line has been drawn under his regime, though the fog of war is far from cleared. In the meantime, it has become politically expedient to decry the relationship fostered since 2003 between the last British government and Gaddafi’s regime.
The deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians during Israel’s brutal winter 2008-2009 offensive in Hamas-run Gaza sparked outrage across the world. Yet to the surprise of all—including the Israeli security establishment—the West Bank did not explode in violent protest against the war. After 40 years of occupation it seemed as if many West Bankers had finally lost faith in violent resistance.
“By the end of January, when you will have been in Ramallah for a couple of months, you should let us know your objectives – be they ever so modest”. Spoken by Number 10’s Defence and Foreign Policy Adviser, these words were Whitehall’s farewell to me and underlined the broad latitude within which I was to operate, in what was a new post. I was thus liberated from the Ministry of Defence. I had completed one year there, out of what should have been a 3 year tour as Director of Defence Diplomacy.