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William Hague insists government’s options remain open on Ukraine

4 March 2014

1:31 PM

4 March 2014

1:31 PM

It was clear from William Hague’s statement in the Commons just now that no decisions have been taken on what to do about Ukraine. The Foreign Secretary had already distanced himself from that photographed document when he faced MPs at Foreign Office Questions a little earlier this morning, saying that it didn’t necessarily reflect the action the government would take. The government’s options ‘remain open’, he said.

It’s worth considering Labour’s response to the situation. Douglas Alexander struck a consensual tone when he responded at Foreign Office Questions, but some of his colleagues including Kevin Brennan were quite keen to tease out a response to the tweets over the weekend by Sajid Javid and Nick Boles suggesting there was a clear link between Ed Miliband’s opposition to intervention in Syria and Vladimir Putin’s behaviour now. But while Brennan seemed to be criticising the partisan nature of those tweets at a time of international crisis, Labour’s Helen Goodman fell into that same partisan trap, suggesting that human rights campaigners in Ukraine had told her that the UK was reluctant to impose sanctions because the Conservative party had accepted money from Russian donors. Hague just about managed to contain his disdain for this question, but it shows the danger for both sides of falling into point-scoring over foreign policy. Alexander did warn of the dangers of retreating into neo-isolationism, but ventured no further down that road.

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Show comments
  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    It strikes me that we have no (miltary) options, given that we no longer have an Army. Vote UKIP to get one and pay for it by… by… by… ahh, what the heck, vote UKIP anyway.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …that’s the first intelligent, non-gibberished thing you’ve ever said, lad. Are you feeling alright?

  • Denis_Cooper

    Hague should tell Putin that “we would not let matters rest there” if he refused to back down, then some time later Cameron could say that he would let matters rest there after all.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Willy could always challenge Putin to a drinking contest

  • D Whiggery

    Lol, now the government has shown Putin ‘accidentally’ that they’re not going to rock the boat, they can go back to keeping up appearances.

  • Mynydd

    Mr Hague said that we would support financially support the Ukraine, why?, however he didn’t say how much it would cost. Where is the money coming from?. Is this another case of “money is no object” When will the government stop giving our money away, just to look big on the world stage.

    • Pip

      If the Tories start sending our money to the Ukraine there will be such public outcry, the likes of which they have yet to see.

      • Noa

        It will be EU funding that is used to bail out Ukraine, it may increased and most of it will be from UK and Germany.

        • Pip

          As the Establishment continues to dig itself an even deeper hole, this couldn’t have happened at a better time just before the EU Elections, the EU Commies are in for a shock come May.

    • dalai guevara

      Square Mile exposure to imminent sovereign default.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Ha ha ha! What options? Threaten to send an aircraft carrier once it has been built and we’ve got aircraft to put on it? Or “send a message” in a strongly worded speech that will be about as effective as a message in a bottle chucked into the Channel. Maybe Hague could prevail on May to send the NCA and a few armed quangocrats or some of the more aggressive fake charity CEOs in rubber boats.

    Hilariously sad beyond belief that those invertebrates who have delightedly emasculated and f***ed up this country are now huffing and puffing with such indignity at Putin’s two-fingered salute to their mediocre masters at the EU. That sound you hear is Lord Raglan spinning in his grave.

    • Tom Tom

      I think Britain should refuse to invade Iraq, Afghanistan, or use MI6 in Syria or Libya to show our contempt for those who violate sovereign states in unprovoked wars

    • dalai guevara

      So it finally sinks in (given that NATO is completely out of the picture) that Eurocorps is the way to go?

      • Colonel Mustard

        That’s almost as funny. Eurocorpse more like. Those clowns in Brussels couldn’t fight their way out of a brown paper bag. Now if talk with weasel words was a strategic weapon of mass destruction . . .

        • dalai guevara

          Now now General — Eurocorps could be a multiculti force ready to intervene internationally (all significant operations are multiculti nowadays) with numerous highly versatile nuclear options on a 500m+ conscription base.

          How could this be dismissed out of hand?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Quite easily by anyone with the slightest idea of how military operations actually work in practice. You will never, in a million years, get such a force to operate at the same level of co-odination and effectiveness as the volunteer military of a single nation state. The USA managed it – just – but only because of a culturally and linguistically unified command structure and tradition that survived the crucible of Civil War.

            And Barroso and Rumpy-Pumpy as Generals with Baroness Ashton bringing up the rear? Come now.

            • dalai guevara

              I’ll leave the appointing of positions to you General. I left the hard military stuff behind decades ago.
              Now I am more of a soft skills type – you know, the Angelina Jolie + Willi Hague kinda stuff. Equally amusing surely but good for the heart and karma.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Me too. Joking aside I do have a question for you. Are you really a “member” of telemanky’s “team” or was that just another Mittyesque vanity?

                Honesty please.

                • dalai guevara

                  You know perfectly well that I could not care less about the Greek infighting between telemank and piper two pips DingDong. That is the honest truth and should render me instantly more ‘likeable’ (not that it would matter).

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Ok thanks. We have never been formally introduced so likeability doesn’t come into it I’m afraid.

            • CharlietheChump

              I didn’t need the image of Ashton’s rear in my mind!

              • Noa

                The front is no improvement,

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …the same way all of your socialist nuttery is dismissed, lad .

            • dalai guevara

              Dismiss, Private Milliputin!

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …ahhhhh, were it so easy to dismiss you socialist nutters, lad.

      • Noa

        Quite the opposite.
        If Barroso had his own army with a Britsh element in it, we would be commited to a war, against UK interests but without public debate or redress.

        • dalai guevara

          Whilst I follow your starting line of argument, perhaps you have not yet fully explored ‘UK interests’?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Historically UK interests have been global and centred on a powerful navy. We are – were – a maritime power and tended only to get involved in spats between excitable Europeans with appallingly bad governments in order to slap them down. We have nothing to learn from them or their silly federal socialist “super” state.

            Hopefully this is sufficiently “reactionary xenophobe” to reinforce your prejudices.

            Rule Britannia.

            • dalai guevara

              Your opening word clarifies your position.
              Now perhaps move on (?)

              • Colonel Mustard

                Long runs the fox. You wouldn’t be the first European to write us off and you won’t be the last.

                Rule Britannia.

                • dalai guevara

                  Long runs the fox General, and it appears yet again that I must spell it out to you indeed.

                  It was you who referred to Baron Raglan. I quote base knowledge for those not familiar with military facts:

                  “The Crimean War (pronounced /kraɪˈmiːən/ or /krɨˈmiːən/) (October 1853 – February 1856)[7][8]:7 was a conflict in which Russia lost to an alliance of France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia. While neutral, Austria played a role in stopping the Russians.”

                  So a EUROCORPS beat the Russians into submission then, I take it. I humbly grant you the last word.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Well, not quite. Clearly you are another who believes the intention is as good as the consequences.

                  And the expeditionary force was composed of nation state armies, the command and co-ordination problems of which reinforce rather than rebut my assertion.

                  As to spelling it out I suggest you spend a little more time studying the campaign’s realities than the Wiki strategic overview . . .

              • CharlietheChump

                Are you sharing a room with Telemachus the Troll? Something familiar about this drivel

          • CharlietheChump

            If Barroso had access to his own military it would be deployed keeping the EU population under control not fighting external wars.

  • In2minds

    ‘options remain open’ – so it’s do nothing then!

    • dalai guevara

      pay to avoid default

  • Jez

    Russia seems galvanized into action to defend her interests & her people.

    Whilst in the EU province of Britain our politicians embark on an opportunist Punch and Judy show.

    • Tom Tom

      Russia is a great country whereas Britain is little more than an American offshore island supplicant at every level and desperate to offer up its citizens to extradition

      • Jez

        I don’t know about being a great place to live as i haven’t been there- but they have a strong sense of identity. They will defend this.

        Our politicians have actively sought to destroy any Identity the British ever used to have- constantly.

        The Emperors Robes springs to mind whilst comparing them to what’s happened here the last 40 years..

        • Tom Tom

          “great country” is not “great place to live” simply a statement that it is a major country and has been through history…….”Great Britain” is far from “a great place to live” but it is a “bigger Bretagne” nevertheless

      • Pip

        Britain is a great country too, we have just been betrayed by a US/EU/Bilderberg controlled Political Class, many of whom deserve to be in the dock for what they have and are doing.

      • dalai guevara

        …in the instance of Piers Morgan et al the correct terminology would be ‘exile’.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …what, he’s not nutty enough for you socialist nutters?

      • Daniel Maris

        Such a great country that any Russian who gets any money high-tails it over here at the first opportunity.

        • Tom Tom

          as does any Briton to Monaco or Jersey or Switzerland but Non-Dom status in Britain is so attractive – tax havens are attractive

    • Pip

      After US/EU Lackey Hague attempted to justify dragging us into the Syrian Conflict on a lie, he now is now mincing around the World Stage making idle threats to Russia and damaging our interests. Hague is blatantly unfit for such high office, he is an utter embarrassment and does not speak for the majority of the electorate on this issue. The EU/US provoked this and now they blame Putin for protecting Russia’s Interests. We are being Governed by a bunch of crooks and traitors, roll on the coming Elections.

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