Know your allies

I was quite amused by the comment made by cross-bench peer and academic Lord Skidelsky in yesterday’s debate on the Queen’s Speech:

“In the Crimean War, it is said that Lord Raglan, a veteran of the Peninsular War, announced his plan of campaign to the assembled commanders by pointing to the map and saying, “We attack the French here”, at which point an aide whispered to him, “Sir, the French are our allies”. I trust that members of the coalition will not be afflicted by a similar cognitive dissonance.”


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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5 Responses to Know your allies

  1. Croft says:

    Rather reminds me of various RN jokes during the cold war. That the RN considered their three main enemies in order:

    1) the treasury
    2) the French
    3) the Russians!

  2. Lord Norton: I happened to be watching proceedings in the House of Lords at the time, too—of course, across the water in Nova Scotia!

    What caught my attention particularly were Lord Skidelsky’s opening remarks on economics from the Crossbenches:

    In my judgment, we are experiencing a good, old-fashioned Keynesian demand-led recession, which requires a good, old-fashioned Keynesian response.

    When he finished, he turned to Lord Lawson of Blaby (Thatcher’s once-time Chancellor of the Exchequer)—seated perpendicularly to him on the Government benches—and the two enjoyed a few comments and a laugh. Oh, for a dangling microphone overhead!

  3. Jana says:

    “I trust that members of the coalition will not be afflicted by a similar cognitive dissonance.”


    Much cognotive dissonance to come, I suspect.


    As for the RN, the Royal Artillery is much simpler: there are two kinds of people in the world: artillery, and targets.

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