Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Problems with Old Etonians

Somewhere in Eton College the pupils are taught to cover up each others weaknesses from public scrutiny. This becomes a real danger when you have a great many of them holding major civil service and political positions and this could be the case if David Cameron is elected as the next prime minister. I suspect London will have to pay a quite high price for electing the old Etonian clown Boris Johnson.

So in a way it's no surprise that government archives just opened to the public dating from WW2 should show old Etonians hiding the activities of one of their number whose meeting with the Germans at the beginning of the war would have caused embarrassment to another of theirs in a high cabinet position.

The story is on the BBC website, click here. Old Etonian James Lonsdale-Bryans went to Italy at the beginning of the war to talk with a German diplomat about possible peace terms. Although he was known for his pro-German views he went with the backing of the Foreign Office. He proposed to the Germans that they should have control of Europe while Britain should have the rest of the world. No action was ever taking against him as a security risk and unlike other German sympathizers he was never interned.

The person that, in this case MI5, were really protecting was Halifax, the Foreign Secretary and pro-appeasement colleague of the disgraced Neville Chamberlain. In fact, although Halifax had made a mess of virtually every job he had ever been given, he would have become Britain's war time prime minister if the Conservative Party had been able to control the succession after Chamberlain resigned. It was the Labour Party that insisted on his rival and fellow conservative Winston Churchill as a reward for joining the government. Their fear was that Halifax would make peace with the Nazis and bring Britain under this evil influence.

This is what you get with old Etonians controlling the country.

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