Malcolm Macdonald, High Commissioner, Lusaka, to Commonwealth Office, February 1967

“The time has arrived when we should consciously guide this greatly expanded Commonwealth towards fulfilling a definite purpose, and perhaps a great destiny, in contemporary and future human affairs”. The Commonwealth’s composition could give it a powerful influence “in resolving widely the inter-racial problems” of the next couple of generations. “It is true that at […]

FCO paper, PC (70)12, ‘North V. South’, December 1970

Cover note states: this “considers the future of the gap between the developed and the developing countries and its implications for British policies”. Paper. It is unlikely that a general coordinated North/South struggle will take place but “countries or organisations in the South might succeed in disrupting ordered life in the developed world and in […]

FCO, East African Department paper, ‘Africa: Arms Supply Policy’, October 1975

Cover note: this paper analyses the “disadvantages under which we operate in Africa due to our inability, in contrast to the Communist powers, to supply arms on concessionary terms” and the “lack of enthusiasm” in this by the Treasury, Overseas Development Ministry and ECGD. Paper. “With rare exceptions, British policy in Africa has been to […]

Africa (general): Declassified

Documents FCO, Planning Staff draft paper, “British objectives and priorities in Africa South of the Sahara, 1976-80”, November 1975  (click here) FCO, East African Department paper, ‘Africa: Arms Supply Policy’, October 1975 (click here) FCO paper, PC (70)12, ‘North V. South’, December 1970 (click here) Malcolm Macdonald, High Commissioner, Lusaka, to Commonwealth Office, February 1967 […]

FCO, Planning Staff draft paper, ‘British objectives and priorities in Africa South of the Sahara, 1976-80’, November 1975

“Traditionally, from the days of trade in slaves and ivory, Africa has supplied natural products to Europe and received finished goods in exchange”. New UK investment in Sub-Saharan Africa was £148.1m or 9.1% of all overseas investment in 1973 – of that, 5.4% was to South Africa. Total stock of UK investment in SSA in […]

Chiefs of Staff Committee, Joint Planning Staff, ‘Role of the colonial territories in peace and war: report by the Joint Planning Staff’, 8 January 1958

“It has been agreed by the Chiefs of Staff that the role of the colonial territories in general terms should be: (a) to provide for their own internal security, first to release the forces of the strategic reserve during the present cold war from debilitating diversions and, secondly, to ensure the stability of the colonies […]

Will the Foreign Office try to stop Corbyn implementing the Labour manifesto?

In February 1974 the Permanent Under Secretary’s Planning Committee of the Foreign Office approved papers for the incoming Labour government, consisting of 42 departmental papers plus an overview of “Britain in an altered world: The outlook for Foreign Policy”. A key aspect of these papers was to argue against the new government implementing its manifesto […]

Britain’s Trade and Aid Policies After Brexit – Neo-liberalism Goes Mad

By Mark Curtis Published in the Huffington Post, 6 December 2016 A picture is emerging of likely British trade and aid policies towards developing countries after Brexit. That picture is just as disturbing as two other likely consequences of Brexit that I detailed in my previous article – a deepening of relations with authoritarian regimes […]

Dreaming of Empire? UK Foreign Policy Post-Brexit

Report written by Mark Curtis for Global Justice Now. To read the PDF version go here. November 2016 Since the EU referendum on 23 June, many people have theorised on what the consequences for British foreign policy might be. Some have stressed the dangers, others the opportunities. Nearly six months on, a picture is gradually […]

Africa’s Massive Revenue Losses From Tax Incentives

Huffington Post, 5 August 2016 For over 30 years, Western countries such as the US and UK, and international bodies like the World Bank and IMF, have told African governments to cut their tax rates to attract foreign investment. The result of this policy is now clear and is not pretty – governments in Africa […]