PUS’s Planning Committee: ‘Comments received from posts on paper entitled “Sources and means of influence in the modern world’”, 4 December 1968

Notes that a paper was circulated to posts in August. “Several comments emphasised that, as our power to intervene militarily in various parts of the world was reduced, the importance of our non-military effort overseas particularly such aspects as information work and diplomatic persuasion would significantly increase”. Paper then notes seven proposals on aid. “(i) […]

Denis Allen, Permanent Under Secretary, FCO, to all heads of post, 16 August 1968

Encloses a paper which “attempts to expand the Secretary of State’s thoughts on the sources and means of influence in the modern world”, whose contents “have been generally approved”. Paper: “Sources and means of influence in the modern world”, July 1968 “It is this distribution of our economic interests, deriving in many cases from our […]

FCO, UN Department Paper, ‘The New International Economic Order’, January 1975

“The aspect of the New International Order [sic] which has attracted most attention is the altered distribution of economic power, as exemplified with particular prominence by…OPEC… The so-called ‘new international economic order’ is, in fact, a set of demands by developing countries for control of their own natural resources, transfer of resources to them by […]

The UK’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund: Diverting Aid and Undermining Human Rights

Report for Global Justice Now (December 2017) The UK government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) raises all kinds of questions about the future of UK aid, the nature of the UK’s relations with states abusing human rights and the government’s openness with the public. Established in 2015, the CSSF is a £1 billion annual […]

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 […]

Foreign Office, ‘Britain in an altered world: The outlook for foreign policy’, 1974

FCO paper, ‘Britain in an altered world: The outlook for foreign policy’, 26 February 1974 In February 1974 the Permanent Under Secretary’s Planning Committee 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”. “British foreign policy is largely […]

Corbyn’s Labour party should promote more moderation, less extremism in UK foreign policy

by Mark Curtis Labour’s manifesto pledges several clear breaks from current UK foreign policy which could be seen as radical given the present extremism. I recently outlined seven such policies which the UK establishment will fight bitterly.[1] But if the manifesto is implemented in its current form, it is likely to still promote extremism in […]

DFID’s dangerous new Economic Development Strategy

DFID yesterday published its Economic Development Strategy.[1] There’s a lot of fine-sounding rhetoric in the document and, on paper, it contains some progressive policies in the area of traditional foreign aid. But these are completely overshadowed by the UK’s global economic priorities which remain (in fact, are increasingly) neo-liberal and which are completely at odds […]

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 […]