Some Bad Signals From Britain

Melanie Phillips notes some bad signs in the appointments by Britain's new foreign minister:

Simon McDonald, the UK's former Ambassador to Israel, is a stalwart defender of Israel and is free of the Arabism that is the stock in trade of the Foreign Office. It is therefore a very positive sign that he is now Brown's chief foreign policy adviser. However, the other signals are not so good. The new Foreign Secretary is David Miliband, who was reportedly opposed to war in Iraq and who attacked Israel's action in Lebanon last year. He was reported to have joined other Cabinet colleagues in criticising Tony Blair for not breaking with President Bush by calling for an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon - ie, Israel's surrender to Iran. His appointment is thus a clear signal that Britain is now distancing itself from America. At such a terrifying time for the free world with Iran racing towards the bomb, to give such a signal that the western alliance is weakening amounts to a treasonable boost to the enemy.

More disturbing still is the arrival in Brown's government of the former United Nations deputy Secretary-General, Sir Mark Malloch Brown, who has been granted a peerage in order to take up the post of minister for Africa, Asia and the UN. As we know, the UN's corruption and the way it has been turned into a mouthpiece for some of the world's greatest tyrannies make it an urgent candidate for root-and-branch reform. Yet Malloch Brown actually actually defended the UN over the oil-for-food scandal.

As I reported here, he also played a key and disreputable role in the Wolfowitz witch-hunt at the World Bank, blaming Wolfowitz's anti-corruption drive for a loss of funding. He has blamed the Iraq war for disrupting aid to the world's needy, by identifying such aid as serving Western interests rather than universal values. Yet according to this very important piece by Claudia Rosett in the Weekly Standard, the Wolfowitz affair conveniently distracted attention from a corruption scandal at the U.N. Development Program on Malloch Brown's watch. UNDP officials were apparently up to their necks in corruption scams stretching from North Korea to Zimbabwe. And all this was going on while the UNDP was run by Malloch Brown.
hat tip: PUK