The Mouse That Roared
In case there are any readers old enough to remember the Duchy of Grand Fenwick and its Grand Duke played by Peter Sellers (and much more) in the classic film from the 1960s - the present diplomatic minuet being played out by Britain's politicians in Moscow and Warsaw may seem familiar. Amid the crunching of tank tracks in the snows of eastern Europe and conflicting statements of intent between two superpowers, Britain's Prime Minister in Warsaw (and Brussels) and the Foreign Secretary, currently Liz Truss, are shoring the North Atlantic Alliance with further troop movements in aid of the sovereignty of the Ukraine. Below : The Author taking on the Soviet Forces in Germany in a much earlier era.
It is very hard to imagine Mr Lavrov or Mr Putin quaking at the thought of several hundred British squaddies arriving in Poland and Liz Truss banging a table in the Kremlin. The Partygate antics of the UK government's hierarchy are as equally familiar to the powers that are in Moscow as they are to nearly all of the British public. The consequences of Number Ten's ill-judged foibles resonate widely enough to strain the credibility of any international demarche which this government seeks to register in foreign capitals - for the time being.
The prospect of calibrated climb downs on either side of the Ukraine (and Polish) borders increase through continuance of 'jaw=jaw' - for which we must all be thankful, thus exertions to prolong the present orchestrated diplomatic minuet with its many actors, from Washington DC to Paris and Brussels via London and Germany are welcomed. Britain's role and credibility is however severely strained and diminished of late. Even its military 'prowess' whilst remaining potent, has but a walk-on part to play in its reduced manpower capacity in 2022.
If you get to see 'The Mouse That Roared' through one of the many online streaming sources, be assured of an enjoyable (and topically familiar) tale.