Thursday, January 31, 2008

International political operatives

A reader emails a link which reveals that "there are 6.5 million American expats now" ... which translates to more "voters than in the state of Masachusetts". That fact makes for transatlantic campaigning. There are 350,000 Americans in Britain. And quite naturally, it makes for transatlantic scandals.

One of Hillary Clinton's aides in her campaign for the White House, Steve Morgan of Morgan, Allen and Moore, is "having a professional complaint against his company considered by the self-regulatory body that governs political consultants in Britain". Morgan's troubles are in connection with his involvement with Peter Hain, a 1970's anti-apartheid campaigner and minister under Gordon Brown, who is now caught up in a campaign finance scandal which threatens to end his career.

The complaint against Morgan has been made by James Davenport, a former employee of Morgan Allen Moore, who claims Morgan breached the APPC code of conduct – specifically a clause governing the separation of private and consultancy activities - while working on the Hain campaign. ...

Politics, like lobbying, has probably become internationalized to a degree never before seen. And it was probably to be expected that advisers and PR men should follow the trend.


Blogger James Kielland said...

There is an awful lot of talk about China's "One Child Policy" combined with that culture's preference for boys leading to a future where China has a surplus male population who are unable to find wives. This is frequently said to make possible some crazy war of aggression by the Chinese to deal with this surplus population.

I'm afraid that many people who put this notion forward haven't considered how different our age is from past ages, with both the internet and cheap and easy travel. My guess is a diaspora of Chinese men in search of wives. Which will inevitably lead to a large number of potential operatives, if only by informal business contacts.

Interestingly, that's probably a much more effective source of future power than uniformed boots on the ground could every equal.

1/31/2008 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Where Mr. Kielland will those wives come from? For Chinese men to "win" a wife from abroad he needs first money (to convince her) which requires aggressive action (think the East India Company) on the colonial scale.

And his win requires a loss for someone else. Given the slightly more men than women worldwide and a lot more in neighboring countries.

I do not subscribe to the idea that some devious master plan is being hatched in Beijing. I do believe that the usual centrifugal forces in China will lead to incidents that could easily escalate into aggressive acts given the huge gender imbalance and the idea that only aggression can gain advantage in the struggle for a mate.

The idea that "soft power" of contacts and so forth will match boots on the ground is a fantasy IMHO. The history of middle man minorities in most countries is an unhappy one, as veterans of anti-Chinese riots in Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta can tell you. Funny too how those riots stopped happening after China's military and ability to intervene grew.

Mao was right.

1/31/2008 02:54:00 PM  

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