Congratulations are due to President Jose Mujica, who as you all know is the President of Uruguay. He used to be guerrilla. Clearly he was not terrorist, i.e. he was a nice guerrilla, like Nelson Mandela, possibly even nicer.
As a courtesy I shall be passing a link to this article to press officer at Uruguay’s London Embassy. I might even drop a copy around to El Pais, the excellent newspaper in Montevideo. The weather there today sounds quite lovely by the way. I am told it’s a beautiful city.
President Mujica is clearly a splendid chap, not at all like David Cameron. He speaks from the heart, and seems to have a big heart. Uruguay is a wonderful country, and the Uruguayans are great people. As we all know you get a much better class of Latin American in Montevideo than you do in Buenos Aires. You wouldn’t catch Uruguay invading other people’s islands.
We in Britain retain fond memories of Uruguay’s brave stand against the Third Reich over the KMS Graf Spee. For us Uruguay stands for decency and the rule of international law.
You all know the story. Commodore Harwood’s brave lads had knocked the stuffing out of our community partners the Nazis’ 14,000 ton pocket battleship Graf Spee. The community partners maintained that she only displaced 10,000 tons, but then they also said they wouldn’t raid Cypriot bank accounts or invade Poland. The Graf Spee, commanded by a decent chap, Käpitan zur See Hans Langdorff, a gentleman ‘Jerry’ if ever there was one, had run for safety into Montevideo Harbor. After the Uruguayans’ brave insistence on proper behaviour for a neutral in wartime, the Graf Spee was dramatically scuttled in Montevideo Roads. Langsdorff was determined to avoid further loss of life amongst his crew. Tragically, he committed suicide. He was very properly buried with full military honors. If you are ever in Montevideo you should lay flowers on his grave.
In my forthcoming book Spyhunter: The Secret History of German Intelligence I defend Käpitan zur See Langsdorff’s honor. He was anything but a coward. He also must have known what ships he was engaging. His behaviour can only be explained by his secret orders. Almost certainly the Graf Spee was carrying gold bullion transferred from Japan, Korea or Japanese-controlled China, which she had picked up at a transhipment point on Kerguelen Island, or possibly even in Antarctica. We know that she went south and that the British sea captains detained aboard her were kept below decks for a sustained period. We also know they got a bit chilly.
Ignorant trolls sometimes accuse me of being anti-German. In fact I am no more anti-German than Bomber Harris was. I am opposed to what the German elite get up to, not the German people. This morning, e.g., I chanced to bump into a small group of Luftwaffe veterans, including a former He111 bomber pilot, in our village. They had been signing airplane prints and were very welcome, as long as they didn’t try to pay for lunch in the Red Lion in euros! They seemed an absolutely splendid bunch of chaps – you couldn’t wish to be bombed by anyone nicer.
I would no more falsely impugn the honor of a German naval officer than I would roll up to court in the morning drunk. Langsdorff was a deeply honorable and courageous man, and a very able naval officer.
I wish North Korea had a leader as sensible as President Mujica. I don’t think there will be a war, let alone a nuclear exchange, but we shall wait and see. North Korea has no ability to make her own nuclear weapons – the device they let off recently was almost certainly one of the two remaining 15KT South African ARMSCOR weapons, the ones with British casings. If Parliament were ever to find out who accompanied Dr David Kelly CMG and the casings to Pelindaba there would be an uproar, by the way. Unless some of the Iranian stockpile has been transferred to Pyongyang the nuke magazine may be as empty as a Coalition Government promise.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence, and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.