Been following the issue of the MP who had his conversation bugged when discussing an issue with a constituent. Needless to say, I am worried about this – especially as the constituent, who is in jail – is only there because of a US extradition demand and not any conviction for criminal activity in the UK.

Anyhow, I heard this morning that Tory Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis sent a letter to the Prime Minister several months ago raising this issue, and nothing was done until yesterday. Downing Street says that it never received the letter – which presumably means they will hold an enquiry into the failings of the Post Office?

Anyhow – hearing about this, I was reminded of the “Rhodesia Solution”, a (presumably) fictitious situation in the iconic comedy show, Yes Minister.

This cropped up in the Yes Minister episode The Whisky Priest.

After the proclamation of the Rhodesian state in 1965 Britain boycotted Rhodesia. Supposedly a British Minister got hold of information that British oil companies were illegally selling oil to Rhodesia. He told this to the PM, but in such a way that it was unintelligible and open for misinterpretation. Jim Hacker uses the same approach when he has learned about British arms being sold to Italian terrorists. He writes a letter to the PM where he only refers to the law articles that are offended against and he does not mention anything about arms or terrorists. Also he makes sure that the letter arrives on the day the PM leaves for an overseas summit. This way there is total confusion about what the letter actually says and who has actually read it. The whole thing is written off as miscommunication and everyone is in the clear.

I wonder if David Davies employed the Rhodesia Solution when he wrote his letter?

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