In an otherwise totally domestic article about MG Rover and the "unintended consequences" of employment law in the Torygraph that Tim Worstall found, there is an interesting trailer that may be worth looking at through the jaded eye of cynical realpolitik.
One - possibly far fetched - suggestion yesterday was that the UK might be prepared to offer to pressure the European Union to lift the arms embargo on China to get SAIC back to the negotiation table. However a DTI spokesman said: "That is speculation."
Ministers are desperate to avoid the need to make thousands of MG Rover workers redundant during a general election campaign in an area of England peppered with Labour marginal seats.
What I find interesting here is that in recent weeks Blair and Straw made noises about supporting the French in lifting the embargo when normally both are rather good at being principled. One wonders whether they did in fact make this offer and that this whole thing came to a head when they discovered that either they couldn't meet their end of the bargain or alternatively that George W made a little call to No 10. and explained how this would impact some deals that would affect even more marginal constituencies.
Given that the rest of the article really is talking about the inability for a purchaser to lose pension/redundancy obligations this paragraph about the arms embago quid pro quo doesn't seem to be relevant. The question I have is why would the Torygraph make this rather bland but none the less serious allegation unless it already had information that such a proposal had already been made?