So it appears that Gordon Brown has decided to shake up the way intelligence is handled in another of his Soviet-esqe slating of his predecessor.
Obviously the difference in the Soviet Union is that they would stand up and openly slag the person that came before them, whereas Brown praises him publicly whilst U-turning his policies.
Anyway, digression of Soviet analogies aside, these changes in the Intelligence and security structures in the Cabinet Office seem... well.. utterly meaningless to what they claim to be trying to achieve.
According to Brown his changes are "in line with the Butler Report" and will make the Joint Intelligence Committee "provide Ministers with assessments which have been formulated independently of the political process". In order to achieve this he has created a political position titled Head of Security, Intelligence and Resilience that will act as Security Adviser to the Prime Minister.
So let's just recap for a second:
In the 'Old' World Order, or specifically the Blair World around the "45 minute dossier", was one in which the JIC provided independent intelligence assessment to Government which was then shaped against public presentation by a politically appointed position that was not on the JIC - in this case the Director of Communication, Alastair Campbell who was also a direct adviser to the Prime Minister.
In the 'New' World Order, the JIC will provide independent intelligence assessment to Government which will then - presumably if the need arises for public consumption - be shaped against public presentation by a politically appointed position that is not on the JIC - in this case the Head of Security, Intelligence and Resilience, Robert Hannigan who is also a direct adviser to the Prime Minister?
Sounds more like the 'Same' World Order doesn't it? Or may be the phrase should be 'continuity and change'?
Update: I should add that I am not criticising either structure. More the claim that they are somehow different from each other, when it looks to me like the name plate on the door is all that has actually changed. But the political appointees handling intelligence assessment against policy continue to be present.