Stop press: The world is full of *ß@!€¢§¬∆'s !!!
In a devastating release of diplomatic cables today we have learned that governments spy on each other, arm each other's adversaries, mess with the internet, obsessively collect chatroom handles of hapless diplomats while missing rather more obvious facts like one guy allegedly being able to download most of their intelligence.
And that central bankers in certain countries have a low opinion of politicians.
The world, in other words, is full of not very nice people, many of whom run countries, and it is blinking dangerous! Therefore most countries take it upon themselves to run intelligence operations; and behind diplomacy there is always the threat of naked force.
I think we will need a long time to sift through what the Wikileaks story tells us about the world we live in. There will new revelations on Newsnight tonight - but beyond the detail it's a slimy, sleazy, alpha-dog eat hound-dog world out there.
It reminds me of the 1860s in a not-very-reassuring way: I am glad I studied at O-level. Certainly the veneer of a serene, rules-based multilateralism is showing thin.