Angela Merkel is in a bit if a huff because, it is claimed, US spies have been listening to her telephone conversations and several other countries have joined her in making the same claim.
It is also suggested that GCHQ is involved and it seems clear that Cameron will soon be getting some of the flak.
To me, it is much ado about nothing. It is the duty of our spies to spy, and this should include keeping an eye (or an ear) on our "friends". Of all people, Mrs Merkel, who was brought up within communist East Germany, should appreciate this situation.
But why shouldn't the US spy on her? Although Germany is a member of NATO, it refused NATO access to its facilities during the recent conflict in Libya, and it seems that they would have done the same had NATO decided to take action in Syria. She has also been cosying up to Putin recently which is hardly the actions of a good friend.
It is my view that the primary, and over-riding duty of any government is to protect the country and its people, something that many politicians and commentators seem to forget. I would be very concerned if our spies were not able to intercept communications, it is one of their most important duties. Whether they actually do intercept such communications at a particular time is obviously a decision to be made which is dependent on the current circumstances, and I suspect that most intercepts are merely a matter of who phoned who, rather than an actual transcript of the conversation. It would be very useful for, say, Cameron to know which EU leaders had been having long private conversations before an EU summit and I would consider it is in this country's interests for him to have such information.
Although it is not mentioned, such spying must be somewhat of an embarrassment for the German security services, as they have clearly failed in their duties to protect their Chancellor's communications.
I hope our security services continue to keep a watch on our so-called friends, including the US and Obama, and at the same time dissuade Cameron and his Ministers from making business phone calls from anywhere except their offices.
A brief late addition
This Article in the Telegraph "The Americans should be congratulated for bugging the phones of 35 world leaders, not pilloried" by Con Coughlin is well worth reading.