Friday, February 15, 2002

A Real Tory

What has got into Matthew Parris? For years he was merely a rather wettish gay Tory, an Andrew Sullivan who never got together the air fare. Now he's come into his own. Suddenly he's talking about foreign policy like Tories used to, as witnessed by his latest article. The last two paragraphs:

What, however, I want to say is that in the end governments do not act in good faith. They act in their interests. Their interests are driven mostly by domestic considerations. It will often be the case that the interests of one government will for a while coincide with those of another. The mistake against which I warn is to hope that when interests cease to coincide, gratitude or amity will continue to bind one government to another; to bind, in particular, a superpower to the support of a smaller ally.

France was right to insist that her independent nuclear deterrent was independent; Britain was foolish not to. I offer this last small example to Edward Smith as an illustration of why ‘where do we presently disagree?’ is not the question. Sooner or later we will disagree. When we do, years of shoulder-to-shouldery with America will not be worth a tinker’s cuss in Washington — and Tory sentimentalists had better believe it.


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