Monday, September 16, 2002


The left wing peaceniks look like they've been outmanoeuvred, again. In what was either an inspired bluff or simple expediency the Blair government has managed to see off the left on Iraq.

But how? Aren't the public against the adventure by more than two to one in Britain and hasn't the running against the war been made by the left?

Well yes and (sadly) yes. One of the things that my regular readers (all four of you) will know is that although we are often bellowing on the sidelines to note our disapproval of the latest hair brained adventure, the various denizens of the British right who make up the Airstrip One community certainly do not share the idealistic temperament of our temporary allies of the left.

So while we share their distaste for Britain backing America in utterly everything she does (although certainly not sharing their dislike of America per se) we find their reliance on the United Nations to be baffling. Well, not baffling we understand why they believe that the UN is important - for the same reason that we understand why they wish to teach the world to sing in perfect har-mo-ny.

However the UN is not a coherent world governing structure, and if it were it would be the sort of nightmare that would make the Second Belgian Empire look like an attractive alternative. The UN is a fig leaf for power politics. Nothing wrong with that in itself - indeed it is far preferable to anything like a global government - however the left do make big fools of themselves when they pin their hopes on the institution.

So what constitutes "UN approval"? Well it isn't the rather preposterous General Assembly where the King of Swaziland has the same vote as the Republic of India. The fifteen member Security Council bestows the mandate of the world community. And of that fifteen members five of them are the Permanent Members who hold the vetoes. They don't like it - they block it. So they have to be paid off.

First there's America. As America tends to put forward most of the bombing proposals these days they really don't need to come on side.

Then there's Britain, and unless you've not been reading this column you'll probably know our opinion of Britain's ability to screw any deal out of America.

Then France. France in the end does as it's told. Maybe she needs some trade deal from it now and again, but in the end she falls in line.

And China. China doesn't really care about anything outside her immediate environs together with a spot of protocol tetchiness that belies their so called Marxism. However a trade deal, or the promise to look the other way when a couple of thousand screaming Tibetans get zapped will often do the job with China when its not her sphere of influence.

So finally we come to Russia. Russia needs money, lots of it. America has money, lots of it. The only thing left is to negotiate the price.

After you've got these guys on side you only need at most three of the others, and their prices are so much lower.

And therein lies the problem with the left wing peaceniks. Like their ostensible oponents at Samizdata they are idealists and anti-nationalists. They sincerely believe that the world can be remade, and they will attach themselves to a foreign power. Of course the UN is not powerful at all, and at least the pro-Americans and pro-Europeans can be said to be devoting their treacherous ardour towards an actually existing power.

So to all the lefties who are still with me, get with the program. Accept that power politics will always exist and cannot be overcome, and that the democratic nation state is the best you'll get. Isolationism is the way to go.

The TV coverage over here may be skewed, but peace demonstrations in America now seem to have adopted the Stars and Stripes after years of barely concealed hate for their homeland. If British demonstrators learn to do the same and start to speak in patriotic tones then people may listen to them, rather than melt into the government's arms when the fighting starts.

Let's stop worrying about the United Nations and start speaking for the United Kingdom.


Post a Comment

Blog Archive