Sunday, March 09, 2003

Two slipstreams

After savaging Perry de Haviland, I'll write something nice about Samizdata - I won't be long. David Carr who's one of their more sensible writers (Sean Gabb is also nice about the chap) even if pathologically pro-American, has written about Tony Blair and the constitution. The point he makes is that while he thinks that Tony Blair is right on the war he's doing so much damage in so many other places that he's still dangerous in foreign policy. This is a welcome break from the Convertatives such as Peter Briffa or Iain Murray who see Blair as domestically dangerous but externally wonderful. Well, says David, he's not so bloody wonderful in Europe. No foreign policy Blairite is he.

Well the reason why we at Airstrip One have doubts about British involvement in the war (more on that below) is that we have a consistent critique of British foreign policy, if consistency is not too much to expect of our contributors. That critique is that Britain is the world's fourth largest economy, she doesn't have overwhelming enemies near by and so she can be independent - only she ain't. The basic problem is one of imagination in our governing classes - a sickness that is just as evident in wanting to be part of Europe and wanting to be inseperable from America. Samizdata, or the non-Antoine Clarke parts of it, share this crucial lack of perspective - to use a particularly ghastly Marxist term one would call it false consciousness.

This is what makes Blair unique, whereas most Britons at least have the intellectual consistency to see that if we are to drift in a slipstream then we should at least choose one ship and tag closely behind. Samizdata chooses America, the Independent chooses Europe. Tony Blair simply thinks that we can swim in two slip streams.

Blair's not brave, just intellectually lazy.


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