Saturday, April 19, 2003

Mandarins against the Special Relationship

Prospect magazine has an article on the Special Relationship which it argues that this is harmful to Britain's national interest by Rodric Braithwaite former chairman of the joint intelligence committee, former ambassador to Moscow and author of "Across the Moscow River". It makes a very good case that Britain is no longer independent in any meaningful sense, and not because of Europe but because of our overt dependence on America.

There's a marvelous deflation to the Anglospherist's favourite quotation, Harold Macmillan on Britain being Greece to America's Rome. The Greek advisers, points out Mr Braithwaite, were largely slaves.

To show that British foreign policy discourse is at the highest level one of competing treacheries, it is pro-Europe. It makes this telling point against the mainstream of the Eurosceptic movement:

Many Britons fear that British sovereignty will be further eroded inside the EU, and they would like to disentangle themselves from it. The same people are now arguing for an even more intimate relationship with America. They fail to point out that this would constrain British sovereignty at least as much.

Well quite.

It is in short the article that Robin Cook should have written in the New Statesman. The article itself (subscribers only - I wasted money on the magazine) is very disapointing. Reading a Guardian summary it came out as if it was thinking deep thoughts about Britain's place in the world, with an expected amount of partisan bile. Instead it is partisan bile that masquerades as deep thought. The reason Britain should rethink her place at America's side is, well, America is run by Republicans. Well that's good long term thinking Robin.

One thing that was interesting was the use of the term "neo-conservative management" to describe the American administration. Even anti-Tory bile recognises that many of the most influential hawks are conservatives in name only. If the peace movement were to forget about talking about the right wing standing of Paul "Outside Interests" Wolfowitz and instead concentrate on the Trotskyite antecedants of many of the neo-cons Labour MPs would dump Blair in 48 hours. Labour MPs can just about deal with Tories, but they hate Trots ten times more.

If you are going to read one Europhile debunking of the special relationship this Easter read the one from Prospect.


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