Post-Blair Foreign Policy II: Cameronism
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Post-Blair Foreign Policy II: Cameronism

When I talked about post-Blair foreign policy and the need to detach the Atlantic Alliance from the intimate strengths of Blair and Bush, little did I realise that Cameron's foreign policy speech would include similar points, with a greater emphasis upon the word "slavish".

Mr Cameron, addressing a British-American audience in London, said he wanted to revive the "best traditions" of the so-called special relationship, in which Britain would be a "long-standing friend", prepared to tell the truth to its leading ally.

"We will serve neither our own, nor America's, nor the world's interests if we are seen as America's unconditional associate in every endeavour," he said.

Britain should be "solid but not slavish" in its friendship with America. However, since Mr Blair had been in No 10, Britain had combined "the maximum of exposure with the minimum of real influence over decisions".

As the current approach has tanked badly in the polls, Cameron's "rebalancing act" nevertheless took courage: contrasting Tory difference with Thatcher's presence at the commemoration of 9/11. Indeed, if the special relationship required survival, it needed rebalancing after Blair's close shadowing of Bush's policy in particular areas.

Cameron attacks anti-Americanism:

"Anti-Americanism represents an intellectual and moral surrender. It is a complacent cowardice born of resentment of success and a desire for the world's problems simply to go away."

He said Tories were "instinctive friends of America and passionate supporters of the Atlantic Alliance".

George Jones in the Daily Telegraph argued that this represented a breach between the Tory party and US neo-conservatism. Guido Fawkes plays up the parallels with Fukuyama as the main focus is still on the war on terror.

Cameron has read the polls: fight terror but avoid the failures of the Bush-Blair special relationship.

(Cross-posted from The Bewilderness)

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