Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A Brave New World

The Tories have committed themselves to work on UK role within 6 months of election. The way things are going now, this may be based on wishful thinking anyway. But, just why do we have to have any complex involvement or great concern re what goes on overseas? The days when any atlas was a glorious red orb have long gone - rightly or wrongly is of no concern really - but it seems we have not adjusted to this. More than half a century after the loss of Empire, our political culture still seems racked by the need to be the leading nation, not just one of them. Every country likes to be taken seriously around the world. Nations like to feel they are punching their weight, or even above it. Only a few, however, seem to feel the need to promote themselves as the one that others look to for leadership. America has taken on our old role. It is quite presumptuous for Britain to pretend to such a status. We can still harbour dreams of punching above our weight - the tremendous efforts, performance and true grit of what we are doing, despite Brown's sabotage, in Afghanistan is widely acknowledged and recognised. The current situation regarding the Falklands is a case in point that illustrates how low our status has fallen. It is clear that if push came to shove, we could offer little military resistance to a re-match down there. Pulling the lions tail is a favourite sport for any leader keen to improve their home support and status. (We do still have a sense of humour though - our latest aid for his country expressed an opinion)

Nations that formerly chose to remain aloof from involvement in wider world affairs have now, in the main, thrown their lot in with UN or EU or with the look-alike organisations. Africa alone must have a dozen or so and there are the states previously under control of Russia. The value of even the most senior of these may be dubious - vide UN Resolutions reference action on Iraq which were so skilfully twisted and abused by Brown and Blair but it least they give an air of respectability to Machiavellian plans and plots. It would seem just plain old common sense for us to become more widely involved with these world organisations and be part of a quorum now our true freedom of action by way of power has disappeared.

It would be hard for any leader to have to accept the position of also ran. The UN does not have an unblemished record of actually solving anything or managing those situations that seem unresolvable. When one looks at their aims and ambitions, this is no surprise. How can so many things be recognised and acknowledged, still less debated and settled?

Ah - but that is just where we could punch above our weight. Our Colonial past and the Days of Empire have a legacy that we could use. We have a knowledge of what goes on in the Government and minds of almost every one of the delegates. A long time ago and much censored by the likes of NuLabour perhaps but capable of being dragged from fusty basement archives, dusted down, vocabulary changed and then introduced. With the right attitude and mindset, we could wield the power to challenge even America's position. This would not call for the force of arms which is so draining of human life, GDP share and threatens to destroy our integrity. All we need is to be a leader and then use the power of unity to prevail. The UN is like some failing company - a world-wide Enron where finagling has run into the buffers. GB needs to be appointed as administrator.

Some may say that the UN's little brother of the European Union creates very little enthusiasm for us joining a much larger and more complex organisation. What is wrong about our relationship is not difficult to define - even the Prince of Darkness has done it (quite well though it hurts me to say it!). The real problem in so far as it concerns us is that we got on board - even partially - far too late. We are committed to terms and conditions where we had but little option other than to tick to 'agreed; box. Maggy and her handbag politics showed what can be achieved. Were we to make a play for revitalising the UN we would be able to start with a almost blank sheet of T & C which would work in our favour.

The idea that the Boy Dave and Co will set the foundations of our place in the world has one very big weakness. In the situation we are now, it is superfluous; we are fighting for our lives just to stay afloat and any coat will have to be cut from the cloth we have and not from what we might get. The debate and animosity it would engender would be counter-productive; politicians much prefer jaw jaw and would delay action until a change of Government came round again. Taking things onto the UN stage would cut the legs off any long running debate.

I commend this motion to the House.

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