Browsing All Posts filed under »David Cameron«

No permanent threats, only permanent interests

November 6, 2012

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A conceptual problem with British defence policy is that it is too focused on deterring threats, not on safeguarding interests – a problem unintentionally highlighted by The Telegraph today. It reports that the United Kingdom may increase its military presence in the Persian Gulf region ‘to counter the growing threat from Iran’, not to protect […]

Britain needs William Hague

August 20, 2012

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William Hague will not be a great Foreign Secretary, but the guy who creates the circumstances for someone else to be a great Foreign Secretary. If Britain is to have a truly strategic foreign policy in the early 21st Century, it is crucial that he stays in his job, not randomly replaced by someone far […]

Conservatives should not praise David Cameron, but whip him

March 8, 2012

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David Cameron is a disappointment as Conservative leader. This view is prevalent throughout the Party; everyone seems to have a reason for being disappointed with the Prime Minister’s leadership. For me, it was his actions over Libya; the intervention was everything we promised we wouldn’t do. For others, it is vacillation on Europe and/or the […]

David Cameron can avoid a war with Argentina by preparing for one

February 2, 2012

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It sometimes feels like the Cameron premiership has so far been a replay of the early Thatcher one what with the cuts, the riots, bust-ups with France, and backbench discontent over the direction of the government. This sense of de jà vu is heightened by tensions over the Falkland Islands a month before the 30th […]

The Europhile (Un)imagination

December 29, 2011

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I have to say, it has been fun watching British Europhiles have a collective nervous breakdown. Europhiles like to think of themselves as the embodiment of Enlightenment values, whereas their opponents are irrational, unintelligent, hysterical loons. Since David Cameron’s veto, however, you cannot open The Guardian or turn on BBC News without being blown across […]

Has David Cameron re-nationalised the national interest?

December 16, 2011

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One of my bugbears is what I call the ‘internationalisation of the national interest’. It is the belief that the world has become so globalised and interconnected that every crisis is a threat to our health and well-being and that it is vital we are involved in sorting it out. The result of such a […]

Can democracy save us from Pakistan?

December 14, 2011

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British policy in Central and South Asia is in a bit of a bind. We want stability in Afghanistan, a special relationship with India, and have signed up to a strategic partnership with Pakistan. The problem for us in achieving our goals in the region is that the latter two see a stable Afghanistan as […]

Why Britain is not isolated in Europe

December 13, 2011

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Since the European Summit on Friday, when David Cameron blocked an EU-wide treaty, many in the media have talked a lot of balls about the United Kingdom and “isolation”. Those who have criticised the Prime Minister, (who, funnily enough, have mostly been Europhiles), have bemoaned our lack of “influence” in Europe. If one follows the […]

David Cameron and the European crisis: some hard truths

December 9, 2011

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I woke up this morning to discover history had been made, or so I was told. Europe and the United Kingdom have parted ways. At a summit in Brussels this morning, David Cameron had used our veto for the first time to stop a ruinous financial transaction tax, but he has also isolated the country […]

Afghanistan, David Cameron and the perils of bad history

September 7, 2011

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The political use of history, including bad history, has always interested me, and the way bad history can persuade a politician to make bad decisions. In his survey of the British Foreign Secretaryship, Douglas Hurd warns that the most dangerous form of ignorance ‘is that smidgeon of shallow knowledge which lacks any understanding of the […]

A plea for honesty in the aid debate

September 1, 2011

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Many years ago, David Cameron pledged to protect the international aid budget from cuts if he became Prime Minister, and, since then, there has been a recurring debate in Conservative circles about the wisdom of this commitment. It appears on the horizon like a cloud promising rain; supporters of the pledge become very Wet; and […]

Libya: A clarification

August 18, 2011

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Since February, when the drumbeat for war with Colonel Gaddafi began, and I made an awful racket in response, I have been bugged by someone called Kellie Strøm. He has supported the intervention from the beginning and regularly makes obtuse comments about my opposition. Yesterday, Strøm pointed out my apparently uncertain position. On 17th March, […]

Ellis of Benghazi!

August 16, 2011

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This letter, which has been classified for fifty years, sheds a fascinating light on British foreign policy in the early 21st Century and the career of Lord Litherland (more popularly known as “Ellis of Benghazi”…) 16th August, 2011 To the Rt. Hon. William Hague MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs My dear, […]