Browsing All Posts filed under »Labour Party«

Britain needs William Hague

August 20, 2012


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 […]

Has David Cameron re-nationalised the national interest?

December 16, 2011


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 […]

Why Britain is not isolated in Europe

December 13, 2011


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 […]

Ellis of Benghazi!

August 16, 2011


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, […]

Afghanistan: A timeline

August 12, 2011


I was surprised to discover recently that there is no comprehensive, publicly available timeline of the war in Afghanistan. This was also annoying, as it meant I had to construct my own. Here is what I have so far, but will continue to build it and hope others will contribute too. My aim is cover […]

Afghanistaning it up

July 18, 2011


I apologise for the lack of posts this past month, only my time has been taken up with writing a long article about why David Cameron supports the war in Afghanistan. Like the international coalition, I entered into my Afghanistan project with high hopes, with fanciful dreams of doing Good. Now, (two) years later, I […]

Realism: to be sandwiched between craziness and naivety

June 21, 2011


Late this morning I tweeted sardonically, ‘If I had a pound for every pound I had for each day a government minister said Gaddafi is on his way out…’ The next thing I know, I’m being asked to speak on the BBC World Service about the surprising durability of the regime three months after our […]

A brief word on the 2015 withdrawal

May 31, 2011


How much of a political liability is David Cameron’s decision to withdraw the United Kingdom from Afghanistan by 2015? Pete Hoskin of The Spectator believes that if the country is still plagued by war by the time of the next general election, then Labour will ‘make play’ with the ‘prematurity’ of his decision. If they […]

Go for growth! A narrative for British grand strategy

December 17, 2010


If work is getting you down, and you feel frustrated intellectually, then the answer is Hew Strachan. My afternoon yesterday was spent reading his 2009 essay ‘The Strategic Gap in British Defence Policy’, which puts succinctly many of the problems I’ve been struggling with for months. As well as the internationalisation of national security and […]

James Wharton: ‘The strategic defence and security review has to be seen in the appropriate context’

September 19, 2010


I have decided to focus on my over-a-year-old paper on Afghanistan and the Conservative Party, and so much of this blog will probably be dominated by Afghanistan and British  defence policy over the next few weeks as kind of a running commentary as I write it. The House of Commons had an excellent debate earlier […]

Copying America: The British Tea Party

September 18, 2010


I like freedom. I like democracy. I like choice. But as a conservative, I do not like agitation or disorder or any threats to the status quo. And as I have been trained as a historian, I cannot stand ignorance and myths taken at face value. One can imagine then that the idea of a […]

A second foray into domestic politics: deep strategy or gossip?

August 29, 2010


The Guardian reported Friday that in private remarks, the Prime Minister said that the candidate he fears most in the Labour leadership election is the former Foreign Secretary David Miliband. His reasoning supposedly is that the elder Miliband might try to appeal to the centre ground unlike his brother Ed, who would take the Labour […]

Margaret Thatcher, strategy and the use of force

August 7, 2010


The Thatcher premiership is characterised by the use of force. We popularly associate the period with images of violence, from the crackdown on riots in Brixton and Toxteth during the first Conservative government to Britain preparing for military action in the Gulf in Margaret Thatcher’s last. The use of force in domestic and foreign affairs […]