April 9, 2001
of our Business
Face it Hague, Britain and America are not natural
the way through the smog caused by the world’s
biggest barbecue and worrying about contracting
foot and mouth has kept me active all week. Of course, this
does not mean that Britain is not open
for business, far from it. If you like killing
livestock (or both), we’re paradise at the moment. Our Mr. Blair
to America and promising that our charming ruddy-cheeked farmers
would love tourists walking through their fields, so trample
away. Just remember that farmers are one of only two segments
of the civilian population still armed, and I don’t know how many
Americans come to see the Yardies. What was I going on about? The
thing I am supposed to be writing about is this spy plane.
fairly hard to write about the spy
plane with any interest. Now I know that 24
Americans are (at the time of writing) held hostage by the Chinese.
I also know that there is a lot of expensive
military hardware, which will be appearing in Toys R Us in six
months time. I also know that the editorial
director of Antiwar.com takes a very dim
view of anti-Chinese
jokes (in my defence the last joke was not actually funny, so
it would be an anti-Chinese failed joke). I know plenty of
other things that should make this important, but its not. Therefore,
I am going to write a whole column on why I’m not writing a column
on China and spy planes.
the end the legal status of the South China Sea is not the business
of the British (or the Americans, but it’s not really my business
to tell them that) because it's so far away. Yes, that is the sum
of my argument. Can they launch an invasion from the South China
Sea? No. Can they choke our sea-lanes from the South China Sea?
No. Do we even have any forces over there? Not yet. The South China
Sea is nothing to do with us. This brings me to the (Manchester)
and William Hague, leader of the Conservative Party. These two British
institutions have remarkably little in common. William
Hague, the leader of the British Conservative
Party, has a genius level IQ and Guardian writers do
well if they manage to put on a matching pair of socks in the morning.
William Hague is in favour of hanging and against the Euro; the
Guardian is in favour of abortion and against the royal family.
William Hague will be judged to be a failure if he doesn’t attract
ten million voters in June, the Guardian will judge itself
a success if it attracts half a million readers. However, they have
one thing in common, they think that this spy plane affair matters
to Britain. The other thing they have in common is that they are
NOT SO SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
it is said by Mr. Hague, has to support America at all times. America,
the Guardian, must always listen to Britain. At least
the first of these two can be done, even if it is not wise, whereas
the second proposition is rather hard for the British to enforce.
The only voice of sanity was the usually hopeless Daily Star. Unlike
the other "red top" (i.e. low brow) tabloids, the Daily
Star does not have a well-defined political identity, like
the loyally pro-Labour Daily
Mirror or the free-market Eurosceptic Sun.
However, in this crisis it shone out. From its usual haze of soft
porn, showbiz news and saturation sports coverage it actually managed
to say the only sensible thing that can be said about this crisis.
William Hague was wrong (forgive me for not quoting it verbatim,
I do not take the Star) for saying that we must back the Americans,
this fight is none of our business.
why are British Conservatives so prone to backing
Bush in everything? Firstly, it is good politics, as it points
out that Blair is not in tune with the new Administration in Washington.
This matters to a Labour leader who is concerned about not upsetting
middle class apple carts. There is also a natural desire to co-operate
with your ideological
partners and American and British conservatives are for different
reasons remarkably similar. However, there is a less helpful, and
more substantive thing lurking an idea whose time will not
come the Anglosphere.