Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Is Brown really any better than Blair?

The press is really pushing Gordon Brown atm. He is so new and refreshing since taking over from the rancid corpse that was Tony Blair. He's gonna bring the troops home, distance himself from the US and show that silly little upstart in the Tories what a REAL leader is all about!

However, if you're like me and believe that foreign policy is far more important than domestic policy (you see foreign policy directly affects all aspects of domestic policy when you are a dependent nation like the UK), you'll see that Gordon Brown is not really that big an improvement on Blair.

He may be talking about pulling the troops out of Iraq, but this is something that is being demanded by many in the electorate anyway. Reacting to the electorate is not exactly rocket science (though it eluded Blair for most of his time in office). And I've got to say that if submitting to US demands for using RAF Menwith Hill for the ill-conceived missile shield is a sweetener for the US accepting our troop withdrawal then we our "special relationship" is no different to the one we had under Blair.

Announcing that the UK will permit the placement of radars and personnel at Menwith Hill via a statement to the commons hours before summer recess is nothing short of cowardice on the part of this government and it's Prime Minister.

It's reminiscent of that episode in the West Wing when the senior staff collect together all the bad bits of news to be announced on Friday ("trash day"), because most people don't read the papers on a Saturday.

Whether the missile shield works or not (and I don't believe for a second that it will offer much protection to US interests) is beside the point. It is a blatant act of warmongering aggression and one that will only lead to a major decline in relations with Russia and potentially China. I'm no fan of Putin but this new only gives him a reason to arm his nation further. For those who believe that Putin is a dictator who is hurting his own people, giving him an enemy to wage a cold war with is only going to solidify opinion in his country against the West rather than against him.

I will never understand the "special relationship". Shouldn't the role of every government be to garner strong relations with all nations? It doesn't even make sense from an economic standpoint. Most of our trade is with Europe, the commonwealth and the far east! Some nostalgic Brits go on about us positioning ourselves as experienced advisors to the new superpower. I mean we did control a quarter of the planet once. If this is the case then why is the special relationship so one-sided? It wasn't under Thatcher and Blair always dreamed of being just like Maggie!

All I know is that despite the rhetoric, Brown is no White Knight who is going to usher in a golden age for Britain. Unless you think having nuclear weapons aimed at North Yorkshire is a good thing, of course!

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