Bagehot: Running out of gas | The Economist

English: US President Barack Obama and British...

English: US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron trade bottles of beer to settle a bet they made on the U.S. vs. England World Cup Soccer game (which ended in a tie), during a bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada, Saturday, June 26, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an outstanding, MUST-READ article published in the influential Bagehot column in this week’s Economist.

Bagehot: Running out of gas | The Economist.

The article concludes that the UK’s influence in terms of foreign policy has declined significantly on David Cameron’s watch.

Cameron’s policy on Europe has been a complete failure and he is a lame-duck (see related article from the FT). Similarly, the special relationship with the US has become lukewarm with Cameron’s policies. The US is concerned about UK cuts in defense spending, Scottish devolution, and the UK referendum on the EU under a Conservative Government.

This leads me to an open question:

Would a Labour Government be able to effectively redress Cameron’s follies and strengthen the UK’s status with Europe, the US, Russia and China?

Any thoughts?

via Bagehot: Running out of gas | The Economist.

One response

  1. Dr Alf poses a simple question to which the answer has to be no.

    The Labour Party has already said that there is no new money and that it will follow George Osborne’s spending plans.
    Unless there are more exports or they plan to borrow more money there is no more money for defense.

    An island nation spending beyond its means, with an army smaller than that of some banana republics, no coastal protection vessel and a tiny navy, cannot be taken seriously, whether it is under Cameron’s watch or Miliband’s, assuming he became Prime Minister.

    Lord West an expert on navies and sea power has said on Radio 4 that with just 17 escort vessels it is little short of a scandal.

    Last week, 1000 soldiers were sacked and plans to replace them with reservists are nowhere near on track or credible.
    Without a lot of spending on defense, a massive increase in exports to pay for things we are effectively relegated to a passive role on the sidelines unable to project military power or give anyone cause for pause.

    The credible scenarios now are:

    –Remain in the EU and contribute to a European Army
    –Become a plug and play component of the US military
    –Leave the EU, become neutral and become an offshore tax haven

    Ed Miliband, if he lasts the distance, will not go for option 3, so the result will be 1 of the 1st two, unless he plans to reintroduce National Service and conscription which the Army has said it does not want.

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