Saturday, July 17, 2004

The Fate of Britain's National Interest

Why exactly has Tony Blair found himself in a mess over those wretched WMDs? Why could he not have made a better case for the war in Iraq? Why was he so uncertain about carrying public opinion with him? There is a new pamphlet out, written by Professor Kenneth Minogue and published by the Bruges Group, which, though it deals with rather wide issues, does provide answers to those very topical questions.
Professor Minogue argues that we have found ourselves in a position where we can no longer understand or agree on what Britain’s national interest is. It was not possible for Blair to explain why he felt it necessary to go to war, to support the Americans or a combination of the two by references to the national interest. That is why he had to drum up support by using the rather bogus threat of the WMDs.
This, according to Professor Minogue is a very dangerous situation. The whole of Britain’s identity is being eroded by legal salvationism, that is a belief that somehow there is a possibility of solving international problems (and, indeed, some domestic ones) by supranational bodies that arrogate to themselves certain legal powers on the basis of very little; and, by the gradual take-over of British politics and British law by the European Union, one of those supposedly more virtuous than the nation state bodies.
The dual development is fuelled by the class Professor Minogue describes as “Olympians”. Largely of the public sector, adminstrative and educational, these are people who exist apart from the rest of humanity and have no understanding of how a particular society has been created and how it functions. They have a vested interest in keeping the various supranational organizations going and in making them more powerful. Above all, they hate and despise democracy as an expression of vulgar people without any of the “beautiful” ideas that lie at the basis of their thinking.
And a right old mess they are making of things, too.
Click here to read The Fate of Britain's National Interest.

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