The new British Empire

Posted: March 14, 2011 in Uncategorized
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We sleep while Arabia burns.

David Cameron has attempted to dampen the fervour against his recent anti-Muslim rhetoric by saying that perhaps we shouldn’t have kept tyrants in power in the Middle East for decades just to avoid potentially hostile Muslim governments taking over. Sounds perfectly reasonable for a politics student to say in a University debate, quite another for the Prime Minister of a First World nation to use as a soundbite. He went on by generously condescending: “Muslims can do democracy”. Now that’s more like it. Inclusive and tolerant; flying in the face of decades of foreign policy from politicians far more adept and wise than him. On the face of it a brave, though somewhat naïve statement.
Trouble is some of the most prominent examples of Islamic states: Iran; Pakistan and Saudi Arabia; don’t really back up his championing as bastions of democracy. That is, if you accept the loose definition of democracy as states which allow free elections in which the winner of the vote is widely accepted as being the new leader and is acknowledged as such (America notwithstanding 2001-2005).
Of course, religion should play no part in politics and vice versa. Politics is dogmatic and filled with enough zealots without adding the burden of an ancient text manipulated to fit the purpose of the current state leadership incumbents.

With millions thrown on the dole by the Governments reckless culling of the public sector, and millions more threatened to be thrown off the dole for the same dubious reasons, we look to strong exports for our future. After all, the publicly-owned banks can’t be expected to compensate the country for their failings. There’s obscene bonuses to be paid. In the era of globalisation and the looming threat of an economically untouchable China, Britain needs to have exports it can rely on, other than our seemingly inept finance sector. Thatcher may have ruined our manufacturing base, but there’s at least one export we are formidably successful in: arms trading.

The same arms trading which has kept dictatorships slaughtering any opposition to their regimes through the Middle East and beyond for decades, ensuring in the main that oil-rich countries do not threaten to deny the West their black gold over religious ideology or principles. Money tends to buy principles very easily, which is why we should not be gobsmacked if in the near future our next biggest export proves to be cigarettes to Third World nations.


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