Instead of calling for a more “independent” foreign policy, Jeremy Corbyn should simply admit that he hates America and wants Britain to sever links with our most important ally.
Corbyn took to Facebook over the weekend to demand that Britain chart a new, more “independent” foreign policy. He finally gave the speech he was itching to give at the Labour Party’s South West Region conference in Bristol, where he said:
The third pillar of our vision for Britain is a different kind of foreign policy – based on a new and more independent relationship with the rest of the world. A relationship where war is a last resort.
For the past 14 years, Britain has been at the centre of a succession of disastrous wars that have brought devastation to large parts of the wider Middle East. They have increased, not diminished, the threats to our own national security.
Few would now seriously argue that Western interventions in Iraq and Libya did anything other than deplete our resources and further inflame the region. But Corbyn’s professed desire for a “more independent relationship with the rest of the world” is pure nonsense.
Jeremy Corbyn does not want Britain to pursue a more “independent” foreign policy. He is simply unhappy with our existing foreign policy and allegiances – where Britain recognises the many shared mutual interests we have with the Anglosphere and other Western powers, and seeks to build on those natural alliances.
If he really wanted Britain to pursue a truly independent foreign policy, his first act as Labour leader would not have been to cravenly roll over and submit to the rabid europhiles within his party, who insisted that he follow their lead and slavishly promise to campaign for Britain to stay in the European Union come what may.
This decision is all the more surprising given Corbyn’s subsequent willingness to enrage his own backbenchers – and even his shadow cabinet – on almost every other question, from air strikes on Syria to hiring controversial and divisive staff and flip-flopping on George Osborne’s fiscal charter. Clearly he’s happy walk his own path on nearly every policy other than the pressing question of Britain’s future sovereignty.
How can Corbyn claim to want Britain to pursue an “independent” foreign policy when he has committed Britain to remaining in the EU and being part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy? How can Britain claim to be an independent diplomatic force when the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, is more active and visible on the world stage than our own Foreign Secretary?
You can argue the rights and wrongs of whether Britain should pool so much of our diplomatic clout into a single European voice – over which we exert only 1/28th of the influence. But the one thing you absolutely cannot do with a straight face is to call the resulting foreign policy an independent one.
But of course Corbyn does not really want Britain to pursue a truly independent foreign policy. What he really means by this dog-whistle to Stop the War types and extremism sympathisers is that he wants Britain to specifically forsake the United States of America, and cease our friendship and co-operation with our closest ally.
Corbyn doesn’t look at the special relationship between Britain and America and see an unparalleled alliance which spilled blood and treasure in defence of democracy twice in the last century, and whose embrace of the free market has pointed the way for other nations around the world to achieve prosperity.
No, Jeremy Corbyn looks at the special relationship and sees Britain yoked against her will to the Great Satan – an awful, dystopian, capitalist war machine, economically and militarily subjugating the countries which Corbyn would much rather call his friends. He sees no good in the United States because his “friends” in Hamas, Stop the War and the far Left in general spend every waking hour ranting about just how evil and immoral America is.
Yet on Europe, Corbyn is firm: Britain should remain a member of this relentlessly tightening political union come what may. The Labour leader succumbs to the same negative, pessimistic view of Britain’s capabilities and international stature as the other europhiles, believing that Britain is too pathetic and ineffectual to do what Australia and Canada manage to do every day – engage with the world as an independent nation.
The Labour leader’s foreign policy simultaneously views Britain as so weak that our only path to influence on the world stage is to have the same sliver of influence over a common European Union foreign policy as Slovenia, but also so potentially dangerous to the world that we must terminate the one alliance which has been the bedrock of our foreign policy since the second world war.
It is a risible, childlike worldview.
If Jeremy Corbyn wants to be taken seriously as a straight-talking politician he should admit that all of this posturing is just his way of signalling to a certain audience that he disapproves of one country in particular.
The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty