What a disgraceful article David Miliband wrote in The Times yesterday. Under the title "Britain is still a big player. Europe needs us", and speaking in support of Tony Blair's bid for Presidency of the EU, he claimed
Britain is a leading contributor of people and money in tackling the great challenges of the world. Our Armed Forces are trained, equipped and flexible. And we are willing to deploy them in the toughest places. and again Second, British ideas give us influence. During the economic crisis, Britain has been at the forefront of new thinking.
Who in Britain is actually doing this contributing, who exactly is being "deployed", and what is this "new thinking"?
Miliband should take a walk round Brighton and see the grinding poverty in which many people are trapped, as a result of being expected to "contribute". He might also consider deploying himself for a while with the military, to find out how things are at the sharp end and whether their equipment is all that it might be.
He could also usefully to a bit of travelling incognito as an ordinary standard class passenger both in Europe and Britain. He would then notice the astonishing difference between the two, and the shabbiness and poor quality of the infrastructure of this "Big Player".
I cannot even imagine what Britain's new thinking could have been at the forefront of during the economic crisis. Britain's economic policies ensured that the country was as badly placed as it could have been when when the storm hit, and in no small measure actually helped to bring on the storm. This "new thinking" has resulted so far in sterling losing about 25% of its value against other currencies, with nothing to show for it apart from signs that the asset price bubble is starting to blow up again. And it could yet slip out of control and lead to a hyperinflation.
The notion of Britain as a player suggests that international politics is a game. Britain's politicians need to grow up. And their glib use of language needs to stop.
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