Foreign Policies Boomerang in Britain
Posted: Thursday, May 6, 2004
by Stephen Kangal
The shambolic mishandling of four major foreign policy issues from No.10 Downing Street has severely derailed the re-electoral prospects of the governing Labour Party as well as its Euro-elections campaign headed by an isolated and embattled Prime Minister Tony Blair. Accordingly British political pundits have already drafted his political epitaph ahead of the June 2005 British General Elections and are speculating that the Prime Minister will be forced to demit office in humiliation in favour of Chancellor Gordon Brown by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Tony Blair is attempting to exceed the 11 year reign during which The Iron Lady, Baroness Maggie Thatcher held court at No.10 Downing Street. He is bent on winning an unprecedented third term for a Labour Government. The 25th Anniversary of the regime of former Conservative Prime Minister Thatcher is being observed in London on Tuesday 4 May to shore up the political fortunes of the Tories. Her brand of Thatcherism set Britain on the path to prosperity and dismantled both Socialism and the monopolistic hold of the Trade Union Movement on Britain.
The foreign policy issues engineered by PM Blair independent of the Foreign Office that have generated negative fallout on British Labour politics (electoral albatross) are:
· PM Tony Blair's sudden and disastrous U-turn on the proposed EU Constitution by announcing that he will hold a referendum in the autumn of 2005 and this without undertaking the necessary routine consultations amongst his Cabinet.
· The Prime Minister's second U-turn that is supportive of a policy of managed immigration and his Government's failure to adopt certain contingency arrangements to deal with the flood of immigrants expected from 1 May from the 8 Eastern European countries that gained membership of the EU.
· The continuing involvement and potential increase of British military presence in Iraq (owing to Spanish withdrawal) as well as the lack of a pre-determined viable plan to deal with a post- Saddam situation in Iraq.
· The unprecedented formal letter of criticism submitted by 52 former British Ambassadors/High Commissioners relating to the blind support of Britain for President Bush's Middle East policy and contemporary Anglo-American relations generally.
Prime Minister Blair having realised his mistake in handling the EU Constitution issue by making an impulsive, ill-advised unilateral decision to hold a referendum had to undertake damage control among his Cabinet members who were apparently not consulted prior to the announcement. In fact it is reported that he already regrets the decision that was originally intended to pander to the xenophobic press (Rupert Murdoch) as well to weaken and up-stage the campaign of the Conservatives in the build up to the June 2005 Euro- elections. The Blair must go verdict is gaining increasing momentum in the face of the Prime Minister clearly indicating his commitment to serving a third term at Number 10.
This decision has also evoked a negative response from French President Chirac in that it puts pressure on him to hold a referendum in France.
In respect of the agreed road- map to the peace process in the Middle East it is being increasingly felt in London that PM Blair seems incapable and unwilling to exert any influence on American/Allied foreign policy in the Middle East in relation to both the imploding situation in Iraq as well as Sharon's policy of retaining Jewish settlements on the Gaza/West Bank. Critics believe that the Allies had no plan to deal with a post-Saddam Iraq and that they will be forced out of Iraq in a North Vietnam style military humiliation by an escalating people's war (jihad) that the Allies cannot win.
A letter signed by 52 former British senior diplomats was accorded page 1 attention in the British media and supported by the British people. It underlined the mistakes being perpetrated by the Anglo-American axis that can harm Western interests in the eyes of the international community. It accused President of being ultra supportive of Israel. Sometimes I begin to speculate whether Jewish interests and Kuwait's security concerns are not the principal drivers of the Iraqi conflict having regard to the absence of evidence of WMD. The restoration of democracy in Iraq is a mere façade and euphemism for the overriding energy / Kuwaiti/ Israeli security agenda.
Blair's statement delivered to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on his managed policy of immigration has been described as a blind panic undertaken a few days prior to the enlargement of the EU to 35 members and now consisting of a population of 455 million. It was not coincidental that he addressed British business on immigration because they are in the forefront of the bankrolling of the agenda of the Euro-sceptics brigade. Home Office officials are expecting to have to deal with a very chaotic immigration crisis beginning Tuesday.
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