Friday 19 August 2016

The United Kingdom Should Leave NATO, And Tories Should Demand That It Does

No, of course we would not go to war with Russia. For anything, ever. We have not done so since 1856, so that's all right.

Owen Smith's suggestion that we would, should or could is as naïve as his suggestion that we should have a nice cup of tea and a chat with the Islamic State.

NATO already revolves around Erdogan's Turkey, while all and sundry are being let in. The next in the queue is the ghastly regime in Olympically corrupt, but strategically irrelevant, Montenegro.

With honourable, but very rare, exceptions, the Labour Right is hopeless on these matters. A kind of chest-beating international hawkishness was one of the ways in which it defined itself as a distinct faction or tendency.

In New Labour, that mixed with the anti-Soviet fanaticism of those who had very recently been Trotskyists or Eurocommunists.

Those were perhaps the only two factions or tendencies that ever truly believed that the Soviet Union had either the means or the will to invade Western Europe, as we now know for a fact that it did not.

Traditional Tories recognised that the USSR was a ramshackle operation waiting to collapse under the weight of its own contradictions.

Although they were also among those who recognised, when it and Yugoslavia disintegrated, that two geopolitical catastrophes had thus occurred, the unpleasant ramifications of which would be felt for generations, even for centuries.

Therefore, the heirs of Enoch Powell and Alan Clark ought to know better about NATO today. They have been as right as Jeremy Corbyn and the Morning Star in the past. They ought to be so again.

NATO membership causes us to give undertakings that we have no intention of honouring, and in reality could not honour even if we wanted to do so.

It causes us to give those undertakings to entities that do not deserve them, whether strategically, morally, or both.

And it subjects us to a supranational body that presumes to demand two per cent of our Gross Domestic Product. Not only that, but it really only expects a handful of states, including our own, to meet that in practice.

Imagine the reaction of the NATO zealots in Parliament and the Press, or at least of the Tory ones, if it were so much as suggested that the United Kingdom now accede to a body of that kind.

They ought to join those of us who demand that that body be dissolved, and that the United Kingdom begin that process by seceding from it unilaterally, unconditionally, and immediately.

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