Ditch the US!

Edward Pearce · Advice for Miliband

Let me join the irked multitude queuing to tell Ed Miliband what to say. Never mind the economy. Let the slashing of the NHS do its own injury to the people slashing it. And, above all, let him forget about his ‘vision’. Why do politicians, a this-worldly, nicely calculating, main-chance-surveying lot, keep talking as if they were kin to Bernadette Soubirous? Why, too, do they (and for that matter footballers) endlessly invoke ‘passion’? Better to concentrate quietly on guessing right.

To which end, I suggest that Miliband look at foreign policy, and specifically our relationship with the United States. The Labour leader who says – calmly, rationally – that American foreign policy is mistaken and unwise will soar in public esteem. Never mind the screams from the Sun (though probably none from the Daily Mail, which has also lately shown itself to be not the government’s friend on the question of tax avoidance). He will be saying what a great majority of British people, including battalions of Conservative voters, actually think.

Miliband won’t do it of course. Sound chaps everywhere are urging the upstart to legitimise himself by following the blazing folly of a received idea. Which he will. Pity.


  • 22 December 2010 at 10:28am
    Geoff Roberts says:
    I agree in principle with your suggestion, and also agree that he won't do it. When did a Labour Party leader criticise the US foreign policy publicly? Michael Foot? Harold Wilson? No way. The UK pms usually cosy up (Thatcher and Reagan, Blair and Bush) and I don't think that Milliband has the bottle. What he should do of course is jump into the Euro League and set a few democratic balls rolling, if I'm not mixing my metaphors.

  • 22 December 2010 at 3:51pm
    lostlit says:
    I'd like to ditch the U.S. May I move to England? Didn't think so...maybe I should move in illegally - seems the most expedient way to get on with life these days.

    • 23 December 2010 at 1:19am
      outofdate says: @ lostlit
      From the frying pan into the fire. Are you sure there are only two countries in the whole wide world?

  • 24 December 2010 at 4:44pm
    John Perry says:
    This is an excellent idea and one which deserves the widest possible currency. When Obama was elected, there was some hope of a change in US foreign policy, but now it's clear that Clinton is as good as it's going to get. Which is pretty bad. Apart from the arms treaty with Russia, it's difficult to think of a single aspect of US foreign policy that a progressive person (or even a sensible person) would support. Miliband need only make it clear that he will ally with the US when and if it's appropriate. And to shape a different policy, he could make a start with the Middle East...

    • 25 December 2010 at 6:44pm
      Geoff Roberts says: @ John Perry
      The 'arms treaty' as you call it, leaves both countries with 1500 nuclear weapons, and excludes the case-hardened shels used against Serbia by NATO, i.e. America. As for your suggestion to the fearless leader, I can only say that you have a very fine sense of irony.

    • 27 December 2010 at 5:24am
      pinhut says: @ Geoff Roberts
      Joe, did you look at the Wikileaks stories?

      One thing that looked intriguing was that the US may be funnelling their intelligence back into UK politics, in order to facilitate the ascent of particular politicians, ones amenable to the US position. Imagine trying to rise through the Labour Party when you have the US supplying your strategy and all your opponents' plans. Wouldn't be too hard.

      It's not a conspiracy, but many things are too important to be left to chance. I don't believe that any politician could seriously come anywhere near high office in the UK on a platform of implementing measures that the US would deem harmful to its interests.

    • 27 December 2010 at 5:31am
      pinhut says: @ pinhut
      Oops, John, not Joe. Sounded so idealistic, I thought it was dreamy Joe.

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