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Britain abandons foreign policy. And abandons debates about foreign policy too.

19 August 2014

Cynics have long suspected that Britain’s foreign policy is as independent as its nuclear deterrent. Cynics have a point. Perhaps, as some suggest, it’s time to concede the game’s a bogey and cease even pretending to pretend this remains a country of at least some modest importance and influence. Except, if we choose to, we do retain some influence, even some importance.

Nevertheless, we certainly do not have an Iraq policy at present. Nor do we really have an ISIS policy. The Foreign Secretary is long on what we’re not doing and very short on what we are. Of course this reflects past misadventures. Not just those pertaining to Iraq but others too, including last year’s parliamentary determination to avoid having a Syria policy too.

So, yes, Prudence runs foreign policy these days. Even when she merely delays a reckoning. But you can take these things too far. Consider this snippet from the Times’ excellent new Red Box daily briefing (free, sign up here):

The word in senior diplomatic circles is that the PM would personally favour deeper involvement but has no intention of placing himself this year on the wrong side of public, and therefore parliamentary, opinion. His defeat over Syria when he recalled the Commons last year has left its scars.

Informed sources suggest that he sees no advantage on this occasion in trying to lead public opinion.

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You might think, even nine months from a general election, that foreign policy might be informed by some contemplation of the national interest and that this could be reckoned more important than short-term party political advantage but you would, of course, be mistaken. And, perhaps, depressed.

Even so this is dismal. If this report is accurate it means the Prime Minister thinks there is a right thing to do but that he is not prepared to take any action that might allow him to do the things he thinks are the right thing to do. There’s no advantage in doing so, you see. And so, instead, we will do things the Prime Minister thinks are not the right thing to do. And this will be considered good politics or even some kind of small victory.

Sheesh. Has it come to this? Apparently so. A Prime Minister who will not make his own case – especially on a matter as significant as this – is a Prime Minister in retreat. Worse, he emasculates himself. What is David Cameron for if not, in theory, advancing his interpretation of Britain’s national interest?

It would be one thing to avoid greater involvement in the struggle against ISIS after a proper argument over the need to do so; quite another to avoid having the argument in the first place. It suggests a shrivelled Prime Minister at the head of a shrivelled government leading a shrivelled country. Which, in this instance, is a choice too.

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Show comments
  • AtMyDeskToday

    Alex has clearly grown bored of writing rubbish about the Scottish referendum and has moved on to writing rubbish about the world. What next? We need to colonise Mars?

  • longwalkdownlyndale

    Personally I think PMs (and Presidents for that matter) get them selves into trouble when they focus heavily on doing “the right thing” rather than going with policy that has public and Parliamentary support, which by the way are key ingredients of any sort of successful policy. Why? Well because there’s no reason to think that a PM has any unique access to truth or what’s “right” more than anyone else, if only because there’s no institutional reason that they should have such unique access. If you are going to select PM’s according to them possessing some mystical connection to what the “right” thing is to do, you might as well draw names out of a hat.

    What PMs (and Presidents) do have is access to a lot of information, from opinion polls to what the military thinks to knowledge of who might resign from the cabinet if they back some policy. So if a policy is unpopular, or is opposed by your side in Westminster, or will result in a cabinet implosion those are good signs not to embrace it because you might end up like Thatcher and her foolish embrace of the poll tax. The fact that intervention in Iraq is unpopular with the public, unpopular with Parliament, and unlikely to result in any major change on the ground in Iraq are good reasons to shy away from doing anything.

  • Terence Hale

    The trouble with foreign policy is those is those foreigners.

  • Someone

    Couldn’t agree more Mr Massie.

    Somewhere along the line this country and its leaders stopped acting in the national interest. I blame Blair myself but the lack of moral clarity in the Middle East at the moment is appalling. ISIS are an enemy. They may be just a bunch of so-and-sos running round the deserts butchering people of other faiths now, but in 5-10 years time, when they’re dictating to a cowed democratic Iraq (such as it is), a bombed out Syria, threatening Turkey’s borders and exporting their vitriol to idiots in Western democracies, they will be a much bigger threat. Either way, our values and theirs (or rather their lack of values) are on a path to collision at some point. The sooner we front up and face it, the cheaper it will be in political and financial terms.

    Those advocating a non-interventionist policy have short memories. Allowing Afghanistan post-Soviet invasion to fall into the hands of the mujaheedin and the Taleban (yes yes we funded them initially) served to create the environment from which Al Qaeda could operate. We turned a blind eye for nearly ten years and look what happened.

    We’re destined to make the same mistake again if we’re not careful.

    By the way, China and Russia, act in their geo-strategic interests all the time. We need to get with the international programme. Either fight for your values or die at the hands of someone else’s. Globalisation hasn’t brought peoples together, it has merely hidden their intentions behind the veneer of consumer goods.

  • WFB56

    Well said.

  • Iain Hill

    Answer? Intervene in Gaza. And be on the right side of public opinion!

    • Kennybhoy

      Fuck you!

  • cartimandua

    “Foreign policy” wont deal with IS psychopathic killers. They just have to be put down.

  • Davidh

    Tony Blair thought the “right thing to do” was to invade Iraq. And in his own mind it was probably “his interpretation of Britain’s national interest”. It would have been better if he’d listened more to public opinion which I think was firmly against.

    • cartimandua

      The world could not be told that the Soviet arsenal was insecure and leaking out to terrorists.
      Nor was it in the worlds interests to undermine Putin.

  • Innit Bruv

    Britain has caused enough damage in the Middle East (as well as in other parts of the world).
    Might be a good idea to give it a rest…..

    • cartimandua

      We have not damaged anything. The 100 million in the youth bulge of the MENA region and the ferocity of the youth bulge conflict is down to
      Muslim incontinence , lack of logic and gender apartheid.
      Excluded women ups the violence of youth bulge conflicts.

  • quadibloc

    Obviously, the people of the United Kingdom have made up their minds against additional sacrifice in opposing terrorism in Iraq. Attempting to go against this would be counter-productive. Perhaps just after the next election, should he win a majority, he might feel British troops would have time to make a difference in Iraq before the British electorate calls a halt.

    Politics is, after all, the art of the possible.

  • Roy

    The country is no longer independent, is broke, and fearful of upsetting its growing Muslim minority.

  • The Commentator

    Cameron may well want to become a bit more militarily involved in Iraq and Syria. But as his new Foreign Secretary can tell him, we no longer have any military capability and certainly nothing that ISIS would be afraid of. Even those Tornadoes in Cyprus are over 30 years old and cobbled together out of scrapped aircraft and spare parts. We could of course still have an effective military but the great and the good in this country are more afraid of telling White Dee that there is no more money for her cigarettes, mobile phone, laptop and alcohol, than they are of fighting Islamic extremists.

  • Smithersjones2013

    I’d say Massie is a bit late to the party. British foreign policy has been increasingly in been disarray and parts are in tatters pretty much since the Eurozone crisis began.

  • Augustus

    “That’s my boy” tweeted the 32-year-old Australian, Khaled Sharrouf, proudly showing a picture of his 7-year-old son. And this boy loves a head without a body which he holds up like a trophy. This was in Raqqa, Syria, where his father had joined the Islamic State and taken his family along. And Sharrouf is certainly not the only one. The terrorist IS army consists of a great deal of Western Muslims. The men who, in the name of Allah, cut off the heads of ‘infidels’ in Iraq were playing on their PlayStations not that long ago in a flat in London, a terraced house in Brussels, or a house in Sydney. There’s not even a prototype for the Westerner who has become ‘radicalized’, some aren’t even Muslim by birth. But one thing does seem to unite them, the ‘caliphate’ is going to solve all their problems, plus, of course the adventure. That’s why the propaganda videos were so successful. To them, the fantasy has become a reality. IS is all a jihadist can dream of. It’s all so much more tantalizing than leading an anonymous terrorist existence, secretly preparing an attack. IS provides them with an opportunity to feel really powerful, capturing cities, looting, and showing off their weapons arsenals, in captured territories all of their own.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, the lost boy syndrome is in play here, it would seem. The World of Warcraft generation has found an outlet. But gang activity has always attracted these types, historically .

      • Augustus

        And they’re pretty good at brutal propaganda too. In a recent video on YouTube (now removed) they showed the American journalist, James Wright Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria, being beheaded. The video started with a speech by Obama. Then Foley said: “I ask my friends, family and loved ones to stand against my real killers, the United States. The journalist was shaven- headed and wore an orange robe. The last few minutes of the video shows a terrorist beheading him.

      • Kennybhoy

        Fine, insightful comment…

  • Sean Lamb

    The unerring ability for Alex Massie to get the wrong end of the stick never ceases to amaze. Far from not having a foreign policy Britain has a very far reaching foreign policy to redraw the middle eastern map. An independent Kurdistan, a Shiite rump from Basra to Baghdad, an Alawite-Christian-Shiite enclave on the coast and a Sunni interior state. But most importantly- Syria must disappear so Israel has undisputed sovereignty over the Golan (that goal at least Massie must share).
    This means a delicate balancing act- ISIS must be promoted, except when it moves against the Kurds – then that front should be bombed. Because ISIS is abhorrent but required in order to inflict the violence and ethnic cleansing that the massive geopolitcal restructuring envisaged requires, Cameron and others have to periodically ramp up the rhetoric but not actually do anything (something Cameron is pretty good at anyway).

    So a little soupcon of bombing, but otherwise just fill up the hotels of Baghdad with advisers – and supplying intelligence (in the unlikely situation that Britain actually possesses any) – is the strategy.
    A few useful idiots like Martin Chulov who can be fed bogus intelligence about 70 usb drives being captured demonstrating ISIS has been funded entirely by robbing banks, selling syrian antiquities on the black market and selling oil to Assad doesn’t go astray either

    • Smithersjones2013

      Fascinating I’m sure but anyone who thinks Syria is going to disappear is living in La-La Land. Russia, China and Iran will insure that does not happen. If our Foreign Office has such a policy it only would demonstrate how deranged and unfit it is and playing fast and loose with ISIS in some insane balancing act would be wholly against the interests of a British people.

      May I suggest that you try a soupcon of reality with your next attempt to outline what our policy should be.

      • Sean Lamb

        Facts on the ground.
        I didn’t say the Usual Suspects were all powerful. In fact News Ltd has been fulminating for months about Iran and Hezbollah sticking in a spoke in their plans.
        But it is difficult to see the Assad regime recapturing the regions it has lost while Cameron and Obama delicately micromanage ISIS with a tinsy bit of bombing around Irbil. And there has to be a point when ISIS – doubtless still funded to the gills with black market Syrian antiquities (you can hardly visit a pub these days without someone offering you a Phoenician vase) – will turn their beady eyes back on Damascus.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          They won’t get Damascus. They had their chance, and they failed. The West and the Sunni islamofascists are supporting ISIS against Iran’s interests, no doubt, but unless these benefactors give them an air force, it’s going to be impossible for ISIS to take secured territory against a determined enemy (and Shiite rabble in Sunni tribal areas out in the desert are not a determined enemy) .

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Syria will disappear at least as Sykes-Picot envisioned and drew it up, for sure. So will Iraq. So will Jordan, eventually. Kurdistan will solidify itself, and the ISIS gangsters will form a mafia commission, inshallah Capone.

        Israel and the new Syria will eventually settle up on the Golan, and will both likely wind up in a loose association with Lebanon. Not next week, but you’ll see that begin to coalesce in a couple decades or so.

        • Kennybhoy

          Jordan…? You think…?

        • Kennybhoy

          “Not next week, but you’ll see that begin to coalesce in a couple decades or so.”

          I took you for one of those hereabouts who dinnae think any of us has that long…?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            I took you for one of those hereabouts who drinks a lot then hops on the internet jabbering in foreign dialects.

      • Kennie

        How do you have a little ‘suspicion’ of bombing and a suspicion of reality?

  • andagain

    At any given point in time there were probably lots of things the Mrs Thatcher would have liked to do, but refrained from doing for political reasons. And Blair. And every other Prime Minister since Walpole.

    Why, exactly, should Cameron be different. He is Prime Minister, not God.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …he’s nominally PM, you mean, and even that for only the next 8.5 months.

  • JEK68

    There is no policy because of the obsession with public opinion. Politicians will not say what they want their foreign policy to be because of the general ignorance and unwillingness to face facts among the public. If we take any responsibility in Iraq the government and country is criticised from within and from outside, so politicians have decided that we should just not bother because the public will not march in their thousands to protest inaction. The ‘anti-war’ movement, with their demagogy, has made this country neutral toward fascists.

    • global city

      Getting across the line in next year’s GE is the only concern.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Parliament DID decide to have a policy on Syria last year. The policy was not to bomb Assad or his armies when there was no proof of who launched the alleged chemical attack.
    Cameron doesn’t have any real policies of his own. He’s just a PR frontman for the Elite who make the decisions …. and they are found in America, Brussels and the UK.

    • Mark B

      An don’t forget Saudi Arabia and Qatar, amongst others in that neck of the woods.

    • Portendorfer

      A fatuous post.
      Who in the UK?
      I seem to remember that it was Miliband that did for the Syria policy.
      So the Miliband Elite then?

  • Sophie

    In what sense is he ’emasculated’? The suggestion that a strong moralistic stance is in some sense ‘masculine’, is incredibly problematic.

  • William Haworth

    He can’t start a new war, however restricted, four weeks before the independence referendum in Scotland. Can you imagine Salmond’s reaction to the Bravehearts being dragged into another English war?

    • West Point

      Why do the Scots have so much influence on England then?

      • William Haworth

        Which is the bigger threat to the UK? Alex Salmond, or a bunch of bearded barbarians with flip-flops and AK’s, 2000 miles away?

        • West Point

          The biggest threats are BNP, UKIP, EDL, National Front, Britain First.

  • Tom M

    “……………. to do the things he thinks are the right thing to do. There’s no advantage in doing so, you see….” What you miss Alex is that there most likley a considerable disadvantage in doing something whether it’s the right thing to do or not. It would certainly not go as planned, none of the other military adventures have. So, as election looms, why would he take the risk. If you were he would you?

    • Kennie

      The point you are confirming is, Cameron is trying to do what is best to keep him in N° 10 and Not what he could consider best for the country.

      • RobertC

        It started in Dec 2005 and hasn’t stopped.

      • RobertC

        It started in Dec 2005 and hasn’t stopped.

      • Tom M

        No, the point I’m making is that there is considerable doubt as to whether any action would have the desired effect of being best for the country as demonstrated several times in other areas.

  • Brian J.

    “What is David Cameron for?” you ask. Maybe that question should have been asked about nine years ago. In both senses of the question: “What does David Cameron support?” and “What is the purpose of David Cameron as party leader?”

    • Mynydd

      These questions have been answered by the 50% of party members who have walked away from Mr Cameron. If seems some have even gone to Labour and Lib Dems

    • Portendorfer

      And what was your answer?
      What were your alternative plans?

      • bigmax

        I thought at the time the Tories should have picked David Davis.

  • RavenRandom

    No point saying “We’re going to fight ISIS”, if the Lib Dems go “No we’re not”, and Miliband does what he does best and goes back on his word. All you get for that is a bloody nose, bad headlines and still no attack on ISIS.
    That’s beside the point of why is it our responsibility? Where are the regional powers, where are the new powers of India and Brazil? Where’s China?

    • Makroon

      Massie is being naive. With the glorious dawning of the ‘internet age’, British public opinion (and most other developed country public opinion), has become extremely fickle and hard to read. (YouGov and such nonsense haven’t got a clue).
      Opinion is much more difficult for governments to “lead”/manipulate, and much easier for extra-governmental interests to manipulate – sometimes, even one photo’ in (say) the Mail, is sufficient.

      BTW, China is busy fighting against it’s home-grown (and western supported) branch of ISIS/IS.

  • Shazza

    Our foreign policy should be stay out of backward islamic states. Let them sort themselves out. We together with the USA have suffered huge losses in military personnel and near bankrupted ourselves fighting proxy wars for the filthy rich Arab countries like Saudi Arabia/Qatar etc. They are armed to the teeth with all the latest military equipment and are the biggest backers of ISIS. Let them form their caliphate, let them then take on Shia Iran – let these countries fight it out, let them die for their 7th century ideology. Why should we?

    We are in a Catch 22 situation. Whatever we do will still result in the victor of these islamic wars turning their attention to us. In this case, the enemy of our enemy, is not our friend.

    Our efforts should be concentrated at home. We need to contain the spread of this toxic ideology, do all that is necessary to curb the relentless islamic invasion that started with Labour’s general invitation in 1997 to moslems worldwide to take up residence here and begin to take measures to protect our Western secular democracy.

    A civilisation that took 5000 years in the making, the greatest ever to have graced this planet, is being destroyed in decades.

    Where will we be in 10 years’ time, let alone 30.

    • WatTylersGhost

      Perfect sense friend.

      • Geronimo von Huxley

        White man with feather on head look stupid. Sense is what Geronimo know. Geronimo not share every sense with tribe. Geronimo speak, then tribe follow. Now Geronimo take scalp.

    • Rossspeak

      Perfect sense – but the problem is that Cameron ( and pretty much all the other politicians) aren’t brave enough to talk sense.
      I am a (lapsed) Tory – and have been disgusted by Cameron’s verbal vascillations this week – one minute ” We must fight the evil ISIS with our military expertise” – next minute ” no boots on the ground – we will not send in the Army etc.”
      If he believes the sense that you highlight in your post – then why can’t he just come out and say it – and bugger the bleeding heart brigade.
      You can fool all of the people some of the time etc. etc. – but Cameron ( and Obama) are simply showing themselves to be devoid of either sense, principles and, above all, as indecisive wafflers.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Cameron is a stupid and weak man.

        • Portendorfer

          Weak enough to keep Clegg and Cable in order these last four years.
          A loveable chap to boot.

          • Kennie

            Do you mean it was that loveable chap’s idea to scrap boundary changes. Also, all the other things they have not done and said it was because the Libdems wouldn’t go for it?

            • Portendorfer

              But he avoided getting involved in most of the usual LibDemmery nonsense

    • Kennybhoy

      “Our foreign policy should be stay out of backward islamic states. Let them sort themselves out.”

      Isolationism…? General such or just with regard to “backward Islamic states”?

      “We together with the USA have suffered huge losses in military personnel and near bankrupted ourselves…”

      You really think this…? Really…? In this month…in this year of all such…?

      “…fighting proxy wars for the filthy rich Arab countries…”

      Here was I thinking that it was because they attacked us on September 11, 2001. Thank you for the correction.

      “They are armed to the teeth with all the latest military equipment…”

      Which we sold to them over a couple of generations…

      ” …are the biggest backers of ISIS.”

      In the early days yes. Believe me they regret it and are fair keechin their pants now! IS is self-financing these days.

      ” Let them form their caliphate…Why should we?”

      Are you fucking serious? You really think that such a regional conflict, one which would inevitably involve our ally Israel, could be contained within the region…? You want to see a Caliphate formed in the region? You want to see the peices put in place for World War III?

      “”If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

      -Winston Churchill

      I never took you for a hysterical fucking eejit Shazz…

      To be continued…

      • Shazza

        Hey – the point I was trying to make is that we are in a Catch 22 situation. Nobody is disputing that our involvement in these Arab states has been nothing less than disastrous – at the time I said the US/UK should rather have conducted Mossad style assassinations to remove bin Laden etc., left Saddam and Gaddafi in place, these backward islamic states only respect dictatorship harshly applied. ISIS is proving the point.

        How are you going to defeat ISIS? Ground troops? ISIS will just disappear into homes and deny any involvement – this is not the same war that Churchill fought, we will not face battalions.

        So we bomb them and kill lots of civilians as well. That made us a lot of friends in Iraq and what about Israel? There is no-one more loyal to the only democratic country in the ME than me – look how the BBC/MSM have spun the civilians deaths in Gaza that now I dispute whether in Israel’s eyes, we are still an ally. The bombing of Gaza got the Israelis a lot of friends. Look at the pro Palestinian demos all over.

        As far as WWIII – that started on 9/11 we were just too stupid to realise it. This is a war of ideologies i.e., Western, secular democracy vs 7th century barbarism aka islam.

        I don’t have the answers. We need to protect Israel and give them all the support and military equipment they need. They are very proficient at self defence.

        Let the Arabs/moslems have their bloody war. Let them kill each other, in the interim we need to apply harsh but just measures to restrict islam here. No more funding, no more madrassas, closure of extreme mosques, anybody engaging in terrorist activities, deport the whole family, etc. moving to proscribe this ideology.

        When the dust has settled and they have their caliphate, we will have a defined target. Military wise we will still have the upper hand. Any move then on Spain etc. can be dealt with harshly then. Apply sanctions, no trade – boycott all ‘caliphate’ products, move asap to be energy self sufficient and source our oil from other sources (Russia, Venezuela, etc.)

        Yesterday RT reported that a poll in France showed that 15% of the population supported ISIS – I wonder what it is here.

        No good weakening ourselves overseas when Trojan Horses are all in place here. As I said, in this case, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend. No matter who the victor in this Arabian/ME/ISIS war, they will come for us afterwards.

        We have never fought a war like this before. We need some very serious thinkers, not wannabe hero politicians to apply logic and admit that we have to come up with a new way to defeat a 1400 year old enemy. It is not winning hearts and minds, that does not work when the enemy has an instruction manual that brainwashes them from birth to reject any Western democracy.

    • Kennybhoy

      Where was I….

      “… 7th century ideology.”

      As opposed to…?

      “We are in a Catch 22 situation.”

      Nature of foreign policy. Nature of life ffs! Banal.

      “Whatever we do will still result in the victor of these islamic wars turning their attention to us.”

      You got a crystal ball? And acccepting for a moment that this is true, over what term…?

      “In this case, the enemy of our enemy, is not our friend.”

      Long, medium or short term…?

      “Our efforts should be concentrated at home.”

      Define “home”? For present purposes I am presuming that by “home” you Great Britain and Ireland.

      “We need to contain the spread of this toxic ideology…”

      By what means? Be specific please.

      “…do all that is necessary to curb….”

      Be specific please.

      “…to curb the relentless islamic invasion that started with Labour’s general invitation in 1997…”

      You consider an increase from 2 to 4+ million over those 13 years to be a relentless invasion? What about the 2 million who were here prior to 1997?

      “…begin to take measures to protect…”

      Be specific please?

      “…to protect our Western secular democracy.”

      Some, I among them, would argue that the increasingly secular nature of our society is a large part of the problem.Some might go so far as to say that we are, in fact, decadent. That any Islamic threat is essentially that of a scavenger or any other metaphor you prefer….

      “This England never did, nor never shall,Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,
      But when it first did help to wound itself.”

      – King John, (5.7.112), William Shakespeare


      You think a democracy can “contain the spread”, can “do all that is neccessary” or “take measures” and still remain a democracy?

      “A civilisation that took 5000 years in the making…”

      Elaborate please. Start by naming this particular civilization.

      “…the greatest ever to have graced this planet…”

      Again. Elaborate.

      “…is being destroyed in decades.”

      The rot in our civilization goes back mair than decades…

      “Where will we be in 10 years’ time, let alone 30.”

      You’re the wan wae the crystal ball. You tell me Shazz…? :-)

      • Shazza

        First of all the population increased a lot more that the official numbers show. Supermarket, water and sewage stats show it to be circa 80 million – 4 million would not have put the pressure on the NHS, schools housing etc. – I lived in a large Midlands city from 1997 and when I left about 12 years later, I could not believe the demographic change that had taken place. It went from hardly a headscarf in sight to plenty burka babes all pushing the obligatory pram with at least 2 toddlers in tow, unbelievable how quickly a city could noticeably change.

        Our civilisation evolved from Greco/Roman/Judean/Christian philosophies and it is the greatest – which other one can compare? Indeed we are at the moment, I believe in the Fall of the Roman Empire Part II.

        It is a war of ideologies, freedom vs tyranny. Gaze at Minaret Hamlets and it’s moslem mayor – that is a template for our future. Demographics show that by 2050 moslems will be in the majority then. Do you really believe that we won’t have sharia in place by then?

        10 years? Further islamification enabled by our dhimmi politicians and apathetic population.
        30 years? Probably we will be an islamic state.

        So unless you are not happy with this scenario, what do you suggest – both domestically and tackling ISIS?

        No need to be rude, I really am interested.

  • Damaris Tighe

    Cameron has emasculated himself? Was he ever masculated?

    • Portendorfer

      Masculated enough to see off Clarke and Davis and then Brown.
      And to keep Clegg under control.
      Who else was there to do all that?

      • Kennie

        Cameron does not keep Clegg under control. Clegg goes as far as he dares to and stops just before it comes to the point of scrapping the coallition deal. Clegg would not risk his one and only position of ‘power’ in this life.

      • Kennie

        Cameron does not keep Clegg under control. Clegg goes as far as he dares to and stops just before it comes to the point of scrapping the coallition deal. Clegg would not risk his one and only position of ‘power’ in this life.

  • Tony_E

    So this is simply a commentary based on a Times commentary, which takes a line based on an assumption made by another set of unnamed sources.

    Cheap shot?

  • james allen

    Many of us have been pointing out for years that Cameron is worse than useless… but who’s been listening?

    • Portendorfer

      What have you planned to do about it?
      What was your alternative?

      • Kennie

        Just being removed and not replaced would have been a better alternative. Nobody would notice, they could just say Cameron had gone to America to do some selfies with Barry, whilst being briefed on his next instructions.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …a well-potted plant?

        …a good gun dog?

        …a nice snort of single malt?

      • bigmax

        David Davis?

  • the viceroy’s gin

    It’s glorious of the Speccie to title this troll’s blogposts so descriptively, as to their value and content.

    It’s a big time-saver.

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