Thursday, April 19, 2007

Making Britain a laughing stock

Margaret Beckett is a remarkable foreign secretary. She has achieved something that, on the face of it seemed impossible. She is actually worse at the job than Jack Straw.

Now that takes some doing, but she has managed it.

Chairing a UN Security Council debate, Beckett used the opportunity to claim that the biggest threat to world security right now is - climate change. Not terrorism or Islamic extremism, then? Not a nuclear armed North Korea or Iran, then? Not a destabilising in the governments of nuclear armed Pakistan or Russia, then?

No - the biggest threat to the world's security is something that may never happen and which, from a national perspective, can be mitigated relatively easily.

"This is an issue which threatens the peace and security of the whole planet - this has to be the right place to debate it," Mrs Beckett said.

If unproven hypotheses that threaten the peace and security of the whole planet are issues which need to be debated by the UN Security Council then I can only presume that the next debate will be on how to prevent an alien invasion force from taking over the world or what can be done to prevent the earth being devastated by a meteor strike. These are obviously far more pressing concerns for Mrs Beckett than genocide in Darfur, the threat to African stability caused by the implosion of the Zimbabwean economy or the dire situation in the Middle East.

She warned of migration on an unprecedented scale because of flooding, disease and famine.

All of which can be easily mitigated by Britain and most of the world - even assuming it is likely (which it isn't).

Drought and crop failure would also cause intensified competition for food, water and energy, and result in economic destruction comparable to World War II or the Great Depression.

Once again, assuming this could happen and is likely - which there is no evidence to suggest it is - then these can be mitigated relatively simply. In Britain's case by becoming much more self-sufficient in terms of food and energy supply, implementing stringent immigration policies and by having armed forces capable of defending a fairly easily defensible island.

"Climate change is a security issue but it is not a matter of narrow national security - it has a new dimension," she said.

Aha! A new dimension, eh? None of that narrow nationalistic stuff that Beckett is supposed to be concerned about. Oh no, she has much grander plans and visions than simple concern for British interests.

"This is about our collective security in a fragile and increasingly interdependent world."

And that's it? That's the "new dimension"? I'd like to ask Mrs Beckett why it is that after more than 50 years of the United Nations and fifty years of European Union our world is so fragile? And this interdependency myth is one that needs examination as, while some nations such as Britain become increasingly "interdependent" (just another way of saying "dependent" without making it sound like dependent) other nations such as India and China feel increasingly self-reliant, self-confident and are taking on more leading roles on the world stage.

The representative from one of those nations, China, offered the correct response to Beckett's childish speech.

China's deputy ambassador to the UN, Liu Zhenmin, was blunt in rejecting the session.

"The developing countries believe that [the] Security Council does not have the professional competence for handling climate change, nor is it the right decision-making place for extensive participation," Mr Liu said.

China and Russia, among others, warned that the council's mandate was limited to peace and security. So did Pakistan, on behalf of 130 developing nations, which argued that the council was encroaching on more representative bodies, such as the 192-member General Assembly.

Labour need to change their slogan. "New Labour - making Britain a laughing stock" would be about right.

1 comment:

xoggoth said...

Ah but you have to admit she is really gorgeous!