Foreign Affairs

Britain: Bad Days Are (Soon) Here Again

In a harbinger of things to come, British prime minister in waiting Gordon Brown announced last week that he will build five new environmentally friendly towns once he assumes office. Already called ‘Brown towns,’ these little green paradises will draw all their energy from renewable sources such as wind and sun. Even schools and heath clinics will be carbon neutral. If this is the main selling point of Brown’s agenda, one can imagine how bad the real deal is.

This, however, is not the worst of it, for the British Sunday Times informs us that Brown’s eco-town initiative was in part designed to ‘trump’ David Cameron on green issues. In case you have never heard of David Cameron, he is the leader of the British conservative party. Yes, you are reading correctly. The British Tories have gone green.

This is bad news not just for Britons, but also for those in America who hoped that the Tory opposition would moderate the famously liberal Brown. With Cameron at the helm all such hopes are fading fast and Britain’s wholesale shift to the left now appears inevitable. Once their man assumes office many extreme Labouristas, who have been until now held in check by Tony Blair, will exert a powerful leftward pull on Britain’s domestic and foreign policy.

Even as the alliance will come under increasing strain, so will be the British conservatives. It is difficult to imagine what Cameron will come up with now; counter-trumping Brown’s five eco-towns will be no mean feat. If he decides to continue his outflanking strategy he will now have to go all the way and declare himself a Marxist-Leninist. I would not put it above him, since everything is possible in Europe these days.

From time to time, I’m asked to briefly describe the spirit of present-day England. The challenge is actually not as daunting as it may seem and can be easily disposed of in one sentence:

A formerly great island where it rains often and where even conservatives are liberal.

Whether our transatlantic alliance will survive this remains to seen. Gordon Brown has already announced that he plans to conduct a review of the Iraq war. We should not at all be surprised if he takes the cue from American liberals and declares a resounding defeat.

For evidence of how just convoluted things are becoming here, we need to go no further than MI6. Having capitulated before the combined onslaught of feminism and political correctness, this once-famed intelligence service has now gone women-friendly. It is in this meek and contrite spirit that the agency has resolved to swell its ranks with lady spies. To encourage potential applicants, its female agents have been posting heartwarming testimonials about the family-conducive policies under which they operate. Besides telling us how MI6 took care of their children and husbands, their accounts reveal a good deal about their employer’s modus operandi which is, no doubt, much appreciated by Al-Qaeda operatives. One can be sure that despite their dislike of professional women, they wholeheartedly applaud the feminization of the organization that not long ago counted James Bond among its own.

There is no word yet whether Al-Qaeda contemplates similar policies for their female adepts, but you should not hold your breath. As of this writing, they were still fitting them with suicide belts.

One quoted observer had this to say about MI6’s remarkable transformation:

It’s a bit farcical. Operations are paramount — you can’t just say ‘I’ve got to pick up the kids.’

Farcical is surely an understatement; suicidal would be a far more fitting adjective to describe the potential consequences of MI6’s bizarre behavior. Having pretty much emasculated the military, the politically correct have now trained their sights on one of the last bastions of British toughness and common sense. Sadly, it appears they have succeeded.

Like pretty much all of Western Europe today, Britain finds itself belaboring on the peripheries of the twilight zone. Ignoring the deadly threat of Islamic fanaticism, it builds silly eco-towns and converts its intelligence services into social care centers. One almost despairs of ever seeing a major European politician willing to address the greatest danger of our time by making the defeat terrorism the centerpiece of his agenda.

Although far from perfect, Tony Blair has come the closest to this ideal. The end of his premiership will dramatically reshape Britain’s political landscape as his place will be taken by far-off leftists not seen here since the heady days of the seventies. Today, however, there is no Margaret Thatcher to offer a viable alternative.

We need to brace ourselves for the strange winds that will soon start blowing from Britain and also for the very real possibility that we may lose a strong ally in the war on terror. We should make most of the dwindling weeks of the Blair era, for bad days will be here soon enough.


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