David Cameron will be making a big speech on foreign policy next week, on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. In today’s Telegraph Rachel Sylvester says that "he has done more work on this speech than any other he has made." Ms Sylvester’s important piece – which I have been able to verify – will apparently argue that conflicts only have legitimacy if they are dealt with through international institutions like the United Nations, rather than ad hoc "coalitions of the willing".
Apparently Mr Cameron’s speech will emphasise ‘UN reform’ but that’s a bit like a politician promising to cut red tape or an overhaul of the Common Agricultural Policy. It never happens unless a statesman with Thatcherite iron will or a Reaganite moral compass is at the helm.
The latest news from Darfur only confirms my belief that the UN should enjoy no comfort from a Conservative politician (particularly one who promised to champion Darfur during the leadership election but has spectacularly failed to do so since becoming leader). A leader in today’s Telegraph spotlights the UN’s failure to protect the people of Darfur and its failure to halt Iran’s march to nuclear power status.
Britain doesn’t need a Prime Minister who wastes years trying to reform the UN but finds his efforts ‘unreasonably vetoed’ by Beijing, Paris or Moscow. We need a leader who understands that the world is at war and forms all necessary ‘coalitions of the willing’ to win that war. That is why David Cameron is right to be forging new relationships with Delhi and Tokyo (and why he must not shun Washington, Canberra or Ottawa). Yes – let’s have lots more ‘special relationships’ – but please, please, please no talk of putting the UN at the forefront of the war on terror.
Related link on National Review: Cameron as Hugh Grant, Confirmed