“A quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing”

It seems to be a fashionable trend, especially amongst my left-leaning friends, to jeer at the latest western military action in Syria as the cynical attempt at statesmanship by desperate politicians.

But I cast my mind back a few years and wonder if David “You Decide” Cameron had had some semblance of leadership to act on Obama’s urging in 2013, instead of throwing the matter carelessly to the headless chickens in the Commons, there might have never been a refugee crisis of the proportion we have been forced to witness, resulting in the nationalist tendencies across Europe, culminating in the Brexiteers’ victory in 2016.

“How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing.” (Neville Chamberlain, 27 September 1938)

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英国の次の一手

#BrummieRevolution (What’s the point of hashtag, I ask myself, when the concept is so obscure!)

The sage of Birmingham

英国新首相、テレサ・メイ女史の首席補佐官、ニック・ティモシー氏にスポットライトを当てたエコノミスト紙の記事。

Brexit後の英国の進む道を示唆している。またBrexit同様か、それ以上に重要な政策転進であった中国との蜜月を1年で終わらせたメイ新保守党政権の思想的バックボーンのありかといったところか。

The new prime minister’s speech to the Tory conference in October (in Birmingham, as it happens) should be a Chamberlainite symphony. Renewal, a think-tank founded in 2013 to promote working-class Toryism, is emerging as the new regime’s brains trust.

次の部分には大笑い。

Mr Timothy’s analysis of his party—that it can appear not to “give a toss about ordinary people”—is accurate. The Cameroons’ brand of modernisation owed too much to noblesse oblige, to a vision of society that treated the welfare state as the institutional equivalent of giving one’s gardener a Christmas bonus.

もっともチェンバレンが提唱した帝国主義の下における経済・関税政策が第一次世界大戦の原因だったことは覚えておいたほうがいい。下手に中国を追い詰めて、あとは対岸の火事...なんてことは御免ですぜ。