What did you call my mum Assad?

By Joe Mellor, In house Reporter 

The London Economic


As a young man growing up in Newcastle upon Tyne I would, on occasion, be accosted by unruly youths intent on a fight.

It took the same tone every time, a group of big guys would send over someone much smaller than me from their group, to say something along the lines of “what did you call my mum?” My response was irrelevant, I was going to get punched in the face.

If you did fight back the bigger boys would inevitably turn on you. As humiliating as it was, you took your beating and shuffled off home to lick your wounds.

Unlikely as this might sound, this scenario compares to the US demands on the UK to fight the Syrians.

Cameron is fully aware that the UK’s power and relevance only stems from our “special relationship” with the US. A special relationship that for a long time (perhaps forever) has been an unfair deal, heavily weighted in the benefit of the US.

Obama is quick to ask for our support in military action but is happy to refer to the Falklands Islands as Las Malvinas (the name Argentinians give the disputed territory), hardly the actions of a best friend.

Now Parliament and the general public have turned their backs on Cameron’s keenness to get involved in another bout of military action alongside the US, it appears we have been kicked out of the gang.

Reports from the G20 meeting in St Petersburg have said that Obama has snubbed Cameron, one (non) strike and you are out of the gang. Tough love indeed.

So, Cameron has been pushed out by his peer group of international bullies and the previously un-fancied outsider, France, has found a way to muscle into the gang, acting as the stooge for the aggressive leader of the gang.

What has become apparent is that it was never the UK specifically that was needed to support the US, but any puppet who will do what it’s told to support the hardman of the group. Surprisingly, the socialist French Government have been more than happy to comply.

All Cameron can do now is shout his support at the one-sided fight from the sideline. But the cheers will be ignored.

It’s time to accept that our time as a global power is over. We need to move on from the gang and improve ourselves. We need the self-confidence to know there is a better way.

There are no new gangs Cameron can join, the EU won’t have us back, but it is unlikely we will go crawling back anyway. Cameron regularly talks about ignoring the EU and reaching out to the emerging nations. But why would a tough new gang want the cast-offs from a rival?

Will the UK one day regret it didn’t attack Syria – whether it was the right thing to do or not – just to stay in the gang? Nobody can predict how an attack on Syria would play out, but we could be sure that if we had joined the attack with the US, our dubious “special relationship” would remain intact.

However, the outcome of any military action is almost irrelevant. Cameron just wanted us to be “one of the boys.” We will never see the victim again after the attack, they can pick up the pieces themselves.

Perhaps this is the end for the UK as a global power. But perhaps, in a more positive light, it’s a chance to forge ahead as a confident nation on the fringes of Europe, with achievable goals in the world, which is increasingly powered by nations alien to us. We have no “special relationship” with these new global powers, all we can offer is transparent co-operation in a rapidly changing world.



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