Lies, damn lies, and deceit: an update on the UK involvement in Mali

David Cameron and François Hollande, Washington, 18/5/12On January 22nd I wrote an article lamenting Britain and France’s foreign policy in North Africa [link]. A week has passed and the situation has progressed. David Cameron guaranteed that Britain would only commit to material aid to the French. Not even a week later this guarantee has been broken, as 350 British troops are set to be committed to the operation. I have one question:

How far will the government go with this?

There are two deeply worrying problems that I see in this situation.

1. We have been lied to.

A week ago we were told no troops on the ground. Now there will apparently be troops on the ground. Does Mr Cameron have such absolute contempt for the British public that he feels it is fine to tell them one thing one day, then proceed to do the exact opposite then next? This is not democratic in any sense. 

2. Britain no longer controls its foreign policy.

These 350 soldiers are being committed under the guise of an EU-led mission. The anti-EU debate in the UK is red hot currently. Just a few days ago Cameron declared that the Tory party would commit to an In/Out referendum in the event of a Tory victory at the next election. It seems however that in the mean time, what passes for a “British government” is more than happy to erode its own sovereignty, give away powers, and generally make a mockery of what is left of the British constitution. Apparently the government didn’t even see fit to send Hague to the meeting in which it was decided British troops would be sent, the only representatives were diplomats. So not only do they disdain, they do not care. It is simply unforgivable. 

Going back to the question I posed earlier in this article, how far will the government go with this?

It appears that the current British government is capable of any kind of betrayal. Last week it was a military carrier plane. This week it was 350 troops. At the current rate my estimate is that we will be signing the leases of the Trident fleet over to Luxembourg some time in mid-April.

Edmund Greaves is co-editor of The Libertarian Press. He also writes travel articles at the www.curiousenglishman.com

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