As always, the biggest problem is the inherent structural one implied in Blair's strategy: the assumption that by integrating more completely into the European Union, Britain is also serving America's interests by being a bridge between the two continents. This is not an eccentric position; it has been the standard assumption of the American foreign policy establishment from the end of the Second World War. It is, however, wrong. Where it fails is the assumption that Europe as a whole and America are sufficiently alike that their interests will naturally be aligned.But in The Scotsman Gavin Esler doesn't quite get it. He writes:
for 50 years successive US presidents have wished Britain to have an increasingly close relationship with Europe.True, but the Europhiliac Esler seems to be quite unaware that the US is now having doubts about the EU project and almost certainly welcomes British caution.
Mr Esler can't get his head around globalisation either. How about this:
But if prosperous Australia has serious worries about being excluded from rich markets in Europe, you can understand why much poorer African and Asian countries conclude that globalisation, the expansion of the European Union and of the North American Free Trade area are part of a rich person’s conspiracy to keep them poor.Eh. The expansion of the EU is not about "globalisation" but protectionism. I suggest that Mr Esler reads The Race to the Top: the Real Story of Globalization by Tomas Larsson to find out why globalisation is good for most people in most countries.
In the meantime, can we please not have Mr Esler as the next presenter of Newsnight?