Sunday 26 September 2021
No Balls About The Sphere
If the French have blocked the appointment of Theresa May as Secretary General of NATO, then they have done the Conservative Party a favour. After Chesham and Amersham, then it could ill afford a by-election at Maidenhead. It would be magnificently French to insist on a Secretary General of President Macron's choosing, and then, once that appointment had been made, to pull out of NATO's command structure again, in protest at AUKUS.
In what is generally a very good column, even if he does succumb to Monty Python on the Spanish Inquisition, Peter Hitchens at last makes reference to AUKUS. He is suitably dismissive, not even mentioning it by name. Our pursuit of this, and Trident, all that, instead of energy security, will make us "the only Third World country with a submarine-launched nuclear deterrent".
Hitchens is only substantially wrong today about Aretha Franklin, and Kenan Malik has the measure of the "Anglosphere" nonsense at the root of AUKUS. Although he could have done with Hitchens, or with someone like Geoffrey Wheatcroft, to set out that the British Empire and the American Republic had been active enemies for most of their shared history. Monarchy or no monarchy, and flag or no flag, Australia simply passed from being one rival's colony to being the other's many decades ago. But at least Australia admits it.