Yesterdays exchanges over defence which involved both Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson has all sorts of implications for the way in which our nation is governed. The truth is that whilst our views on the EU were tested albeit in a very distorted way through the prism of the referendum, very few other views ever get a proper airing. The fact is that most politicians only listen to the views of the nation when they are seeking their support for an election and even then most use distraction techniques to tell us what we believe, not ask us what we believe. Those of us who err on the side of the dovish argument such as Corbyn who has now declared he is not a pacifist but clearly does not believe in being a gung ho leader have a responsibility for explaining why we believe a less aggressive approach is worth pursuing and indeed may ultimately be better for the whole of the world. By the same token we need to have a meaningful set of explanations of how offensive use of armies and nuclear weapons is good for our world from people like Boris.
“The crucial thing is that there is a sharp distinction between a Government that is willing to stand up for this country, which is willing to make sure this country is properly defended and a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn that would simply chuck away our ability to defend ourselves. I think that is crazy and is not the way I want to go.”
The problem with such attitudes is not that I disagree about the need to stand up for the UK across the world but it is how one chooses to do so. The way in which Theresa May stood up to the EU at the outset of the election campaign was in my view as high a risk strategy as the way in which she meekly and compliantly held Donald Trumps hands on her visit to the Whitehouse. What is needed is the ability to show our nation that is interdependent with all other open nations in the world and willing to to support those that are weak. It is the Interdependence that makes all of us strong. I frankly would not trust Boris on such an approach as he is as capable of offending other nations as he is of allowing others to have unchecked access to our nation. Neither for that matter would I trust any one person including Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn operating on their own. We need to achieve some form of collaborative government to resolve our way forward in our relationship with the EU just as we do our relationship with the rest of the world.