Whilst I would describe myself as left-wing and as someone who is not by nature a jingoistic hawk. By which I mean, I don’t generally go around advocating war as a solution to all problems, I wouldn’t describe myself as a pacifist either. I generally advocate reasonable force.
Corbyn’s ideological failure on foreign policy has cost Labour the 2020 election. It’s as simple as that. There is a complete failure to recognise the wider public mood and manage it accordingly. Am I suggesting that Labour should blindly follow the emotional and febrile mood of the public in the wake of the Paris attacks? Not at all. I’m suggesting that through dismissing military action on a purely ideological and ostensibly principled standpoint he has put himself into a trap he will not be able to escape from. He has failed to recognise the right wing and conservative (with a small c) tendencies of many long-time Labour voters and the wider English public who constitute the electorate when it comes to matters of patriotism and nationalism, which within the British psyche is very much entwined with militarism and British exceptionalism. A gruesome hangover from the days of Empire and cololonialism.
He has not offered a serious and realistic alternative. Wanting world peace is a lovely sentiment, I’m sure everyone would agree. However IS/ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/Al-Qaeda/The Nusra Front are not likely to forget our previous forays into the Middle-East in a hurry, and there is little chance they will lay their guns down willingly anytime soon. It is clear that conflict resolution is required, and to what extent Britain should involve itself is legitimately up for debate. That Britain has been for so long an antagonist in the imposition of the many conflicts of the Middle-East, it is a legitimate concern of many that having no part in the conflict resolution will nonetheless leave Britain open to attacks, regardless. From a military and practical standpoint, I don’t advocate aerial bombardment. Especially on built up civilian areas. I believe it is completely reckless and counter-productive. I would be open to suggestion on a strategic ground offensive, and attacks against economic targets, along with exerting military and political pressure on those who fund the IS insurgency in order to completely isolate them in both Iraq and Syria. No funding, no war. I think we can imagine why this strategy is unlikely to occur anytime soon though.
The public demand for aerial bombardment suits the Tories. It is exactly the kind of PR driven tokenism that is to be expected from this government. Simply appearing to be doing something, regardless of the fact that it will be largely ineffective and will drag on for a long, long time suits them. When they inevitably get their way in order to send over the RAF, they will thrive on driving home a message of how “They are protectors of the realm, Labour threaten national security” and the rest of their trite nonsense. Dragging the political debate back to the realms of the lowest common denominator with the us against them, xenophobic, “Immigrants threaten our way of life” nonsense all the way through the EU referendum, where we can expect something to the effect of, “We have found in the past few months when Europe has come together (in hatred of Islam to annihilate them at home and in the Middle-East) we are better together.” like a bad IndyRef tribute act, should be enough to see the Conservatives through the next election and hammer the final nails into Britain’s coffin once and for all.