While I am broadly supportive of Labour leader Ed Miliband, his continuation of Tony Blair’s liberal interventionism is not a positive sign for the future of the party. From the New Statesman:
He [Miliband] confirmed Labour’s bipartisan support for military action and argued that the three key criteria for intervention had been met. “It is a just cause, with a feasible mission and it has international support,” he said. He cited the west’s failure to support the Republican side during the Spanish civil war, a historic analogy that resonates with Labour MPs, and said that inaction in Libya would similarly “revolt the conscience” of the world.
Politicians evoking this type of emotional moral posturing should be viewed extremely suspiciously. There is a nasty civil war looming in Ivory Coast where the consequences could be far more devastating from a humanitarian point of view. Neither David Cameron or Ed Miliband are offering up British troops to stop the violence there, so we can only assume the Libyan conflict has some other meaning to British interests around the world. The truth is, British oil companies have had their eyes on untouched Libyan oil reserves for some time, and instability in the region means access is that much more difficult. Ivory Coast on the other hand, exports mostly cocoa, coffee and palm oil, products Britain is not heavily reliant on.
So while instability and violence should ‘revolt the conscience of the world’ in rich oil producing countries, it is apparently acceptable in poor African ones.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.