14 Apr 2015

Foreign policy: the ignored debate of election 2015

Is British aid effective? Is the balance of forces in the British military right for the 21st century? Is there really nothing we can do about the unfolding tragedy in Syria? Could we at least admit a few more Syrian refugees?

These are the non-issues of the British election, the critical questions that won’t be debated.


I suppose Labour don’t want to say much about international affairs because under Tony Blair they did too much, and the Tories shy away from it because they have done so little.

In their manifesto the Tories vow to create “a stronger voice for our nation on the world stage”.

In fact Britain’s voice has diminished in the time David Cameron has been prime minister. France and Germany have assumed the lead on Ukraine, while the US fears that the Conservatives will take Britain out of the EU and isolate itself even further.

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The Labour party has pledged “to return Britain to a leadership role in Europe”. Yet their manifesto gives no detail on what they would do with such a leadership role.


Both parties are committed to maintaining Britain’s nuclear deterrent, Trident, and thus our permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Why? To what end?

You’ll be hard pressed to find out from the debate so far.

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