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Drumming Up a New Cold War

Georgo Monbiot writes in Monbiot.com (originally in the Guardian):

By signing up to Bush’s missile defence programme, the British government shows it doesn’t give a damn about either peace or democracy.

In one short statement to parliament last week, the defence secretary, Des Browne, broke the promises of two prime ministers, potentially misled the House, helped bury an international treaty and dragged Britain into a new cold war. Pretty good going for three stodgy paragraphs.

You probably missed it, but it’s not your fault. In the 48 hours before parliament broke up for the summer, the government made 76 policy announcements. It’s a long-standing British tradition: as the MPs and lobby correspondents are packing their bags for their long summer break (they don’t return until October), the government rattles out a series of important decisions which cannot be debated. Gordon Brown’s promise to respect parliamentary democracy didn’t last very long.

Thus, without consultation or discussion, the defence secretary announced that Menwith Hill, the listening station in Yorkshire, will be used by the United States for its missile defence system. Having been dragged by the Bush administration into two incipient military defeats, the British government has now embraced another of its global delusions.

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