Monday, 24 August 2015
Britain should be the world's unsinkable hospital ship
Labour is looking for things that aren't broken to fix. In most instances, Labour is all at sea because despite the British propensity for whining constantly, most things work quite well. The things that are broken require some entirely new thinking that lies beyond their obsolete paradigm. They lack the mental architecture to even begin to formulate coherent policy. If you ask most people what's broken, they'd probably say the immigration system. Labour thinks it's our first class railways. They're not even on the same planet.
What leaves me in a state of dismay is the complete lack of vision and ambition. During World War 2, Britain came to the rescue of an entire continent and was leading the way. Now our dismal Westminster clan think we need the talking shop in Strasbourg in order to have influence. And to think the Americans once called us the unsinkable aircraft carrier.
We are not that same country any more. We are better and richer in most respects. But we're sliding. All of Europe is suffering under the strain of a global migration problem and we're sat on our hands asking for permission to do something about it. What I want to see is some confident and patriotic policy making.
By patriotic, I don't mean wrapping ourselves in the flag, closing the borders and demanding proof of identity in every government office. I want us to be the unsinkable hospital ship. I want a British presence in every failing African state. I want faster and better routes for people to come in to our country, on limited visas for those who want to join our NHS - on the understanding that when their visa runs out they may not work in the NHS again. We should be the health academy that trains the worlds doctors and nurses. We bring in poor migrants and we send out medical professionals. Let's offer the world a deal.
The remittances sent back, and the professionals we send back will be the bedrock of a new Africa. Our global mission should be to create an Africa that Africans don't want to leave - and have no need to. We can do that with a more active foreign policy that doesn't wait on the EU, and we can do that by being more open, with more legitimate ways for people to get here, thus ending the need to make a perilous journey across the sea.
I want a RFA ship in every African port, British frigates guarding every trade route and engineers building roads and bridges in places we've never heard of. A fortress mentality is not how Britain solves its problems or progresses. We didn't become the wealthiest and most free nation on Earth by turning inward or subordinating ourselves to bureaucratic institutions.
The snivelling and claustrophobic politics that has befallen Britain forgets who we are and what we are capable of. It is also built on a flawed assumption - that building walls and closing ourselves off is cheaper for the taxpayer and reduces demand on public services. It doesn't. We can't shut the world out forever and even that does not come for free. A police state is an expensive thing to run - and no nation ever got richer by reducing the liberties of its citizens.
The values of progressivism and international development and human rights were practically invented by the British. We exported that to the world. Even the UN was partly our creation. And now our politicians tell us that those institutions exported these things to us via the EU. They lie.
We're now looking at a global state of emergency, and never has there been a time when the world needs Britain and its cultural exports more. This is a time for an assertive Britain willing to act and ready to show leadership to a Europe paralysed by indecision.
It's time to ditch the EU and go global - to develop new markets, to bring Africa out of the darkness and lead the way in embracing this exciting globalised world. For too long we have had the miserablist left telling us that Britain was a great evil in the world, but those nations that were touched by Britain at her best are the nations who will be the first to step out of the developing world and into the first world. They will do that with our engineering, scientific and administrative expertise.
We won't preserve the best of Britain by shutting ourselves off and we won't do that as subordinates to the EU. We will preserve what's great about Britain by confidently asserting our values in the world once again. We certainly have nothing to lose by it - but everything to lose by being afraid of the future.