demonstrating uncertainty

Hey ho, big media seems to have picked up what I suppose we’ll have to call Cameron’s China gaffe:

British Conservative Party leader David Cameron cited uncertainty over China as one of the reasons for Britain to maintain its nuclear deterrent, drawing an instant reprimand from Foreign Minister David Miliband. 

“Are we really happy to say that we’d give up our independent nuclear deterrent when we don’t know what is going to happen with Iran, we can’t be certain of the future in China?” Cameron said in a debate last night against his rivals in May 6 elections, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. “I say we should always have the ultimate protection of our independent nuclear deterrent.” 

… The Conservatives issued a statement saying, “David Cameron was demonstrating the extent of uncertainties in the world, not saying China is a threat to the U.K.” 

So he did actually mean China – I mean, inasmuch as he meant anything. What does he think is going to happen in China that requires Britain to have nuclear weapons?

Cameron’s said some not bad things in the past about distancing Britain somewhat from US policy, but he’s done some deeply flaky things in foreign policy more generally. There’s his European parliamentary alliance with Latvian SS nostalgics, that bizarre trip to Georgia in 2008 and now this. 

Maybe it’s basically because he’s a classic Tory little Englander who doesn’t really think about abroad, except that it’s where you go skiing and where the au pairs come from. But it can’t help that he’s got people like Michael Gove around him when his thoughts do turn in that direction. 

It would be kind of ironic if Cameron did take power and the US, which actually controls the use of our “independent deterrent”, decides to take it away on the grounds that he can’t really be trusted with it. I mean, he’s not demonstrating uncertainty here so much as adding to it.