Hey ho, big media seems to have picked up what I suppose weâ€™ll have to call Cameronâ€™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.
â€œAre we really happy to say that weâ€™d give up our independent nuclear deterrent when we donâ€™t know what is going to happen with Iran, we canâ€™t be certain of the future in China?â€ Cameron said in a debate last night against his rivals in May 6 elections, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. â€œI say we should always have the ultimate protection of our independent nuclear deterrent.â€
… The Conservatives issued a statement saying, â€œDavid Cameron was demonstrating the extent of uncertainties in the world, not saying China is a threat to the U.K.â€
So he did actually mean China â€“ I mean, inasmuch as he meant anything. What does he think is going to happen in China that requires Britain to have nuclear weapons?
Cameronâ€™s said some not bad things in the past about distancing Britain somewhat from US policy, but heâ€™s done some deeply flaky things in foreign policy more generally. Thereâ€™s his European parliamentary alliance with Latvian SS nostalgics, that bizarre trip to Georgia in 2008 and now this.
Maybe itâ€™s basically because heâ€™s a classic Tory little Englander who doesnâ€™t really think about abroad, except that itâ€™s where you go skiing and where the au pairs come from. But it canâ€™t help that heâ€™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 â€œindependent deterrentâ€, decides to take it away on the grounds that he canâ€™t really be trusted with it. I mean, heâ€™s not demonstrating uncertainty here so much as adding to it.