Unelected Foreign Secretary bangs war drum with unelected Prime Minster

Sean Ledwith 17 April 2024 – https://www.counterfire.org/

David CameronDavid Cameron. Photo: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

David Cameron is hoping the British public have forgotten the toxic legacy of his time in Number 10, writes Sean Ledwith

Nothing better illustrates the backward nature of the British political system, at home and abroad, than the fact that we currently have an unelected Foreign Secretary, David (Lord) Cameron, backing Israel’s war drive in the Middle East alongside his unelected boss, PM Rishi Sunak. Not only has neither man had to face the electorate prior to taking their current position, but also both are conforming to the familiar British habit of slavishly following the dictates of Washington. Cameron is not even answerable to the elected chamber thanks to the absurdity that Britain’s cobweb-ridden constitution permits a Foreign Secretary to sit in the House of Lords.

Predictably, both have provided Israel with uncritical miliary and political support over the weekend as Iran launched a retaliatory wave of drone and missile attacks. Cameron and Sunak, without authorisation by parliament, approved RAF participation in the Israeli defensive action which easily deflected the Iranian airborne operations thanks to the state of the art, US-supplied Iron Dome defence system. By doing so, Cameron and Sunak have recklessly contributed to the escalation of an already volatile situation that could easily get worse very quickly. This is in addition to their equally reckless urging of intensified Western military assistance to Ukraine in its increasingly futile war with Russia.

Sunak has told the House of Commons that Iran’s attack ‘was the act not of the people but of a despotic regime and it is emblematic of the dangers that we face today’, while Cameron claims the regime in Tehran has shown itself to be ‘the malign influence in the region’.Both of these statements are, in fact, at least as applicable to Netanyahu and his unhinged right-wing cabinet in Israel, who are responsible not only for the horrendous death toll in Gaza, now over 30 000 civilians, but also for the blatantly provocative attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on 1 April which killed eleven people including a senior Iranian commander. Britainand the US were shamefully silent on that naked violation of international law by the Israelis. It left the regime in Tehran with little choice but to retaliate to save its political credibility.

Disastrous intervention

It is particularly galling that Cameron is posing as the voice of authority and experience in this crisis, in light of his calamitous foreign policy record as PM from 2010-16. In 2011, he authorised British military participation, alongside France, in an operation to remove Muammar Gaddafi from power in Libya. This left that country in its current predicament as ‘a failed state’. The Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee subsequently described the operation as ‘ill-conceived’ and explicitly stated Cameron was ‘ultimately responsible’. Former US President Obama more eloquently described the Anglo-French intervention as ‘a shitshow’. The implosion of Libyan society following Cameron’s blundering intervention turned the country into the perfect breeding ground for ISIS and provoked the desperate attempt by thousands to flee North Africa, which turned the Mediterranean into a watery graveyard.

Two years later, Cameron was pushing for British and American airstrikes on Syria in response to the alleged use of poison gas by the Assad regime. Thankfully, mobilisation by the Stop the War movement persuaded the then Labour Leader Ed Miliband to help vote down what would undoubtedly have been another disastrous intervention in a region already blighted by Western meddling.

Aside from his trail of destruction overseas, let us also not forget Cameron’s austerity economics and calamitous attempt to appease Farage and Ukip by calling the Brexit referendum. Both have poisoned British society with unprecedented levels of toxicity. Even after infamously walking away from Number 10 with a carefree hum in 2016 (which perfectly encapsulated the arrogance and entitlement of his class), Cameron further disgraced himself by pocketing £10 million as an advisor to dodgy supply chain firm, Greensill. We can only hope he is not humming to himself if World War Three breaks out as a consequence of his current activities.