My wife and I just returned from our honeymoon in the UK last week. We visited London, Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bath, St. Ives, and Northern Ireland. It was a truly wonderful experience. Despite colder weather, we enjoyed every moment of it. My favourite place we visited was Oxford, hers was either St. Ives or Bath, but we had the time of our life in all the places. The people were truly wonderful and kind, and the landscape, beautiful. Unlike the American ambassador, we loved the food! And for anyone wondering why we didn’t go somewhere warm and tropical for our honeymoon, we got married in San Diego (Coronado Island to be specific), CA, where she is from. It is always warm and “beachy” weather there.
While I was in the United Kingdom I actually followed less politics than when I am in America. I wanted my new wife not to divorce me the moment we got back to the states. But being back in the States, and having had a chance to review the going-ons in the UK, I thought I would offer comment on what I think are the three biggest issues facing the UK at the moment.
1. ISIS and Security Threats
As I wrote over two months ago, I never favoured withdrawal from Iraq in the first place. Afghanistan is pointless strategically for the west, but Iraq is of enormous importance. Since I last wrote that blog, ISIS has only grown in strength and are ethnically cleansing Christians, Yazidi, Shia and those they encounter who do not uphold to their extreme and barbarous ideology. There is also a British-Egyptian rapper, Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, “Jihadi John” who has executed not one, but now two American journalists through beheading. ISIS is a true evil and must be stopped.
ISIS is not simply a foreign threat but is attracting people throughout the western world. ISIS is destined to return battle-hardened, brainwashed extremists to western nations, ranging from the US to the UK to the European continent. It is also taking control of areas with significant amounts of oil that ISIS can then sell to fund their evil organisation. This threat must be confronted before we have to engage in fights on our own streets and deal with more domestic terror.
I support the bombing the ISIS positions and areas, the freezing of their assets, and the arming of their enemies, such as the Kurds. Cameron appears to be supportive of all three of those policy actions. I do not support collaboration with Iran against ISIS, as Iran still believes we in the west are “the Great Satan” and are likely still attempting to attain nuclear weapons. Allying with Iran would likely give Iran even greater power over Iraq which is not in the west’s interest’s. I further support revoking the passports of those who leave the country to join ISIS or any other terrorist organisation, as Cameron has called for. Nick Clegg should be ashamed of himself for opposing Cameron’s 5 point plan to deal with terror. If Clegg will not change his position I propose the Conservatives ask Labour, who are largely supportive of the Prime Minister’s anti-terror proposals, to pass the measure along cross-party lines.
Lastly, I support scrapping the EU free movement of peoples. There are many ISIS and other terrorists fighters originating from other EU countries whose passports the UK government cannot revoke. Revoking EU free movement of people is something that obviously should be done for economic, sovereignty, as well as security reasons. Furthermore, as Conservative Home recently showed, revoking free movement of peoples and giving Britain back supreme control of its immigration system has broad public support.
2. Carswell’s bizarre defection to UKIP.
Douglas Carswell MP’s defection to UKIP is disheartening. If more in the Conservative Party follow his lead, there will be no EU referendum. It is also bizarre that Carswell personally, would defect. As Cameron pointed out in his press conference last week, Carswell campaigned for and was elected for the Conservatives in 2010 when they offered no promise of a referendum, but now leaves the party when it does promise a referendum. UKIP “logic” always confuses me. Steve Richards writing in the Independent, superbly shows how a Eurosceptic’s best bet is with Cameron’s Conservatives and that Carswell’s defection is utterly illogical.
I wonder if UKIP is just simply a party of rage that has little to no actual principles. It claims it wants to leave the EU, yet when the Conservatives offer that promise they don’t line up to help the Conservatives achieve that goal. Rather they target Conservative seats, strengthening europhile Labour. UKIP MEPs are the laziest and most absent in Brussels; doing almost nothing to oppose the very regulations they complain about. The Telegraph’s August 31 leader correctly exposes UKIP’s self-glorifying and amoral strategy brilliantly. It’s interesting how far a party that was eurosceptic and libertarian has now because populist and purposeless. Consider that in 2009 Lord Pearson, then UKIP leader, told Mr Cameron that he would disband Ukip altogether if the Tories offered a referendum. How times have changed. I feel like if UKIP got what they claim to want, a Brexit, they would continue to be unhappy and blame the UN for the nation’s ills. Hopefully, Carswell is the only MP and/or high profile Conservative to defect, but I am skeptical that will be the case.
3. The Worrying Tightening of the Scottish Referendum polls.
A month ago, the union lead was at double digits, as high as 22 points at one point. Now polls show it about six points with a fortnight to go before the vote. Hopefully the union stays together. I am particularly happy to see so many celebrities, in Scotland and throughout the UK, intervene to support the union. Finally some celebrities are putting their fame to good use.