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Brown faith in alliance with US
Gordon Brown has hailed the strength of UK-US relations after Barack Obama's election, saying the two nations must "provide leadership" in troubled times.
In a speech in London, Mr Brown said the "special relationship" between the nations was enduring and a means of building a stabler and fairer world .
He urged the president-elect to create a "pact" with the international community to address global challenges.
The PM also said that failure was not an option in Afghanistan.
'Source of hope'
At the Lord Mayor's Banquet, Mr Brown said: "Just days ago, across the Atlantic, our closest ally gave new meaning to its founding creed that all 'are created equal', and gave new strength to the notion that the American dream is for all Americans."
He added: "As we have seen from reaction in America, Europe and around the globe, whatever one's politics it can surely only be a source of hope and inspiration that a nation which would have once looked at Barack Obama and defined him only by his colour, today sees in him the man they want to be their president and commander-in-chief."
In a major address on foreign policy, Mr Brown argued that the relationship between the UK and US had been a force for good for 50 years as an "engine of effective multilateralism".
And he said the two countries must take the lead in shaping a stronger global order underpinned by their shared faith in democracy and the fight against poverty as well as the urgent need to rebuild the global financial system and tackle climate change.
"The alliance between Britain and America - and more broadly between Europe and America - can and must provide leadership," the prime minister said.
"Not in order to make and impose the rules ourselves but to lead and broaden the global effort to build a stronger, secure and more equitable international order."
On Afghanistan, Mr Brown acknowledged that, when he entered the White House, Mr Obama was likely to press other Nato members to send more troops to the country.
The prime minister said he "welcomes" a debate over greater burden-sharing but that this must go hand in hand with other measures including building the capacity of the Afghan army and reducing corruption.
"Afghanistan is a test the international community cannot afford to fail and we will not fail."
Addressing other challenges, Mr Brown also insisted that the UK would work "relentlessly" to secure a lasting political solution to end the violence and humanitarian crisis in Congo.
Ahead of a meeting of world leaders in Washington next week to discuss reform of global finance, Mr Brown said far-reaching changes were needed to ensure key bodies like the IMF and G8 were more representative and better equipped to deal with future crises.
"If we do so, 2008 will be remembered not just for a financial crash that engulfed the world but for the decisiveness and optimism with which the world faced the storm, endured it and prevailed."
“In a speech in London.” That’s how the BBC characterised Gordon Brown’s Mansion House Speech last night. Contrary to the BBC’s misrepresentation, this is not just another speech. It is at this event that Brown traditionally delivers his call to arms for the New World Order.
In last year’s speech, just prior to the financial collapse, he said, “… and I believe what will also be said of this age, the first decade of the 21st Century, that out of what will be seen as the greatest restructuring of the global economy, perhaps one even greater than at the time of the industrial revolution, a new world order was created …”
This year, apparently, following the election of Barak Obama, the time is now right to create a “truly global society” - a term he used several times during the speech. We should now “seize the moment” offered by the greatest restructuring of the global economy to forge a “new multilateralism.”
“Uniquely in this global age, it is now in our power to come together so that 2008 is remembered not just for the failure of a financial crash that engulfed the world but for the resilience and optimism with which we faced the storm, endured it and prevailed. And remembered too for how in doing so we discovered and refashioned the global power of nations working together.
“And having shown the power of coordinated global action to recapitalise our banks and cut interest rates for homeowners and businesses, this weekend in Washington we will seek to go further, launching the process of rebuilding the international financial system.
“So while I see a world that is facing financial crisis and still diminished by conflict and injustice I also see the chance to forge a new multilateralism that is both hard headed and progressive. And if we learn from our experience of turning unity of purpose into unity of action, we can together seize this moment of change in our world to create a truly global society.”
He went on … “As America stands at its own dawn of hope, so let that hope be fulfilled through a pact with the wider world to lead and shape the twenty first century as the century of a truly global society. And I believe the whole of Europe can work closely with America to meet the great challenges which will test our resolution and illuminate our convictions.”
Interesting that he uses the word “illuminate” here …
He also set out the five great challenges the New World Order world now faces:
the need to reassert faith in democracy and win the battle of ideas against terrorism and extremism
the need to strengthen the global economy
tackling “climate change”
resolving conflict - the need for a new “stabilisation and reconstruction agency” ready, through civilian as well as military assistance, to “rebuild” conflict-ridden and fragile states
meeting the Millennium Development Goals
He concluded with an appeal to world leaders, “My message is that we must be internationalist, not protectionist; interventionist not neutral; progressive not reactive; and forward looking, not frozen by events. We can seize the moment and in doing so build a truly global society.”
The strength of a vociferous ‘No’ campaign means Ireland’s Taoiseach and the rest of the EU cannot risk another referendum
Ever since Ireland voted against the European Constitution Lisbon Treaty, the EU has been clamouring for a second referendum. The trouble is that the risks and gains for the Irish Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, are asymmetrical. If he held the vote and won, he'd be slightly better off. But if he lost, he'd have to resign, and would go down in history as the Taoiseach who wouldn't take "No" for an answer.
In other words, it wouldn't be enough for Cowen to think that he would win; he'd have to know. And, given the way the "No" campaign has come from behind in every recent Euro-referendum, it's hard to see how he could ever be certain.
How, then, will the Eurocrats get their treaty? By a combination of parliamentary ratification, executive fiat and judicial activism. Chunks of the Lisbon Treaty will be unanimously decreed by the 27 governments to be in force, without any formal treaty changes.
The Eurocrats will get their treaty by executive fiat and judicial activism
Indeed, to a large extent, this has already happened. The EU foreign policy is up and running, the Charter of Fundamental Rights has been declared to be justiciable, the flag and anthem are being treated as official emblems and most of the institutions that would have been created by the constitution - the European Human Rights Agency, the External Borders Agency, the Armaments Agency and so on - have been established anyway.
The new rules on the number of MEPs and Commissioners will be tacked on to the Croatian accession treaty and pushed through without a referendum. Ireland holds plebiscites on EU treaties, not because of an integral part of the 1937 constitution, but as a result of a 1987 court judgment, which the best legal minds in Dublin are now working to circumvent. In short, the Lisbon Treaty won't be ratified, just implemented. You read it here first.
Ministers have been accused of trying to introduce compulsory identity cards through the back door, despite promises that people will not have to carry them.
Lawyers at Liberty, the civil liberties group, say that little noticed clauses in the draft immigration and citizenship bill introduce new powers to make people produce identity documents or face arrest. The bill is expected to be in the Queen’s speech next month.
At issue is a clause in the bill which says that anyone who is to be examined by an immigration officer “must produce a valid identity document if required to do so”. Failure to produce an identity card or otherwise prove identity will become a criminal offence. At present, producing a passport counts as proof of identity.
It had been thought the clauses applied only to people entering the UK at ports.
But Liberty says a separate clause in the bill extends powers of examination to new categories of people. They include anyone in the UK — whether a British citizen or not — who has ever left the country.
Isabella Sankey, Liberty’s policy officer, said: “Immigration law is being used as a cloak to introduce measures that would effectively compel us all to carry ID cards. Under these paranoid proposals if you have ever set foot outside the UK you could be required, at any time, to prove your identity and nationality.”
The Home Office disputed Liberty’s reading of the bill. A spokesman said: “The bill does not contain legislation that will require UK citizens to be issued with compulsory ID cards. It clearly states that valid identity documents must be produced on request to maintain effective immigration control.”
Launch of the ID cards scheme begins next week when marriage visa holders and non-European Union students will be the first recipients.