It’s rare that anything in UK politics actually surprises me, but you would have thought after the bungles in Afghanistan and Iraq the UK government would think twice about blindly following US policy, but, alas, the UK governments endorsement of the US’s recent sanctions on Iran seem to show that it is still more interested in staying close to the US than it is about thinking about anything else.
One key theory in group control is that if you can get the group to fear a common enemy you can get away with a lot of big mistakes. For the US the common enemy had been communism, then, once the USSR fell apart and China started to look like a good trading partner it started to publicise the threat of rogue states, and now we just have a line of “The terrorists will come and get you” with a special guest appearance by a specific “axis of evil” country now and again to help keep the line going, which is little better than “beware there are bad people out there”, which has always and will always be the case, but they are usually far outnumbered by people who just want to get on with their lives.
In the IT industry this tactic is known as FUD (short for fear, uncertainty, doubt), and is seen as a sign of a desperate organisation trying to claw back a strong market position it once held (e.g. SCO suing Linux for patent infringement). It’s also a sign that product the group no longer has the best product in the market.
Lets face up to some facts here; For UK companies selling to customers in the US the IRS wants the companies to withhold 30% of the invoice value as a tax, so it’s not doing us any huge favours in trade. The US’s record on foreign policy is famous for it’s ineffectiveness and it’s ability to end up in confrontation, so it’s no doing anyone any favours there. And as for dealing with criminals, the US can extradite from the UK bankers who only broke US law whilst in the UK (they did not break UK law), but if the UK asks for people who funded terrorists such as the IRA it’s a gets a polite “No”, so it’s doing us no favours in tracking down criminals.
So come on, somebody give the UK government a good slap and tell them to wake up.