Charles Moore | Obama’s lack of resolve makes America ineffectual on the world stage

Charles Moore, The UK Telegraph:

On Wednesday, we learnt from Jeremy Corbyn that, whatever policy his party might work out on the subject, he, as prime minister, would not press the nuclear button. This means that he has already turned Labour back into being the party of one-sided nuclear disarmament: if the man with the button won’t, whatever happens, press it, then having the button means nothing.

Appearing on BBC Question Time in Cardiff on Thursday night, I found that most of the audience understood this, and feared it. Mr Corbyn’s preference for what he sees as his personal virtue over the defence of his country will help him lose the next general election (if he gets that far), just as Labour was smashed by Margaret Thatcher over the issue in 1983 and 1987.

But there was a vocal minority, including two of our panel of five – the Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and the singer Charlotte Church – who thought otherwise. Their line was that the pursuit of peace was paramount, and they seemed unable to take in the idea that peace can sometimes be best preserved by the legitimate threat of retaliatory violence. They approached the (non-nuclear) question of what to do about Syria in a similar spirit. Their solutions included lots more talks (Leanne Wood), stopping climate change and “asking the Syrian people what they want” (Charlotte Church), but nothing involving a single gun, missile or combat aircraft. Ms Church was personally charming, so I felt very anxious at the thought of her trying out her consultation process on the streets of Aleppo.


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