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Costly Affairs In British Foreign Policy Costly Affairs In British Foreign Policy
The advantage of foresight
by Christopher Hoskin. £3.00
Pamphlet, 23pp
The author explains why you do not have to go to war with or take hostile action against any country whose regime you disapprove of. A lesson in foresight.
Reviewer Derek Stirling

[eurofacts (Vol 24 No 2) – 19th October 2018]

In this short non-nonsense pamphlet Christopher Hoskin sets out a road map for future UK Foreign Policy decisions that could result in the prevention of military action.

He begins with the advantage of hindsight especially regarding the run-up to the First World War (WW1) and the resulting consequences. From there he details the background of much earlier conflicts that affected the decisions made by various countries that led them into war with their immediate neighbours.

The 1904 decision to sign the Entente Cordial with France – France already had an alliance with Russia – is referred to as a bad decision. He reminds us of the excited visit by Lloyd George on the day of the signing to Lord Rosebury, when Rosebury replied, “You are wrong. It means war with Germany in the end”.

Furthermore, we are reminded that unlike other major European countries the UK has not been invaded by anybody after 1066.

The aftermath of WW1 and the possibility of avoiding WW2 is discussed in detail with a suggestion that had German been treated differently after WW1 a better outcome for all could have resulted.

Hoskin’s then goes into the psychological effect of war on politics and the multitude of reasons that politicians have used to go to war with other countries whose regimes or politics they have disliked. The main arguments he highlights are the lack of a failure to sufficiently consider the consequences of our actions and the real interests of the UK as a country.

He reminds us that one reason often given for Britain’s involvement in European affairs, is to preserve the balance of power and to prevent a single power being supreme on the Continent.

On a positive note, praise is given to Prime Minister Harold Wilson for his refusal to send British troops to Vietnam in support of the Americans.

the june press