The debate on the pages of ConservativeHome and the Tory broadsheets as to whether or not Cameron inclined towards the Neo-Conservative world view (in the way that Gove, Fox and Osborne are said to) appears to have been settled with the commencement of the challenge to Gadaffi. The Neo-Cons over at the Speccie are thrilled and have produced this:
Guido is a pragmatic libertarian, wary of wars which always seem to increase the power of the state and diminish the treasury. On the other hand instinctively whenever Guido sees a dark-glasses-wearing socialist military dictator he wants him over-thrown. Neo-Cons argue that if you believe the free world’s liberal democracy is a morally superior form of civilisation than it is our manifest destiny to assist those who yearn for those same freedoms.
Blair called it “liberal interventionism”, his heir Cameron prefers to call it “muscular liberalism”. In any event his speech in Perth yesterday takes a Neo-Con line claiming that Britain is acting because of:
… the moral duty to step in when a dictator starts killing his own people. Not just the belief that a movement towards more open and democratic government in the Arab world will be good for the entire world.
But the clear and hard-headed understanding that a stable Libya, free from Colonel Gaddafi’s brutality, is in Britain’s long-term interests too.
This is where our ideals and our interests come together… in the cause of justice and freedom for the safety of our nation and the security of our world.
It is an attractive argument. In an interdependent world with weapons of mass destruction the libertarian ideal of “splendid isolation” may be more dangerous in the long run…