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Britannia’s grab-bag globalism

Britain's postwar foreign policy has lurched between Washington and Brussels and is now based on an unsustainable "freelance" globalism. The only way to reverse the decline of Britain's international influence, argues Simon Head, is to take the lead in a truly European diplomacy

I spent much of the weekend of 19th-20th August 1995 standing at various points along the Mall in London. It was the weekend of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of VJ Day and the end of the second world war. I am not usually an enthusiast for patriotic jamborees. I think we British dwell too much on the war, and have yet to free ourselves of some of its characteristic attitudes, notably a mistrust of the Germans. But these celebrations had a special purpose: to honour the veterans of the Pacific war, who led a parade down the Mall.…

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