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Labour abroad

New Labour has taken British foreign policy in some startlingly new directions. It's a pity that the debate about it has been dogged by point-scoring over the "ethical dimension"

By Fred Halliday   June 2001

Debate on labour’s foreign policy has focused, to the point of distortion, on whether and how far it has met its “ethical” standard. The “ethical” issue is important, if more so at home than abroad, but it has to be matched by another standard, that of effectiveness. Has Labour been able to achieve its goals, given the context in which Britain finds itself and given the ways in which the domestic shapes foreign policy? The late Pierre Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, was once asked what room for manoeuvre a country like his had in foreign policy. “About 5 per…

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