There is a significant movement afoot from our friends across the Continent, a movement which, for reasons unbeknown, has somehow escaped the attention of the usually-astute BC political pundits. I am speaking here of David Cameron, the newly elected PM, and of his economic overtures to India.
Mr. Cameron is, relatively speaking, a young man, only 44, and the youngest PM on record. (The legendary William Pitt the Younger, elected at the tender age of 24 as the head of the British government, has got him beat by a country mile; but the term “Prime Minister” wasn’t in use then.) Mr. Cameron is a conservative, besides, and an aristocrat. Yet for all the apparent strikes against him, he appears to display wisdom and acumen far beyond his age.
This development is all the more surprising in light of Britain’s long-standing policy of economic independence. Of all the members who comprise the Eurozone, only the Brits have remained more or less aloof. (To cite but one example, the British pound still stands, though it’s no longer the envy of the world or the mainstay of the UK economy.) But to return to the point at hand, the fact that Britain would bank on its future with India rather with the host of European nations with which it’s already politically and economically aligned, nations with which it presumably shares a great deal of historical and cultural heritage in common, should raise some eyebrows.
I’m not going to bother you now with the pertinent details or the negotiations in progress. You can read all about it in any number of British publications. (Forget the MSM whose main interest appears to have devolved into preoccupation with trivia and the superficial; it’s axiomatic by now that the more significant an event, the less likely it’s going to be covered.) Suffice it to say, it’s a “full-speed ahead” type of approach, no holding back. The British delegation includes prominent diplomats, statesmen, and businesspersons from all walks of life – in short, the best Britain has to offer. And to the best of my knowledge, they’re making progress.
Consequently, the question becomes: What’s the underlying idea? Why India and not Europe? Why this sudden preference for the Orient or the Occident, as the case may be, for changing horses in midstream, rather than sticking to old and proven ways, the ways that work? Has Mr. Cameron gone mad?
Hardly! Apart from the economic situation in India compared to that in the UK – a situation which, I daresay, features the right kind of inequality that I deem necessary if capitalism is to survive and expand beyond its “natural limits” – there are important political parallels: both are liberal democracies, and that’s saying a lot. But the most important of all – and don’t you ever underestimate this, for therein lies the key to Mr. Cameron’s genius! – there is also an “emotional connection.” Yes, I mean the emotional connection that had come part and parcel and become ingrained with colonialism – the good, the bad, and the indifferent. Obviously, Mr. Cameron is banking on that and he's betting on the good, naturally; and for the time being at least, it seems to be working.