Question: What does David Cameron’s recent victory mean for
Britain’s role in the world?
Jim Hoge: Britain’s role in the world regardless of who is in the
government has been in a declining state for a long time and still is.
My opinion and that of a number of people sort of in the government,
but it’s my opinion, as long as they hold off becoming a part of Europe
in a very sustained way across the whole border currency and everything
they’re going to continue to decline and will be more and more a small
island nation with a big past. If they join Europe and we see an
interest in reinvigorating the European American relationship to be sort
of an entity at the top of the international system that is comparable
in size both in terms of population and in terms of economics with a
continuingly rising China and a continually rising Indian and ultimately
a continuing rising Brazil then they have a future, but it’s a
multilateral future. It’s not an individual future. If they don’t do
that, if they stick with the Tory Government’s idea that they should be
hands off about Europe except for some things here and there I think
they’re a diminishing power in the world and the idea that there will be
a special relationship between the US and Britain will begin to fade.
The more likely special relationship if there has to be one between us
and just a nation in Europe is going to be between us and Germany.
Germany has once again by far the most powerful and prosperous and
successful country in Europe and we have to keep that in mind as we go
forward. Now as to does this coalition government represent something
new in British politics, they’ve had them before, but not in a long
time. I think it does represent something somewhat new. The two old
parties, labor and the Tories have lost a great deal of trust and
allegiance from the British public. The British public is ready for
more than a two party system. They’re ready for a more European system
of a number of parties and we may see that begin to flourish even more
if this coalition government is successful.
Recorded May 28, 2010
Interviewed by Jessica Liebman