(Note- as will become clear, I am not 'The Devil's Kitchen')
The worldview expressed by Sir Simon Jenkins is often so soggy and precious that it's tempting to have a go at the old Establishment quangocrat, but not today. This is one of those 'more in sorrow than in anger' posts, because Sir Simon seems to be watching that very cultured worldview fall to bits around his ankles.
Perhaps the very title of his piece, 'Once, 'international' sounded saintly. Now it means bureaucracy and waste' should give some idea as to where not only the poor chap's coming from, but where he's going to. 'Saintly', the adverb he deploys so casually, is hardly one suited to the doings of those most beastly and pragmatic entities, nation-states. That I do something with my fellow man for the greater good is a good thing - that I do something with a North Korean solely because I am British and he is North Korean does not necessarily make it a good thing.
Internationalism of the kind Sir Simon describes is a disease. The nation state has been the foundation of all international relations since the Peace of Westphalia. It is here to stay, and the anti-nationalism, either hatred or loathing or despair for one's own nation, which is synonymous with 'internationalism' cannot, will not, ever undermine it.
The British problem is that we have had allowed too many Sir Simons and their ilk to wring their hands about how bad Britain is, and refuse to permit any sense of common civic British identity to develop. This is the real root cause of every significant social problem we face, from the drugs to the knives to Islam. The British are the one people in the world whom you can guarantee will stab each other in the back for a penny; 30 years of multiculturalism, 40 years of religious decline and 150 years of free trade have combined to flush any sense of community out of our souls.
Everything that the British have ever been told about 'free trade' is a lie. It is not a win-win game. It does not make everyone richer. It is ideology, pure and simple. It started off with free trade in corn, and soon became free trade in sugar. All that happened was that slave-produced Cuban sugar was cheaper than that produced by emanicipated Jamaican slaves. Everyone bought the Cuban sugar, the Jamaicans' standard of living fell, and this drop in living standards was one of the main causes of the Bogle Rebellion of 1865.
It soon became free trade in dyes and ball-bearings, so that by 1914 we were importing almost all our ball-bearings, and the dyes used for naval uniforms, from the Germans; we had to draft in experts from the USA, Switzerland and Sweden to rebuild the ball bearing industry.
Oh, but tariffs are bad! Bad!
Tell that to the guys who passed the Safeguarding of Industries Act 1921, a pretty solid plank in the foundations of the country's economic recovery after The Great War.
But, hey, we abandoned it, so that in 1940 the Spitfires that won the Battle of Britain largely flew with American instrumentation.
Now, no doubt some expat libertarian will expat away about 'The Road to Serfdom'. I do not care either about Friedrich von Hayek or his 'Road to Serfdom'. I prefer history to ideology, and the history of free trade as practiced in the United Kingdom has been one of industrial decline married to stupid 'internationalist' sentiment.
Sir Simon and his pals, probably all great globalists (without being able to tell anyone what globalisation actually is), are 21st Century Jellabies. They much prefer to discuss how we must have peace with Bujumbonia through free trade, rather than break a sweat to try to clean up the mess they've helped to make in their own backyards. No more.
Let's have a period of isolation, a period when we can get the both the national head and the national act together. That means getting of Iraq, leaving NATO, stopping mass immigration, leaving the EU and erecting a 25% tariff wall. This will not result in war, calamity or catastrophe, but may result in 'import substitution' - what we can no longer import, we make ourselves; precisely what happened when Malysia refused to heed the IMF's advice during the Asian banking crisis of 1998.
Of course, there are those on both the left and the right who think that the British are either too stupid or too lazy to pull off an economic miracle. Me, I have more faith.