The standoff over Ukraine is a deadly serious matter, and all European politicians should be doing what they can to defuse tensions and reduce the possibility of all-out war. Unfortunately, Britain’s political class appears to believe that self-aggrandizement is the order of the day. While Boris Johnson and his foreign minister, Liz Truss, saw the crisis as a launchpad for ineffectual posturing across the English Channel, the opposition leader, Keir Starmer, has seized upon it as an opportunity to pick a row on the home front.
Starmer’s article in praise of NATO is mainly directed against his opponents on the party’s left wing — above all, his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn — and against the wider antiwar movement. Starmer’s polemic will probably have no impact on the international scene, but in domestic politics its effect will be to help reinforce a suffocating consensus around British foreign policy that has led to repeated disasters over the past two decades.