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  • Year 11 student

UK Government responds to Ukraine crisis and it’s exactly as you’d expect


Boris Johnson with better hair than we're used to

Boris Johnson currently has a lot on his plate right now, and I’m sure the whole nation feels sorry for him. It must be incredibly difficult having to balance running a country with being investigated by police after breaching his own rules, lying to parliament and the British public, and taking care of his undefined number of children. Poor bloke.


And now on top of that, Ukraine is kicking off again. Russian troops amount on the border, politicians using words like imminent and probable to describe prospects of invasion. The level of gravitas that we should be lending this situation cannot be understated. There are genuine prospects of war here. Of course, Ukraine’s fight has been going on for about a decade at this point, when the Russians annexed Crimea and caused eastern parts of Ukraine to break into skirmishes which have been ongoing ever since. Now, however, the risk is of international conflict, as Ukraine considers NATO membership whilst also being unfortunately located at the doorstep of the biggest state of the former Soviet Union, the single reason for NATO’s existence in the first place. Ukraine is therefore of strategic importance of the west, so it now has a vested interest in the area. This has led to the US relocating troops from America and Europe to allied countries near Ukraine, as well as devising other sanctions and measures to deter an invasion by the biggest Russian military build-up in Europe since the Cold War.


This is obviously a big deal for the UK and US Governments, as they haven’t had the chance to slag off Russia properly in ages, and seem to really miss it. To be fair though, it is quite refreshing to see some more open rhetoric from the west again, a particular highlight being Biden’s threat to shut down Nordstream 2. When asked how he would actually go about that, since Germany has full control of the project, he didn’t say “We will negotiate with our partners in Europe to come to a consensus” or “We strongly suggest to our German allies that they shut down the project”, he simply said “I promise you; we will be able to do that”. That, to me, was the moment that showed just how serious the threat is. If the US is dropping its act of “partnering” around with European countries and putting its foot down, if they are actually throwing their weight around like that, then the situation in Ukraine is more dire than we realise. The acknowledgement that if the US says something is going to happen, it just happens, is a monumental show of force, and one that could have significant ramifications for Russia. Cutting Nordstream 2 might single-handedly be enough to deter Russia from invading, as the economic ramifications would cut deep. And the US has the power to do that at an expense no further than a phone call and a bit of strong-arming. These are the kind of threats that need to be made in order to keep Russia in check.


The response in Britain, however, lacks this gravity. For one, we have no such power. We can impose some economic sanctions, perhaps, but that’s about it. Despite our fighting talk, we are no longer an empire, and won’t even think about sending troops, let alone going to war, unless Daddy USA says it’s allowed. As such, it’s quite frankly embarrassing to watch our blundering prime minister dribble his way through an interview, pathetically urging for a “dialogue” which he has neither the authority nor power to initiate or facilitate. I might add that the irony of this prime minister urging for civil conversation reeks of such a lack of self-awareness that the stench of it would most likely scare the Russians off by itself, but I digress. Watching Liz Truss, foreign secretary, talk about “pursuing the path of diplomacy” is equally painful. Her dead, expressionless face that badly conceals a thought process resembling an extinguished candlestick (where even the most dull, mindless person you can imagine might find something at least resembling a light bulb) manages to make me not care in the slightest that Brits in the Ukraine are being actively asked to flee the region because of the imminent conflict. That is a mind-boggling achievement. If you played a drinking game, watching an interview of hers and taking a shot for every time you felt something, you would be depressingly sober by the end of it. It’s incredible how she manages it. If she narrated Mufasa being hurled off the cliff in The Lion King or Jack sinking into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean in Titanic, I wouldn’t feel a thing, such is her way of words. If she came to my door to tell me my entire family had died in a terrible car accident, I would not bat an eyelid, aside from perhaps trying not to fall asleep. Such is her entire person. She so plainly does not give a damn about anything that her lack of interest becomes contagious. She could announce proof of a supreme being or proclaim the meaning of life, and nobody would care in the slightest.


Britain can’t even really put itself in on the moral high ground here either. We’d of course like to say that we are fighting against an authoritarian regime, which is true, but we aren’t exactly separate from that either. Granted, we aren’t quite under a regime yet, but this is one of the most authoritarian governments in living memory. We currently live under a government that is opposed to the Human Rights Act. It’s not even some hidden corruption, although there’s loads of that too, they are actually, unironically, and openly opposed to the actual, literal Human Rights Act. It’s almost comical. They’re not even trying to hide it; they just straight up say it. And they still somehow have a shot at the next election. It beggars belief.


Things are moving quickly. At the time of writing, the 15th of February, Russia has not yet invaded Ukraine, and it’s unclear whether they will or not. They certainly don’t seem to be backing down, however. By the time this is read, published even, that may well all have changed. Troops might be in Kiev, we could be at war, it could all have blown over and nothing happened. Or, nothing has changed, and we are still on the brink. Unfortunately, I cannot see into the future, so my guess is as good as anyone’s, but one thing is for sure: However our government responds, whatever they do, it will be with the grace and precision of a dead cat. I have absolutely zero confidence that they will deal with this issue in a refined manner, it’s simply not something they are accustomed to doing. We’ve seen it from Brexit through Grenfell, Covid, Windrush and all the way through to the Partygate scandal. It’s becoming a habit at this point. The lunacy with which this country is run will no doubt have serious consequences, but I fear that they will be too far in the future for the Tories to be blamed for them. For example, we will inevitably see a huge recession after Covid and Brexit, in fact it’s already starting, but the grunt of it might hit far enough into the future that what the Tories have done will have faded from memory, and they will not be held accountable for it. Then they’ll reach back into their populist bag of tricks and manage to win another election. I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen, but it’s not looking good. Ah well, at least Boris is funny when he talks about our new “bloo” passports.

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3 Comments


bluegooner7
Feb 20, 2022

this is an absolutely amazing article!

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anonymouscommenter125769
Feb 20, 2022

why haven't you responded to my messages 😈

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sebastian.miao
Feb 18, 2022

Smashing article!

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