Over the past year, London has worked very hard to portray itself as the leader of the “free world”, at the forefront of the battle against totalitarianism in all its forms. The British need to assume that role, their elite proclaims, because of Donald Trump’s “insane” intention to establish good relations with Russia and China, rather than upholding the traditional Anglo-American geopolitics. If one is to believe Prime Minister Theresa May, the United Kingdom is making a full comeback on the global scene to combat the country’s main enemy, which is Russia.
In fact, on Nov. 13, 2017, Theresa May was quite explicit on the her vision of the UK’s task internationally, most importantly to counter Russian “aggressiveness”. Speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, she announced a new role for a “Global Britain,” in the present world “of great change and challenges.” She proclaimed:
“We are the fifth biggest economy in the world … we have the second largest defense budget in NATO. … We have …the thought leadership of our outstanding universities, the global finance of this great City of London.”
In this world, “the task for global Britain is clear…. To defend the rules-based international order against irresponsible states that seek to erode it….” The “chief among those today” is Russia, she claimed, and went on to enumerate its wrongdoings.
“So I have a very simple message for Russia,” she said: “we know what you are doing. And you will not succeed. Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of Western nations to the alliances that bind us.”
The host of the Banquet, the “Lord Mayor”, refers to the mayor of the square mile City of London, who is the CEO of the City of London Corporation. For the financiers, Mrs. May had nothing but praise:
“You are the bearers of a certain idea of economic order upon which the last century of growth has been based: expertise… legal services … accountancy and finance, in which this great City of London leads the world. So Lord Mayor, these are challenging times. But I am confident that a global Britain has the ability and, indeed, the responsibility to rise to the moment.”