Before Covid-19 struck, Boris Johnson had decided to invite the Chinese tech giant Huawei to provide parts of Britain’s 5G communications network. Now, with China condemned for causing the pandemic through its reckless behaviour and then behaving like a gangster state in resorting to lies, threats and manipulation, the government is proposing an alliance of ten democratic nations to develop alternatives to Chinese technology.
This “D10” would be composed of the G7 nations — the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan — plus Australia, South Korea and India. It’s an idea that is not only excellent in itself but encapsulates an insight with far-reaching potential to restructure global institutions.
What’s actually outdated is the idea that peace and justice can only be advanced by the world acting as one big united family. This belief in the brotherhood of man lay behind the foundation of the United Nations in 1945. Yet the UN has not only failed to live up to its ideals of confronting aggression, preserving peace and defending human rights, but has in fact helped thwart them.
Given that most countries are tyrannies, kleptocracies or rogue states, a global body which brings them all together will inevitably be dominated by their unsavoury characteristics.
What’s needed instead is a United Democratic Nations. This is an idea that has often been floated wistfully by critics of the UN but dismissed as quixotic. The D10 proposal, however, could be the launchpad for just such a body. Going beyond the issue of Huawei and 5G technology, democracies should band together to defend freedom and justice by standing up to the depredations of regimes that seek to extinguish them.
The UN might have been created as a result of the shattering impact of the Second World War. It was founded, however, on a starry-eyed denial of the fact that if a lion lies down with a lamb, the lion doesn’t turn vegan but the lamb gets eaten.
Maybe the impact of Covid-19 will help the West realise the sobering truth buried by globalist utopianism: that it is only free societies that can defend and protect their political and physical health, and it is only free societies that must band together to make a better world.
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