First published 13th February 2022
Clearly upset by the strengthening alliance of Russia and China, Iain Duncan Smith has taken to the pages of the Telegraph to lament the emergence of what he calls a “new axis of totalitarian states” supposedly posing a dire threat to the civilised world of the democratic west.
But if it’s an Orwellian dystopia about the crushing of all dissent by a repressive state apparatus that IDS wants to scare himself with, he need look no further than the Spycops scandal which saw British police entering the beds and romantic lives of green protestors, even going as far to have children with them. What would the women stating they “have been raped by the State” have to say about British democracy? (Guardian, Trauma of spy’s girlfriend: ‘like being raped by the state’, June 2013) And what has IDS to say about the disgraceful treatment of the journalist Julian Assange, banged up in Belmarsh and threatened with extradition to that haven of democratic values, the United States – a country of which he is not a citizen and has never even visited?
Assange is in jail because he revealed the truth about US war crimes, crimes which were routinely committed in the course of a lengthening string of wars which the US started and then lost, culminating in the panic flight from Afghanistan. These wars, aimed at shoring up US hegemony, wound up fatally eroding it instead, so much so that many developing countries now look instead to China and Russia to map a way forward. It is this reality which lies behind all IDS’ blather about “totalitarianism”.