Gary Kent

Gary Kent

Gary Kent is an international relations expert and Labour Party member. His column for PB highlights Labour's foreign policy challenges.  
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Gary Kent

Ireland and NATO

A senior diplomat once told me in fluent Yes Minister mandarin that countries encouraging the Irish Republic to join the Commonwealth should do so alphabetically. In short, there was little chance of the UK as the old imperial power being heeded. The impetus in the 1990s for Ireland rejoining the

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Gary Kent

Unity is the only path to victory in Ukraine

Social democracy is like painting the Forth Bridge: a ceaseless task of applying progressive values to civilise capitalism. In foreign policy, these values are much harder to deploy in building bridges and challenging hostile actors.Labour’s multi-pronged policy combines securing national interests, which we define differently from the Conservatives, driving development

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Gary Kent

Pulling together to deliver (cars) for Ukraine

Keir Starmer and John Healey’s visit to Estonia to meet our troops sends all the right signals. It further buried the Corbyn past, assured our allies of our present and enduring commitment to NATO, and shows the solidity of our solidarity in helping ensure the safe future of Ukraine.Labour MP

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Gary Kent

The Middle East: a high-stakes moment in history

It is hard to look at world events today and feel hopeful. Russia’s war against Ukraine and the Hamas orgy of violence on October 7th (again) bring to mind Irish poet WB Yeats’ words from 1919’s The Second Coming: Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed

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Gary Kent

Fighting Goliath: The Global Stakes in Ukraine

The 19th century French writer Victor Hugo wrote that “We see past time in a telescope and present time in a microscope. Hence the apparent enormities of the present.” We have so much more information at our fingertips today that it’s increasingly difficult to see the wood for the trees.

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World map in pink with UK in blue
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Gary Kent

The internationalisation of domestic policy

The Labour leadership is preparing itself for the external challenges of the future with a suite of foreign policies endorsed at the National Policy Forum and outlined in speeches by David Lammy and John Healey.  However, we also need to nurture more informed thinking about foreign and security policy in

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Gary Kent

Is Labour’s foreign policy ready for the tough test of government?

Tony Benn divided politicians into the Signposts and the Weathercocks. The Signpost constantly says: “This is the way we should go” while “the Weathercock hasn’t got an opinion until they’ve looked at the polls, talked to the focus groups, discussed it with the spin doctors.” This grossly caricatures the dilemmas

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