Britain and Sweden in the world?

The Hindu : Columns / Hasan Suroor : Britain: redefining its global status: "Indeed, there is a growing view that Britain must now abandon its search for a post-Raj role and learn to live by the new world order in which those it once governed are the new masters. But, in refusing to read the writing on the wall, old colonial powers can be like ageing ballerinas who are often reluctant to acknowledge that their glory days are over and time has come for them to leave the stage before push comes to shove."

The columnist in question is giving Britain a beating for having been imperialistic. It is interesting reading. I get a feeling we have enemies out there. However, India and China are developing from partly the same paradigm that was created in England and Scotland during the 17th and 18th centuries. Furthermore, there is a sense that India, in this case, is beating from a position where the full country with all its poverty is in the same shape as Britain's. They are not!

The question is if India and China will be the "new masters"? The West and India is about them same number of people. I think it would be nice of India would develop into an equal partner but its becoming a new master is rather far fetched. The column brings about the question if India and China can rule by dividing? If they can single out country by country and finish them off without the rest of the West reacting? Is NATO hereby getting a new meaning? A new role where economic security would be more in focus?

Hostile attitudes like the one above could act as a unifying agent on the EU and on the trans-Atlantic relationship. Another effect might be just on Britain's choice of junior partner with the US or member of the EU. This choice will have historic meaning. Another fate for the states of Europe might be to end up as the neutral-bent Sweden. Sweden's rhetoric has however been lately rather "we the EU". The word is still out on the effect of the debt crisis. Will it federalize or divide Europe or will EU just muddle through with part of the state affairs in common custody? Will Europe be left alone?

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