Tuesday, October 20, 2009

LibDems All Over the Shop on Afghanistan Withdrawal

Last week I blogged about the possibility of the LibDems tiptoeing their way to a position where they would fight the next election with a policy of withdrawing from Afghanistan. I speculated that this might well be a cynical electoral ploy, designed to create some clear yellow water between them and the two main parties. I cited an interview with their defence spokesman Nick Harvey I did at the party conference.

Sunday's Politics Show exposed the LibDem sham for all to see. Jon Sopel asked Nick Clegg whether they would ever advocate a withdrawal from Afghanistan. Clegg said 'no'. Sopel than put to him Harvey's response to my question, which Clegg maintained was exactly the same as his own position! Amazing.

See for yourself. Click HERE and scroll in about 6 mins 30 secs and watch for the next two minutes.


Weygand said...

Listen more carefully.

Clegg said he was committed to finding a strategy that would succeed but if this eventually proved impossible then there was "no point in flogging a dead horse", ie sending brave men and women to die for the sake of it.

Pretty much the implication in Harvey's remarks

Don't generally think much of Clegg but his words represent a respectable and widely held view.

Both you and Sopel are naive to think that a party leader would address the possibility of withdrawal any more closely at this juncture lest doing so should undermine continuing efforts to make things work.

So far you are the one making this a party political issue and I wish that you would stop doing so - and for the very same reasons that you would condemn the Lib Dems.

True Belle said...

Missed politics show, went to church.

Why are Lib Dumbs so woolly with their political spin? Don't they sit and thrash out policy. They do have a very naive view on global issues- I suppose this reflects on their attitudes at a very local level too.

Clegg may be having problems with executive functions - frontal lobe blip- Like Gordon and his biscuits !

Thank you for that link , interesting and more interesting said Alice to the white rabbit.

The end bit of the show outlining cost cutting for councils was very worrying. Accountability is all but conglomerates of many private stakeholders at county level is a real frightener.

Wow, I see you are in full attack mode re the cause.

circus monkey said...

Who is this Brian Clegg person anyway?

Victor, NW Kent said...

I seldom agree with the LibDems but the view that we are sending our young people to be killed whilst propping up a sham democracy is now fairly commonly held.

In the so-called elections I believe that the votes cast in the Helmand province were 150. Those cost 240 British lives and some large number of Afghan casualties - not all Taliban fighters.

Walk down the street in Tunbridge Wells or Bracknell and ask people whether we should keep our troops there or withdraw. Then you will find out what the public sentiment really is.

Ian Beale said...

Dale in this week's post:

"I speculated that this might well be a cynical electoral ploy"

Last week:

"If it was some principled stance, one could have a rational debate about it, but it's not. It's pure, calculated, naked political opportunism."

This week:

"Last week I blogged about the possibility of the LibDems tiptoeing their way to a position where they would fight the next election with a policy of withdrawing from Afghanistan."

Last week:

"that's the direction in which they are tiptoeing"



Anonymous said...

Clegg seems to me to be more pompous and light weight than ever. He's desperate - and rightly so. His party could get wiped out at the next GE.

Nigel said...

>>all over the shop on Afghanistan withdrawal<<

Compared to a policy of insisting that we carry on regardless, that at least represents progress.

You should read what your fellow runner up wrote about Afghanistan:

This is not a party political issue - and anyone reconsidering what we are doing there ought to be encouraged.
We owe it to our troops to consider whether the task we have given them is simply impossible.

Hey said...

Time until he says climb the mountain of conflict?

David from Ealing said...

True Belle - the simple fact is that the world is not always as simple as you'd like it to be.

Anonymous - it would be good to know who you are. Also, look at politicalbetting,com, which is saying that the Lib Dems could lose very few seats to the Tories.

And whilst I'm at it, why has the media virtually ignored the Bedford mayoral election?

Paul said...

Oh come on Iain, this kind of stuff is beneath you

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a really credible answer to the question of why we are there ? What would “victory” look like if we achieved it ? What resources are needed to achieve this “victory” if it can be defined ?

Confusion over this is one of the few things that I can forgive the LDs for.

Brian Clegg said...

Circus Monkey - it's me. (No relation to Nick.)

Brian Clegg

Quietzapple said...

Didn't I suggest that a Lib Dem withdrawal position was "structurally" correct for them a while back?

In fact poor Chameleon has too many soft structurally correct policies.

Well he has 2 policies, Fox Hunting & IHT

Fox hunting will tip the balances against him more often than for, BUT is a banker with some who might vote UKIP.

And IHT threshold would affect very few, might have a marginal affect of some, but far fewer than when Osborne made his speech: people have got used to it and it is discounted.

Uncle Bob said...

Malcolm Tucker would hack his bollocks off for that.

cheshireboy said...

Were we watching different interviews Iain?

I'm with Weygand on this; I'm not a big fan of Nick Clegg, who seems determined to turn the most straightforward answer into an obscurantist essay, but I thought his outline on this was entirely robust.