Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nick Clegg Looks Both Ways on Afghanistan

Nick Clegg has said some things on Afghanistan in his interview with The Economist today which appear to be at odds with things he said in his interview with The Times in November 2009 –

• We hope that the cross party consensus remains on this issue. (13th November 2009, The Times)
• I have become increasingly frustrated by this tongue-tied consensus for a conflict (11 March 2010, The Economist)

• Our first priority should be to stabilise the Afghan Government and build up Afghan security forces, not to pull out before that is done. (13th November 2009, The Times)
• I just came to a very stark feeling that we either do this differently, and do it properly, or we do not do it at all (11 March 2010, The Economist)

Some meat for Brown and Cameron to get their teeth into during the TV debates?


john in cheshire said...

Isn't the Libdem party the Janus party? But pointing left and far-left. Never bothering to look towards their right to see if there's anything there to consider?

Roland Deschain said...

He's just changed his mind. Everyone's entitled to do that, especially Liberal Democrats.

DespairingLiberal said...

The usual smear that LibDems are all over the map aside, why are the second two statements contradictory exactly? They need not be.

I will have to dig out the original articles because I feel sure you are editing cleverly and out of context....

Anonymous said...

Clegg says what he wants according to if he is trying to pretend to be left or right wing.

Anonymous said...

Two faced Lib Dems - we're surprised?

Looks like Nick Thingy has been taking lesson from Vince ... or is it the other way round?

miko said...

You are assuming that Gordon Brown can actually string some kind of an argument together in a debate - he is incapable of an original thought and as was shown in yesterday's Reuters Q&A session,he is unable to speak a language that anyone understands.

He is literally stark raving mad.

Out on 7th May - 6 WEEKS AND 1 DAY!!!

There will be street parties and celebrating not seen since VE Day in 1945.

Magical_Mist said...

Nasty Nick

Martin said...

"Nick Clegg has said some things" is clear, simple, easy to understand, makes sense, is uncontroversial.

(i.e. It's twaddle)

rob's uncle said...

The war in Afghanistan is deeply unpopular, particularly among the disaffected Labour-voting working classes who provide the soldiers who are dying and know naught and care naught about our 'war aims', whatever they may be - do you know what they are?

It will take superhuman restraint by Clegg not to play to this gallery: it would also please many of his own members.

None of us can tell what difference, for good or ill, it would make to the lives of Britons, if we pulled out as our European allies have done/are doing.

You imply that this would be 'naughty' but it seems like normal politics to me. What is the 3rd party for, if not to speak for those whom the 1st and 2nd parties neglect?

Manfarang said...

The important question is-
how many millions of pounds are being spent on the war in Afghanistan by the British government?

jimmy said...

Nick Clegg wrote in The Times on 13th November:
I have always supported the aims of the mission, but I find it morally reprehensible to ask young men and women to risk life and limb in conflict without a strategy. That is why six months ago I felt it was finally time to break the political consensus on this war and start asking publicly the difficult questions. Predictably enough, I was accused of looking for a way to drop the Liberal Democrat commitment to our mission. Yet I believe it is the duty of politicians to ask why soldiers are dying in pursuit of a strategy that isn’t working.

This is slightly different from the quote you provide 'We hope that the cross party consensus remains on this issue'

There does not seem to be a change of position from the quote I provide (with reference) and the Economist article. Is it possible you have made a mistake here or are you just quoting completely out of context?

DespairingLiberal said...

I would be interested to know what the war aims are in Afghanistan. So far, all we've had is a lot of twaddle about restoring the democratic government there - since the Taliban (still, after all this) control about 85% of the country, this seems to say the least improbable. In fact, it seems most likely that short of irradiating or using widespread biological weapons, both of which even the US military would hesitate to do, there is no prospect of military victory. This takes us back to a negotiated withdrawal, Taliban officialisation in many areas and an effective nil result compared to the pre-invasion situation.

I wonder if anyone in the Pentagon or the MoD thought it might go like this and told that to the gung-ho politicians? Ehmm. Yes. In fact they did. They were sacked or ignored.

Still, at least we can be happy that the global supply of heroin has greatly expanded since the war began - I wouldn't want the international heroin cartels to be out of pocket as a result of government action and nor (I feel sure) would those international banks who receive their heavy deposits thrice daily.

Martin said...

Current cost of Iraq war = £48 gazzilion pound, thirteen shillings and sixpence. Ie: more than there are fundamental particles in the (known) Universe.