Subscribe RSS
Swapping the sandals for the flip-flops Feb 10

I know I’ve already mentioned this once, but Ming’s demonstrated his U-turn again on Question Time last night.

He now says that setting an absolutely deadline (and I’m not sure either Simon or Chris demanded an absolute, no-going-back, final date) for the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq would be irresponsible. He also says we should stick around and help rebuild the country. But just one year ago, he co-wrote this:

Moreover, the longer we remain in Iraq the more our occupation becomes part of the problem for the security situation rather than the solution. The heavy-handed deployment of US firepower in urban areas, against repeated British advice, has not weakened the insurgency but strengthened the ambition of most Iraqis for an end to foreign occupation.

The UN mandate expires in a year’s time with the completion of the timetable for direct election of a representative government under an agreed constitution. Both Britain and America should inform the assembly elected this weekend that we expect to leave by the end of that UN mandate. Both the assembly and the occupying forces must then each do its part to fulfil the necessary political and security tasks to meet that timetable.

That seems as sensible a position now as it was when the article was written, and Ming Campbell, Robin Cook and Douglas Hurd – two of them former foreign secretaries – were lauded at the time for writing it. It’s also the view that Chris Huhne has been espousing during this leadership election. Is Ming now saying that he, Cook and Hurd were wrong?

One Response

  1. I said exactly the same thing last night while surrounded by Ming supporters at Inverkeithing.