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Good stuff Cameron agree with most of it. However by criticising the Americans over Guantanamo or repressive Arab regimes whose help we will need in the future I fear he's being a bit naive.

"We should accept that we cannot impose democracy at the barrel of a gun; that we cannot drop democracy from 10,000 feet – and we shouldn’t try."

When will Dave bring our troops home from Bush/McCain's Iraq war then?

"We need to show greater understanding of Russia’s position, they argue - of her historic anxieties about encirclement .. I take a different view. What Russia has done is profoundly wrong. It cannot be excused, condoned or explained away."

Which in effect says to Russia: "You have no right to get angry about having a powerful military block on your borders so just shut up, you're in the wrong, we're right even though we had promised not to extend NATO into your front porch, we've changed our minds." Where does that leave us?

"If only we had, instead, slammed the door shut when they – and the former subjects of the Soviet Empire from the Baltic to the Balkans – had sought to protect their security as part of NATO and enhance their prosperity by joining the EU."

Well what's wrong with pursuing a foreign policy which accords with the security and prosperity of our own country, Why are we obliged to guarantee the security and prosperity of the former Soviet Empire? Why does he neglect to explain this?

All good well meaning waffle with which no reasonable person could disagree. But there is no statement of hard policy their either.

What would Mr Cameron do about the EU Lisbon (Constitutional) Treaty? Or is that not now regarded as foreign policy?

I have just gone to conservatives.com and read the whole speech. I urge all to do this. It is very moving and beautifully put together. This is a profound statement of principle.

This man is seriously confused. What is he on about?

Can't he stick to empathising with single mums on council estates? He is great at that.

I am shocked that he could fly in and offer his hosts: "We need you to..."

He will have been written off as a wind-bag. That is not good, considering he may be the next British PM. Very embarrassing.

GONG!

We managed 3 posts this time before the EU treaty gets into the thread!

I am inclined to agree with RDC rather than Henry Mayhew on this and can certainly say I felt moved by reading this thoughtful, authoritative yet not authoritarian statement!
I believe if David Cameron holds fast to these five essential steps he won't go far wrong!

This is clearly as close as he will ever get to admitting that the Iraq war was wrong!

Sally, I feel sure that you were a prefect at school and that you agreed, without demur, with every word the Head Girl spoke!

Taking sideswipes at Russians and Arabs might please a few minority foreign interests, it might even earn him a few sleazy donations to the party, but it does nothing for me. I had hoped he might to be friends with most countries but here he is picking enemies before he's even started.

I really can't understand why some people find fault in this speech. I have just read it and I think it is a coherent statement of what our foreign policy will be.

David at Home - there is more to foreign policy than just the EU. If you want an answer to the Lisbon treaty then watch the Cameron Direct event in Barrow, he gives a clear answer about dealing with this treaty

Henry Mayhew - I would expect a British PM (soon to be) to offer advice, in a reasoned and polite way, wouldn't you or would you just like to pretend the outside world doesn't exist?

"Sally, I feel sure that you were a prefect at school and that you agreed, without demur, with every word the Head Girl spoke!"

Actually you couldn't be more wrong, David! I was never made a prefect as I was far too naughty...

The problem with Henry Mayhew is that he seems incapable of grasping anything a bit complicated. The world is complicated, if you are serious then you must address the complications even if some people have difficulty keeping up.

The way to discover if a speech is vaccuous waffle is to turn it around, and see if anyone could disagree with it. Let's try that, shall we?
"I believe in freedom, human rights and democracy, and I want to see more of these things in our world."

-->

"I don't believe in freedom, human rights and democracy, and I want to fewer of these things in our world."

Hmm. Waffle.

It does tell us something about him, though. I think using the language of the market to describe democracy is particularly telling - democracy as a product, indeed.

David - You are probably more intelligent than me then. What the F does this mean:

"I am sceptical of grand utopian schemes to re-make the world according to a politician’s timetable."

If I was Dave I would offer friendship and help, do a bit of flattery, refer to everyone else's wonderful history and forbears and ask for their advice. Then when I was in power I would know what was going on a bit better and would be able to have a genuinely personal chat with my counterparties.

The foolish words: "We need you to" would not pass my lips. I don't mean to be too harsh Dave C, but you really need to think again imho. Please study the great teachers Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Makhtoum, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Makhtoum and Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, to get a new perspective on diplomacy, that you might find useful.

This speech sounds depressingly Hurdian, laced with a strong dash of foreign office defeatism and inertia, and seems to focus on a long litany of things we shouldn't do rather than any attempt to provide strong moral leadership in international affairs. Where is the warning to latter day Saddam Husseins and Milosevics that they will not be able to get away with territorial aggression or ethnic cleansing ? While Cameron is busy being patient, humble and ever so liberal they will just carry on regardless.

Passing Leftie,

Waffle can be something with which no sensible person would disagree. So praising motherhood and apple pie is waffle unless the speaker also explains how good motherhood can be sustained and how to bake an apple pie.

Cameron’s speech is long on the good things of life but short on how they may be obtained.

Therefore, it is mostly pointless waffle. In fact it rather reminds me of the early sayings of your erstwhile leader, one Tony Blair!

It is very moving and beautifully put together. -- RDC

Are we already seeing our Samuel's talent shining through?

The way to discover if a speech is vaccuous waffle is to turn it around, and see if anyone could disagree with it. Let's try that, shall we?

Except, Leftie, what you actually went on to do was to take one line and turn that around. Has there been a single political speech, ever, where you couldn’t play the same little trick?

According to you, this was a speech that anybody could make. On that basis I tried reading it in Gay Crash Gordon’s voice. You should try the same. These are words you'll never hear from your Great Leader:

"Likewise, we must see what more scope there is to contract helicopters commercially to do some of the routine tasks, and free up helicopters for the frontline."

How about "We must not stoop to illiberalism, whether at Guantanamo Bay or by passing legislation for excessive periods of detention without trial."

Or "And let's be clear the EU does not need a new Treaty to work out an agreed policy on Russia..."

It does tell us something about him, though. I think using the language of the market to describe democracy is particularly telling - democracy as a product, indeed.

What part of the speech are you referring to?

This is meaningless waffle. All warm words but nothing really tangible.

Lancelot,

Would you care to elaborate on those "minority foreign interests" from which a donation may be forthcoming?

I think I can guess and I think your comment should be deleted.

Excellent post Lancelot. I agree with every word. Keep up the good work.

burma toad, do you think the editors of this site are going to censor free speech at the suggestion of someone who doesn't have the self-belief to sign his little comment or even to make an overt accusation?

I had hoped he might to be friends with most countries but here he is picking enemies before he's even started.

Posted by: Lancelot | September 03, 2008 at 14:51

This is meaningless waffle. All warm words but nothing really tangible.

Posted by: Umbrella man | September 03, 2008 at 18:30

One problem with people posting is that they seem desparate to critisize
Cameron, whatever he said. These people are so desparate they use meaningless words like "waffle" and can't even agree about what they are critisizing. It must have been a really good speech to bring this lot out.

The way to discover if a speech is vaccuous waffle is to turn it around, and see if anyone could disagree with it. Let's try that, shall we?

Except, Leftie, what you actually went on to do was to take one line and turn that around. Has there been a single political speech, ever, where you couldn’t play the same little trick?

Saltmaker, I think you have a point. It is a typical politician's ploy.

And, to be fair, privatising part of the services is a definite commitment which I had overlooked, and is polictically aligned. Just look at the success of private military contractors in Iraq.


Its worse than u think:

New Islamic Terror Threat Post Georgia Russia conflict Predicted for Armenia in Nagorno-Karabach , and/or for ethnic Russians in Abkhazia and North or South Ossetian districts.


At:

“Visit to Baku by VP confirms counter response to Russia by ICG criminal syndicate”

http://www.julaybib.com/anomaly-briefs/2008/9/3/armitage-brzezinski-international-crisis-group-post-georgia.html

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