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Well done - the speed with which you put this up is appreciated.

To my amazement, I agree with everything Dave said. Well done - at long last a positive contribution to the world situation and the terrorist threat.

Yes thanks Tim. As regards the speech, three cheers for Cameron, can't disagree with a single word. He is in particular absolutely right about the limits of military power. I trust that under a Cameron government and with the direction of a foreign affairs council our diplomacy will once again be deployed with a modicum of skill.

The case of Israel is instructive. If terrorists attack you and you are unable to prevent their attacks by liberal means, you are usually forced to proceed to using illiberal methods of making war to protect yourself.

Israel seems to have adopted a policy of inflicting pain on the whole of Lebanon as she is unable to pinpoint her attacks on Hezbollah, in the same way that she is punishing the whole of Gaza for the attacks being carried out by Hamas or other terror merchants from there.

It is a tragic fact that such tactics might work where reasonable more liberal efforts at war-making have not succeeded. It is not necessarily good policy to criticise Israel for using such methods.

For example, Labour are benefiting from support from Murdoch's Press for either stating support for Israel or in Gordon Brown's case for keeping quiet. David Cameron and William Hague are getting their ears clipped for speaking out.

Judicious silence might be better, unless Cameron and Hague have come up with an alternative strategy for Israel which will work better, of course.

War-making should not be based on sound-bites, I would agree with David Cameron. So it is not therefore advisable for Hague to use phrases like 'disproportionate' against Israel, which sounds horribly like soundbite material to me.

Otherwise than this criticism, the above writing is getting closer to common sense than the Bush doctrine.

Gets my vote. Particularly like the Foreign Affairs Council idea.

When DC labels himself a liberal-conservative, rather than neo-conservative, he implies that he does not share the "conviction that pre-emptive military action is not only an appropriate, but a necessary component of tackling the terrorist threat in the short term.".

This certainly paints a sharp line between us and the USA, at least under the GWB administration, if that is what he actually means.

Anyone more enlightened on this question than me?


The distancing from the neo-Conservatives without the hysterical anti-Americanism of most of the Lib Dem/Respect types is perfect, demonstrating a thoughtful and solid approach. This is really important in electoral terms too: the Lib Dems' main (only?) strength is foreign policy and we need to establish ourselves as serious players better than we have. Overall an excellent positioning piece.

Certainly has more gravitas that the Labour Government response to this subject, which at all times to all audiences sounds like a Blue Peter interview.

An excellent speech. Fancy a politician in the current climate advocating a steady but strong approach to foreign policy involving the use of such things as subtlety and diplomacy! He is absolutely correct when he says,

"Part of the problem we have encountered these past five years is that the struggle has been perceived - as the terrorists want it to be perceived - as a single struggle between single protagonists"

There are many problems in the Muslim world and its surrounding areas, Palestine, Chechnya, East Timor, Kashmir, oppressive regimes of different natures. Some organistaions try and link all these together and project them as a conspiracy against Islam. We only encourage that idea by claiming that actions in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and the brutal Russian actions in Chechnya are all part of a global 'war on terror'.

Also we can not continue to pick and choose our dictators, Iraq and Afghanistan were not the only countries with human rights abuses.

Democracy, liberty and the rule of law must be encouraged everywhere.

Defeat Islamist terrorism by reforming the UN? Start listenting more to the Saudis, the chief funders of Wahhabist ideology? Absurd! Your readers are so desparate to stick their heads in the sand, they'll applaud anything that criticises the Bush doctrine, without examining the credibility of the alternative.

This was an excellent speech by DC and I would agree with his approach to the neo-conservative agenda.

I do have concerns though about being prepared to send our troops into harms way without any commitment on defence spending. I hope the foreign affairs committee will get input from a military perspective so that any future policy can be made in a realistic fashion. If Britain is to project its power overseas using soft power or military force then the equipment and manpower must be adequate for the task.

They are driven by a wholly incorrect interpretation - an extreme distortion - of the Islamic faith,

Does he have a profound knowledge of any faith ? I somehow suspect bin Laden has a more profound comprehension of Islam than does David Cameron or Tony Blair or George Bush..............there is something absurd about the terms "wholly incorrect"

Does DC have the first idea of what the "special relationship" is?

Since he is employing historians on his advisory group, he might ask them to print off Winston Churchill's speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri on 5 March 1946.

It was there that Churchill did define the relationship, with this particular extract spelling it out in some detail, when he declared that, "This is no time for generalities, and I will venture to be precise":

Fraternal association requires not only the growing friendship and mutual understanding between our two vast but kindred systems of society, but the continuance of the intimate relationship between our military advisers, leading to common study of potential dangers, the similarity of weapons and manuals of instructions, and to the interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges. It should carry with it the continuance of the present facilities for mutual security by the joint use of all Naval and Air Force bases in the possession of either country all over the world. This would perhaps double the mobility of the American Navy and Air Force…

Whatever else, therefore, the bedrock of the "special relationship" was not only a military alliance but the effective integration of the military forces, the "intimate relationship between our military advisers…", etc.

Unless Cameron recognises that, and stops the rot, there is no "special relationship". All the rest is wiffle.

The cake has been eaten and will soon turn to ... something else.

Just a small point Richard and rather off topic but I'm sure you're aware of the extremely high price Churchill had to pay during WW2 for American military cooperation.When he made the speach in Fulton Missouri he was no longer in power but imagined that the US realization of the threat from the USSR would lead to a much closer Anglo-US relationship. The antics of the deplorable John Foster Dulles during the Suez crisis showed that in the end sadly Churchill was wrong. The 'special relationship' has always meant far more to Britain than to the US.Bushs 'yo Blair' speech showed exactly what the 'special relationship' means to him.

Apart from the predictable 'liberal conervative' pap I'd have to say this speech is much more encouraging than I anticipated. I happened to hear South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham speak last night, and apart from Graham's strident support for recent Israeli action in Lebanon, there's not too much daylight between his and Cameron's speeches - particularly when they criticise Gitmo from the standpoint of not compromising our values. Perhaps myself and others have been too harsh on DC recently? But only time will tell.

He could not have chosen a worse day to make this speech. It's so ill-timed you have to question the man’s integrity. I would expect a Lib Dem to attempt to make political capital out of 9/11 but not a leader of the Conservative Party. By all means question the UK’s relationship with the US. By all means criticise its foreign policy when needs be. But not on a day when memorial services are being held throughout America for more than 3000 innocent victims who died on 9/11.

He isn't fit to lead your party and he isn't fit to be Prime Minister.

This is an excellent speech that rightly treats foreign affairs with the seriousness it deserves.
It rightly states our independance but at the same time empathises that the U.S. can rely on us for support in battles that we agree with.
Foreign affairs for far too long as been used by Prime Minister and Presidents to bolster thre own ego`s by playing world statesman. I think one thing David seems to be saying that a Cameron government will not do that or look for easy answers to complicationed matters which as been the case in recent years.
David Cameron shows in this speech that not only is he fit to be our leader he is also fit to lead our country.

The UK Daily Pundit does have a point. The timing is poor. Delaying it by a day wouldnt have killed them.

As for the liberal conservastive spiel...he's said this before. Nothing new at all in this speech. Not hurting anyone and looks like substance, without actually having any...

Yup, could not agree more..the timing sucks.

Interesting, "I’ve always had the greatest faith in our armed forces.", yet he makes no mention of the large amounts of extra funding required to give them the right pay and kit. And boy are we gonna need big bucks if he is thinking about unilateral action in Darfur...'cos lets face it who else with military clout is going into a Muslim country, the Americans, the French, the Germans? I look forward to the big speech on Defence that must now surely come...

In complete agreement. David Cameron chose exactly the right day to outline what his governments policy would be. We have seen what ill thought through demonstrations of force have failed to achieve.
Five years ago hundreds of airline passengers were immolated in acts of terror, thousand perished either through fire, the fall of the towers or being forced to jump. I had hopes when Bush didn't immediately retaliate that in the period from September 11th to the invasion of Afghanistan that the US & Allies had thought through a real strategy to isolate the fanatics. They hadn't.
Cameron and his advisors are at least showing a greater awareness that this is a battle of minds not just force. The islam being propounded by the fanatics is a constructed verson of the 7th century - a theocratic islam based a limited reading of the Quran and associated texts. Most in the muslim world live in a world that practices a very different islam - the islam that can co-exist and integrate. We need to work with and strengthen those.

Excellent, excellent, excellent. Neo-conservatism is dead but it needed the passage about anti-Americanism to confirm the speeches position as a worthy one, not just opportunist. Couldn't have been better in my opinion.

Add to this the position being taken on the middle east and once again we have an effective foreign policy not in hock to another state.

Pandering to museli eating, Independent reading, Humphreys/Today worshipping moonbats whose votes we never had. Thanks Dave.

Great stuff. He is right to speak of a "new multilateralism" and the idea of a Foreign Affairs Council is very interesting.

Actually for once in a blue moon I largely agree with "Dave".

But hasn't he learned that when you turn up at some miserable old sod's funeral you tell everybody what a great guy he was. Likewise, on America's big day of mourning he should have kept shtum.

There's a time and a place for everything. Seems that timing is not Dave's strong point.

That longed-for invite to the White House might just get lost in the post.


An excellent speech and a careful position of Conservative policy that maintains our traditional support for the US and for democracy but in a re-defined context. To the poster who worries whether or not they have been too harsh on Cameron, I think far too many people on this forum have been, and often without looking at the bigger picture, Cameron is repositioning the party back to its roots, not away from them. Thatcher never blindly supported Reagan or US foreign policy, Blair has done and has therefore undermimed the autonomy of our own foreign policy. No Prime Minister should ever do that, and no leader of the Opposition should ever support it.

Timing of the speach was spot on too.DC has a duty to make this speech on a day when it will have maximum effect.Much of the speach criticises anti Americanism so nobody will be offended.
As always Wallenstein your attempt at humour (?) falls flat.

malcolm at 17:13 writes:

"The 'special relationship' has always meant far more to Britain than to the US.Bushs 'yo Blair' speech showed exactly what the 'special relationship' means to him."

The "special relationship" has always been an unequal partnership - how could it be otherwise? And if you get beyond the superficial personality politics (which unfortunately plague what passes for political analysis these days), the whole point about the relationship is that it goes far deeper than high-level relationships, is far more enduring and transcends administrations.

This, therefore, is not about the Bush-Blair relationship - or any relationship between future leaders - but something much deeper and more important. Which makes me wonder whether DC has the first idea of what he is talking about.

I think that this is all fantastic and I strongly support it. I think what is especially promising is the foreign policy council, which finally means a cohesive foreign policy that isn't thought up on the back of an envelope.

I believe DC was invited to a make a speech on this subject to a memorial event on this day.

Had he either gone all lib-dem/respect, "support the victim even if they are trying to kill us" or bush/blair gung-ho, "bomb the world", I might agree about the timing. Having now re-read the speech, I have to say it is both deeply thought through and evenly pitched. Though for my liking, it soft peddles too much on the evil that is the perverted interpretation of Islam which threatens us.

To pull this off on a day like today deserves serious praise, not snide comments about PR stunts. If anything, by making the speech today he has almost guaranteed no coverage as the media are out for shock and sensation, to whit, trailing Blair for any sign of "protest" - and hey presto one pops up, or Bush for hubris. When they did pick up on this, the spin was him "going against Thatcher" (Evening Standard).

Decent, deep, thought-provoking stuff. I am always wary of over-praising "soft power", however. It is, I agree, a very important and under-valued tool. It can also be built up to justify what is, effectively, inaction and to give an impression of impact and action when, in reality, nothing is changing and it is achieving little.

Cameron says:

"They are driven by a wholly incorrect interpretation - an extreme distortion - of the Islamic faith, which holds that mass murder and terror are not only acceptable, but necessary."

Wow, all that *and* he is an Islamic imam too? Where'd he find the time?

All the world's great Islamic schlolars--Bush, Blair, Cameron, agree! Islamic terrorism is not Islamic at all!

I am *so* relieved.

Liked the speech and hope he continues to forge new ideas,


Cameron's savvy is NIL! What headline did he want? Surely not the one he got on the BEEB at 6 which solely dealt with criticisms of the USA and not a mention of his support elsewhere of the US. Incompetence of a high order. Also I am left with a feeling of "well, what WAS he trying to say?"
KingBongo (1650) "I do have concerns though about being prepared to send our troops into harms way without any commitment on defence spending'

Yes, all very well but you miss the elephant in the room. Our troops are badly equipped and being sent to their deaths because of Blair and his government's obsession with european defence integration. All this started with Blair meeting Chirac in St Malo. The EU materiel is vastly more expensive, inferior and not available on time (sometimes not at all) compared with the better, cheaper and available now materiel from the USA.

Tapestry at 1427 states:

"War-making should not be based on sound-bites, I would agree with David Cameron. So it is not therefore advisable for Hague to use phrases like 'disproportionate' against Israel, which sounds horribly like soundbite material to me."

In fact Cameron uses the same phrase in his speech as posted in full by The Guardian and quoted and linked on my blog 'Teetering Tories' available at:


Tapestry should perhaps now withdraw his total endorsement of the speech until he has read it in full and noted the other contradictions and inconsistencies.

I get the feeling some of the contributors to this topic wouldn't be happy unless Cameron offered fellatio to a US Republican of their choosing...

Classy comment there Realist...

Those who dont like this speech have a point. Cameron is saying that on the one hand we should recognise the UN as the body to use in dealing with conflict and then contradicts it with saying in certain circumstances, ignoring the UN is the right thing to do...yet another contradiction in policy. Ultimately what is our policy now...isnt it rather a mish mash of Labour and the Lib Dems?

I stand by my one criticism, Martin Cole. Defence is about what you do and what you spend as much as what you say.

Cameron is setting himself up to triangulate between neoconservatism on the one hand, and terrorism on the other. It seems a more intelligent start point than slavish devotion to neoconservatism, so I'm content for now.

I draw the line at criticising Israel's military actions, unless Cameron and Hague have any constructive suggestions as to what else Israel might do to communicate her displeasure with being attacked by terrorist raids on her own territory.

It might be better for Hague and Cameron to observe a judicious silence. Gordon Brown might be deluded about taxing our economy into oblivion, but he knows that words about other peoples' wars are best avoided.

When you fight wars you need options. It is not advisable to close any down. Israel has more experience of dealing with terrorism than anyone. Maybe it's us that have yet to take on board the significance of her methods.

The speech would be quite impressive if it hadn't just completely plagiarised Francis Fukuyama's latest book. Pity it didn't follow the argument through to its logical conclusion and admit the Iraq war was a ghastly mistake. IDS's poisonous legacy lives on. At some stage the boil has to be lanced!

A well made speech. Doesn't alter the fact that I still think he's a prat. Cameron's next speech: "How Attlee won the argument over Churchill." Or, "How Scargill was right about the miners". Or "anyone who used to vote for my party is no longer welcome in my modern, compassionate Conservative party." I think Dave's ultimate speech to a left of left think tank will be "Let's smash every f------ grammar school in Britain", followed by "let's tax them till the pips squeek". Then and only then will he, Francis Maude and Oliver Leftwing have completed the "modernisation" of the Conservative party.

I have written much on my blog on the stupidly labeled "war on terror".

I have to agree with what David Cameron is saying as well.

I can't believe that the current policy seems to be trying to unite as many disperate groups when it is much easier to deal with them if you divide and rule.

Unfortunately the way we need to be dealing with the threat we face today does not make for good soundbites. It is a very subtle game of the right language here, the right resource for our intelegence services there, and military action in a sparing fashion.

I have to say that I agree with others that regardless of the merits of some of what Cameron was saying, this was absolutely the wrong day to criticise American foreign policy.

As with the previous criticism of the Israelis it is plain to me that Cameron is simply making a calculated bid for the anti-US, anti-Israel vote.

I suspect that this cynical tactic will backfire on him.

PS. Do we really need comments of the calibre of that offered by "Realist" above?

I'm sorry but there was not anything genuinely disproportionate about the Israeli bombing of Hezbollah. The use of this term disproportionate was without doubt in fact code for "stop those horrible Jews from defending themselves so that we can in time acieve the goal of the total destruction of the one small area of this world that is a Jewish state." I am very disappointed indeed that Cameron has chosen to repeat this canard, no doubt purely in pursuit of the mythical Muslim vote.I am even sorrier that Cameron has never chosen to express any support for Israel's right to exist and has instead chosen to swallow wholesale Hezbollah's dishonest media manipulation in the same way as the BBC and Independent, noted friends of Conservatism both, have done.

I have to see I agree with Guido's reading of it. It is just 'After the Neo-Cons' with the conclusion changed!

The 'new mulitlateralism' is a commitment to lots of alliances of different sizes rather than a pro-UN stance (which Fukuyama does not have).

The real name for the doctrine, btw, is 'Realistic Wilsonianism'.

Multilateralism is all very well but coalitions of the willing are just that. Soft power can only work when you are dealing with reasonable people. Remember what Churchill said about Chamberlain in his dealings with the dictators in Italy and Germany, he was a good man fallen amongst thieves. There comes a moment when you need as leader to decide whether you will confront such a threat as this Islamic exremism poses. DC should forget all the nonesense about the Neocons put out by the left and the BBC and recognise that there has been no rational alternative to a foreign policy such as the english speaking world has supported since 9/11. European leaders are mired in a fearfull concern for their own safety and would turn their backs on everyone beyond European shores - no alternative there. It is the lot of the leaders of the english speaking world at such times to lead even when the course may seem to be unpopular. Yes DC we need patience but be careful that our patience doesn't become fear to act. We showed too much patience under Bill Clinton, a liberal conservative and we have reaped the consequences of a more developed and extensive threat

In foreign affairs more than anywhere else you must try and lead public opinion.


I think it is an excellent speech. I like the references to promoting freedom and human rights, pro-actively using soft power but holding military action as a last resort, standing solidly as a special friend of America but being prepared to tell our friends when we disagree, exercising humility as well as principle, and most of all intervening for humanitarian purposes to stop genocide. Very encouraging indeed. I hope a future Conservative Government will intervene in Darfur, and Burma.
But - Mike Christie - I am not sure why you put East Timor in the group of countries of concern to Muslims. East Timor is overwhelmingly Catholic. Its true that bin Laden mentioned East Timor - but that's because, in his eyes, it broke away from the majority Muslim Indonesian archipelago. The Indonesian occupation, however, from 1975-1999 was illegal and almost 80% of the East Timorese voted for independence in a UN-sponsored referendum. I have been there eight times, and was there to witness the independence ceremony in 2002.

I hope a future Conservative Government will intervene in Darfur, and Burma.

Why ? What do we have to seek in Sudan ? True there is oil there, but France, Russia and China back Sudan so I think it would be unwise to interfere.

As for Myanmar or Burma as you put it.....The Burma Star Association has men who can tell you about that part of the world............somehow I thought we had stopped being in the Empire business.

Britain has no role whatsover in Sudan or Burma neither of which affect the national interest

I hope a future Conservative Government will intervene in Darfur, and Burma.

Why ? What do we have to seek in Sudan ? True there is oil there, but France, Russia and China back Sudan so I think it would be unwise to interfere.

As for Myanmar or Burma as you put it.....The Burma Star Association has men who can tell you about that part of the world............somehow I thought we had stopped being in the Empire business.

Britain has no role whatsoever in Sudan or Burma neither of which affect the national interest

I disagree with those who criticise the timing. The anniversary of a tragedy temporarily brings what was lost closer - and that closeness makes it a very good time to talk and think about the lessons learned. From David Cameron, platitudes or silence would have shown less respect to those who died than this thoughtful, honest speech.

Delighted to see that by a large majority those on this thread support this very sensible speech. The only dissenters seem to be a few of the usual suspects.

Malcolm - The speech was banal, incompetently "spun" and badly thought through, so this usual suspect thought it was quite good - - typical Cameron.

I get the feeling that some people will never be satisfied with what Cameron does or does not do. There is a persistent stubborness shown by some posters on here that I find alarming.

I think people should read the Fukuyama book. It is very compelling - and is about making a new 'brand' for reputable neo-con thinking. Some of the things which Cameron is hot on within the speech - yet fuzzy about - are better explained in the book.

This is really a reintroduction of Fukuyama and Strauss into the Tory canon. I don't like pretence that it is something new to avoid the embarassment of endorsing an anti-war thinker, but we should be open about it.

I am Fukuyamaite - and glad Dave is too!

>>Delighted to see that by a large majority those on this thread support this very sensible speech.<<

Well that, of course, would depend on how many of the posters are genuine.

Wouldn't it?

I have never seen anything so absurd as TomTom's remarks.
How do you justify standing by when genocide is happening.
Yes indeed BurmaStar soldiers can tell me lots about Burma. I have spoken to some of them, and they all have deep regrets about how Britain has betrayed its promises to the Karen and other ethnic groups there. They all believe that we have a historical responsibility to ensure that the people of Burma can live in freedom, peace, and with respect for human rights. The Karen served so loyally alongside the British in WW2 - and we betrayed that loyalty. Now they face widespread systematic rape, forced labour, destruction of villages (more than 2,800 since 1996) in eastern Burma, the displacement of over a million people, over 1,100 political prisoners, and the continued house arrest of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. I have walked through burned villages in eastern Burma. I have interviewed many many times the victims of the violations described above. I have visited the Thai-Burmese border 12 times, the India-Burma border twice, Rangoon and Mandalay, and I have just returned from the China-Burma border. Where were you, TomTom, and more importantly where is your heart and your brain? And are you really a Tory?

"True there is oil there, but France, Russia and China back Sudan so I think it would be unwise to interfere." .... bloody ridiculous, and I am completely ashamed if you belong to the same party as me. Unwise to interfere indeed?! Are you French, per chance?

TomTOm, do you work for the Foreign Office -or perhaps the EU or UN?
Is your middle name Neville?

I recommend Ambassador Mark Palmer's book "Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Bring an End to the World's Last Dictatorships by 2025" as a manifesto for Cameron's stated intention of promoting democracy and freedom without military intervention - proactive non-violent diplomacy. And Natan Sharansky's "The Case for Democracy". TomTom, read them - they might just switch on a light bulb in the befuddled brain and conscience of yours.


on saturday, at the Last Night of the Proms, people sang: "Land of Hope and Glory". Sometimes we sing it at Tory conferences. The next line is: "Mother of the Free".

does that prompt any thoughts? any conscience?

ding ding.

As a true Tory I had to argue over Sierra leone, a country we created after we decided slavery was wrong, amd whose people fought with us against the Germans. I am proud that we helped them defeat the terror.

Ben Rogers is right, we owe it to Burma.

I have never seen anything so absurd as TomTom's remarks.
How do you justify standing by when genocide is happening.

Britain has a puny little army with very few fighting soldiers - I see very few people on these blogs willing to pay increased taxes on their houses, cars, incomes to boost the size of the armed forces - or to go on a huge rearmament binge instead of sending other people's sons out with 1960s relics into battle zones far away.

The most influential group in Burma is ethnic Chinese and they have a powerful protector which sees that area as in its domain - a fact India may dispute.

Singing Elgar's Pomp & Circumstance March is so easy in the Albert Hall - now go and sing it in Basra or Helmand Province..........send your children out to fight. A larger proportion of the US population passes through the US armed forces than in Britain.

Urge your children not to take a gap year but to join the army and to fight what you so earnestly believe in - in fact why not push for a Conscription Act so all school-leavers can help actualise these foreign policy goals in Darfur, and Burma ?

Just remember this is how Britain got into empire - the "something must be done" brigade............well I am told China is the coming power -

Is your middle name Neville?

Posted by: Ben Rogers | September 12, 2006 at 00:25

No it is not. What do you have against the Conservative PM who declared war on Germany and who pushed rearmament after the 1935 Election ?

The man who funded Fighter Command and provided Govt funds to Roll-Royce to build shadow factories, who tried to correct the disastrous period as Chancellor of W. S. Churchill who ran down Singapore defences and slashed defence spending 1924-29.

Without Chamberlain's work Churchill would have been signing surrender documents in 1940 as RAB Butler wanted.

Cameron appears to be advocating the greater use of intelligence in the military and the political/strategic sense, but he is unrealistic if he believes warfare can be made any nicer. Aggressive acts by enemies require firm response. Israel has learned that, and by giving a firm response to attacks, has achieved some progress.

Far from criticising, Cameron should be learning.

Likewise the USA has tightened up her immigration procedures and giving of visas in the last five years and taken control of her borders, while in Britain, we've allowed the EU to swamp our country with uncontrolled immigration, and Human Rights Acts have provided fomenters of hatred full rein.

Given that we don't control our own country, we have little choice but to play gently, but we would be wrong to criticise others who have taken control, reacted strongly and successfully to terrorism.

Cameron's speech yesterday shows that Ben White's hopes for an "ethical" Cameroon foreign policy are going to be dashed.

When Cameron talked about Darfur it had no more meaning and sincerity than his now-betrayed promise to pull out of the EPP. Both were cynically-crafted ploys to obtain votes within the party.

Now he's playing for the popular vote which is anti-American and anti-interventionist.

Cameron has many spiritual ancestors within the pre-1939 Conservative Party. Captain Archibald Henry Maule Ramsay MP comes particulary to mind.

"A puny little army"?? I think that's quite an insult to our armed forces.
Nevertheless, I accept that our armed forces are overstretched at the moment and it is difficult to take on any other big interventions until Iraq and Afghanistan are sorted out. I accept that. But on Darfur we should try to develop a mutli-lateral force, to which we could contribute. And on Burma - a country you appear to be such an expert on (have you been on holiday there, perhaps on a luxury cruise down the Irrawaddy?) - I have been told by several people that China, while they are the regime's closest ally, would not defend the regime militarily if an armed intervention took place. I have also been told by a military expert that it would not take much to intervene - morale in the Burma Army is so low that if they were offered food, blankets and the hope of peace and an amnesty, half the Burma Army would defect. It might just require a small SAS force accompanied by a couple of gunboats and a few bombers. But this is to some extent academic because it is unlikely to happen any time soon ... and, incidentally, I believe as DC does that we should try every non-violent proactive means possible - economic, political, diplomatic - to promote democracy and human rights and that military intervention should be only a last resort. The point I was making, however, is that there is a case for military intervention on humanitarian grounds, as in countries like Darfur and Burma, and I am glad DC supports that.

You're absolutely right Wallenstein.I do wonder how many genuine Tory posters there are on this blog. I'm one of them are you?

You're whistling in the wind Ben.

He'll betray you and your allies the same way he has already betrayed Hannan and the Eurosceptics.

Yes Malcolm I have no doubt of your bona fides.

Why should you doubt mine?

your interpretation of Chamberlain and Churchill is very interesting. I've never seen that before. you have a unique interpretation.

Because of what you right Wallenstein or Malvolio or any other of the names you've used.
Pip pip!

Well I disagree, Wallenstein. Or at least, I think Cameron should be given a chance. I like what he said yesterday. Now let's hold him to it.

It's entertaining that everyone seems to agree that we should go round the world sorting out every other country, while we have very little control of our own.

So, TomTom, you must have been quite happy to sit back and watch Rwanda, Kosovo, East Timor and other genocides happen and do nothing? Thousands of people slaughtered and displaced. Kofi Annan's words "never again" are hollow because we're seeing it all over again in Darfur. But you seem to say to tyrants, dictators and mass murderers not "never again" but "YES! again and again - keep going!"

well, tapestry, we need to sort out our own country too! crime, schools, hospitals and trains - definitely.

Malcolm, some of your notions are as odd as your spelling.

Just because I choose (like many others) to use a pseudonym does not mean that I am using multiple identities on this forum.

Grow up.

Sorry bad typo should obviously have been 'write' Wallenstein. Tom Tom is right about Chamberlain Ben. Defence spending was massively increased in 1938 and 39 by Chaimberlain.At the time he signed the Munich agreemant our army and airforce were very weak.

Not that lot so much Ben. We don't control our own borders. Immigration is also out of control. Human Rights Laws enable fomenters of hate to recruit young men who want to kill us here and others elsewhere. The USA lists the UK as terrorist risk No 1. Why don't we get control of the terrorist threat at home before putting the rest of the world to rights?

The timing of this particular speech was unfortunate. Not because of what he said but the fact he should have known that the Beeb/Guardian el al would use it to bash Bush. His claiming he is not a neo-con is amusing as his past makes it rather impossible for him to be one.

As far as Sudan goes I would urge caution about meddling there. There is a far more threatening country we should be considering meddling in called Iran. Madman Imadinnerjacket is threatening to wipe Israel off the face off the earth and is rather keen for Islamist terrorists to have the worst weapons they can have.

Israel's response was far from disproportianate; it was quite frankly tame considering what it was/is facing. Lebanon's government has members in it who wish to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, its government policy is to turn a blind eye to terrorists using its territory to launch attacks on Israeli civilians. Israel in that war tried not to kill civilians while Hizbollah used civilians as camo while purposely targeting civilians in Israel.


There follow some of the headlines generated by Cameron’s ill-considered speech. Any experienced politician would have known that the press would seize on the negative and - with the media’s in-born anti-Americanism - largely ignore the weaker expressions of support for the USA. Contrast this with Thatcher. I know which leader inspires me!

TIMES (leader) - “Is Cameron’s foreign policy neocon? Or neocom? Or libcon? Or glibcon?”

“I am a liberal conservative rather than a neoconservative,” he says. This “libcon” positioning is calculated to appeal to those who believe that Washington’s “neocons” are responsible for every ill of the past five years.

The term neoconservatism is used promiscuously and, more often than not, ignorantly, as a catchphrase for chaos.”

But if he continues to deliver lines such as “Bombs and missiles are bad ambassadors”, he runs the risk of appearing more “glibcon” than “libcon”.

TELEGRAPH - “Cameron distances Tories from Bush”

Thatcher ---”With Ammerica Britain stands in the front line against Islamic fanatics who hate our beliefs, our liberties and our citizens. We must not falter; we must not fail. We need to renew our resolve that, however bitter or lenthy the struggle, this evil shall not prevail”

Cameron -- “ The Bush administration’s approach to foreign policy had too often been driven by “easy soundbites” and lacked “proper humility and patience” - - - it relied on “an unrealistic and simplistic” view of a world divided into light and darkness”

GUARDIAN - “Cameron criticises 'simplistic' White House”

Cameron - - - “the Tory leader said he was a "liberal conservative, rather than a neoconservative" and insisted: "We are not engaged in a clash of civilisations."

The pejorative adjectives I've used in the past about Cameron's character are all displayed in this speech. A more facing-all-ways, gutless effort I can't imagine.

Don’t shoot the messenger has its exceptions. It’s the BBC, not David Cameron, who should be facing criticism about how his speech was reported. If David Cameron made his speeches so simple that the BBC couldn’t possibly distort them, he would A) spinelessly put the BBC in charge and B) be vacuous. Now where have I read spineless and vacuous before, Christina?

Even David Cameron’s greatest critics mostly recognise that he’s well received by the media. I don’t think he needs media-management lessons from us.

As for criticism of the timing, I was interested to see that President G W Bush didn't feel the need to back off from present day issues in his speech.

Most Brits are pleased that Cameron is distancing himself from Blair's apparent willingness to take orders direct from Washington.

Murdoch's Times above all must be furious that a mere British politician dares to stand up to the Neoconservative programme, which never was a British idea at source.

If Cameron shows independent thought towards the US, Christina, there is also hope he might do the same towards the EU. Murdoch incidentally is just as tied in with the EU.

In the Labour leadership plays, Murdoch is heavily invested in Gordon Brown. If Brown stumbles which surely he must, Labour might go a non-Murdoch-aligned candidate like Charles Clarke. Power would return from the media to Parliament. It would be a different world.

A few 'gutless' comments would be most welcome if that were to happen.

An excellent speech. The question the Party must continually address is not only how it is going to get into office, but what will then guide it in Government.

At last it seems intellectual vigour and a long term strategy are being held up above short term opportunism.

your interpretation of Chamberlain and Churchill is very interesting. I've never seen that before. you have a unique interpretation.

Posted by: Ben Rogers | September 12, 2006 at 08:24

Burying Caesar: The Churchill-Chamberlain Rivalry (Hardcover)
by Graham Stewart

Excellent book - do read it Ben.

Kofi Annan was the UN official in charge of Rwanda - do read the faxes sent by the French General on the ground wondering why Annan was denying him extra troops


Security Council members complained that Kofi’s department kept them in the dark, not revealing the true nature and full extent of the genocide...............

he instructed the commander in Rwanda to “make every effort not to compromise your impartiality or to act beyond your mandate.” Kofi’s advocacy for “impartiality” no doubt helped lead the Security Council to slash the already small peacekeeping contingent almost 90%.

Your selective reporting is risible Christina.I notice you don't mention the positive aspects of the Times leader nor mention the very favourable reception given to Camerons speach by that most Conservative of newspapers the Daily Mail. Why?

Everyone has been baying for DC to create the illusion that plucky Britain will stand up to bossy old Uncle Sam and now he has, the timing if nothing else should convince anyone who wanted that from him that he has delivered on that score. Do we all feel better about losing the empire now?

If a new multilateralism means invading countries that harbour, support, finance and provide spiritual leadership to Islamic terrorist organisations then I'm all for it.

If a new multilateralism means going to war with Iran in the next few months to stop them getting the bomb then I'm all for it.

If it means pulling all our troops out of Germany and sending them to Afghanistan with the sole aim of killing Taliban then again, I'm all for it.

If it means standing shoulder to shoulder with Belgium and Luxembourg to safeguard the free world then it's a crock of shit.

Andrew Ian Dodge's distorted Guardian quote said:

GUARDIAN - “Cameron criticises 'simplistic' White House”

Cameron - - - “the Tory leader said he was a "liberal conservative, rather than a neoconservative" and insisted: "We are not engaged in a clash of civilisations."

Ian, why did you select only negative sections from the newspapers you quoted while cutting out many highly postive comments that were made? For example, the section from the Guardian article you quote (above) omits the following:

'The speech impressed with the ease and confidence with which the Tory leader seems able to say moderate, sensible and liberal things that strike the the right note.

It is genuinely refreshing and a real reprimand to Labour, that Mr Cameron should so effortlessly transcend the simplistic and polarised cliches that curently pass for foreign policy debate on the left, before setting out his own priorities.

Like Tony Blair earlier this year, Cameron was right a stand against anti Americanism...But unlike the Prime Minister, Mr Cameron then had the sense to carry this through and to recognise two other simple truths...that the actions of the Bush administration since 9/11 have fanned the anti-American phenomenon that has swept the globe...

Mr Cameron set out five practical principles which might help future governments on both sides of the Atlantic to lead from the moral high ground while avoiding the disastrous empowerment of fanatics and weakinging of moderates that have marked Mr Bush's neo-conservative foreign policy...'

If your case against Cameron's foreign policy had any real basis, you wouldn't need to distort it as you have done.

I thought the speech was most impressive.

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