« Farage is new UKIP leader | Main | Roger Helmer MEP about to have Tory whip restored »


Editor -so what do you propose? If you dont like Cameron's approach presumably you have an alternative?

Targetted bombing? - Set them back a bit - outrage the middle east further

Sanctions? - Proven of limited effect and unlikely to be observed by some major powers

Invasion? - You cannot be serious!

Whilst I am sure that much going on behind the scenes (policies being worked up, CCHQ being reformed, those constituencies that need it learning how to fight elections on Lib Dems lines - please assure me that those things are going on), there does seem a lack of urgency, given four recent factors:
i. Alan Johnson might beat Gordon Brown and he would be a more formidable opponent for the tories.
ii. Even if Brown wins, he looks like taking the wind out of our sails on a number of issues.
iii. The "don't knows" and the "don't cares" represent a huge number of uncommitted voters who, if they do decide to vote, are likely to vote for a party that has defined policies.
iv. Ukip, even with only the three policies so far proposed, will be very attractive to many natural conservatives.
It really is time to get our act together; as I have suggested a number of times, surely the chairmen of all the policy groups should make interim reports to the conference, at least to show the broad thrust of tory policy.
Finally, DC has not yet been tested in real adversity; has he reacted publicly to any of the recent disasters in the world to suggest how he would deal with them, if he were PM?

I haven't heard of Douglas Murray before so haven't read his book and don't know whether his ideas are good or not.
As regards Camerons speech I thought it very laudable for two reasons.Firstly it tries to deal with the rampant anti- Americanism which is pervading this country and secondly because he tries to put the possible need to take action into a moral context.
The fact is that neither Bush nor Blair have the moral authority even in their own countries let alone anywhere else to take military action against Iran. Camerons appeal for patience recognises reality.

I think Richard Willis has asked the right questions in his comment. Whilst I agree that the prospect of a nuclear Iran is nightmarish, it is difficult to see what the options are other than positive engagement. And don't let's forget that the reason options are so limited is down to the ill-thought through neo-con desire for war in Iraq in the first place. I'd take more notice of Murray and his ilk if they hadn't already proved woefully inept in their international, and specifically mid-East, strategy. I await "Neoconservatism - why we don't need it" with enthusiasm - perhaps the authors of "Cobra II" would like to oblige??

A bit irrelevant really with everything being so dynamic. By the time of the next election Iran will have its nuclear warhead atop a Shahab III. If they take pot shots at Israel and hit population centres - second strike from the Dolphin submarines will eradicate Teheran and other cities in Iran. India may decide to solve the Pakistan problem once and for all..........................and British politicians can focus on important issues like congestion charging and nursery places

His speech was alot of froth. He was trying to please all sides, or at least not offend anyone too greatly. Once again, I find myself hearing every speech he makes and realising its only significance is in terms of his overall "positioning exercise".

I find it strange that so many people on here are telling us constantly that Cameron's nonsensical speeches (eg. chocolate oranges) are just about repositioning the party in the eyes of the public (and don't represent *actual* insanity or stupidity), but then expect us also to take him seriously when he speaks about something "important".

I can't square the two. I don't think any of his speeches tell us anything about his intentions when in office. Which is rather disturbing really. We haven't the faintest idea who we are electing.

"By the time of the next election Iran will have its nuclear warhead atop a Shahab III. If they take pot shots at Israel and hit population centres - second strike from the Dolphin submarines will eradicate Teheran and other cities in Iran."

Which is exactly why that won't happen. Ahmedinajad (sp) doesn't want to commit suicide, he's a politician - he has gullible peasants and palestinians to do that sort of thing. The danger is that he gives some terrorist 'martyrs' a bomb so that he has "deniability".

Personally, I see surgcal strikes as a possibilty (or at least used as a threat), combined with negotiations. And there is the plausable theory that Iran wants the bomb in order to prevent American efforts at "regime change", in which case we should stop rattling our sabres at Iran unles we REALLY mean it. In the end capitalism and an increased middle class will undermine the Iranian regime, as was starting to look likely a few years ago.

I hope the Editor realises that most Tories do not think Britain should have anything to do with neoconservatives and their dogmatic obsessions.

Ahmedinajad (sp) doesn't want to commit suicide, he's a politician

Then clearly you paid no attention to his last speech at the Un with talk of the 12th Imam returning................why you think he is just another politician beats me............that has been the repeated mistake that has caused so much turmoil in British history

I agree with tom tom, you aren't dealing with the Soviets here, what ever we thought of them or their system, they were stable of sorts, not given to visions etc. I am very uneasy about DC's speech there was almost a touch of appeasment about it, and a whiff of anti-Americanism. There may be justification to have secret negotiations (deniable of course) with the Israelis to pop across to Iran one fine night, and drop an egg on their nuclear facility, we would be appalled of course: but what the hell!

I agree with John Hustings in that we don't know who we are trying to get elected and that it is disturbing. But still with Brown and Labour incumbent it's very certainly 'better the devil you don't know'.

I also think though that war with Iran is inevitable. My view is that invasion earlier rather than later, preferably this year but within the next two at the latest is the only option.

By all means get your sanctions if you can and make them hurt but Ahamadjihadman isn't going to stop at that with Russia and China propping him up.

"why you think he is just another politician beats me."

Mainly because he is a career politician not a terrorist or "angry young man" who seized power in a coup - he has a PHD in "Traffic and transportation engineering and planning" (the career of fanatics!), he used to be Mayor of Tehran. Iran is not a simple dictatorship, he ran his presidential election campaign based on religious and working-class populism, he needs the support of parliament and the Supreme Leader. He has a budget, housing policy and a programme to help the poor.

He might want to destroy Israel, but not at the expense of vaporizing his nation, family, presidential luxuries and himself in the process.

He is an odious man, but he is not insane.


David stated that there 'was a whiff of anti-Americanism'.I'd be delighted if you could point out where David. He specifically criticised anti-Americanism in his speech.I suggest you read it before making such a comment

I hate to tell you guys this, but I can assure that at the end of the day NO United States President--not a Bush, not a Clinton, not a Gore, not a Kerry, not even a Dean--could possibly allow a country that hold officially-sanctioned "Death to America" rallies, that has had officially-sanctioned "suicide bomber sign up" rallies and that has financed and/or trained almost every serious terrorist movement in the Middle East for the past 15 years to gain nuclear weapons.

At the end of the day, if the diplomatic track does not work, military action will be taken. I'm very sorry this upsets you.

Not sure that his definition of sanity is the same as yours, John Gale. Come on, the Hidden Imam? Where's he frickin hiding?

I don't think he's corruptible by luxury or restrained by familial ties. The suicide bombers who share his views on the West and on non-Muslims don't seem to be.

Ultimately the only way the people of Iran or the real power in the joint, the old men with beards will rein him in is if they believe that we are serious about stopping the nuclear programme. So, are we?

In Iran the Supreme Leader not the President is the most powerful figure, Ayatollah Khatami has control over the Iranian military and over any military or energy development programmes - he has the ultimate say and a lot of things cannot go ahead without his say so - he has been Supreme Leader since Ayatollah Khomeini died so so far as Iranian Foreign & Defence policy goes really there has been continuity since then - the President of Iran really is a glorified Mayor with only really powers over domestic affairs - President Ahmedinajad couldn't even get all his cabinet appointments through the Iranian Parliament, he has less power than Tony Blair wields in the UK, and he has a different sort of power from the US or French President, his powers are more akin to those of the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Iran in addition to The Supreme Leader has a Council that can remove the Supreme Leader and these people too as a body are far more powerful than the President.

And, given their Supreme Authority, are we to make of their apparent endorsenment of the Jihad-madman's rhetoric?

Perhaps Iran needs to be told that if they attack a NATO member, or Israel, or any neighbour (unless unreasonably attacked first) then military means will be brought to bear including if neccessary use of nuclear weapons - it might be as well to point out to them (without personalising it on one section of the Iranian leadership although really it's the Supreme Leader who has the equivalent of the red button) that Iran could very quickly be reduced to a smouldering mess of radioactive ash, in addition it is time that a Coalition of the Willing demanded that Iran pulled out of islands in the Straits of Hormuz seized 5 years ago from the UAE by the Iranian Navy.

I think a clear warning that they will be attacked if they do not stop their nuclear weapons programme would be better.

Iran will give the bomb to Venuzuela and small devices to their proxies to use against Israel and London without making a move directly.

I would also like to see Israel, India and Thailand invited to join NATO myself, if only to irritate the French.

And yes, hitting their interests wherever is a must but a sideshow.

Speaking of Thailand, given the All Important Nature of Solving the Palenstinian Crisis ethos so common to this board, would any care to explain to me the motivation behind the jihad in Thailand.

Why the bombing of police stations and the beheading of elementary school teachers?

Tell me, is it the illegal Thai occupation of Thailand?

Or perhaps aggressive Thai settlements?

Or is it Thai'baa Farms?

Unfortunately both Mr. Cameron and Mr. Murray are confused about the language they use to describe the different US foreign policy schools of thought, perhaps understandably.

The “Realist” school believes that a nation should only act in its own clear and unequivocal national interest, such as self-defence, rather than lofty liberal ideals. This is “conservative” and its default position is “isolationist”. It could have justified the Afgan but not the Iraqi war. Whatever the dodgy dossier said, Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al Qaeda.

The “Idealist” school believes that a nation should pursue progressive liberal foreign policy objectives, which usually means spreading democracy and capirtalism – whether the people upon whom it is spread like it or not. Those poor benighted countries who haven’t yet discovered the delights of crack cocaine, gangsta rap, fast food, 24-hour TV news, shopping malls or born-again Christianity are sometimes suspicious that it is a front for US economic and cultural imperialism.

This is liberal and "interventionist" or "activist" or “neo-conservative,” in the contorted political terminology invented to justify an idealist war by a Republican Party which traditionally opposed it. In fact, Iraq was a dynastic rather than a liberal idealist war: but the rhetoric used to justify it was neoconservative.

The greatest representative of the Idealist school was of course Woodrow Wilson. He set up the inter-war international system and the League of Nations on the basis of these ideals: self-determination aka democracy being the principal one. That of course led to the Holocaust, which one might have hoped would have led to interventionist liberal idealist types learning their lesson and staying home.

Cameron is thought in some right-thinking circles to be a bit of a lefty, because he understands that in order to exercise power you first have to win it. In fact, it is Cameron who is the true conservative, not the Blairite liberal warmongers. The conservative/ realist position is to act only in one’s own clear and unequivocal national interest.

It is not to act in an idealist/ liberal way to further the cause of liberal ideals, such as democracy: whether that means invading other countries or supporting international institutions such as the UN and League of Nations. And no-one could argue that the Iraq War was in the clear and unequivocal national interest of the US or UK.

Working more closely with the great regional power and old friend on Al Qaeda’s doorstep is the smart move. That’s why Dave’s been in India.

Well said Flashman. I think you've summed it up pretty accurately.

'I am very uneasy about DC's speech there was almost a touch of appeasment about it'

I agree, and I fear that it reflects the influence of Douglas Hurd over David Cameron's thinking which we were informed about in CHome recently.
The Hurd approach dominated British foreign policy from 1990-95. The main feature was a reliance on diplomacy and international institutions such as the EU. Its limitations were exposed in the response to the Bosnian situation in which a series of hapless former foreign secretaries (Carrington, Owen) were sent to mediate. Like Chamberlain vis-a-vis Hitler, Hurd persisted in the illusion that Milosevic was a man whose word could be relied on and with whom business could be dealt. The result was the Srebrenica massacre. Sadly in the real world not every problem can be resolved with FCO tea and cucumber sandwiches and British Council library books.


Almost totally agree.

Iran's intransigeance is the fault of Bush and Blair. Remember when the Iranians kidnapped some of our troops in the Shatt-el-Arab? This, it turns out, was a test of will, of whether we were prepared to invade Iran or not. Blair went for appeasement. The result was that the mullahs concluded that we wouldn't fight, and that they were free to push ahead. The supply of weapons and men to the insurgency in Iraq promptly increased, and Tehran pushed ahead with an atom bomb. And if London and Washington are scared to fight now, imagine what it will be like when the mullahs have the bomb, and the Pakistanis have sold them some ICBMs. Appeasement is its own punishment, unfortunately. Only a fool lets his enemies prepare to attack him, while he stands wringing his hands. We learned this once, the hard way. Unfortunately it seems that we must learn this lesson again.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker