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Get you geting calls from David Cameron!!

I am delighted that Cameron has made this trip and hope that development issues and human rights will have a new emphasis - these have been predominantly 'left wing' issues for far too long. I am also glad to hear that he is still on speaking terms with our Editor despite the robust criticism he sometimes receives on this website. His comments on Darfur seem sensible and realistic. Just a few UK or US
troops providing logistical and training support for the peacekeeping force would have a disproportionately positive impact on the situation. Another cause in the region which I would like him to support is Somalaliand independence - there is a real danger that following the refusal of the international community to grant recognition or support despite being a fully functioning democracy for years Somaliland will fall victim to Islamic extremists and one of the few remaining beacons of hopoe in the region will be extinguished.

"It is very welcome that David Cameron has been in Darfur and I hope he puts this issue at the top of the political agenda when he returns."

Why should the internal affairs of another country be on the top of the UK's political agenda!? Shouldn't we sort out problems in the NHS, transportation, crime, and education before messing about with African nations?

Nothing says "International Statesman" like photo ops with hungry black children. Well done David, now you have the jewel in the crown.

Didn't Britain sell arms to the very same regime now creating this mess over there?

I don't know but if we hadn't sold them the arms the French or someone else would of. Why cripple our industry and hurt British jobs when in all reality it won't make any difference?

Agree with S.E.L.

Why cripple our industry and hurt British jobs when in all reality it won't make any difference?

It's called doing the right thing. Sheesh, and we're the party that moans about moral decay.


simple answer - no it didn't. EU has had an arms embargo for the last 12 years.

China has supplied arms & helicopters. The EU arms embargo on China has not stopped companies like Augusta Westland (Italian controlled) supplying component used in these helicopters.

Not intersted and why is he out there anyway.
Sudan is in Africa and whatever goes on there has got nothing to do with us. If the Muslim north wants to beat up the animist/christian south, sobeit.
If anyone is going to get involved, rolling up the proverbial sleeve and committing military forces and financial gelt, than leave matters in the hands of the OAU. It's their continent and they have been singularly idle and inept so far, so let them sort out their own messes.
I see no reason for the West to blow a single penny piece on this heap of crap.
Time for us in Europe to think about ourselves, for the past 50 years we have been filled with angst about the colonial past and this has been used to blackmail us out of billions.
Enough, the children are grown up and should be left to cope under their own devices.

Isn't this just standard Cameron. Warm words, but no action. He draws attention to an issue, but then backs away from making any major policy commitment and never takes any tough choices.

He goes over to Sudan to see the problem. Great. Well done. But does he actually have any solution, which will make any difference? Of course not. As if the idea of a trial in the International Criminal Court is going to keep these killers awake at night. Same old story, same old no substance Cameron. Just pathetic - using the deaths of 100,000s for the backdrop to get a few cheap headlines.

It has been going on for a long time now, why the sudden interest. Still his best friend Blairipoppins has gone abroad, so why worry about a little thing like debating the Queen's Speech in Parliament. That promises to ensure further errosion of our freedoms, but that is only this country.

Agree with Alex. This is merely a photo op for a man who discussed the enormity of the crisis at Conference. Well he mentioned it in a sentence. This reminds me of the Clinton school of politics when looking like doing something was as good as doing something.

"He highlighted the importance of air support for some sort of no-fly-zone and of deployments from Muslim nations like Pakistan that would avoid inflaming Islamic opinion within Sudan"

Would Pakistan be seen as neutral between the parties? If so, this seems like a good idea. I'm heartened that Cameron recognises it would not be a good idea to send British, European or American ground troops there.

Of all the threads that have been on ConservativeHome this is probably the most depressing. I'm very glad David Cameron went to Darfur and I hope that he'll return with a keen understanding of the situation and will press for Britain to deploy the expertise and technology he referred to. The drawbridge mentality of some people is staggering and embarrassing. So many of the problems we face in the world - high energy prices, pollution, refugee flows, terrorism - stem from the nature of global regimes. Even if people aren't moved by the humanitarian reasons for intervention they should see the self-interested reasons to act.

Well said Editor.

The more people who highlight and oppose the gravity of the crisis in Dafur the better. I hope DC comes back determined and informed to do all he can.

Darfur has this week shot up the international agenda. This needs to be put on a pedestal as the issue that must be dealt with ASAP. Thats where our troops need to be. People are being slaughtered in Darfur and the international community is sitting on its hands. I wasnt politically aware during Rwanda, but Im aware now and we shouldnt ever forget what that looked like, when it was too late to act. We are asking for worse atrocities than happened there.

Foreign policy has been a weak spot for a while now - Lib Dems having cornered the market in apparently 'prinicpled' foreign policy and us tied to Labour over Iraq and (rightly) Afghanistan. While the West's ability to do anything about Darfur is pretty limited, Cameron's attachment to the conflict demonstrates that, as a party we are concerned about the most vulnerable people on earth and are prepared to take a stand.

Not the it will have much impact in Khartoum.

Editor, I understand your desire to deploy technology and offering assistance but the question has to be asked as to whether this will to assist in resolving the situation. This is systematic ethnic cleansing and the worlds political leaders do nothing to stop what is happening. It is not pretty and if we were serious about attempting to halt it the party leadership would would have made it an issue long before now. I stated earlier that David Cameron managed one sentence on the issue at Conference. That was at a time when the media was focused on him and it was a perfect opportunity to raise the profile of Darfur and ask why nothing was being done. To put it bluntly he ducked the issue. It was little more than a soundbite in a speech. Others may not agree with that sentiment but that is my opinion. Darfur has been ongoing for 3 years and the silence internationally has been nothing short of deafening. But my question to you is why focus only on Darfur. Why not DRC, Ivory Coast, the Nigerian Delta, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, or any number of countries where such actions regularly take place?

I agree with you, anon, that DC should, ideally, have spoken out about Darfur before now and more assertively but it is better that he is doing it now than not at all.

As for focusing on Sudan and not DRC etc... I agree with your sentiments but it is surely better to focus on some of the world's hotspots than none at all?

If he had donated the cost of this blatant photo op to one of the charities, that may have done some good.

As it is it is yet another photo stunt in the careing shareing folder and by tommorow everyone will have forgotten all about it.

'It is surely better to focus on some of the world's hotspots than none at all?' Absolutely. And given the all too finite resources at Britain's disposal, we, for example, should have been intervening in the Sudan three years ago, rather than Iraq. Yet another reason for neocons, foreign and home grown, to hang their heads in shame.

"It's called doing the right thing. Sheesh, and we're the party that moans about moral decay."

If we don't cut off arms sales, there will be no difference.

If we do cut off arms sales, there will be no difference and our arms industry and its employees will suffer.

I'm not opposed to the idea of spending money abroad but those who wish to do so should first explain to the electorate why this money shouldn't be spent on health and education. I think the Editor's point above goes some way to providing a decent answer.

I have to say I'm a bit cynical about this although I hope I'm wrong.It does remind me a little bit of the Bosnian situation in the early '90's where politicians from the West talked a good game leaving the Bosnians to think that we would provide them with significant military help when they rebelled and then of course until Dayton we didn't.Thousands of people lost their lives as a result.
If we are not going to help the Sudanese rebels with anything more than words then we should say so loudly and clearly. Then they have a stark choice to seek whatever terms they can get from the odious Sudanese government or fight on and lose. At the moment these poor people are probably clinging to the hope that the west will help them militarily egged on by some of our politicians. It would be simply appalling if we continue to let them believe this if we have no intention of doing anything.


Darfur is an ongoing tragedy, destabilising surrounding countries and co-ordinated international action could bring resolution. It's complex with rebels & government supported militia but there should be a least sufficient forces to protect the camps and places of refuge.

Your other examples. The war in the DRC has been a matter of international action, maybe not effective, but UN forces have been involved and a sort of peace established. Ivory Coast again has had UN, French and other forces involved in attempting a solution and while country is divided it is in a sort of peacful stalemate, broken by occasional battles.Situation in Nigerian Delta isn't a genocide/civil war, Eritrea has had and continues to have international involvement - and isn't actually at war (yet). Sierra Leone has been a success for the UK in terms of conflict resolution. Zimbabwe - yes the international community has failed.

So should we just stand back with Darfur and not try as much international pressure as we can - the involvement of China might stymie full UN participation but I welcome Cameron visiting.

I seem to recall Cameron saying that we should speak more about Darfur than Gibraltar.

In fact he has spoken hardly at all about Darfur and I assume he cares not a jot about Gibraltar and its stalwart and loyal citizens.

Still, why spoil a great photo-op, even if it does come a year too late? This one should rank alongside hug-a-husky.


I totally agree with you. I am depressed by the mentality that says that Africa has nothing to do with us. It does. We have a responsibility to do something about it. But I don't believe that Cameron has the spine to do anything about it. I believe him to be a political coward. He has shown this in regards to tax, the NHS, education and now in foreign policy. What we need is to start forming an national consensus for action, not warm words. We need to stop more innocent people being killed, not vaguely suggest that we might put some scapegoat on trial, after the real perpetrators have killed another 100-200,000 people.

I increasingly believe that cameron is nothing but a PR man. I'm sure he does care for the suffering of these people, but I think he cares more about the good that this visit will do for the rebranding of the party.


Let me also express my support. I'm proud to be British and most proud when our nation acts for the good of mankind instead of solely concerning itself with its own self-interest.

The idea that we should sell arms to despotic regime because "if we don't do it somebody else will" is morally bankrupt. I mean why not let British mercenaries bid for genocide contracts? After all, if we don't do it somebody else will.

On this issue, CH is to be congratulated for taking the side of decent people of everywhere and not "somebody else".

"I mean why not let British mercenaries bid for genocide contracts?"

Because we don't have an established mercenary industry that thousands of people depend on for employment. Nor is being a mercenary as socially acceptable as selling arms. Not nice but that's the world we live in.

"I'm proud to be British and most proud when our nation acts for the good of mankind instead of solely concerning itself with its own self-interest."

Try telling that to someone whose local hospital is about to close due to lack of funds.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we should do nothing, merely that we need more than moralistic platitudes to persuade people that we should actually do something. Like it or not, I expect most people in this country, while they might be concerned about Darfur, probably wouldn't be too keen on the thought of military action. If we couldn't persuade the public that the Iraq war was a good thing even though it was generally known Saddam was a nasty piece of work, we will have to try a lot harder to persuade them that Darfur is worth fighting for.

I find Mr Cameron's posturing depressing. Like the "People's Princess" before him he is using the wretched backdrop of an abused people to secure a photo-opportunity. As if there isn't enough that could command his attention back home.

I am delighted that DC has gone to Darfur, and that Tim is highlighting this. My hope is that this will be combined with a robust attitude towards the UN's effectiveness.

Reading this post, some of the comments strike me as pretty disgusting. Are you forgetting that the people in Darfur are human too? How can you say they should just 'get on with solving their own problems?' Would you say the same about other genocidal actions? How about the Holocaust?

The fact that our NHS has problems and that Labour is failing our society is a GREAT problem to have by comparison with what is going on in Darfur.

By going there, David Cameron will have a much better feel for the scale of the problems, and will come away with some personal commitment to helping resolve them. The fact that he didn't go there years ago doesn't make it pointless going now.

The more the rest of the world hears about it, the more likely there will be some positive action taken by a UN that is shamed into taking it.

If we do cut off arms sales, there will be no difference and our arms industry and its employees will suffer.

That's probably what the Afghan and Colombian drugs barons think too.

I can't believe the attitude by some of the people who have commented on this thread.

Is DC going out there a good thing? Of course - it will put it higher up the agenda and make it more likely that governement will take what action it practically can - he can't do anything himself exactly but we're in opposition there isn't much we can do anything.

He's a politcal leader and he is showing leadership - that's his job.

As to whether he's addressed it enough in the past - well it has featured in all his keynote speeches - if only in passing. But if we're honest the media (and the public) aren't that intrested so you can't over do it or people switch off.

Finally why should we care - well two reasons firstly because this is an interconnected world now like the Editor said and more broadly and importantly to quote John Donne, "No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind".

I was born about a decade after WW2 finished and there were two sayings I heard a lot of regarding British Values
"I don't agree with what you say but I'll fight for your right to say it" (now apparently should be" I'll fight you if you say it")
"Never again" - after Cambodia, Srebrenica (and Bosnia as a whole), Rwanda and now Darfur what does that mean? Cameron is quite right to go there, to raise the issue, because though it its a problem for all of us if we let it happen again. Modern Conservative is right - no man is an island. Selfishly, those who anti-immigration might want to stop another mass migration of victims.

I hope David Cameron wasn't using his trip to Sudan for cheap publicity and a photo opportunity. I mean what can he and Andrew Mitchell do to persuade the evil Sudanese government to stop supporting the Janjaweed. The Conservative Party are not even in government for heavens sake, so what influence and clout do they have if any to foreign goverments, especially to the Sudanese regime. "Dave" and his shadow cabinet should be pressuring the Blair government in doing more to solve this immediate genocide in Darfur, and not taking unneccessary trips to Sudan which helps to increase the effects of "climate change."

Private jet used to get there, then arrange for a tree to be planted to make the journey carbon neutral then photo opportunity with nice clean baby. I am sorry to be a cynic but this is PR to the nth degree. If he wanted to do any good for Sudan the PR event should have been in the middle of Trafalgar Square for the same number of days with Sudanese refugees present, charity representatives to inform the public and a well resourced leaflet incl photos to be handed out. That might shame the media and politicians into doing something instead of this farcical trip which makes every feel warm inside but is ignored.

So Cameron has his smirking face all over the papers this morning in front of a suitable backdrop of African children. There are even a few hoods for him to hug.

A few hours later he would have been travelling first class back to his life of luxury, sipping champagne, and cynically calculating the number of votes he thinks he's picked up.

Personally I think he may be miscalculating. The reaction in this once staunchly Tory family was 'Is there nothing to which this man will not stoop?'

Didn't somebody once say you should never share the bill with animals or children?

Cameron is such an absolute tart for "Peoples Princess" style cute "caring" photo-shoots that the word "phoney" just screams out.

He must think the public are really stupid. If he had legs like Diana he might get away with it but all he has is that "Lord Snooty" punched-in looking face.

By the time of the next election the only thing anybody will remember about Cameron will be "hug a hoodie". They want to inscribe that gem on his tombstone.

I would just like to agree with the editor's comments on this thread. Some of the other comments are unpleasant, sadly some poster's would rather use this opportunity to highlight the ongoing tragedy in Darfur to attack David Cameron. I noted that David Cameron's visit put Darfur in the news last night and that alone made the visit worthwhile.
I am angry that after what happened in Rwanda we are now sitting back and allowing this to happen again in Darfur, when will the international community and the UN do something?

"The fact that our NHS has problems and that Labour is failing our society is a GREAT problem to have by comparison with what is going on in Darfur."

I'm sure all the people catching MRSA in NHS hospitals feel much better because of that. Not.

"How about the Holocaust?"

Sorry to be picky but we didn't find out about the holocaust until long after we'd entered the war.

"That's probably what the Afghan and Colombian drugs barons think too."

Well if we legalised all drugs we wouldn't have that problem but that's a different issue. Besides, we don't sell arms directly to those people.

If we want to do something about this, Cameron will have to persuade Tony Blair to persuade the UN and the British public that military action is necessary. Insofar as this heightens awareness that's a good thing but we need more.

"Would you say the same about other genocidal actions?"

Actually I supported the NATO action over Kosovo. At the time I even supported the Iraq war (oops) for humanitarian reasons. Unfortunately, the latter turned out to be a disaster and the former had many flaws - lots of refugees, Kosovans making revenge attacks on Serbs etc. Can we be sure that military action against Darfur will avoid the same mistakes?

From my post above: "Besides, we don't sell arms directly to those people." should be ignored, I sort of misinterpreted the original point.

By the way, I don't actually oppose the idea of cutting off arms sales to the Sudan. I just thought I'd play devil's advocate by making a rational utilitarian case for not cutting them off.

And sorry for making 3 posts in a row.

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