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« 14% of Tory members would resign if Ken Clarke became leader | Main | Davis seeks Hague as Shadow Chancellor »


James Hellyer

It's a double edged sword for Davis though. When Ken Clarke is critcised by another candidate, it damaged Clarke and raised that candidate's profile, not Davis's.

On a more substantive matter, Dr Fox is right in that there's nothing to be gained from refighting the arguments over the Iraq war. It's a subject where people's minds are already decided. Blair has already been damaged by it, and people know the Conservative Party supported it.

All Clarke has shown is that he is backwards looking.


I disagree with James, the Iraq conflict resulted in a lot of people losing faith (what remained of it anyway) in Government. If Pres. Bush was to start making suggestions of invasion of another nation then it could make all the difference if an opponent of the Iraq conflict was leader. In fact George Bush hardly needs to hint it, already the press paw over every comment he makes about some Middle Eastern nations.

Futhermore Ken's view is the same of the majority of the country, it makes him stand out from the others.

James Hellyer

The Bush Administration lacks the men, material and political will required to launch on further military adventures. The US Armed Forces are already overstretched and even the most hawkish members of the Administration have no stomach for further conflict, having had their fingers badly burnt already when the Iraq conflict wasn't the cakewalk they had predicted.

Selecting a leader based upon the unlikely possibility that the US will invade another country, and that our government will go along with them, despite these deficiencies in resources and political will, seems to be applying a strange set of priorities.

The invasion of Iraq is now much like the miners' strike. It's an issue which arouses strong feelings, but about which everyone is already decided. The only person it damages is Tony Blair, and it won't realistically do any more damage to Labour, because this is his conflict and he is standing down. It is not an issue Ken can bash Brown with (his defence spending cuts endangering the lives of service personnel, however, is the sort of issue we can run with).

Dwelling on Blair's past will not harm Brown's future. All it does is make our support for the rebuilding of Iraq sound uncertain.

Richard Allen

I oppossed the Iraq war from the start and was glad to see that at least some tory MP's were against it.

However, the idea that Iraq is going to win us any votes in 2009/2010 is laughable.

Iraq is in the past, we must look to the future.


Does the UK electorate want another GWB poodle, or someone who can think for himself?

James Hellyer

As President Bush will no longer be in office by the time of the next general election, I fail to see any real relevance he'll have then.


Speaking on Sky News earlier Liam Fox continued his focus on the Iraq war situation and Ken Clarke's opposition to it. "You can imagine the situation," he said, "can't you, where most of the front bench would have supported the war and the leader had been opposed to it..."


If George W. Bush is an "illiterate moron" (to quote just two of the many epithets cast against him), then how is he able to turn elected leaders like Tony Blair into a "poodle"? Funny thing is, critics of the war routinely assert both points. Could it possibly be that GWB is much more substantive than his critics assert--a conclusion the American people, in the 2000 and 2004 elections, have already come to?

The Political Thinker

In regards to Bush being an “illiterate moron”, I read a very interesting article in The Times some time ago about how in reality he isn’t as dumb as is portrayed by the British and American media. It did, however, concede that he has made a few mistakes when speaking (I remember once on live television when he said he was trying to destroy America… the audience had no idea what to do, you saw them looking at each other, and finally they decided to cautiously clap)… but said he isn’t as bad as is made out.

James Hellyer

President Bush isn't a moron. The first time he ran for elected office, he lost quite heavily. The electorate thought he was too smart, too slick and and a tpical ivy leaguer. Bush learnt his lesson and became folksy. Then he started winning.


You cannot become President without being intelligent enough to gain the power, GWB is not a moron. However, his pre-occupation with finishing his dad's war in Iraq, diverted attention from more effective ways to fight the war on terror. While the Iraq debate is in the past and we now have to make the best of the situation, we again see Bush presented poorly in the light of the hurricane, yes the arguments about local Democrats and BBC bias do have elements of truth, but Bush hardly helped himself - he should have been on the ground and looking in control much sooner and delays in the help getting through has not helped his cause.

Back to Britain, Ken is the least Bush-like, he gives no impression of being Bush's poodle, or if we want to look ahead, McCain's, Rice's whoever's. that will work to his advantage when challenging Blair and then Brown, in the eyes of the public.

James Maskell

I think they proved that GWB was more intelligent than John Kerry according to their College record, GWB got better marks. He isnt as think as some people think. Hes just been caught out more times than your average President of the US of A.


While Bush may not be an 'illiterate moron' Bruce,he has to be the worst U.S.President since a mile.
Many people like me were praying for a Bush victory in 2000 to restore respect to the U.S. presidency after the lies and sleaze of the Clinton years.
It saddens me greatly that he has proved to be less competent than Clinton and he and his cronies have proved to be no more honest than the previous administation.
If Liam Fox is clever he will play down his links with Bush who is a lost cause with the British public.

Daniel Vince-Archer

I agree Malcolm, Liam needs to stop cosying up to the Bush regime as it won't do him any favours in the long run, either with the majority of the public or the media (apart from his new cheerleaders at the Sun, of course).

Those who think the Iraq is the part are very cynical and in my opinion, wrong. The effects of the war are still with us. The troops are still out there and US, UK and Iraqi people are being killed daily.

British troops are told to go into conflicts - they have no say. Therefore it for the politicians and the public to continual discuss whether this war is legit. You don't support British troops by telling them to stay there if you feel that the war is morally and legally wrong.

Also I believe people have changed their minds about war now that they are seeing the consequences, the havoc we caused out there and how thin the reasons to go to war were.

Whether Iraq will be an issue in 2009/10 - is not relevant as nobody has a crystal ball. Blair may a huge blunder on Iraq and the so called opposition of the Tories backed him. Those who support the war are clearly embarrassed by it if they hope the electorate wil agree with them and pretend Iraq is in the past.

Selsdon Man

We do need to look to the future on Iraq. There is a real risk of a long lasting civil war leading to an Iranian style "Islamic" democracy - with the Mullahs in charge. The candidates should set out some real policy on Iraq.

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