Labour schism’s over Afghanistan….
Congratulations to Kim Howells who has used a piece in The Guardian to argue;
It would be better to bring home the great majority of our fighting men and women and concentrate, instead, on using the money saved to secure our own borders, gather intelligence on terrorist activities inside Britain.
Eric Joyce has quickly followed suit, supporting Howells. Both debunk the myth that our own security is best protected by our continued presence. Meanwhile, David Cameron used his PMQ’s questions about the corruption of Afghan police; not to mention the government which Cameron conspicuously failed to mention. Meanwhile, Nick Clegg has continued to put forward the rather bankrupt idea of a ‘government of national unity’; an idea that does nothing to address corruption (something he has in common with Hamid Karzai) no more fundamental issues as Caron Lindsay rightly points out. Nothing shows the failure of liberal interventionism more than the fact that it has patently failed to deliver anything like a liberal democracy. Karzai himself has pledged to fight corruption in a rather novel way; by not sacking corrupt ministers.
It is dismaying to see opposition begin to emerge with the Labour Party as serious questions are asked (not before time) about this failed intervention. Clegg has failed as an opposition leader in this regard and failed to take heed of public opinion which is being shown time after time to be for withdrawal. He recognised the lack of legitimacy of the Afghan government but not once mentioned more fundamental issues; pretending everything would be ok if the government was more ‘ethnically inclusive’; in doing so he is blinked. In a month when the human cost of war is more in focus than others it is perhaps time that across the parties people started clamouring and pressuring their leaderships to withdraw because the price we pay in Afghanistan is no longer worth paying.