A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Friday, November 06, 2009

Gordon Brown's Afghan egg displeases curate's congregation

The curate's egg was good in parts. He was implying that something which is partly good can be ruined by the bad bit.

Right Reverend Host. "I’m afraid you’ve got a bad Egg, Mr. Jones!"
The Curate. "Oh no, my Lord, I assure you! Parts of it are excellect!"

We could say the same about Gordon Brown's speech this morning. He is still trying to persuade us that his nemesis, Alky Ada, is about to strike out in London on a savage rampage all due to the problems starting in Kabul. Cut off the Afghan terrorists and Britain is a safer place. It's all poppycock. He ruins a basically good premise by including untruths and speculation. Al Queda are in Pakistan giving grief to that benighted country. If they ever were in Afghanistan they have long since fled. Terrorists are not insurgents. Fine point, maybe, but the aims are different. It is the Taliban, a group of warlords and displaced poppy farmers, that are the anti-social scourge of the Afghans. We don't wish to seize the moment in Pakistan to go after Al Queda. Probably because we would get an uprising in Britain as well as in Pakistan.

So the Afghan war is about telling us we are fighting terrorism to make Britain a safer place. The Taliban are enemies of the democratising process of Afghan society. We are telling Karzai about corruption. Gordon Brown lectures him on good governance, suggesting that a government must not stand back and let corruption take place. Excuse me! What has Brown beeen doing in Westminster? Trying to hide MPs expenses, his own cleaning bills and Sky Sports subscriptions, by invoking parliamentary privilege, stifling freedom of information and redacting documents. Nice one.

The country is not behind this war because the premise is false. We are behind our soldiers and each and every one of them has put themselves where virtually none of us would go. But the government needs to do far better than come up with this travesty of the truth.

There are four countries in the world that the "West" has difficulty with. Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan. Not one is a fully functioning democracy. All have despots waiting to take over. All have simmering grievances. The peoples of each country want peace and prosperity. They don't care if it is with democracy or with a benign overlord. They just want peace. In that, Gordon Brown is right to say that the first duty of a government is the security of the nation. But he negates his good reasons by including fancifully bad ones.

Until the truth is out, this war will go nowhere. Until our objectives are crystal clear, we have only the curate's opinion to guide us.


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