- Time for Gordon Brown to go
Think Ernie's onto a loser here. "We don't approve of this war but as it's inevitable we'll support it as opposing it would only undermine it but wouldn't prevent it" is to me a sensible and honourable position. You deal with the real situation not the ideal situation.Posted 9 years ago
You need to sort yourself out rightplacerighttime . Firstly you say :
"But just to take it seriously for a second"
followed by :
"you're suggesting that the Lib Dems could be taken to court for expressing support for our armed forces are you?"
Don't be so ridiculous, no one's suggesting "that the Lib Dems could be taken to court" 🙄
I was simply pointing out that to justify giving your full support to something which you know to be both illegal and immoral, on the grounds that to do so is "pragmatic" is not a recognised or acceptable defence.
There are not in my opinion, ever any grounds for supporting a war which you believe to be both illegal and immoral.
It is only with the utmost reluctance that I would support any war. I certainly would never support one which I considered to be immoral. And the LibDems certainly did argue that any war with Iraq would be immoral – I personally heard Kennedy say so with my own ears.
I have more respect for those who supported the war because they considered it to be both illegally and morally justified, than those that supported it despite believing that it was illegal and immoral.
"If you think that the Lib Dems have ever supported the principle of war in Iraq, maybe you could offer a bit of evidence?"
The LibDems leadership withdrew their support for the Stop the war coalition and refused to supply any more speakers to events organised by them after the war, which they argued was immoral, had started.
We were nearly having an interesting discussion there. No need to start adding waffle.
Well don't bother then. You are under no obligation to comment. And I won't mind if you don't 🙂Posted 9 years ago
Don't be so ridiculous, no one's suggesting "that the Lib Dems could be taken to court"
Well you seemed to be. You're the one who brought the courts up for no good reason. I was trying to get you to explain what you meant (which you still haven't done BTW).
And I am also trying to get you to show me a quote or a news item or something to show that the Lib Dems supported the war in Iraq, because I don't think you can.
The Lib Dems never supported the war, but they did support the forces who were sent out there to pursue it – there is a difference.
It's a bit like supporting the legal system that gives murderers the right to a defence doesn't mean you support murder.
Not sending speakers to the Stop the War Coalition isn't the same as supporting the war.
You seem to think you've got a monopoly on outrage – get off your high horse.Posted 9 years ago
Here you are rightplacerighttime, have a read of this article by John Whitelegg MEP dated 2 June 2004 :
It is not true that the Liberal Democrats opposed the Iraq war. But it is a myth that keeps reappearing in political media coverage and a myth that could mislead millions on polling day on 10 June. So it's time we exposed the facts.
Let us go back to Brighton to the Liberal Democrat annual conference of September 2002 to start setting the record straight. Delegates did not oppose the war. The conference set out the conditions that would make war acceptable to the party. In the end none of these conditions was met but the party supported the war anyway.
Its federal executive didn't oppose the war. In January 2003 it simply reiterated the conference decision and supported the Lib Dem MPs' line that there was "no compelling argument" for war "at the present time". What is significant here is that the argument never became compelling by the Lib Dems' previously expressed criteria, but they supported the war anyway.
Charles Kennedy did not oppose the war – not even when he addressed the anti-war rally in Hyde Park in February 2003. He spoke of "real concerns" and the "powerlessness" of "vast numbers of people" to whom Tony Blair "must listen". But he didn't say, as the Green MEP Caroline Lucas said at the same rally, that the war would be illegal, unjust and counter-productive. Indeed Kennedy said on the party website at the time: "We are not the all-out anti-war party. I believe that the United Nations is the proper place to make the decisions." He said firmly that there should only be war if the UN Security Council gave a clear mandate. But the UN never gave such a mandate. And unlike Blair, Kennedy never even claimed there was a clear UN mandate, yet he supported the war.
On 18 March 2003 the Liberal Democrats voted against the motion allowing the government to take Britain to war against Iraq. But even as they voted against the government, the party's MPs fell into line behind it. Lib Dems abandoned talk of forcing the Prime Minister to prove the unproven case for war. Lib Dem conditions requiring a clear UN mandate and proof of a threat from Iraq melted away. Kennedy's view was that the decision had been made and the Lib Dems must give it their "genuine support".
In effect, the Lib Dems were saying they didn't believe the war was necessary but they would support it once it started. I wouldn't call that opposing the war. In fact I can think of no more unprincipled a stance than to say: "This war is unjust, but we'll support it anyway."
Those of us in Green politics have come to expect the Liberal Democrats to say one thing and do another. We watch them do it all the time over roadbuilding, aviation, incinerators. After 11 September, we watched them position themselves as the party of the measured response, but then support the bombing of Afghanistan anyway.
Shirley Williams in the House of Lords provided a superb example of the fudged nature of Liberal Democrat politics. She agonised over the "catastrophe". She mentioned the "emphasis on regime change by the Bush administration" which was "an objective not recognised in international law". She alluded to attacks on civilian infrastructure, saying the bombing was "likely to knock out the key elements of Iraq's ramshackle infrastructure". She said: "Thousands more innocents will die. And from their ashes thousands more terrorists will spring up."
She made what would pass for a powerful anti-war speech – until the point where she said we must support it anyway because "our troops are not politicians and they deserve to be supported in the professional job they are asked to do by Her Majesty's Government". On that logic, anyone who opposes any unjust war should turn their coats and support it on the grounds that their government did. It's like saying: "I'm opposed to the invasion of Poland/East Timor/the Falklands but I'm going to support it because the troops are only doing what Hitler/Suharto/Galtieri told them to do."
And whilst Kennedy had only ever skirted vaguely around the word "opposition" he now gave his "genuine support" to the invasion. But some Lib Dems went further. Emma Nicholson, the party's South-East Euro MP, said: "This conflict has one of the strongest moral and ethical mandates since the Second World War. It is a just war which we know to be right."
One may speculate about the origins of the myth that the Lib Dems opposed the Iraq war. "Media balance" in this country has more to do with the size of the parties than the strength of the viewpoints. Hence the public was to a large extent shielded from the truly anti-war political choice because the "balancing views" broadcast and published were mostly those of a pro-war party expressing itself in different terms. Whatever the Lib Dems may have said before or since, the party gave what Kennedy himself described as "genuine support" to Blair's war.Posted 9 years agoJunkyardMember
The conference set out the conditions that would make war acceptable to the party. In the end none of these conditions was met but the party supported the war anyway.
i have a set of conditions for selling my car none of these have been met have I sold it ?
And unlike Blair, Kennedy never even claimed there was a clear UN mandate, yet he supported the war.
On 18 March 2003 the Liberal Democrats voted against the motion allowing the government to take Britain to war against Iraq.
right so he voted aginst ot but supported it
I stopped reading then seems that their position was here are the conditions to mean that we should go to war [ I suppose all but pacifists have them] they were not met they voted against the war so they did not support it but accepte dthat there could be a set of circumstances that justified war…can you really not see the distinction/difference?
It's a bit like supporting the legal system that gives murderers the right to a defence doesn't mean you support murder.
Nice retortPosted 9 years ago
That's an article by someone from the Green party giving his interpretation of what the Lib Dems position is.
It's worth about as much as your interpretation.
Give me something that directly quotes the Lib Dems supporting the war.
Must be loads of stuff – sounds like a big story!Posted 9 years ago
You know how you keep going on about courts and stuff?
Well, in a court case, it's normally the person who makes the allegation (that's you BTW) that provides the evidence.
I'll try and make another helpful analogy.
It's like you are the prosecution, and the LIb Dems are the accused, and I am the defence.
And you stand up and say:
"It was them wot done it – a bloke from the Green Party said so. The prosecution rests m'lud"
Now, in a court of Law, the defense could probably go and have their sandwiches at this point. I don't really think anyone would be asking them to "prove" their innocence.Posted 9 years ago
But just in case anyone else here is interested in what happened V your warped view of things ernie, here's what Charles Kennedy said in the debate before the vote on March 18th 2003 – lifted from Hansard.
Mr. Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye and Inverness, West): Following the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Kilfoyle), I acknowledge with thanks, through him, to the right hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith) and to all those concerned in all parties in this House, that an honest option has been discussed and agreed in a cross-party way. In the previous debate, the right hon. Gentleman made a powerful contribution to that cross-party basis, which needs to be heard and discussed rationally today.
Although it is sad that we have lost a very good Leader of the House, there is no doubt, having listened to his brilliant resignation statement in the House yesterday evening, that those of us who are supporting the cross-party amendment in the Lobby tonight, as I and my right hon. and hon. Friends will do, have gained
18 Mar 2003 : Column 782
a powerful additional advocate for the case that we are sincerely making. Given the events of the past few days and the last few hours, there has been much understandable comment about the drama of the situation. In the next few hours and days, however, we are liable to see even more drama and trauma when what appears to be the inevitable military conflict against Iraq begins. Let us hope, as we all agree, that the conflict can be conducted as swiftly as possible, with the minimum of casualties: first and foremost, clearly, among our forces, but equally among innocent Iraqi civilians, with whom none of us has ever had any quarrel and who have suffered terribly under the despicable regime of Saddam Hussein.
As for those of us who remain unpersuaded as to the case at this time for war, and who have questioned whether British forces should be sent into a war without a further UN mandate having been achieved, there stands no contradiction—as the former Leader of the House and former Foreign Secretary put succinctly last night—between giving voice to that legitimate anxiety and, at the same time, as and when exchange of fire commences, looking to the rest of the country, and to all of us in the House, to give full moral support to our forces. They do not take the civilian political decision in relation to what they are being asked to do, but they must carry out that task in all our names. The shadow Leader of the House expressed that well last night, but, equally, Church leaders, who earlier expressed profound opposition to war in this way at this time, are making the same point. If, later tonight, at the conclusion of this debate, under the democratic procedures that we enjoy in this House, that is to be the decision, it is important that the whole House unites in that genuine support.
Sir Patrick Cormack (South Staffordshire): Can I therefore take it that if the amendment is lost the right hon. Gentleman will vote for the substantive motion?
Mr. Kennedy: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question, but the answer is no. I will not do so because our consistent line is that we do not believe that a case for war has been established under these procedures in the absence of a second UN Security Council resolution. That is our position—[Interruption.]
It goes on a bit after that as other MPs ask questions, but you can read the rest here if you want; clickPosted 9 years ago
"You know how you keep going on about courts and stuff?"
No I don't.
I do know that I suggested the "Yes I know it was illegal and immoral but I was just being pragmatic" is not a recognised or justified defence.
And I do know that I mentioned the word "court" just once in the following single sentence :
"That's a pisspoor defence imo, and one which I doubt would have much success in a court of law"
I also know that it's clearly you who keeps banging on about "courts and stuff".
"But just in case anyone else here is interested in what happened V your warped view of things ernie, here's what Charles Kennedy said in the debate before the vote on March 18th 2003 – lifted from Hansard."
"Just in case anyone else here is interested" ? Are you playing to an audience ? ……..how sad 😐
TopTip : Try just making your point and moving on without worrying too much what other people think……..that's what generally like to do.
And btw, the Hansard doc. you've copied and pasted is useless. It refers to what Charles Kennedy was saying before the war had started. Everyone knows that the LibDems were opposed to the war before it started. So how about you post some evidence that they opposed the war 2 days after it had started, rather 2 days before it had started. I assume that you couldn't find any, but if it helps the war started on March 20th 2003.Posted 9 years ago
ENGLISH!?! DO YOU SPEAK IT!?!
Yeah I would say so, but not particularly well – certainly not as well as the Queen. Why do you ask ? Because I missed a word out in my post ?
"Ernie – you are an idiot"
Well I guess there's always that possibility. Although I'm able to figure out that what Charles Kennedy said 2 days before the start of the Iraq war, doesn't provide proof of what he was saying after it had started……apparently you believe that it does 😕Posted 9 years ago
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