Tag Archives: road to damascus

How appropriate that a man who perverted justice is urging Cameron to war

140818huhne

Less than a day after this blog said David Cameron was waiting for media coverage to make war in the Middle East palatable to the people again, an article appears urging him to make war in the Middle East – by Chris Huhne.

That’s right, Chris Huhne – a former Liberal Democrat politician who had to resign his position as Energy Secretary in Cameron’s Coalition cabinet after being convicted of perverting the course of justice by trying to pretend his former wife had been speeding, not himself.

Huhne had maintained his innocence right up to the beginning of the trial, when he changed his plea to admit guilt. Apparently the public is supposed to accept the advice of this weaselly creature, writing in The Guardian.

That’s right, The Guardian – if ever a newspaper should know better than to publish warmongering propaganda, it’s The Guardian, which tries to be the voice of reason in an ever-feverish British press. Admittedly, this is an opinion piece in the paper’s ‘Comment is free’ column. Nevertheless, it is ill-advised and editor Alan Rusbridger should have thought twice before playing into David Cameron’s hands in this way.

The article itself reads like a response to yesterday’s Vox Political piece, which stated that Cameron, stung by his defeat over Syria, was waiting for public opinion to be turned back on-side by media support for British military intervention in Iraq.

And what’s the title of the Huhne piece? ‘David Cameron must get over his Syria humiliation and act on Iraq’. How swiftly the prophecies of Yr Obdt Srvt fulfil themselves these days… No crystal ball required, either.

Huhne, whose Parliamentary voting record shows he strongly supported an investigation into the last Iraq war, seems to have undergone a complete reversal of opinion since Cameron lost that famous vote on Syria, almost a year ago. Perhaps he’s had a “Road to Damascus” moment, to use a Biblical reference.

“Britain has so far done little except tip food parcels out of military transport; the last week has been notable for dither and delay,” he writes. “There have been no British air strikes… Such is the shadow of the government’s parliamentary defeat on the Syrian intervention.”

He argues that Cameron must try to represent “both strands” that identify Tories: “the Whig imperialists who believe in muscular intervention in good international causes; and the Tory nationalists who want nothing if it does not serve narrowly defined British interests.

“It is a debate that has raged throughout Tory history, most famously pitting Winston Churchill against Neville Chamberlain on appeasement.”

Hold on that thought; so now Huhne is comparing IS, still a relatively low concern to anybody outside its own backyard, with the German Nazis of the 1930s and the huge threat to lives and freedom that they posed?

That’s a step too far, too quickly. Huhne should have thought about what he was saying. Trying to connect IS with the greatest enemy this country has ever faced is a ridiculous step too far, utterly disproportionate and clearly manipulative. And nobody has any interest in appeasing Islamic State.

He is calling on us to make an emotional decision based on a grossly misjudged comparison.

The irony is that he didn’t need to do it. The arguments speak for themselves. His claim that “regional powers joining to meet their responsibilities” could solve the IS question is reasonable. This blog stated yesterday that an international alliance could surround IS and choke it to death, ending its threat forever.

But, ultimately, that is not what Huhne is demanding. He wants Cameron to rush in, do another quick-fix, and set up the pieces for another conflict – possibly bloodier – further down the line. This is odd, because there are no military suppliers among Huhne’s business interests.

The bottom line is that nobody should support military action on the basis of what is written here.

It would be a crime for British troops to go back to Iraq on such a pretext – especially when urged to do so by this petty criminal.

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Iain Duncan Smith blames rise of food banks on ‘evangelism’ – pot, kettle, black?

Crocodile tears: Everybody thought Iain Duncan Smith had a change of heart at Easterhouse and intended to help people. Instead, under his direction, the Department for Work and Pensions has caused the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent people.

Crocodile tears: Everybody thought Iain Duncan Smith had a change of heart at Easterhouse and intended to help people. Instead, under his direction, the Department for Work and Pensions has caused the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent people.

The Department for Work and Pensions reckons that the rise of food banks has more to do with Christian evangelism than with helping people who can’t afford food because of Conservative government policies.

According to Political Scrapbook, DWP director Neil Couling said: “For the Trussell Trust, food banks started as an evangelical device to get religious groups in touch with their local communities.”

How interesting.

Has Mr Couling forgotten Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘Road to Damascus’ moment on the housing estates of Easterhouse and Gallowgates in Glasgow in 2002?

Struck by the run-down housing, visible signs of drug abuse and general lack of hope, Roman Catholic Duncan Smith set out – with evangelical zeal – to do something about it.

He now sits in a government that kicks people out of their run-down houses and turns the lack of hope into abject despair by cutting off the benefits they need to survive (his government has pushed wages even further below the amount necessary for people to be able to live without government assistance than ever before).

As New Statesman columnist Laurie Penny puts it, Duncan Smith pretends to be “on a quasireligious, reforming crusade”, approaching his work with “particular fervour and self-righteous indignation”.

So, really, who do you think is misusing the plight of the very poor as an “evangelical device” for his own “quasireligious” ends?

Couling’s attitude defies belief. He refers to a report from Oxfam – one of Britain’s most highly-respected anti-poverty charities – together with Church Action on Poverty and the Trussell Trust, as “unverified figures from disparate sources”.

Okay, then. How about the DWP supplying us with all the figures it collects, and we’ll do the working-out?

We can start with the deaths of people receiving incapacity benefits.

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