Thursday, March 21, 2002

Oppose for England

So Iain Duncan Smith wants to remodel the Conservative party? The link with Thatcher is seen as a bit old hat, a put-off to the voters. Well let Robert Taft show you the way. This article is about a leading Republican Senator of impecably conservative views (well as impeccable as you will ever get with a fairly succesful elected politician) who started criticising the Second World War within 12 days of its outbreak. This piece is particularly worth quoting:

As a matter of general principle, I believe there can be no doubt that criticism in time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government ... too many people desire to suppress criticism simply because they think that it will give some comfort to the enemy to know that there is such criticism. If that comfort makes the enemy feel better for a few moments, they are welcome to it as far as I am concerned, because the maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country maintaining it a great deal more good than it will do the enemy, and will prevent mistakes which might otherwise occur.

Any way there are a number of good reasons for the Tories to oppose, or at least question, an attack on Iraq:

1) Fighting other countries' wars is unpatriotic.
2) An attack on Iraq is unpopular.
3) It will put clear blue water between the Tory Party and Thatcher.
4) Now the Tories are fully engaged on public services, the war is the only thing the Lib Dems have as a vote getter.
5) If the war goes right, no one will thank Blair. If it goes wrong everyone will blame him. But to whom will they turn?
6) Not only will the Mail back you, but so will the Guardian (!) and even the Telegraph on its present, frankly baffling, form. The Times will hate you, but they already do. The only loss will be the Sun, and they don't really have a mind of their own - as soon as their readers change, they will.

So there's advantages to questioning the Sumerian escapade wherever you look, from high principle to low cunning. Now the only problem is that it will mean Iain has to choose between his country and party on one side, and some over-funded think tanks on Potomac marshland on the other. What will he choose?

I only dread to think.


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