The Spectator

What’s wrong with the new consensus

What's wrong with the new consensus
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When I supported the Iraq war, it was certainly for the aims James mentioned. And yes, I’m feasting on humble pie now. And Stuart’s right to say that even the Republicans are deserting Bush – the House has just voted to pull out troops by Spring. So I suspect Wee Dougie’s speech will be at the softer end of what’s to come. Britain’s political class are getting in synch with the would-be 2008 presidential candidates. Here’s the bit in Dougie’s speech that jumped out at me:

“Given the interconnected nature of the challenges we face, I would argue that we have to simultaneously be fighting to end poverty, to secure trade justice and to tackle conflict and climate change, as well as working to defeat terrorism and ensure the preservation of our security."

Huh? Since when was terrorism connected to global poverty? We now have biographies of enough jet-set suicide bombers to disprove this theory. There’s lots of reasons to help Africa, but let’s not confuse it with a counter-terrorism mission. Trade (or lack thereof) causes conflict – I’ll give him that. But where does climate change fit into all this? Conflating all these issues blunts our ability to deal with them. I hope Dougie won’t make this mistake.