Dead Men Left

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

David Cameron's real dirty secret

Nothing to do with Mistress Pain, Olivia Channon, or anything else truly salacious, I'm afraid. Squeaky-clean Cameron's big dirty secret, one his supporters are keen to hide behind the flannel of "modern, compassionate conservatism", is just how right-wing he is. And becoming more so.

Take Iraq, where Chris at the Virtual Stoa has done some digging. Cameron described himself, back in February 2003, as "confused and uncertain" about the issue; prepared to support the Labour government, but only “in the right circumstances”. He indicates his constituents’ concerns about the planned invasion, and even concludes that Blair “might be in for a surprise”, losing the support of Tory MPs – himself, it is certainly implied, amongst them.

Two years later, and Cameron’s position, as Chris says, is “utterly different”:

The mission to establish a representative government in Iraq is a cause worth fighting for.
As a Conservative, whose natural instincts are to be wary of grand schemes and ambitious projects for the re-making of society, I had my concerns about the scale of what is being attempted.

Moving from the position of deterring a foe - Saddam - to an approach of pre-emptive action to remove him, was a profound change. That is why specific endorsement from the UN - through a "second resolution" - was so desirable.

But when - principally due to French obstruction - that was not possible, a decision still had to be made.

Should we enforce a stream of UN resolutions against Saddam, remove a key element of instability in the region and neutralise a continued threat - or should we back off?

I thought then that, on balance, it was right to go ahead, and I still do now.

If we are to defeat the global Jihadist terrorist threat we must realise that we're all in this together.

It's full-on neocon howling at the moon craziness. It's not something, I'd wager, too popular at present with the voters.