Results tagged “Afghanistan” from Liverpool Daily Post - Outside The Bubble
One of the criticisms ahead of the election about the Conservative Party was that it was short of experience of government. Fair point, but in their defence, the Tories could point to the likes of William Hague and Dr Liam Fox as members of their shadow cabinet who had been around pre-1997.
There was no surprise when Dr Fox (no relation to the old Top 40 show DJ) became defence secretary, but it hasn't taken him long to get into a muddle.
The Tories sent out three cabinet members - Foreign Secretary William Hague, defence Secretary Dr Fox and international development secretary Andrew Mitchell - out to Afghanistan to present a united front to the Afghan leaders.
Sadly, Dr Fox hadn't read the script. Or if he had, he chose to ignore it.
Some people just don't know when to shut up. Geoff Hoon is one such person.
Back on Wednesday, when he was busy plotting to bring down Gordon Brown, he was keen to stress that this wasn't personal against Gordon Brown, it was about getting everything in the open once and for all.
He insisted it wasn't about toppling Brown, but sorting out the rumours once and for all.
If that was the case, he'd have shut up after his pitiful interview on Newsnight on Wednesday when it had become clear that he simply didn't have any support.
Sadly, that isn't the case, which is why he is out in tomorrow's papers revealing that Gordon Brown vetoed the call for more military equipment in Afghanistan while chancellor.
Whether this is true or not will emerge in the next week or so, I suspect. But given this is coming from the man who had convinced himself there were lots of MPs ready to rebel against Brown, I think we are entitled to treat what he is saying with some doubt.
If it is true, then Brown has some real questions to answer. But so does Hoon. As defence secretary, his main responsibility is to make sure troops are well equipped. If he can't get the money he needs, he's failing to do his job to convince the chancellor, and therefore failing to do his job.
But it's odd that it didn't bother Hoon so much at the time that he felt the need to go public about it, is it? Just as much as George Osborne is playing politics with soldiers, so it appears, is Geoff Hoon. But the difference between Osborne and Hoon is that Osborne has never been in a position to help troops. Hoon has - and he failed. Only now, when it suits his political motives, does he see fit to accuse Brown of not helping troops. It'd be shameful, if the man had the ability to feel shame.
Just when I thought anyone would struggle to stoop lower than The Sun when it comes to taking advantage of the families of grieving the loss of loved ones in Afghanistan...
Step forward Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP who clings to the notion that he's now a mainstream politician after he clambered through the elections catflap that makes up the European poll to take the North West's last available seat.
When our latest six soldiers to be killed in Afghanistan were repatriated to the UK this week, the usual Wootton Bassett memorial service took place. The story of the Wootton Bassett memorial is one which sums up all that is great about Britain.
It started when a handful of former servicemen saw hearses passing through the town and stood to salute. They then decided to salute all future hearses passing through with the brave fallen on board. It snowballed from there.
Politicans, in the main, have stayed away from this service. Sadly, though, Nick Griffin simply couldn't resist turning up to "pay his respects" this week.
ONE of the things which particularly annoys me about life inside the political bubble is the weight given to those who've spent far too long in the bubble.
By that I mean the way that political lackeys who spend a limited amount of time working in the real world before landing a job with a political party and then go on to become MPs when a decent seat becomes available.
Would David Cameron be having more success connecting with traditional non-Tory voters if he'd spent more time working in the real world? Would Ed Balls be a little less bullish about Labour's errors if he hadn't spent so much time as an "aide" to the administration in its early years?
For Parliament to work effectively, you need a counterbalance to the professional politicians - people who come a real-world background and who can relate to what's going on in the real world readily. Of course, sometimes those who seem prime to be the real-world enforcers in parliament can go native - shop steward turned defence secretary Bob Ainsworth is perhaps proof of that with his constant use of the word "theatre" when he in fact means "war zone."
Which is what makes the departure of Eric Joyce from the Government a real shame.
You can tell it's the silly season in politics when any interview given by any senior politician gets regurgitated and discussed for days, regardless what is said.
It's the time of year where, if I was a senior politician, I'd be extremely wary of interview requests. On the one hand, get your message right and you'll probably fill more space than at other times of the year. On the other hand, get it wrong and the deputy political editors have their agenda sorted for the week.
But Bob Ainsworth, the defence secretary, seemingly thought the chance of an interview with the Daily Telegraph, arguably the most arch Tory paper out there, was a good idea.
And he nearly pulled it off.