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January 07, 2004

Comments

Simon

Ken Livingstone said that Bush was "the biggest threat to world peace"....I take it that that is the Labour Party's line as well?

Tom

In the debate in the House on March 18th Ken Clarke and a number of other 'Left-wing' Tory MPs argued against going to war. Yet you do not characterise them as representatives of 'Tory Thinkers'. Many Liberals opposed the war because of its consequences and because they did not believe that war should take place without UN approval, that the UN process of Weapons Inspections had not run its full course. To claim that Marsden is representative is at best foolish and at worst disingenuous.

Eamonn

Marsden is very representative of how all the Lib Dem MPs voted, however.

Brownie

Eamonn makes the point.

Marsden's thoughts on the war are reflected in the way the parliamentary Liberal Democrat party voted and spoke on this issue. Conversely, the thoughts of the two Kens - Clarke and Livingstone - illustrate the wide range of views held within the other two parties.

Unless, of course, someone knows different? Was there a Lib Dem MP who backed the war?

Bob

Ken Livingstone also said, during the run up to the 1987 general election: All some northern MPs know about London is the wine bars and brothels of Westminster.

john b

...which is true, if not relevant.

Simon

Yes, all the Lib Dem MPs voted against the war, but that doesn't all mean that they thought the same way about it. To prove the point, you would never find Rt Hon Sir Ming Campbell QC MP say such a thing. Part of the party should grow up. Fine. But the same could be said of either of the other parties.

Anthony

I'm surprised Marsden didn't decide to make history and become the first Socialist Worker Party MP.

Andrew Ian Dodge

Marsden is a particularily vile example of Lib Dem MPs. I would point that those Tory who were anti-war are the ones who are most likely to be the ones who leave and join the Lib-Dems.

Jurjen

Tom, the topic was Afghanistan, not Iraq. The UNSC ruled US action in Afghanistan to be justified under Article 51 (the right to self-defence) of the UN Charter. Similarly, NATO ruled that Article 5 ("an attack on one is an attack on all") of the North Atlantic Charter was applicable, which meant that the US could have called on its NATO partners to assist. We haven't seen a more solid international backing for the invasion of a country and the overthrow of its government since 1945.

Richard

Brownie, I don't know if you have seen this but for some entertainment can I draw your attention to the following speech in the Commons war debate. It was for the vast majority of its course shaping up to be one of the best pro-war speeches made ...

(HANSARD 18th May 2003 Volume 401 Column 849) - a speech by a Mr Burnett of the Liberal Democrat Party.

To get a flavour you could also read Jack Straw's summing up (Hansard 18th May 2003 Volume 401 Column 896)

Dave F

Since I left the UK to return to S Africa in 1996, I fear the Lib Dems have kind of slipped beneath my political radar. I'm finding it hard to figure out how they got from gung-ho Paddy Pantsdown to their present position on almost everything. I have noticed that everyone on the other jeers and laughs when little Charlie Kennedy speaks (seeing someone get redder and redder is schoolboy entertainment, but that's the Commons for you).

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