A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Des Browne words of wisdom

Des Browne at tonight's Progress debate on Trident:

"I don't understand the moral argument that bad countries like North Korea and Iran would be allowed to have nuclear weapons whilst good countries have to renounce their deterrents".


Blogger parburypolitica said...

Hi Luke,

I went along to Bath CLP tonight and bath churchs together with asorted trots are looking for a labour party speaker to go and defend trident at there meeting which is being chaired by the local vicar would you be interested in defending the replacement of trident?

I would want to go myself except a) it's a friday and I will be at the other end of the country learning about statistics and b) I support the mothballing of the technology if not out right scrapping

On the plus side it is right by the station so it would be really easy to find and an easy get away;)

Anyway if your interested I can send you more details. My emails is willparbury (@) hotmail.com

11:37 pm, January 22, 2007

Anonymous Dr V La Placa said...

Words of wisdom if ever I hear them. Let's stop talking about disarming the Western democracies who maintain stability and freedom (all progressive strategies, you would think) and join our allies in ensuring Iran does not get the bomb.

10:12 am, January 23, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Des Browne, mmmm. Another perverse comment.

"Bad countries" come good sometimes. And "good countries" do some awfully bad things in the name of their "good" wouldn't you say Luke?

In fact the discourse from either side on these things is often remarkably similar. The New Internationalist ran some interesting "Twin Terrors" adverts with Bush and Bin Laden reflecting the uncannily mirrorish textual analysis of their statements and war aims. Beating the evil 'other' basically.

In Iran the "President" is not really in charge and the people who are in charge have a different attitude to many things. As do the populace, hence electing the President's opponents because they don't like the President pissing off Luke Akehurst, Des Browne, George W Bush and The State of Israel.

Which is a hopeful sign.

Many people rather than wanting NATO to abandon nuclear deterrence completely want a sign that escalation and warhead comparing pissing contests are not to be the way of the world.

A sign like reducing the number of platforms to launch the things, postponing expensive decisions on renewal by extending the life of existing assets and negotiating with those with nuclear ambitions or existing small holdings of nukes to desist.

Easier to do if you're not ramping up and manfully carressing your own Steely Dan.

And clearly there is a huge difference between fuel and weapons grade - which the famous neo con (not) Milan Rai explained beautifully at Conference this year (didn't see you there Luke) - and Iran are some way from having even the puny former.

If they cannot make that they are a very long way from making the other.

Meanwhile wasn't it the Spectator which ran a lovely new year 2007 cover story claiming that the State of Israel were planning to *nuke* every scrap of Iran's installations, and soon.

Des Browne: Another example of perversity. Told Graham Stringer MP that while Mrs Farhat Khan had proven she was a women of great resourcefulness and intelligence by collecting 10,000 signatures in quick time, she and her children would therefore easily be able to evade her allegedly murder-in-minded hubbie if she were shipped back to North West Frontier Province.

The idea that Farhat could hide anywhere in Pakistan from these interests belies the fact that they even tracked her down in England and forced her to come home to wait her fate under house arrest. She escaped before her husband who was overseas came back to sort her out.

The fact that he had some business interests overseas - a mere plane ride away - was the successful IND argument in the first claim that she would be safe if she went home.

Perverse non-sequitors from Des Browne are not an unfamiliar experience.

[CP dons tin hat and seeks sanctuary in local church]

10:35 am, January 23, 2007

Anonymous Dr V La Placa said...

Remarkably similar? What is perverse is that you can morally equate the West's fight against terror and totalitarianism with Islamofascist genocide and dictatorship. The Mullars in Iran are going wobbly precisely because of the military build up in the Gulf and Israel's threat to legally defend itself as stated in Article 51 of the UN Charter. There is no moral or political equivalence here at all.

10:51 am, January 23, 2007

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11:02 am, January 23, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Maybe time to switch on comment moderation?

11:50 am, January 23, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I said the discourse is remarkably similar. It is. I did not say the behaviour or the ultimate validity of the cause is remarkably similar. Though some of the behaviour most certainly has far more equivalence than neo cons would allow.

"It's worth it" as Ms Albright said of a death toll estimated at 500,000 children. "It's not" quoth I.

I can easily equate the innocent child torn to bits by a Patriot missile made by Texas Instruments/Raytheon with another innocent child torn to bits by some improvised device.

- Both are dead and in bits;
- Both are the same species, just like
our own kids;
- Both no longer laugh and play;
- Both are needless results of
excessive violence and the
disgusting Right Makes Right meme;
- Both leave grief and anger;
- Both deaths are entrenching hate.

There is no such thing as a "good" dismembered innocent child is there?

I have watched the bomb aimers videos of operations with AC-150 Hercules gunships as recently deployed in Somalia. I have heard the whoops and the cheers as the "other" are mopped up triumphantly. Like a big game. Some of these guys enjoy their work that's for sure.

Games Without Frontiers, Wars Without Tears?

For clarity:

- Equivalence in discourse
- More equivalence than you allow in activities
- Little or no equivalence of just cause on
the principles of the struggle

[Back into bunker]

11:51 am, January 23, 2007

Anonymous Leftrightleftright said...

Doc, (and Luke) supporters of Trident renewal often make the point that posession of nuclear neapons is a security guarantor. How does that encourage other states to disarm, exactly?

Will, did you hear Richard Garwin, a US nuclear scientist, who claimed in an interview on today's Today Programme, that renewal of Trident was unnecessary now as it would be perfectly feasible to renew/refurbish the submarines (as the USA has done) instead of getting new missiles -something he described as completely premature?

He pointed out that the B52 was not projected to fly beyond 1970, but is still flying now and that the US Navy claimed Poseidon subs needed replacing becasue of hull erosion, but that turned out not to be true.

He said plenty more - including his view that the world would be safer through a concerted effort at disarmament rather than renewal, but you can listen for yourself if you did not hear it already: href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/networks/radio4/aod.shtml?radio4/today#

12:50 pm, January 23, 2007

Anonymous Duncan said...

I fail to see how Des Browne's stultifyingly ignorant analysis could ever be categorised as 'words of wisdom'. It is based on so many flawed assumptions as to make it barely worth savaging.

The implication of his statement is that those who want to see the UK lose its nuclear deterrent are 'happy' to see Iran and North Korea keep theirs. That is based on an lie and an absurd lie at that. A far more logical explanation would be that those who wish to see Iran and North Korea abandon their nuclear ambitions appreciate that our government would have some legal and moral authority in the matter were we not currently planning the renewal of our own nukes. I know of nobody who argues for UK disarmament who does not see global disarmament as an intrinsic part of their case. You may conclude that they are wrong - and I'm sure you do - but that is their (our) position, and therefore Des Browne's words of wisdom are propped up on hot air: a pointless piece of ad hominem nonsense.

1:26 pm, January 23, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duncan I agree. Don't people like Brown realise that they show up their arguments to a have a huge empty void in the middle when they have to create fantastical nonsense opinions that others are supposed to hold?
I accept that there is an ongoing and criticial need to debate nuclear arm control and the ethics and efficacy of any particular country (or any country?) holding nuclear weapons. But for Brown to stupidly assert something so cretinous as ' any dissenters want bad countries to have nuclear weapons and good countries not to have them'... and this is a Minister in the MOD?!... well just what is the point of even pretending to debate this serious matter with such people?
This was the hallmark of Tony Blair's stand on the untruths of Iraq. When millions of us (despite being of the 'sensible' fraternity) were moved to actually got off our apathetic bums and campaign against the immoral and illegal war we were aliented and angered by his similarly cretinous lines on how we were 'those people' who had to 'accept my sincerity' etc., etc. (changed days eh Tony?)

2:17 pm, January 23, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously (?) I meant "Might Makes Right" and not "Right Makes Right" ... sorry. Good to see some other posters exposing Browne's perverse nonsense.

Might Makes Right is incidentally MMR, though in this case an innoculation against morality and species consciousness.

The War Against Terror and The War On Terror make their own apposite acronyms.

2:44 pm, January 23, 2007

Blogger Sham said...

Oh dear, it seems the nuts are on the march again! "Let's disarm the free democracies and embolden the illiberal dictatorships. Hizbollah la la la ..."

When will these people grow up and understand the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. There's no negotiating with al-Qaeda; either we destroy them, or they'll kill us.

3:48 pm, January 23, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How exactly will nuclear missiles help with our fight against Al-Qaeda?

Sorry, you've lost me there Sham.


4:41 pm, January 23, 2007

Blogger Sham said...

They could certainly help when dealing with regimes who back terrorism - the same regimes who are currently trying to develop nukes - but I suppose you're right in that UK nukes in themselves aren't going to stop UK citizens from blowing themselves up.

4:54 pm, January 23, 2007

Anonymous Leftrightleftright said...

Sham, if there is no negotiating with al Qaeda, why did the west nurture Osama bin Laden in the first place? Why did they nurture Saddam (on the basis that "he may be an evil bastard, but he is our evil bastard) against Iran? Why did Bush invite Taliban leaders to the USA to negotiate the route of an oil pipeline?

You've every right to espouse your point of view, but when you accuse others of being "nutters" on the basis of your own ignorance of recent history, as you seem to do all too frequently, it is poor political argument. Especially when many of the people opposed to the war in Iraq are the same people who campaigned against the arms trade while Rumsfeld, Cheney and the arms manufacturers fell over themselves to shake Saddam's and (in the case of the manufacturers) Khomeini's oil wealthy hands.

We were told to be realistic then, much as you exhort us to be "grown-up" now. If your ahistorical ignorance is supposed to represent mature political thinking, we're all sliding down the devil's throat faster than an oyster in a bobsleigh.

To all the other commenters, my apologies for the broken link to todays interesting today Programme interview with Dr Richard Garwin. the correct link is: www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/

and scroll down to 0827.

6:27 pm, January 23, 2007

Blogger Sham said...

"ignorance" ... at least I know my own name, you gutless moron.

7:41 pm, January 23, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Doc, (and Luke) supporters of Trident renewal often make the point that posession of nuclear neapons is a security guarantor. How does that encourage other states to disarm, exactly?"

A viable argument if we lived in a perfect world. Fact is - the genie's out the bottle. There's no way we can get rid of the things as they've demonstrated that if you have one you get to sit at the big boys table, taken seriously. The fact is, as history demonstrates with disarmament, people have the tendency to cheat. Hell, if I was a state - I'd want one!

The only people who have ended up in the Hague have one thing (among others!), they didn't have a nuke. In that sense, they certainly make a sound deterrent.

Only engagement and inventives can truly discourage regimes from pursuing a nuclear weapons programme.

8:49 pm, January 23, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sham said - "They could certainly help when dealing with regimes who back terrorism - the same regimes who are currently trying to develop nukes - but I suppose you're right in that UK nukes in themselves aren't going to stop UK citizens from blowing themselves up".

Are you really suggesting we drop nuclear bombs on countries that harbour terrorists?

Your approach to international relations would result in WW3 and a nuclear holocaust....nice.

PS. Nuclear bombs don't fall on regimes, they fall on people.

10:42 pm, January 23, 2007

Blogger Sham said...

Your approach to international relations would result in WW3 and a nuclear holocaust....nice.

No, you're wrong. Conventional weapons would be enough to overthrow the vile Ahmadinejad. The point about nukes is that they're a deterrent.

The truth is that the approach of others to international relations - running up the white flag, caving in to terrorism, supporting regimes like Saddam - would result in a very real "holocaust", a living hell, for people the world over.

1:24 pm, January 24, 2007

Anonymous Duncan said...

Sham said:

"The truth is that the approach of others to international relations - running up the white flag, caving in to terrorism, supporting regimes like Saddam - would result in a very real "holocaust", a living hell, for people the world over."

I don't know why I'm bothering with this, because I've seen you do the same thing on other blogs, but could you PLEASE back up this suggestion that anti-war people support regimes like Saddam's, or indeed that they want to run up a white flag, with a fact or two (other than your usual Galloway quote). I ask this, because the suggestion that members of the Labour Party supported a regime like Saddam's is an extraordinary one and should not be made lightly.

It really angers me that Blairites appear to have waited till after the war to acquire this enormous concern for the pre-war welfare of the Iraqi people. When we were looking at the effects of sanctions on the Iraqi people, I don't remember hearing your voices sharing our concerns. When the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, Tony Benn, Alice Mahon and Harry Barnes (and George Galloway for that matter, although he's not a Labour Party member anymore) we're protesting about the horrors of Halabjah (at a time incidentally when the US and UK governments vetoed UN resolutions condemning the act) I don't remember Tony Blair or Gordon Brown wanting to register their disgust at such crimes.

For you, Sham, the only measure of whether you support the Iraqi people is if you were a cheerleader for bombs that - lest we forget - killed them in their thousands. Its the people who wanted to stop the killing, and who gave a damn about Iraqis before the war who are the pro-Saddam, anti-Iraqi criminals in your strange and twisted world.

I totally appreciate there is a new discussion and new debate now, even amongst those who opposed the war (I, for example, take a different view on one aspect of this from Harry Barnes, as far as I understand his position) but your view is either based on a flawed assumption (and one that has been brought to your attention repeatedly) - or you just like to offend your opponents by insulting them absurdly, even though you know what you say to be false.

5:22 pm, January 24, 2007

Blogger Sham said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah ... anything else?

I'll put it simply for those who find these complex issues difficult to understand: Duncan, you marched to keep Saddam in power. END. OF. STORY.

11:23 am, January 25, 2007


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