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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Britain regrets the Iraq war says Clegg

There are times during the early days of this coalition government when you have to check yourself to ensure that it is really happening, in a good way of course.

I had such a moment on Thursday evening as I was driving home and the radio was reporting that Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg was giving assurances to the Indian Government that we will do all we can to help them get the Commonwealth Games off the ground.

Another such moment was this morning when I read that Clegg was to tell the United Nations that Britain regrets the Iraq war. This is precisely what I want to hear from my Deputy Prime Minister and underlines once more that Liberal Democrats are sticking to their principles in power.

The Daily Telegraph says: Mr Clegg will promise to world leaders that the Coalition will regain their trust in Britain, and will commit to multilateralism by calling for a greater role for the UN in conflicts.

In a passage about the "values" of Britain's new foreign policy, Mr Clegg will say that he and David Cameron will take a more "realistic" approach.

"In recent years we have learned – in some cases the hard way – that democracy cannot be created by diktat," he will say. "Freedom cannot be commanded into existence."

The passage clearly suggests regret over Britain's role in the war Iraq, which was not explicitly backed by the UN Security Council.

The Liberal Democrats consistently opposed the invasion. The Deputy Prime Minister caused controversy earlier this year by stating that it had been illegal while standing in for Mr Cameron at Prime Ministers Questions. It forced Downing Street to issue an unusual statement explaining that the Coalition did not have a view on the legality of the war.

Mr Clegg will today acknowledge that Tony Blair damaged relations with some of Britain's most important international allies by tying itself to George Bush's US government.

"The new coalition government, now five months old will restore Britain's international reputation by pursuing a hard-headed foreign policy based on liberal values," he will say.

I know that when it comes down to the crunch it is not always possible to pursue an ethical foreign policy, but I have more confidence in this current administration to do so than Labour's warmongerers, who fought an illegal war at the cost of thousands of lives.
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