Michael Gove is either a complete moron or the worst kind of political weasel… and David Cameron is fast running out of time.
Our story today begins with the ongoing campaign by the Tories to weaken the Liberal Democrats by calling on Lib-Dem MPs and/or voters to join their new and groovy gang…
The Herald – Cameron accused of U-turn over Iraq support: In a letter, endorsed by former LibDems, Mr Cameron wrote: “Issues that once divided Conservatives from Liberal Democrats are now issues where we both agree. Our attitude to devolution and localisation of power. Iraq. The environment. I’m a liberal Conservative.” (hat-tip)
Well, it turned out to be a good thing that Iraq was included as a single-word throw-away with no explanation or context… as it made Michael Gove’s job of dancing around it that much easier. And, in a move that will no doubt delight the Ballroom Confederation, the resulting dance involved no new steps.
Gove appeared on Newsnight last night, billed at “the architect of David Cameron’s conservatism”… and sat right next to Alastair Campbell.
Yes, this is about to get delicious….
Gove began by explaining the Tory position on Iraq as follows:
Michael Gove: The debate about whether we were right to go to war with Iraq is over. As it happens, Alastair and I were on the same side of that debate. We both thought that it was the right thing to do…. The past (was) the argument about whether or not we should have gone to war, the future – which is what David Cameron is talking about – is the sort of Iraq we want… and the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives believe that what we want in Iraq is a democracy and our troops back home as quickly as possible. If there are people who disagree with that view; fair enough.
Sorry Michael, but this game has been played before, and by a better liar than yourself.
Saddam bad. Democracy good. Debate in past. Let’s move on. (PS – You’re welcome to disagree with this view, but if you do, you obviously hold the view that democracy is a bad thing.)
So, what are we to make of David Cameron, Iraq, the past and the future? Well, let’s kick off with the delicious bit from Alastair Campbell…. because it also involves David Cameron, Iraq, the past and the future….
Only a few minutes after discussing Iraq, Campbell said the following regarding David Cameron and Labour’s approach to him as leader, with absolutely no hint of irony:
Alastair Campbell: David Cameron is a relatively new national figure in national politics, and it would be absolutely pointless for the Labour Party to go out acting on very little evidence… saying; “Well, that’s what we’re going to do with Cameron.” It’s worth just taking your time.
Ladies and gentlemen, my raucous laughter woke the children… next door.
Iraq’s future – and ours – depends greatly on us calling Tony Blair to account for his conduct before, during and after the invasion. It’s the only way to stop this kind of thing happening again.
I even emailed David Cameron about this a few weeks ago. The guts of this letter read as follows:
If your plan is to wait Blair out until those who follow behind him become unelectable, then you should be aware that I too will be waiting… waiting there on the other side, determined to highlight your hypocrisy.
You know the one thing that holds this country back. You know the one thing that needs to be addressed before we can move forward.
Every day you wait to address this matter undermines your moral authority on the subject.
I write to you now to ask you – politely – to address the one matter that made your predecessor wait long enough for *him* to look a fool.
The reply came not from Cameron, but his staff. It read as follows:
I can assure you that David Cameron is absolutely determined to hold this government to account.
Fine. Then let him show that determination. He can start by signing Early Day Motion 1088.