My concern about David Cameron’s leadership grows.
The Nato offensive in Libya, of which he was the major architect, shows little sign of success.
It’s costing the country many millions of pounds although a Government spokesman told us we shouldn’t worry because the money comes from a contingency budget for overseas wars.
If ever confirmation was needed that our rulers believe we are fools, this was it. The British people want these vast sums spent on education, hospitals, transport and investment which will improve our quality of life rather than on killing other people in countries which have nothing to do with our national security.
Such was Cameron’s enthusiasm to go to war with Gaddafi when it looked as if his forces were going to massacre the inhabitants of Benghazi that he persuaded Obama and Sarkozy to go from no flight zone to large scale military intervention in a matter of days.
The increased bombing has, of course, resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians. And what, Mr Cameron, can justify the recent bombing of the compound of one of Gadaffi’s advisers whose family and servants are now dead or injured?
As a result of Cameron’s Libya policy we have neither the resources nor the international backing for further ‘liberal intervention’ (a dishonest phrase to describe scoring PR points by bombing the ‘bad guys’) in Syria, where Assad is repressing his opponents with dreadful cruelty, or anywhere else in the Middle East where the despots crush rebellion unimpeded by our impotence.
Our policy now is to wait for things to return to ‘normal’ in the Middle East, our influence reduced by our short term adventurism (sorry David, ‘liberal intervention’) in Libya.
In Afghanistan, more of our soldiers are being killed while it is obvious that the Afghans are still years away, if ever, from having a reliable army, honest police and effective security force.
The US are speeding up their withdrawal next year because President Obama realises that the Taliban have the unassailable advantage of living in Afghanistan and being supported by the people.
Not for the first time in history have the forces of a world power returned from that country with its tails between its legs.
The first lesson of military strategy is not to fight a war you can’t win. Cameron should have pulled out of Afghanistan as soon as he came to power, and on this he would have had the support of the populist media and the overwhelming majority of the country.
On the domestic front, 10 Downing Street must have the letter U stuck up in every room.
Andrew Lansley’s much needed reforms have been watered down after the health unions, led by the BMA, objected, followed by the chatterati unable to understand that their beloved NHS is in desperate need of surgery to stop the haemorrhaging of money and morale.
And now Ken Clarke’s sensible and cost saving reforms of sentencing have been abandoned even after being signed off by the Cabinet. I can’t see any rational reason for Cameron’s decision to reverse Clarke’s policy to reduce prison sentences, to lengthen the discounted time in prison if people plead guilty and to vary the sentences in rape, a universally repugnant crime, but committed with different degrees of harm and violence.
However, the Sun and Daily Mail came out against these ‘overly lenient’ reforms with all guns firing, saying the Tories had gone soft on law and order. And so our pusillanimous Prime Minister stamps his foot on the brake and does a 180 degree turn.
Indeed, if you read his speech you will see a reactionary ‘lock ‘em up and throw the key away’ Tory dinosaur wallowing in pre-historic slime.
Oh for a Prime Minister with courage, wisdom and leadership qualities.