Dave Does Afghanistan

Cameron is doing a photo-op with our boys in Afghanistan this morning.

UPDATE : A Tory whip, Tobias Ellwood, is calling for the legalisation of opium this morning. A sensible idea in the circumstances:

Six British soldiers have died in Helmand province over the past six weeks, most in the former opium market town of Sangin where they are fighting a fierce insurgency of Taliban warlords who have gained the support of local farmers.

“The poppy crops are the elephant in the room of the Afghan problem. We’re in complete denial of the power that the crops have on the nation as a whole, and the tactics of eradication are simply not working,” Mr Ellwood told Guardian Unlimited.

“Last year we spent £600m on eradication and all that resulted was the biggest-ever export of opium from the country.”

He said that opium farming should be licensed so that the harvest could be sold legally on the open market, bringing in income for Afghan farmers and helping to plug a global shortage of opiate-based medicines.

Opium is a luxury drug which could bring much needed hard currency and employment to Afghanistan. Shame that the political veto of the Taliban wings of the U.S. Republicans and British Conservatives, with their abhorrence of free choice in personal matters, will mean that the poor farmers of Afghanistan will be driven into the hands of the real Taliban at the cost of British soldiers lives. What is the Afghanistan military plan anybody? Didn’t Doc Reid say they probably wouldn’t be involved in any fighting – they seem to be dying now – for what?
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