Ed Davey Moves On from “Tea with the Taliban” Call

Ed Davey’s LibDems have been going in hard on Afghanistan, both calling for a greater number of refugees to be allowed into the UK and strongly condemning the US & UK military withdrawal, saying “our leaders should all hang their heads in shame”:

“millions will be fearing for their lives… women and girls will be terrified that their liberties and rights are about to be permanently extinguished”

In the Commons this morning, Davey slammed the “frightening failure to achieve the aim of this whole mission, the aim of keeping British people safe from international terrorists trained in Taliban Afghanistan.” How times change…

Back at the LibDems’ 2009 conference, their future leader was instead calling for “tea with the Taliban”, and for Taliban fighters to be offered “a decent daily wage” to get them to defect. Now he criticises the withdrawal of troops, yet ten years ago Davey told the LibDem faithful:

“You don’t win wars by fighting in Afghanistan: witness the Soviets, witness the three Anglo-Afghan wars fought by the British Empire, witness Alexander the Great.”

At the time Iain Dale described the speech as “cringemaking”: “Whatever one’s view of whether one should open some sort of communication with the Taliban, this is a phrase which should come back to haunt Ed Davey.” 

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