Thursday, October 01, 2009


But, for now, Mr Cameron says his priorities are "the deficit, Afghanistan, the broken society and mending the mess of our politics". It is striking to hear the war ranking second. "I don't think we are behaving as a nation at war, which we are," he says. But he is hesitant about sending more troops to Afghanistan, and he mentions the prospect only in the context of training the Afghan army. He used his holiday to read up on Afghanistan and India, mindful that, for all this talk of domestic policy, his premiership could be defined by foreign affairs.

A couple of observations. First, no mention of the European Union ... why are we not surprised? Then, if Afghanistan does rank second in his order of priorities, why does he send out his shadow defence secretary to deliver a speech that failed to acknowledge even the most basic of strategic and political realities, while himself avoiding any comment on the issue?