I have been asked why I named this page 2020 Liberal Vision, and the answer is simple, the Liberal Democrats have a tendency to be right in our predictions of the impact of the decisions of our Government on the life of our nation. Never was this more so than in the decision of Charles Kennedy to oppose the Iraq war.
His decision was not that of the pacifist, Liberals are not and have never been pacifists, it was on the very grounds that Chilcot has now found against the British Government in its handling of the situation.
I quote Charles’s Kennedy (his observations were much derided at the time by Labour, Tory and the media alike).
When it comes to the further engagement of our armed forces, it would be proper for hon. Members to raise legitimate questions, as many have in all parties, on the supply and suitability of equipment, the eventual war aims, the participation of British forces and the bombs that might be used. It would be right to ask whether we would desist from resorting to cluster bombs or depleted uranium. It would also be right to ask about the longer term role that we hope British forces will play, if the war ensues, in the humanitarian and reconstruction roles on which they have such a distinguished track record. That is why we have supported the UN route, and it will be a source of great regret if the motion is passed because British troops will be put into action.
Now, when you read Chilcot, remember what the Liberal Democrats were asking and ask yourself one simple question: Did we get it right?