Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Clegg - We either increase troops in Afghanistan or leave

. From Politics Home...

"Mr Clegg called for more UK troops to be sent to Afghanistan, warned that unemployment is going to get worse before it gets better, and said that the Liberal Democrats advocated a model for the Royal Mail not dissimilar to that put forward by the government.

“I think there’ll be a great sigh of relief across the country that we’re getting out of Iraq. I don’t think Gordon Brown can wash his hands of the affair, he did of course sign the cheques for years.”

He went on to call for a “full independent inquiry into the decision to send troops into Iraq in the first place.“I think there were some monumental failures, particularly in the early years. An enormous amount of resentment has now built up against Britain, against the United States, and against the West. It has had a very destabilising effect in Iraq and more widely.“I was the first political leader to say we do need to step up the number of troops in Afghanistan, because we’re putting our soldiers…in an impossible position. We either stay in larger numbers or we leave altogether.”

Asked about rising unemployment he said, “bluntly, it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. The next phase of this recession is a sharp rise in unemployment.”He called for “meaningful tax cuts” and for the government to “use borrowed money for things that create jobs”.Asked about plans for part-privatisation of the Royal Mail he said: “We’ve been advocating for years a model not dissimilar to that which the government seems to be advocating itself. Our plan…would allow us to put millions of pounds back into the Post Office network and keep Post Offices open. If this plan meets those kinds of conditions we’ll give it broad support.”

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