"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Conference Speeches

This morning the theme was 'International & Security Issues' and the speakers were:

William Hague (Shadow Foreign Secretary)
Timothy Kirkhope (leader of the Cons in the European Parliament - Deputy Chair of the new grouping of the European Conservatives & Reformists)
Andrew Mitchell (Shadow International Development Secretary)
Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones (Shadow Security Minister)
Liam Fox (Shadow Defence Secretary)
Guest speakers were HE Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Republic of Maldives and Dr Ibyola David, leader of the Hungarian MDF party).

This was the best morning for speeches - the content of all of them were consistently good and only the delivery of Neville-Jones was halting and grating but that's a minor quibble.

Notable mentions:
National Security Council
TransAtlantic Alliance
The Commonwealth
Enhancing "special relationship" with India + "massive support" for Pakistan
Reform of the UN, effective use of eg the G20, "Seek an EU which acts by agreement among nations rather than by placing its own President or Foreign Minister above any nation"
Militarised homeland security
Re-invigoration & re-direction of development aid
Barring extremist preachers
"Reverse the rise of" surveillance state
"Identity not in cards but in hearts, minds & values"
Strategic Defence Reviews every 4/5yrs.
Maintaining round-the-clock submarine-based nuclear deterrent
Cutting some of the 85,000 civilians in the MoD (Armed Forces - 99,000 personnel)

There was more - climate change had a brief mention, less reliance on the state and so on. All fine words and little, from my point of view, to disagree with so far but the detail has still to emerge. The one that screams out at me is the militarised homeland security force - I'm instinctively not happy about that but will have to wait until it's fleshed out.

Full texts:
William Hague
Liam Fox

I'll post updates/videos etc as and when they become available.
UPDATE: Hague speech

H/t to quick-off-the-mark Daily Politics


  1. "Militarised homeland security" perhaps that is what the 'not-really-just-look-like-police cars' are that turn out to be Private Security Van " DOG UNITS " that now seem to patrol our public highways.

  2. Could be :) - it just needs expanding & arming and linking in with the police & MI5.


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