- What is more important than saving lives?
- The members of the Commons Backbench Committee seems sympathetic this week when I asked for a debate on withdrawal from Afghanistan.
- The latest bleak news is more soldiers kill themselves that die in battle. That's true for American veterans of Afghanistan and the British veterans of the Falklands war. Yet Parliament stays silent. I spoke to the committee this Tuesday, supported by MPs Caroline Lucas, George Galloway, John Baron, Ronnie Campbell and Mark Durkin.
- The Netherlands and Canada have both pulled their combat troops to the safety of home soil. France and Australia have advanced their dates of withdrawal. We suffered two further deaths since last week bringing the total up to 419. Uncounted thousands return home broken in body or mind. Will it eventually be at least a further 419 suicides?
- The committee turned down the request. The two subjects that will be debated are
- A MOTION RELATING TO FISCAL MEASURES TO STRENGTHEN THE GREEN ECONOMY Followed by: DEBATE ON A MOTION RELATING TO THE APPOINTMENT OF A MINISTER FOR OLDER PEOPLE
- The Government go blithely on, drunk on optimism and unhinged by wishful thinking. William Hague burbled his dream of a happy ending this week in answer to a question from me.
- All wars are tragic. The final days of each war mark the most futile deaths. Who will be the last British soldiers to die in Afghanistan for a politician's mistake?
As a greater number of American veterans of the Afghan war commit suicide than die in combat, and as uncounted thousands of our own troops return, broken in body and mind, should we not follow the example of Canada, Holland, France and Australia and bring our troops home at an earlier date than planned?
It is also important to remember the immense achievements of our troops in Afghanistan, who have helped to bring stability to areas of Afghanistan that would not otherwise have known it, and who have done so much to reduce the terrorism threat to this country and many others, and it is very important for that job to be completed, as we intend it to be, by the end of 2014. It is important to remember the achievements of our troops, and not just the problems that they encounter.