Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Newsnicht - David Kerr

Last night I watched Newnight Scotland, only because David Kerr, the SNP candidate for the Glasgow NE by-election was to be interviewed. The interviewer was Glen Campbell instead of the regular Gordon Brewer. Did that make a difference? That's a matter of personal opinion.

Mr Kerr, ex-BBC employee and for a time, editor of Newsnight Scotland in the past, seemed confident and performed well initially. The nonsense about his place of birth he handled well although he could have been slightly more assertive. Clement Park Nursing Home, Lochee was my place of birth but I wouldn't consider I 'belonged' to that area, as I spent the first 11 years of my life in Dens Road, which lies at the opposite side of the city.

His answer regarding MPs' expenses was clear and precise but then came the question - "Do you think we should still have troops in Afghanistan?" What a disappointing response. Mr Kerr thinks we should have troops in Afghanistan and they should continue to stay there until a strategy review is done. A strategy review could take months, in fact would definitely take months and meanwhile 9000 men and women struggle to do their best to survive in conditions few of us would tolerate or even imagine.

He doesn't seem to have any idea about the Afghan war or military processes - that was obvious from his body language. I was hoping he had some knowledge of the present situation of our armed forces but it appears the issue is not important enough to him for it to to warrant any serious study.

Some of you may think I was wishing David Kerr would say, "Bring them home tomorrow," and you are right, but I am always happy to listen to those who disagree with my view. What is it about politicians (and prospective politicians) that they're unable/unwilling to say more than, "We're in Afghanistan to protect our streets?" None has taken the line that being there is causing harm to these islands for future generations. None has openly stated we're not in charge of our own military but we're the support forces for any decision the US makes. Defence is one of the few areas over which Britain has control, for the present anyway. Many other areas of government have been removed and are now decided by the EU.

I know I'm not a lone voice saying our military should be withdrawn as soon as possible and I also know that in the past couple of days more people agree, because they realise Afghanistan will not be controlled by westeners and will fight to keep what we in the west consider is a corrupt and discredited president and government.

If Mr Kerr does wish to brush up on today's military matters, there's no finer place for him to start than EUReferendum or its sister/brother blog Defence of the Realm.

Let's see how the other candidates perform this week. Being first in such a situation is always a disadvantage because the questions are fresh but overall David Kerr did quite well and I'd give him 7 out of 10. Maybe my expectations were just too high.


Mr. Mxyzptlk said...


off topic...............But what about Cameron and no referendum then?

Jim said...

I didn't see the interview, but I am completely against our being there in the first place, never mind staying a day longer than we need to.

Strategic review? That suggests there was a strategy in the first place.

George Laird said...

Dear Subrosa

I would say the Afghanistan question was difficult.

If I was asked I would have said we never should have been there in the first place.

I think he was trying to say that we couldn't just up sticks and go effectively creating a vacuum.

But I think he mention we needed an exit strategy.

Hard to have all the answers when you are under such pressure.

Policy on the hoof is always great even if you have prep time.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

subrosa said...

Well not being a tory Niko, I'm disappointed of course but not distraught.

I'm just doing a wee post which contains a solution to the tory's problems. ;)

subrosa said...

Me too Jim and I was disappointed David Kerr wasn't more positive about it.

Of course we (Britain) never a strategy for our troops. They had to do what the US said.

subrosa said...

I agree he was under pressure George, but I expected him to be more confident, which he was initially.

It was perfectly obvious he didn't have a clue about military matters from the start of his reply.

Dark Lochnagar said...

I say it and would agree. I don't think he was expecting or had prepered for the Afghan question.

subrosa said...

Strange though DL wasn't it when Afghanistan is in the headlines most days.

I would have thought Glasgow NE had it's fair share of soldiers in the army.

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