Cruddas talks on Iraq, Trident, the Party

We mentioned that Jon Cruddas was reported to be getting ready to join the debate on Iraq. The interview on GMTV Sunday is now being trailed around the net, including by Tom Watson MP. We have some quotes from the interview, which speak for themselves.

It is refreshing to see a serious contender in the deputy leadership contest actually prepared to debate the tough issues, rather than just repeat the Government line.

In the interview, Cruddas says of the war:

Well I think I was wrong, actually. I think you can not look at the situation in and say that it is anything other than a disaster, actually. And I’m not questioning the motives of why we went in, I think the premise was wrong obviously in terms of the weapons of mass destruction. I saw it from the back of the former Yugoslavia issues and Sierra Leone as an attempt to deal with totalitarian regimes, however any look at what we’ve created is not a liberal democracy we sought to create, but is sort of approaching carnage.

He goes on to say:

Well I do regret it, I think the key question is if we know now, if we knew then what we know now, would you still have voted for it, and I can say no, I wouldn’t have done. And I think that’s the key question really. So therefore I do regret the way I voted on it and the key thing now is not to compound the problem but to try and resolve it, so we’ve got to look at the next decision rather than the last one.

On Trident:

Well my position is that I’m not convinced about the need for a renewed nuclear capability. Last week Charles Clarke, for example, made a really interesting speech about whether this was a weaponry for a previous era and that’ basically where I’m at, I will need to be convinced about this and my instinct is to be opposed to it. I want to see the process, I want to see actually a debate across the party about it because I think this is so critical and such a profound issue that the party has to be involved.

Talking about the Labour Party’s future, and whether disagreements with Gordon Brown would cause problems in a future Labour leadership, he says:

No I don’t think so at all actually, I think it would help rebuild a sense of a wider, deeper coalition that is the Labour Party, and I don’t see the status quo as an option for us, we’ve lost more members than we actually have now, since 1997, membership activity is in decline, the active space is in freefall and we need to rebuild this. The only way that we can do this is to try and rebuild a sense of a progressive agenda, now that might be challenging for aspiring leaders of the party, but I think in the end it will be helpful to them.


8 Responses to Cruddas talks on Iraq, Trident, the Party

  1. Jo Malik says:

    Good for him! He’s facing his demons and the party will reward him. Jon Cruddas looks more and more like our Deputy Leader with every passing day.

  2. Passing Tory says:

    It is interesting to see Mr. Cruddas agreeing with many people from our side about the reasons for the war in Iraq. We were told of the WMD threat (ad nauseum; I even read the Government’s dossier on the subject!). However, many honourable members of the PLP as well as Opposition parties were lied to, or at least presented with intelligence that was cherry picked for a particular conclusion.

    I do hope that one of the lessons that the entire political world learns from this, is that if the Government feels the need to go to war, they need to be honest with the facts and allow Parliament to come to a proper decision.

  3. Ian G says:

    Passing Tory, that might be Jon’s position, but it isn’t really your party’s is it? Your official policy is that the Iraq war is still justified, even knowing all that we know now.

    And I still recall IDS telling us that Blair wasn’t making the case for war strongly enough…

  4. HenryG says:

    John Bolton to step down. The tide has turned.

  5. Matthew says:

    I don’t think you can give Cruddas the credit for Bolton stepping down Henry…!

  6. HenryG says:

    lol! All i know is that on Saturday Bolton was in post, on Sunday Jon took to the airwaves, and on Monday Bolton’s out.

    On a serious point, I think the mid-term elections have reasonable significance over here – ‘even the American’s oppose Bush’s policies, so what the hell are we doing backing XYZ’. I really wonder how the last 5 years would have been different for Labour had the hanging chads pointed another way.

  7. Andrea says:

    Matthew/HenryG…I’m pretty sure Clare Short will soon claim Bolton has resigned because of her efforts and that it’s a first step toward a hugh parliament 😉

  8. HenryG says:

    Oh my God, imagine the smugness of Claire if there IS a hung parliament next time. It’ll be awful. She’ll be there on election night crowing.

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