Sunday, October 12, 2008

David Davis: Revived Speculation About Grasp of Reality

Is David Davis barking mad? was the question on everyone's lips just a few short months ago. He's recently returned from Afghanistan and talked to Andrew Marr (Today's Show VT or for one i-Player). Davis proclaimed:

1. The Afghan government have all become multi-millionaires as the people suffer crunch;
2. More than half the Afghan police are shameless drug addicts;
3. The vast majority of the Afghan police are corrupt on a daily basis.

Where is Lucy Beresford, unprofessional psychobabblist and chick litter, now we need her? Proof he offered there none. I might as well substitute "Tory Shadow cabinet" for "government" and "police" for all the proof we have of that.

UPDATE Mon 00:37: "Afghan" added three times as some muppets - including Iain Dale who helped organise DD's defeat-from-jaws-of-victory leadership campaign with Del Boy Conway - think I either did not know he was referring to Afghanistan or deliberately sought to mislead. Ridiculous.

The first Afghanistan has not been added. The link is to a discussion about Afghanistan. There is a link to a useful report in comments, but Davis' impressions are anecdotal and he seems to have chosen the worst of the points of view he was given on his travels. In my opinion.

People are talking about a long haul, even two generations, to get Afghanistan functioning without the danger of the place being a launchpad for Al Queda. Speaking personally I did not support the attack on Afghanistan in the first place. Counter productive in the extreme.

Catching Bin Laden should have been a police matter.


Everybody Hates Chris said...

Of course, you wouldn't want people to think that Davis was referring to the British government when he made those statements this morning.

I know the current financial crisis is worldwide, but your injudicious use of the phrase "as the people suffer crunch" just might mislead some into thinking that he was talking about the UK after his return from Afghanistan.

Here's the relevant paragraph in full:

"And many of the ministers, governors and so on have become multi-millionaires whilst public servants, I mean which the ordinary Afghan who lives on less than, oh I don't know, a hundred dollars a month at most just views with hatred. And on the ground, you know where we are in Helmand, for example, the Afghan National Police, who we support - you know we're sort of there to back up - well, bluntly, more than half of them are drug addicts, a significant majority of them are corrupt."

Not quite that total overstatement that you claim either. 'Many' instead of 'all', 'drug addicts' rather than 'shamelessly on drugs', 'majority are corrupt' instead of 'vast majority are corrupt on a daily basis'.

Just trying to help. Don't mention it.

tory boys never grow up said...


DD may have lost his grasp of reality on many things - but I'm afraid there is more than a grain of truth in what he is saying - if you want some evidence look at the this report

A third of GDP is drugged related, the majority of the population expect to pay bribes. The real question is what is to be done about it - withdrawing and letting the Taliban and the warlords fight over the country isn't the solution, but some serious thinking is now required.

Iain Dale said...

Have you lost your grip on reality? He was clearly talking about Afhanistan, but the fact you even think he could be talking about this country is revealing. But even assuming you know he was talking about Afghanistan, on what basis do you think he is talking rubbish, as you offer no evidence to the contrary. He has been there. You haven't.

Everybody Hates Chris said...

Which is worse? That you knew all along that Davis was talking about Afghanistan and worded your report very carefully to make it look like he meant the UK, or that you had no bloody idea.

Please don't come back on here to claim that it was all a joke and that we have all lost our sense of humour because that just won't wash this time.

Anonymous said...

Why have you deleted all the earlier comments about Sir Gerald Kaufman?

Everybody Hates Chris said...

Because Kaufman is a Labour MP!

Everybody Hates Chris said...

David Miliband Revived Speculation About Grasp of Reality

Is David Milband barking mad? was the question on everyone's lips just a few short months ago. He's recently returned from Labour Party Conference and talked to the UK press. Miliband proclaimed:

* A national disaster is turning into a humanitarian catastrophe of genuine epic proportions, in significant part because of what I would describe as the malign neglect of the socialist regime.

* Mr Miliband said he would press the country's socialist regime to stop their oppression and intimidation and called on the rest of the world to join efforts to find a solution to the simmering crisis.

However, he later seemed to backtrack under government pressure by describing the extraordinary flowering of civil resistance as a merely "civilian surge".

Where is Derek Draper, unprofessional psychobabblist and spin-meister, now we need him? Proof he offered there none. I might as well substitute "Manchester City Council" for "regime" and "police" for all the proof we have of that.

Chris Paul said...

I've deleted the comments about Kaufman simply because they did not relate to the post. And I suppose might be potentially actionable. Vile off topic innuendo instead of relevance to Mr Kaufman's position re Israel and Iran. Essentially homophobic and his sexuality is not an issue that Mr K trades on.

Decided to close comments and hide those to date as not one related to the issue in the post, including my attempt to point out that the nature of the comments was not acceptable.

Hope that's OK? If you want to be homophobic you can go somewhere else to comment.

Anonymous said...

So the deletion had nothing to do with your own comment looking like a drunken rant then?

Iain Dale said...

Chris, you haven't said anything about the complaints about your original post. Would you care to address them?

Everybody Hates Chris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chris Paul said...

Sorry Iain, I did press send on a response before I headed up the wooden hill to bed. Looks like broadband crashed. I did however post quite a substantial update on the post at 00:37.

I think DD has spoken with various people on all sides of the argument and decided to run with the least optimistic.

I think that apart from this lack of balance he is also breaking all kinds of protocols by undermining our forces on the ground - giving LOTS of interviews yesterday in which he talked about losing etc. It's all very well for DD to wring his hands about the 28 service people who have died in the last 6 months ... but then spouting while thousands more are still in the line of fire. he may not be crackers but this is STOOPID.

I don't believe that the fact there there is a drug economy or indeed corrupt police on the ground involved in petty "taxing" of motorists etc are deal breakers. These conditions apply to other countries. Indeed there are fairly stable, fairly democratic countries in asia where buckshee rules the roost. Including places to which I have been. Such as Kolkatta, Mumbai, Delhi, Manila, Cairo.

From that last point you may gather that I don't believe that not having been to a specific point on the globe rules out comment. And I know you don't either. As you comment on places where AFAIK you have not been.

When I was doing Govt glacier science in Canada and Switzerland we had a sister project in the KK in N Pakistan. Lots of contacts too with Pashtun people from tribal areas of NWFP in Pakistan. And degree subjects including Political Geography (including the vexed subject of buffer states) and Economics to boot.

You may not agree with me. But suggesting I shouldn't comment cos I've not been to a war zone to which my access would I think be seriously restricted just now is pretty weak.

And DD, with that access, has blown it with all this anecdotal tosh of his. Sure there's no smoke without fire. But do you really think this grandstanding self-publicity has been useful to our forces or world peace?

Chris Paul said...

I'm sorry EHC ... you go too far. Any more of that and I'll be deleting any and all comments from you on site. Is that what you want? You can remonstrate with me off-blog if you wish. No rejoinders on here or you will be barred.

Anonymous said...


Chris Paul said...

I'll leave that one.