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John Rentoul

Rentoul mi like toni blrSome people did not like my article in The Independent on Sunday yesterday, such as The Fast Talker, who produced the picture on the right.

And some people really did not like it, such as Mr Fux at Labour List, who is not much better at spelling.

He takes exception to my quoting the Blairite James Purnell as wanting to ensure that

people on benefits do not end up getting subsidies for rents that those who work could never afford.

And seems to think that it is an attack line

adopted by right-wing commentators such as Guido Faukes [yes him], and Tory politicians such as Sir George Young

to throw “Labour’s manifesto on the subject … back in our face”. If it is right-wing or Tory to support Labour’s manifesto, then I’m a right-wing Tory.

That will be the manifesto, written by Ed Miliband, which said:

Housing Benefit will be reformed to ensure that we do not subsidise people to live in the private sector on rents that other ordinary working families could not afford.

Like Tom Harris, I agree with Ed.

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  • sceptic64

    Afghanistan was pretty much a necessary intervention. This was a completely failed state, run by a hideous regime who also supported and housed terrorist organisations, giving them a base from which they regularly attacked the west, culminating in 11-Sept 2001. They were given the option to hand over the ringleaders and refused; hence the invasion and ‘regime change’.

    As to “staying around and killing Taliban”, well, they asked for it.

    Where it went wrong, though, was when he insisted on poodling up to the neocons and following them into Iraq, which was a huge error.

    Among other things, it worsened Afghanistan in two ways: first, it diverted the bulk of troops and attention – both UK and US – from Afghanistan, and meant that the Taliban could ’slide back in under the radar’; secondly, the insurgents could point at Iraq and claim “this is western policy – invasion and subjugation”, and people believed them and joined up.

    If we’d stayed focussed on Afghanistan, I don’t think it would be half the mess it is now, and the problem wouldn’t have worsened the way it did. But Blair’s feeble and supine posture towards Bush, Cheney et al meant we ended up with the worst of both worlds.


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