Friday, August 06, 2010

I'm sorry I misspoke, says Cameron after accusing Iran of having nuclear weapon.

David Cameron really is becoming a walking gaffe zone these days. First he accuses Pakistan of "looking the other way" to aid the Taliban, which results in effigies of him being burned all over Pakistan. Then he announces that council house tenants will no longer be offered tenancies for life, whilst forgetting to mention that he might do this to his Liberal Democrat coalition partners. And then he enraged many in the UK by describing the UK as the junior partner to the US during WWII, even though the US had not even entered the war by the date he mentioned.

Now, he has "misspoke" again when answering a question as to why he favoured Turkey being allowed into the European Union and replying that Turkish membership could help to address problems "like the Middle East peace process, like the fact that Iran has got a nuclear weapon".

Now, many people are concerned about Iran's nuclear programme but even the most hawkish hawk has not gone as far as to claim that Iran actually has such a weapon, merely that they think she might be pursuing one.

The gaffe about Pakistan can be written off as someone who simply isn't yet fully up to speed with how diplomacy works and marked as an area to be worked on. Likewise, the council house gaffe could simply mean that he has not yet fully adjusted to the reality of being in a coalition. But the gaffes about WWII and Iran are both fundamental mistakes with the facts. On both occasions he reveals that he simply doesn't know what he is talking about.

But Chris Bryant, the shadow Europe minister, said: "Considering [that] Iran's nuclear ambitions constitute one of the most important foreign policy challenges facing us all, it is not just downright embarrassing that the Prime Minister has made this basic mistake, it's dangerous."
He came under similar fire from David Miliband when he made the "junior partner" comment:

"1940 was our finest hour. Millions of Britons stood up and gave their lives to defeat fascism.

"We were not a junior partner. We stood alone against the Nazis. How can a British prime minister who bangs on about British history get that so wrong? It is a slight, not a slip."

None of us are perfect and we can all make mistakes, but Cameron really does seem to be making an awful lot of them recently. And it is odd that he is getting simple facts wrong.

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