Those who have not done so should read my general approach, which places peace first.
One of the prime intentions of a doctrine of equality, freedom, property and unhampered social cooperation is to promote peace among individuals and between nations. As my political inspiration, Richard Cobden, said:
Peace will come to earth when the people have more to do with each other and governments less.
The world today is riven with conflict. Those who believe in peaceful social cooperation have much to do in identifying and eradicating the sources of conflict while encouraging peace for its own sake.
On this page, I will set out views on conflicts of concern to large numbers of constituents.
I believe in peaceful democratic self-determination. That’s why I’m backing The People’s Pledge for a binding referendum on our membership of the EU.
Democratic self-determination for Kashmir is long overdue. Just as the people of the UK should have a say over membership of the EU, the people of Kashmir should be given the opportunity to vote on their own future.
I intend to continue the good work of Paul Goodman MP, in conjunction with James Elles MEP, in furthering the cause of Kashmir. These are the principles I wish to advance:
- In talks on the future of Kashmir, there must be Kashmiri representation.
- A seat for India on the UN Security Council must be contingent on progress on Kashmir.
- The Kashmiri people, like every other, must be allowed self-determination.
Israel and Palestine
In response to the interception of the Free Gaza Flotilla, I held meetings to discuss the crisis locally, producing this article. The situation in Gaza is a humanitarian crisis which should bear on the consciences of people of all faiths and none. The situation does not exist in isolation of course; it is part of a long-standing and tragic conflict which must be resolved peacefully.
The loss of life and suffering on both sides in the conflict has long been appalling.
UN Security Council resolution 1860 should be implemented, ending the blockade of Gaza and enabling, in the words of the resolution, “the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment.” I recognise that Israel has legitimate security concerns but these will not be alleviated in the long term by blockading Gaza.
We should redouble international efforts to secure a lasting settlement with a secure and independent state of Palestine alongside a secure and independent Israel. Peaceful coexistence is in the interests of all people of the region.
The Foreign Secretary’s statement to the House of Commons on 2 June 2010, for which I was present, may be found here.
I have been shocked by accounts of Tamil life in Sri Lanka. The allegations made are horrific.
William Hague has congratulated Tamils on the establishment of the Global Tamil Forum, which unites the diaspora around the world. Speaking at the inaugural World Tamil Forum last February 26 in London while in opposition, the Foreign Secretary said:
It was with huge sorrow that we witnessed the tragic unfolding of events last year, and the loss of so many innocent lives. As the military conflict in Sri Lanka reached its final stages, we shared the pain and anguish of members of the Tamil community in this country and around the world on behalf of their friends, families, and loved ones. Along with the rest of the international community, we urged the Sri Lankan government to allow a humanitarian ceasefire to grant the innocent civilians safe departure from a zone of war. When the conflict was finally over we were unrelenting in our call for conditions in the displacement camps to be improved, for humanitarian and media agencies to be given full and unrestricted access, and for people to be returned to their homes as quickly as possible. Whilst approximately 190,000 people have been released, there are many others still housed in Menik Farm camp and we have repeatedly raised this issue with the Sri Lankan government to allow them to leave. We must not forget their plight and their continued confinement will simply sow the seeds of discontent. This could lead to renewed conflict in years to come which would be a disastrous setback for the country.
Mr Hague went on to call for “a full independent inquiry into alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the final stages of the military conflict.”
People must be released from displacement camps and allowed to return to their homes. A negotiated settlement is required which satisfies the concerns and legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankans and which preserves democracy in the country.
Please see this blog post.