Questions and Answers

  I was invited to a public meeting with David Milliband the Foreign Secretary this morning.

 Mr Milliband was due to come to our town in mid January, but the adverse weather meant that he had to cancel the visit. But we were given the opportunity to ask him a question which he answered on a video cast on the official website.

Here he is answering mine.…

In the traditional way of being a politician his answer was addressing everything but my question! So I was quite pleased that I was asked to join this meeting today.

It is a beautiful and not too chilly morning, and the venue was quite full. A lot of Sixth formers have been brought in, I suppose a good way to engage the young generation in politics. But most of them were busy chatting among themselves and comparing their electronic gadgets.

There were some very important people there too, the local MP of course,being Lib- Dem, he sat among us and not on the podium!Other interesting personalities,were a retired Ambassador,who has served in Israel for many years,a charming couple,the husband a well known geographer and who has written many books the Rain forest and has won international prizes,his wife who runs a charity for children in India and herself is an author. I never knew such interesting and important people lived in and around our town.

Milliband is slimmer and younger looking than he seems on the screen. A born politician,he can dodge questions and come up with his own theory,as he said that “diplomacy” was his strength and perhaps charming the public was included in that trait.
He said the same thing that we were safer at home because of our presence in Afghanistan,and when I asked that would it not be better to concentrate the energy and resources in increasing our security at home than fighting a war thousands of miles away, he smiled charmingly and assured me that it will not!
Other questions were similar, and as we are an army town and soon the regiment is to depart for a tour of duty from here,there were many concerns, and the similar answer that what was being done was the right thing.
I did read somewhere that the army is now considering paying money to the Talibans who they want to convert to our side, as the Americans and some other forces already do,so that they will not shoot at them,but the Foreign Secretary said that we will not do it.

So there were many questions un answered,and some answered in a very polished performance of dodging the issue,I was none the wiser!
But am glad that I went, and met some charming and important people, and am not talking about Mr Milliband.

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