Event: Aung San Suu Kyi Lecture

Location: St Hugh's College, Oxford University, UK

Speech Date: 12/02/08

Speaker: Foreign Secretary David Miliband

I have called this speech 'The Democratic Imperative' because I believe discussion about the Iraq war has clouded the debate about promoting democracy around the world. I understand the doubts about Iraq and Afghanistan, and the deep concerns at the mistakes made. But my plea is that we do not let divisions over those conflicts obscure our national interest, never mind our moral impulse, in supporting movements for democracy. We must not be glib about what democracy means - it is far more than a five year ballot. We cannot be self satisfied about the state of our own democracy. We cannot impose democratic norms. But we can be clear about the desirability of government by the people and clear that without hubris or sanctimony we can play a role in backing demands for democratic governance and all that goes with it. That is my focus today.

Victor Hugo said you can defeat armies, but you can't defeat ideas. Last September when so many people were prepared to risk their lives by coming out onto the streets of Rangoon, in what I would call a 'civilian surge', we saw that, for all its brutality and for all its corruption, the Military Junta in Burma has been unable to destroy the hope of a better and freer life. The people of Burma show that the hope for a life lived at liberty extends to all people in all parts of the world.

It is fitting, therefore, that I should make this speech in the Oxford College where Daw Aung San Suu Kyi not only undertook her undergraduate education but also met her late husband, the distinguished scholar, Dr Michael Aris
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Dear little David, he thinks if he spouts it in a Kennedyesque manner, it will be so. The Iraq divisions run so deep that they will never be healed without someone taking the rap for the lies, and that is not likely.
I thought when I saw the headline he was talking about introducing a little democracy into our own government, or asking the people about the EU constitution.

Silly me.
So taking no blame for the

"deep concerns at the mistakes made"
for which his Party is compliant and then having the gall to say

"We cannot impose democratic norms".
What a tit.

Is he old enough to remember the mistakes Labour has made in its deployment of UK Forces and why they did so...or is he still a boy learning by rote of Pa Brown's knee?

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