Furthermore, the overall reputation of the Liberal Democrat Party, on a list of things I care about, ranks below the following:
- current whereabouts of the core from the apple I ate last Wednesday
- the difference between "taupe" and "wheat" in paint colour schemes
- the post-Public Enemy Number One career of Bobby Davro
I would, however, like to ponder some of her motivations for yet again expounding against the very existence of Israel in terms that are just about as aggressive as any in a Western democracy.
Surely, I hear the assembled masses of campaigners and activists cry, it is because of heartfelt solidarity with oppressed peoples and the victims of neo-colonial capitalist aggression everywhere?
Well, possibly. Except that she's not been really all that consistent on such matters.
In 2006, George Monbiot pointed out the Baroness's rather unprogressive views on indigenous Botswanan tribespeople. (Yes. The Baroness is so idiotic she has even me favourably quoting Monbiot):
Tonge responded, a few days later. She did not address the issue of her rather offensive remarks but did make some reasonable points about not patronising developing nations or romanticising the lifestyles of their poorest people:
Monbiot is right on one thing. The bushmen and all indigenous people are part of the modern world however we choose to describe them. The House of Lords is not. Perhaps he can persuade his chums in Survival International to leave the Botswanan human rights NGOs to sort this out, and concentrate their fire on the democratisation of the House of Lords, if not its abolition.
Whether you agree with Monbiot or Tonge or a bit of both, the Lib Dem peer, in this case, made a neat, well-phrased, thoughtful, and even witty contribution to a debate. She recognises certain realities and lays out the beginnings of a way to reach a resolution.
How might such arguments work in the Israel-Palestine conflict?:
Now I am not comparing the dilemmas that modernity and economic growth throw up in sub-Saharan Africa, to the conflict over three very specific issues that continues to dominate the small coastal plain of the Middle East's western boundary.
But why, Jenny, why, when it comes to Israel-Palestine, do you find it so hard to discuss the issue with anything even approaching the tact, diplomacy, nuance and intelligence that we expect of our Parliamentarians and which, even more importantly, Israelis and Palestinians deserve, too?