A telling moment of truth for Lord Paddy Ashdown.

In the fraught days of two years ago, when the general election delivered a hung parliament to Britain, the crucial role played by former Liberal Democrat Party Leader, Lord Paddy Ashdown, became evident through his frquent media appearences and statements.

An even more critical turning point now presents itself to this senior party grandée, and self-appointed representative of decency within Britain’s system of governance.

To understand why this blogger believes that such is the case it would be helpful to reflect on a cermony that took place at Pointe de Grave in France just over one year ago on 31st March 2011, when a memorial was unveiled in honour of a WWII commando raid, at which Lord Ashdown undertook to represent our country, read here.

Only two of the commandoes survived, many of their comrades were shot, upon the direct orders of Hitler, but with the connivance, processing, transportation and full reponsibility of the supposedly once honourable German armed forces. Ordinary combatants they were, shot in cold blood for pursuing the very hostilities that the German Army had itself instigated and was in the process of perpetrating while  occupying the sovereign soil of France by armed brute force.

Paddy Ashdown has thus accepted a leading role in representing the moral beliefs of our nation, beliefs that have rarely been so comprehensively challenged as they were in the five hours of evidence provided by Rebekah Brooks at the Leveson Inquiry yesterday. Every Prime Minister since Thatcher, and it would appear almost the entire cabinet members of all administrations since Tony Blair, seem to be potentially implicated in this seeming subversion.

The Liberal Democrats have so far emerged largely unscathed from the  sordid details of political power plays and manipulations of our main party politicians by the tawdry journals  that are/were The Sun and the News of the World and those who controlled them. We have yet to even arrive at the part played by Trevor Kavanagh – clearly Coulson and Brooks were but cockily conceited mere pawns in this dark game.

Nick Clegg, as was warned on my blog Ironies Too several times, made himself a party to this scandal by accepting Coulson as the Coalition’s press spokesman.

Others in the Liberal Democrat hierarchy must therefore be looked too, along with Ashdown, to now do the right thing, withdraw their support from the coalition with the Conservative Party and possibly in the process of the resulting general election, regain an opportunity of re-establishing some credentials for decency, as extolled by Lord Ashdown and exemplified by all the marine commandos involved in Operation Frankton, not least the fortitude in the escape as shown by Hessler and Sparks, which seems hardly comprehensible to those of us so pampered to live in 2012, not seventy years earlier!

Others Liberal Democrats who should also be scrupulousy examing their consciences this weekend among senior Lib/Dem figures are (in no particular order) Simon Hughes, Charles Kennedy, David Laws, Menzies Campbell, David Owen and David Steel.


2 comments for “A telling moment of truth for Lord Paddy Ashdown.

  1. Paddy Ashdown
    May 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm


    Some stretch to connect the Cockleshell Heroes with Leveson. This really is the political contortionists achievement of the year. Congratulations!

    The idea that we should break the coalition which was formed to sort out the worst economic mess of the century because we Lib Dems have not been tainted by the Murdoch scandal while Labour and Tory (equally) have is the non-sequitor to beat all non-sequitors.

    But those interested in the Cockleshell heroes (as well as but separate from Leveson) may be interested to know that I wil publish the 70th anniversary of this remarkable raid in September this year and my book will include some revelations about the raid which have never seen the light of day before.

    Paddy Ashdown

  2. May 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Perhaps the worst economic mess of the century was caused by politicians mainly concerned with their own positions and advancement.

    Is continuing the Coalition really doing anything to solve this mess? The debts are growing faster and the date for the deficit to start to shrink is receding.

    We are borrowing more than ever and at a faster rate than ever, the euro crisis deepens and every day that passes it will become more difficult to disassociate yourselves from the ‘holed beneath the waterline Cameroons!

    How can the Liberal Democrats avoid the taint getting worse. In suggesting a lifeline for your party, I was hoping for once the nation might benefit as well!

    I look forward to your new book.

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