Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Shadow Defence secretary "not really" interested in responding to veteran

Emily Thornberry, Labour's anti-defence shadow defence secretary had another car crash interview today, this time on Talk Radio with Julia Hartley-Brewer and Falklands War veteran Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE.

The interview was about the Falklands and Thornberry was on a sticky wicket from the start because of her party leader's daft comments about shared sovereignty over the Falklands with Argentina.

To continue the cricket analogy and for those who remember the days when Geoff Boycott was playing test cricket, the first few minutes of the interview were a bit like a Boycott-Tavare partnership against 90mph West Indian fast bowling. E.g. faced with a hostile attack that would have had most people screaming and running away in terror, Emily Thornberry managed to hold her ground and block the attack in a manner which provided no entertainment to the ordinary spectator and scored no runs, but won a grudging admiration from the more expert for a dogged defence and at least held off defeat.

That lasted for two or three minutes, but then Hartly-Brewer brought Chris Parry into the discussion. Parry welcomed the fact that Emily Thornberry had said that no change in the status of the Falkland Islands would be agreed without the consent of the Islanders, but given that the Labour party leader had said something different, he said he would like to see Labour confirm that in their defence review and put it in writing.

Julia Hartley-Brewer then asked the Shadow Defence secretary if she would like to respond to this concern expressed by a Falklands veteran, and Thornberry's reply started with the words "No, not really."

There really are no appropriate words to describe the enormity of such a gaffe - for a party spokesperson on defence to so describe a British armed services veteran who had risked his life in a war to defend the very territory she was being interviewed about.

You can listen to the interview on Guido Fawkes' site here.

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