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Westminster Elections 2005
Prospective Liberal Democratic Party Candidate
For Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
John Thurso - the sitting MP

22 April 05

John Thurso, Scottish Liberal Democrat Westminster candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, speaking at meetings on Saturday underlined the importance of the UK Presidency of the G8 which meets later this year in Scotland.

“9/11 changed the world.  The immense sympathy felt for the American people throughout the world in their grief has largely been squandered in an ill-judged war in Iraq – probably illegal – against which I voted.

“This is now history and our efforts must be to work for democracy and justice in Iraq as well as to press for a just settlement to the problems of the Middle East, in particular to achieving a resolution between Israel and Palestine.

“There is however a wider lesson to be learned.  It is that we ignore the fundamental causes of unrest in the world – poverty, famine and disease – at our peril.  The impact of the rich nations failure to help undeveloped countries is directly felt here at home in a heightened threat of terrorism, in increased numbers of asylum seekers and in increased energy costs through instability in the world’s supply.  That is why it is not simply from a sense of moral right but also in our own interest that the root cause of world unrest must be addressed.  Without justice there can be no peace.

“There are three measures required to make a start.  First is to ensure that developing countries have full access to world markets.  The “Fair Trade” campaign – which I continue to support – has highlighted economic hardship caused by tariff barriers erected by developed countries.  By simply creating equal access to our markets for developing countries we would go far towards alleviating poverty.  Second, we need to increase our aid to the level recommended by the United Nations, 0.7% of GDP, and direct that aid at projects which enable developing countries to help themselves.  Third, we should continue to secure debt relief to help relieve the burden of interest payments which is crippling so many of the world’s poorest nations.

“Later this year the G8 meet at Gleneagles under Britain’s Presidency.  It is vital that this country gives the lead in implementing the measures required to achieve a just world.  We can eradicate famine.  We can combat disease.  We can make poverty history.  We must do it, not simply because it is our moral duty but because our future security depends upon it”.

About John Thurso

John Thurso Web Site