Dave's back from India
David Cameron's foreign policy speech (full run-down here) was full of decent, deep, thought-provoking stuff. What's more it was particularly brave of him to speak out on this day of all days about an issue such as this. It should go some way to helping debunk the "spin over substance" line of attack which is infrequently thrown at him.
Our foreign policy under Blair has often tried to pursue the right principles and the right goals but its execution has left much to be desired. To that end, Cameron's call for "humility and patience" in the way we pursue our relationships around the world is timely and accurate, capturing something of the zeitgeist. I am always wary of over-praising "soft power", however. It is, I agree, a very important and under-valued tool. However, it can also be built up to justify what is, effectively, inaction and to give an impression of impact and action when, in reality, nothing is changing and it is achieving little. A perfect politician's tool and therefore one which should be particularly carefully monitored, examined and probed.