Labour bids to banish the ghost of Tony Blair's toxic foreign interventions

Tories accused of making same mistakes as former PM in Mali

A new approach to intervening in foreign countries will be set out by Labour as the shadow Defence Secretary, Jim Murphy, accuses David Cameron of failing to learn the lessons from Tony Blair’s mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ten years after the Iraq War, Labour will attempt to further distance itself from a conflict which alienated many voters by warning against the “ideological” crusade against al-Qa’ida favoured by Mr Blair and Mr Cameron.

The party will say that Mr Cameron risks repeating Mr Blair’s errors in Mali, where 350 British  personnel are supporting the French military operation.

After criticism that it has few policies, Labour is finally starting to show its hand. Ed Miliband will make a major speech on Thursday as he defines what his “One Nation Labour” slogan would  mean for economic policy. He is expected to put squeezed living standards at the top of his agenda, arguing that low and middle-income earners have “never had it so bad”.

Mr Miliband will echo Barack Obama by saying that growth must come “from the middle out” rather than trickle down from those lucky enough to be at the  top.

Meanwhile, Labour’s new thinking on foreign policy will be spelt out today by Mr Murphy. He will say the party cannot turn its back on military action abroad, but will propose earlier, “preventative intervention” through Nato to train other forces in regions where troublespots emerge.

In his speech, the Blairite Mr Murphy will say: “Some of the political language applied in response to recent events [in Mali] has suggested a continuation of the 9/11 world and in turn the strategy then deployed. The Prime Minister’s declaration of a ‘generational struggle’ over-simplifies the nature of the threat and compounds rather than learns the lessons from the past. He called for an ‘intelligent’ response; the real intelligent response is to adapt to developments ourselves.”

The shadow Defence Secretary will also argue: “While Iraq and Afghanistan have been painful and rightly controversial, we cannot hide from the fact that threats overseas may necessitate the use of military force. A belief that we have responsibility beyond our borders is not, as some would have it, ideological, but an essential response to the world in which we live. Our nation should be haunted by the isolationist reticence of Douglas Hurd over Bosnia and the tragedy we witnessed in Rwanda.”

Calling for the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan to be learnt, Mr Murphy will say: “Al- Qa’ida was presented as a coherent entity. While truer in the past, it is now a looser franchise. A search for simplicity led to solutions which paid insufficient regard to the complexity of local circumstance. An almost primitive understanding of the Afghan population, culture and geography prior to Nato intervention severely undermined international attempts to work with proxies and our political strategy was in its conception insufficiently representative...

“Mali shows neither we nor our allies have fully applied these lessons. Mali is a failure in foresight. Mali has been on the critical list for a long time yet action has been rushed with shifting objectives.”

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Twelve of the winning bidders will each host three group matches
football
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Supply Teacher - Loughborough

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Teacher looking fo...

Primary General Cover Teachers

Negotiable: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Newly Qualified Teacher lo...

Part Time Primary Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Part Time Primary TeacherOur...

Science Technician

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:School Science Technici...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week