Important to nurture our strong links with India - Dr Andrew Murrison
12:00pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in Latest News
David Cameron’s trip to India appears to have gone well. In truth we’re now supplicants to this fledgling world power and can hope that the better parts of our shared history and the presence of many people of Indian heritage in the UK will assist in forging a special relationship that will be mutually beneficial.
There was some talk of apologising for excesses of empire. It is indeed appropriate to express regret for past sins of omission and commission – the Queen did this so very well in Ireland last year, successfully taking our relationship to the next level. However, it would be a presumption for today’s politicians to assume the mantle of apologist for the actions of their distant predecessors. We should also be cautious in judging individuals long dead by the standards and mores of today. What we can do is be thankful for relative peace and concord and start laying down tomorrow’s good history today.
My travels took me to Dublin for the EU Defence Ministerial and the chance to explore with Irish politicians and officials the implications of the upcoming centenary of the Great War. Naturally, EU ministers were greatly exercised about the rapidly evolving situation in Mali where there is much support for the French-led initiative but little appetite for committing combat soldiers.
Then to Paris for talks with officials, a speech at our embassy about the defence industry and further discussion on the centenary. Finally home to deal with the constituency correspondence and everything else that amassed during the week.
I continue to get messages about the Same Sex Marriage Bill. I hope people will see that this measure is not about forcing churches to solemnise marriages they are uncomfortable with and that traditional society will not suffer as a result of the change.