Admittedly, compared to most of today's politicians, he seems like a quite human person - you would rather go to the pub for a pint with him than most Labour politicians.
But, like Jacques Chirac, he is not our friend. Just because he is "anti-war", while Blair is "pro-war" does not mean that he has progressive politics.
Aaronovitch on the Chatham House/Clarkey worldview of the BBC listening classes:
"what would have been the situation had there been no invasion? Saddam would be there, or maybe Uday, or if we got lucky, Qusay. Perhaps we would have continued the baby-killing sanctions on Iraq, believing (as Robin Cook did) that they contained Saddam’s military ambitions, or else — given that the sanctions regime was crumbling — we would have abandoned the measures and faced the prospect of Iraqi rearmament. Maybe Libya would have maintained its WMD programme, maybe the reform movements in the Lebanon and elsewhere — partly energised by the Iraqi elections — would not have been so strong. At the humanitarian level the actuarial calculation is difficult. Continuing subjugation for the Shia (better to live in bondage?) and attacks on the Kurds by Ansar al-Islam. Possibly London wouldn’t have been bombed. Or maybe it would have been bombed for something else...
Condi Rice, however flawed the Administration in which she serves, has learnt something from 9/11, as have most serious American politicians, and most serious British ones. Ken seems to have learnt nothing.
It was appropriate that his stance should have been supported in these pages yesterday by Lord Lamont of Lerwick, British representative of the palaeo-conservative tendency. Lord Lamont urged us to follow the sage advice of Richard Nixon in arguing that we should not seek to spread democracy, or (in Nixon’s words) “presume to tell the people of other nations how to manage their own affairs”. To do otherwise, argued Lord Lamont, was “un-Conservative”.
Lamontian conservatism means letting people have tyrannies if the tyrants want them to. Selling everyone cigarettes, if that’s what they’ll pay for. Standing alongside Chilean dictators, because they can do us a good turn, and who’s to say that they’re not better than the alternative? The reckoning is a long way down the road. And then someone flies planes into high buildings."
David Aronovitch, David Aaronovitsh, Ken Clark, Kenneth Clarke
Previous: Monbiot, Ken Clarke, Harry and Uzbekistan, Lisa Ramaci-Vincent v Juan Cole, Galloway’s hubris, Cheese-eating surrender monkeys, Social justice versus liberal ideology