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Conservatives Monday, 8 October, 2001, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Tory warning on appeasement
Michael Ancram
Michael Ancram: US-led attacks 'harsh but effective'
A call not to heed the "siren voices" of appeasement in the struggle against terrorism has been issued by the Conservatives.

Shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram led the calls at the party's annual conference in Blackpool in a move that could be a pre-emptive strike against voices of caution in the Labour Party.


Those siren voices who press for dialogue are the 'appeasement challenges' of our generation

Michael Ancram
Earlier Iain Duncan Smith made his conference debut as leader by pledging full support for the government.

As he and most of his top team headed for London to attend an emergency recall of parliament, speaker after speaker echoed Mr Duncan Smith's view.

The first day of the gathering has been dominated by the US-led strikes, which began on Sunday night.

The tone of a specially lengthened foreign affairs and defence debate was set by Mr Ancram, one of the few shadow cabinet members not to return to the capital, who declared that "terrorism must never be allowed to win".

Action 'harsh but effective'

It was capable of delivering "worldwide destruction on a massive scale", and he called the first wave of attacks on targets in Afghanistan "harsh" but "effective".

And he went on: "Those siren voices who press for dialogue are the 'appeasement challenges' of our generation. We must reject them.

"Terrorism has never been and never will be about negotiation or compromise or democratic solutions.


We will stay with this fight until it is won

Michael Ancram
"It is simply about terror because that is the sole means of the terrorist to effect change."

There was warm applause for the former Northern Ireland minister when he said the battle against terrorism extended to the "still active remnants" of the IRA.

"Our party knows terrorism. Those of us who were in the Grand Hotel in Brighton in 1984 know what it is to be bombed.

"We know what it is to lose friends at the hands of the terrorist. We remember vividly the fear and the sadness and the loss."

Blair backed

He repeated the Tories' "wholehearted" support of the prime minister's stance.

"This is the message to Mr Blair, to President Bush and to all with whom at this grim time we stand.

"Let it with courage and defiance ring out from here today.

"We will stay with this fight until it is won. We are with you all the way. May God be with us all."


Faint hearts will try and sap the national resolve

James Gray
Defence spokesman James Gray also condemned the "wobblers and appeasers".

"Faint hearts will try and sap the national resolve," he warned party representatives .

"It will be our job, as believers in democracy, to ensure that we never again drop our guard."

'Heinous crime'

Among speakers from the floor, all of whom backed the military action, was Ali Miraj, a 26-year-old City of London worker.

"As a British Muslim I find the (11 September) attacks even more difficult to bear," Mr Miraj said.

The "heinous crime" was not Islamic, he insisted, and the real martyrs were the rescue workers who died trying to save others, not the perpetrators themselves.

"These people must be brought to justice," he added. "Ordinary citizens can no longer afford to live in fear."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Iain Duncan Smith, Conservative party leader
gives his reaction to Sunday's military strikes
Michael Ancram, deputy party leader
"We will play our full part as the official opposition"
See also:

07 Oct 01 | Conservatives
05 Oct 01 | Conservatives
07 Oct 01 | UK Politics
08 Oct 01 | UK Politics
08 Oct 01 | Conservatives
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