FOREIGN AFFAIRS – ZIMBABWE – 23 January 2002

Dr Julian Lewis: As my hon. Friend [Caroline Spelman] knows, I initiated the debate in Westminster Hall. I posed the question as to whether liberal left-wing angst and the fear of being accused of neo-colonialism was a problem. It quickly became apparent that it was a substantial part of the problem, but I do not understand why such fears did not hold us back from intervening in Sierra Leone. I went to Sierra Leone and the people were only too delighted by our presence there. If there had been a poll on becoming a colony again, they would probably have voted for that. When people are in such desperate straits as the people of Zimbabwe, the last thing that will be on their mind is the thought, "Oh, we must support the Government again, because Mr. Mugabe is able to say that Britain is being colonialist again." The fears expressed are preposterous left-wing nonsense and the sooner we see an end to them, the better.