G20 and the Paris Attacks — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:54 pm on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon Liberal Democrat 3:54 pm, 17th November 2015

My Lords, remembering the baleful effect that ensued when George Bush Jr used the word “crusade” in the context of the second Gulf War, does the Minister agree that the language we choose at this moment is extremely important? In this context, does she agree that use of the word “war” is, at best, unhelpful and perhaps even unwise, given that it will only reinforce the Manichean view of the terrorists? Does that also apply to the Prime Minister’s favourite phrase, which is that we are fighting for “western values”, when we are, in fact, fighting for the universal values that underpin all the great religions and philosophies, including Islam?