Green Party leader blames Woolwich attack on UK acting like "the world's policeman"

The killing of a serving soldier on Wednesday afternoon in Woolwich was a consequence of UK foreign policy, the leader of the Green Party has warned.

Speaking to LondonlovesBusiness.com on Thursday afternoon, Natalie Bennett said that similar attacks could still happen unless the UK stops regarding itself as “the world’s policeman”.

“It’s absolutely tragic what happened in Woolwich and you’ve got to feel not just for the family of the serviceman but also for the people and bystanders that saw it happen and the emergency services that had to deal with it afterwards. But if we’re going to stop that happening again in the future, one of the biggest things we have to do is stop regarding ourselves as the world’s policeman.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson said on Thursday morning that it was wrong “to link this murder to the actions of British foreign policy”. Speaking on Thursday, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We will never give in to terrorism”. He also condemned it as an “attack on Britain and…a betrayal of Islam”.

However, Bennett agreed with former London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s verdict that the UK had become a “target for terrorist attacks” because of former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision of invading Iraq.

“We have a situation where it’s very disturbing that we’re now putting a lot more arms into Syria,” she said. “The Syrian situation is deeply disturbing and we should be doing everything we possibly can humanitarianly but getting involved in the actual on the ground stuff is what we shouldn’t be doing.

It’s the kind of activity that creates more instability in the world and creates more danger for the rest of us. Look at Iraq, Afghanistan - we should never have got involved and the results have been dreadful for us. We need to stop regarding ourselves us as having the right to stick our oar in around the world.”

The rest of our interview with Green Party leader Natalie Bennett will be published next week

Readers' comments (14)

  • Surely no one expects anything rational to be spouted by a Green?

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  • Ian Middleton

    Perhaps Andrew, you'd prefer the usual trite rhetoric from the other parties or a bit of good old jingoistic nostalgia from UKIP.

    At least she's taking an alternative view and accepting that the UK has been punching well above it's weight for many years now.

    Maybe it's time we stopped kidding ourselves that we're a superpower and started paying attention to the real inequalities in the world, many of which we and other western powers have contributed to.

    None of that justifies what happened in Woolwich, but we all need to realise that violence done in our name around the world can sometimes inspire radicalism.

    Acknowledging that as a nation may be the first step towards dealing with the problems it's causing us at home.

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  • Anonymous

    So its caused by the UK interfering in other countries is it!, I agree that Tony Blair is responsible for the illegal Iraq war , plus his cabinet and Alistair Campbell and not to forget Mendelsohn all of whom should be in Prison , but this comment shows what mentally flawed people are involved in politics in all parties.
    This planned brutal attack that was carried out by these Muslims was barbaric and is usually seen in the remotest parts of Africa and the Middle East , What we fail to realize is that this is preached in Mosques around Britain and Europe , What will happen is this pair of Heathens will be given prison sentences and vast amounts of money will be spent to initiate them back into society , their families will be given preferential treatment and help , the victims wife and family will receive nothing , the two year old con of the victim and his wife will be scarred for life and forced to live on the bread line , is this justice No! justice is to see these two hanged and the Green leader and all other party leaders should also be there to send a message to the Muslim community .

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  • Anonymous

    The Green Party are a party of fruitcake s and nut jobs.

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  • Anonymous

    I think the green loony should show some respect and at least keep her gob shut until after he's been buried.
    For me, we should withdraw from the middle east, completely. Let them sort themselves out. It is not worth it.
    On a humanitarian level, a keep-the-oil-flowing level, a political level, any level, there is no upside to staying.
    Just get the hell out of there.
    Then spend the money saved on securing borders, better immigration controls and telling the european council for human rights to do one.

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  • Anonymous

    What happenened in Woolwich is obscene .... the reaction of the Green Party is equally obscene. There is a time for deliberation and mercy and there is a time for decisive action. Hang the two of them in a public place until their vile bodies rot . When will the pathetic and disconnected government of ANY of the major parties WAKE UP to the fact that the UK is ANGRY . We are a very tolerant nation up to a point . If the Moslems want a Jihad then the vast majority of secularists in the UK will give them Jihad but it will not stop at Moslems. ALL religions should be outlawed - if you need a religion , go see a psychiatrist. Yesterday should mark a turning point for good. Remove EVERY Moslem institution throughout Europe. If the Moslem Church cannot contol it's extremists they are not fit to exist in Europe. Additionally, we should remove ALL dangerous nations ' Embassy's from the following Nations : Afghanistan, Iran , Pakistant, all African Embassies and that of Saudia Arabia (who all suspect fund these atrocities) . Rule Britannia ! - with an Iron Fist...

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  • Anonymous

    I've been a member of the Green Party since 1981 but I've finally had enough. Natalie Bennett comment is a disgrace and as someone says above it is far better that she said nothing. I shall have to resign, with a heavy heart, as this comment and other comments by Caroline Lucas in the past show an extraordinary naivety. I'm very sorry for this. I am also sorry she has acted in such an inhumane way, showing neither respect nor sense. There are many good and tough thinking Green Party members but our leaders betray us.

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  • Anonymous

    Disgraceful comments from a waste of space, tunnel visioned, meaningless and forgotten party. Woolwich has nothing to do with the UK's overseas policies and everything to do with our inability to police our borders and ruthlessly deport dangerous immigrants or so called naturalised British citizens who clearly have zero interest in anything this country stands for. WAKE UP UK - it will only get worse. Particulalry if the Labour party who initiated 90% of the problems our country faces gets even a sniff of power and systematically starts reversing brave decisions that will, given time start to heal the wounds.

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  • Bush and Blair are largely responsible for jihadists. They attacked Iraq, which had nothing to do with 7/11, which was largely funded and carried out by Saudis, who are far too important to the West to sanction as they should have been. The war has damaged Iraq far more than Saddam ever did, and we are living with the consequences. Ditto with our other Middle East interventions. Unpleasant dictators, I agree, but at least they kept firm control over their people. Now, in Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Jordan we have internecine war between Muslim sects which we in the West had never previously heard of - Sunnis v Shias, with other minority sects allied with one or the other, with a strong element of anti-Western Muslim fundamentalists. It's amazing that co-religionists can hate each other so much, exceeded only by their hatred of Jews and Christians. The Taliban oppress only their own people with their Medieval interpretation of Islam, but that should be no concern of ours. We can't impose our notion of democracy. Let them live by their religion,and let those of us with other views let them get on with it.

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  • Anonymous

    I just saw that poor dear soldier's widow weep on the TV news. I felt helpless and wept. I felt utterly and totally angry at the vile politicians that DO nothing in this country . It is THEY that should have been hacked to death - they are PARASITES.

    Get out Blair , Get out Reagan, get out Cameron ....get out Clegg .. we desparately need strong and radical government. We are at a turning point ; only Just before it is too late ; only Just before these vile intruders overwhelm our country. I have NO time for their citizenship or any political creed or any religion . If you Do NOT support the UK and its citizens - GET OUT .

    LOCK DOWN the UK - ZERO immigration, ZERO tolerance of ANY fundamentalist movement. Capital punishment and not the crazy hypocracy and pretence that is Guantanamo .... is the ONLY answer ...REMOVE EVERY Jihadist on the spot - no trials , no discussion ....

    Let Iran, Pakistan, Aghanistan and Sausia Arabia burn in the battles of the Arab Spring.... we do not need their oil, their culture or their evil .....

    This country saw riots , it saw a million marchers against student fees ..... like, GET a life people! DO NOT TOLERATE these evil people in ANY way .... REMOVE any liberal politicion that suggests otherwise ..why does the UK not march in its millions to remove these people ... the time for tolernce is at at end ...

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