If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ed and Iraq

So the new Chief Comrade has come out in public and said that the Iraq War was wrong.

"I do believe we were wrong. Wrong to take Britain into war and we need to be honest about that," he said.

Now, the decision to go to war with Iraq was taken in 2003, at the latest (and a lot earlier than that, if you believe some accounts). At that time, Comrade Ed was not an MP (he was first elected in 2005), and did not have a vote, so one can't accuse him of hypocrisy or pandering to the anti-war sentiments of much of his Party and country.

What we can be sure of is that he didn't make his unease about going to war clear at the time, or at least not publicly. He was an economic adviser to the Treasury then, and a member of Brown's close-knit team, so he will have been aware of, and involved in, many of the affairs of government, but I cannot find any reference to his strong feelings against the war at this time. Perhaps I just haven't looked hard enough.

What we do know is that he voted against an inquiry into the war, and he is not known to have ever rebelled against his party leadership. So this leads me to two possibilities:

1. He was against the war at the time, but has kept his feelings quiet until there is no need to suck up to anyone above him in the hierarchy.

2. He was in favour of the war at the time, but has since reflected and changed his mind - co-incidentally just in time to curry favour with the mainly anti-war Labour Party whose support he desperately needs.

Either way, it looks as if he is an opportunistic hypocrite. The perfect Labour leader and Heir to Blair, then.

Don't get me wrong - I agree with the guy. The Iraq War was illegal, immoral, a compete disaster for Britain and a stain our our national conscience. But I'm not convinced that Ed's angle on this is entirely genuine.

Of course, if anyone can provide a link to anything showing that Ed made his opposition to the war known either before or after 2003, I would be delighted to post a correction.


  1. They are all complicit, Richard. Every one of them. They voted like lemmings. All it really proves is that they have no backbone. I still think that one day, we shall see Blair et al in the Hague on war crimes. The evidence is now overwhelming.

  2. They all sit on the same nightmarish carousel, their undead rictus grins circling before us, indistinguishable from each other, emitting the same sepulchral croakings, death-toads from the sewer who know they are toads but expect that their cloacal venom will make us see princes, vying to drain the life from us all.

  3. @WW - I would love to see that, but as time passes I think it is less and less likely. But EdM's complicity is undeniable - as part of the Brown attack team, he could never deny that he wasn't part of the decision. And as he was a Treasury wonk at the time, the same applies to the appalling financial mess we're in too.

    @Jim - Agreed. :)

  4. Richard. Right answer. Right length of answer. Yer name shall be entered in the Golden Ledgers. (Not to be confused with the Cheltenham Gold Cup or St Swithin's Day).

  5. Jim, I am so relieved. I thought I might have been a little verbose, but no. I can sleep now.

  6. I listened to his speech, and subsequent political commentators (whose consensus seemed to be that it was OK, if not brilliant) with a mounting sense of disbelief. Emperor's new clothes, surely?

    The Labour party has no idea what it wants to, or should, stand for and only seems concerned that people should vote for it regardless.

    The Labour party leader has demonstrated
    1.That there is no principle that he previously backed that he will not now deny in order to gain those votes.
    2. That, in becoming leader, in such a way that his brother will quite probably have to stand down altogether, that loyalty to others was not one of those principles anyway.
    3. That in being "too busy" for the last 15 months to even register his name on his son's birth certificate, there is very little to recommend him outside of politics, either.

    And that's the Labour "new generation for change" is it?

    I have him pegged as an undertalented and deeply nasty piece of work, possibly - due to his unfortunate Martian looks and tendency towards talking incomprehensible bollocks - more like his erstwhile mentor Brown than Blair.

    Get a grip, Labour. We're paying you to provide Opposition, not a comedy freakshow. You have an outright obligation to the public to deliver worthwhile service, and you elect...this...to lead you? I think I'd like my money back.

    Jim, you have some disturbing thoughts! Very, very funny, but just a little perturbing...

  7. I find it hard to reply to anything Jim says. My rationality receptors blow and take the sensibility diodes with them. I read every post on his blog with enjoyment (and some bafflement) and I am often moved to comment. But then I think - What the fuck could I say?


Comment is free, according to C P Scott, so go for it. Word verification is turned off for the time being. Play nicely.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...