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

- George Washington

Saturday 22 May 2010

Gentlemen, you have my utter contempt

Labour leadership candidates Eds Miliband and Balls have decided to criticise the Iraq war.

Here's Ed:

Ed Balls, the former children's secretary, said the war was a "mistake" and was "wrong".

And here's Ed:

And former energy secretary Ed Miliband said the way the decision to go to war was taken had caused "a big loss of trust" for the Labour party.

Don't you like the man's sense of priorities? Never mind the 100,000+ dead and maimed, never mind the orphaned and displaced, never mind the billions it cost - the main reason for 'regret' over the war is that it made people distrust Labour.

Well, whoopy-do.

I'll tell you why people distrust Labour. You lied to us, to get our support for an unnecessary and illegal war, which has caused untold destruction and has trailed the reputation of our country (of which, at one time, we were proud) through the mud of barbaric brutality, and made our country a far more dangerous place to live. You lied over the reasons for war, you lied about the 45-minute claim, you lied about how you were waiting for the weapons inspectors to report when you had committed Britain to join Bush's war months or even years beforehand.

Gents, you have had your say. Here's mine:

You have been bloody quiet about this for the last seven years. Whoever knew you were secretly anti-war, when for the whole time you were very vocally supporting the last shambolic Government? And what an unfortunate coincidence that this vital information has only come to light when you are seeking votes for the leadership of your discredited party.

I understand that neither of you were MPs at the time and didn't have a vote, but by your silence you have acquiesced in the biggest British foreign policy disaster since Suez, and the most heinous manipulation of the British people's trust since God knows when. I truly believed that you both supported the war - when did you ever hint that you did not? But now you need the votes of MPs who are suddenly finding their consciences again, you decided that it is wise to distance yourself from all that and come over all statesmanlike and peacenik on us.

Well, fuck you.

Iraq was a "mistake", was it? It played badly on the doorsteps, did it? Sorry now, are we? Tell it to these children:

Or this man:

Or this soldier:

It's not a fucking game, you know. Those were real people.

Speaking as a one-time Labour supporter, and one who voted for Blair in 1997, Iraq is the reason I will never, ever, vote for Labour again.

And you, gentlemen, are the reason I despise everything that Labour stands for: hypocritical, cynical self-interest, manipulation and blatant falsehood.

You had better be glad neither of you are in a locked room with me today.

Rose Gentle, whose 19-year-old son Gordon, was killed in 2004 while serving in Iraq, said she could not understand the timing of their statements. She said: "It's an insult to the families just now."

Labour. Insulting the good people: it's what we do.

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