Thursday, 7 July 2016

Tony Blair and Jeremy Corbyn.

Over the last 7 days a huge battle has been going on; the majority of Labour M.P.'s have been trying to get Jeremy Corbyn to resign as Labour Leader, despite his huge majority won only 9 months ago.

The thing is, any one of them could have stood against him at any time - but they knew they would lose.

If he had been foolish enough to have resigned he could not have stood again under the rules but as Labour Leader they cannot stop him from standing again.

Which is why they were so vicious and rude and why they even enlisted David Cameron, the tory leader, to call on him to go.

It didn't work because Jeremy Corbyn has been fighting for what he believes in for over 40 years - he's dealt with three generations of right wing Labour M.P.'s and watched them, in turn, bring the party down whenever they lost a democratic vote. 

It's no coincidence that this failed 'coup' took place when it did - in the week that 'The Chilcot Report' into The Iraq War came out.

There are still a substantial number of Labour M.P.'s who were selected in the time of Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson and still share their discredited politics to this day.

No one would be more concerned about the publication of the report at a time when the Labour Leader responding in parliament happened to be one of the wars strongest critics - a man who has kept up his principled opposition and criticism ever since.

It's no surprise that Corbyn was heckled by those Labour M.P.'s during the debate and why they wanted him out.

But in fact those of us (like Corbyn) who opposed the war in 2003 were right.

There were millions of us.

I watched the interviews of Tony Blair's cabinet - Jack Straw, Margaret Beckett, Harriet Harman and his 'spin Doctor' Alistair Campbell, after the report came out.

They had a script which may well have come from some P.R. company; "there was no deceit".

I watched Blair at his press conference; all crocodile tears and false sincerity. He said that he acted in sincerity on the best intelligence at the time.

Well, here's how the old joke goes;

A young actor is interviewed by a rather elderly and unscrupulous Hollywood producer; "You got style, you got talent, now all you need is sincerity. If you can fake that you got it made."

For the record, Blair and Colin Powell were unable to persuade the U.N. security council because no one believed their lies.

China, Russia and France would not move because their intelligence services told them that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and was no threat.

We went to war based on lies and it would have been wrong even if it had worked out well - it didn't.

No one has a right to overthrow a government they don't like - it's illegal. The only legal basis to go to war is either "self defence" or through a U.N. security council resolution.

Anything else is just plain unlawful - it happens but it's wrong.

It wasn't self defence and there was no U.N. security council resolution authorising war - everything else is just lies. It was an unjustified war of aggression and that was a charge at the Nuremburg trials of the Nazi leaders at the end of the second world war.

The Chilcot Report was scathing; despite what Blair and the others said, this war will go down in British History as an illegal and unwarranted war and it would have been even if things had turned out well.

In fact, somewhere between 150,000 and 1 million Iraqis died as a direct result of this war. We don't know the exact number because the British and American governments made a deliberate decision to not record the number of deaths they caused.

In itself this would amount to a war crime.

179 british servicemen and women died and thousands were injured; sent there by their generals with inadequate equipment and no plan.

The legacy of the war is Al-Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, none of which ever existed in Iraq until after the invasion.

Healthcare, education, infrastructure all destroyed; a country returned to the middle ages by Bush and Blair.

If I seem angry, I am. In 2003 I was on the two giant demonstrations against the war; I campaigned.

At the time we were patronised and ridiculed.

One of the placards the millions of people carried said "Not in my Name" and today that is very relevant. The Nuremburg trials established that it is no defence to an allegation of 'War Crimes' that you were 'following orders' or just went along with what happened.

Blair and those members of his cabinet who voted for war committed War Crimes and should be prosecuted, as should the generals and the Ministry of Defence officials who ran the war.

Quite rightly, Jeremy Corbyn issued an apology on behalf of The Labour Party for what it did in 2003, even though he had opposed the war.

It's time for the likes of Blair, Straw and all the others to go to jail.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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