Friday, 8 July 2016

Chilcot, Iraq and a reminder

The following is what Ross Bradshaw, the owner of Five Leaves Publishing and Bookshop off Long Row in the city centre, put on his Facebook page (click here for link). It came to me via Susan and Chris Richardson, who both do Facebook:

I find Tony Blair impossible to watch. If I was the main character in a Chilcot Report (a tad unlikely...) and was so demolished I'd make a brief statement, answer a few questions, organise a sycophntic one to one interview with a patsy and vanish to spend time with my money. Even the redtops have turned against him. Yet there he is, dragging himself from TV studio to TV studio (and making life impossible for Angela Eagle and his mates in the Parliamentary Labour Party).

Blair will never be prosecuted, we need to give up on that one - the Report did for him and he damages himself further every time he opens his mouth. Corbyn came out of this well - I liked the way he ignored Ian Austin and never even mentioned Blair in his speech. I'd like to think that more of the MPs who voted in favour of the Iraq war will quietly admit they got on the wrong bus. I hope that the fallout from this will lead to a rapproachment between the "40" and the more level-headed of the other members of Parliament who genuinely want Labour to succeed.

Says it all.

Some MPs, like Gedling's Vernon Coaker and Nottingham East's Chris Lesley remain in denial and, if the Nottingham Post is to be believed, still believe they made the right decision at the time. Both are anti-Corbyn.

The Public Whip website shows how MPs voted in 2003 on the war motion (click here). I suspect it is at the root of so much of the hostility towards Jeremy Corbyn.

Among those voting for war were were Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Jon Cruddas, Angela Eagle, Margeret Hodge and Broxtowe's own Nick Palmer*.

On the anti-war side were Nottingham MPs Graham Allen and Alan Simpson, plus Jeremy Corbyn, Robin Cook and lots of others.

In total 256 Labour MPs (including two tellers) voted for war and 85 (including one teller) voted against attacking Iraq.

The Chilcot report damns Blair and in the process all those MPs who, in the words of Graham Allen, were 'bullied' in voting for war with Iraq. How did these people get is so wrong?

Susan has long held the view that something happens to Labour politicians when they get elected to Parliament. They have to prove themselves worthy of being part of the Westminster establishment and I have seen how MPs brown nose first hand. Two MPs, both now sadly passed on, who I knew, Philip Whitelaw and Harry Barnes, said much the same thing to me.

Add to this how many Labour MPs go onto accept peerages, knighthoods and honours, and you the evidence of this seduction stares you in the face. Kinnock is a towering example of this disdain and arrogance.

Oona King voted for war, couldn't beat George Galloway and ended up a peer, who nows wants another EU referendum because, a bit like Anna Soubry, she thinks voters are stupid. The reward for failure, if you brown nose enough, is a peerage and the right to vote in a undemocratic, unelected, House of Lords. It is to Labour's shame that it still exists and is a good measure of the majority of Labour MPs.

Becoming a peer or accepting a knighthood, should result in automatic expulsion from the Labour Party.

Rant over. I feel like Ross Bradshaw. Chilcot has reminded us why Corbyn is better than any of his critics in the Parliamentary Labour Party.

FOOTNOTE: * I know a good few, like Nick Palmer, have since recanted. A part of me was happy to accept this as enough, but the Chilcot report has led me to the conclusion that all those Labour MPs in 2003 who are still MPs now who voted for war on Iraq and the deaths of hundreds of thousands since, and so much more, should stand down and withdraw from public life. Their judgement was, and remains, deeply flawed.

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