10 December 2007

Gordon: Saying one thing, doing another

Yesterday, Gordon Brown announced that Basra is to be handed over to Iraqi control within two weeks. On the surface this is good news (provided the time is right and this is not just a politically expedient decision).

The problem I have is that this seems to be another example of Gordon Brown making public pronouncements on important issues, the sort of thing he promised would be first announced in Parliament. I am sure a number of questions need to be asked about this to make sure the timing genuinely is right; the place for those questions is surely in Parliament and the announcement should have first been made there.

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22 February 2007

Have they Thought Prince Harry's Deployment Through

I don't blame Prince Harry for wanting to serve alongside his troops in Iraq, it is a totally commendable attitude. I do hope however, that the powers-that-be have thought this through.

They need to be assured that there is no potential for specific information to be leaked about who is going on patrol when, otherwise there is a specific threat to Prince Harry. I suspect this particular issue has been thought about, the area I would have more concern about is whether his presence will lead to an increase in general attacks on Blues and Royals patrols in the hope of getting a patrol commanded by Prince Harry on the off-chance. If this is a possibility, it means that Prince Harry's presence could lead to an increased threat to our troops.

My concern is that the clamour to provide some more good PR for Prince Harry and a good news Iraq story, some of the negative issues will have been missed. I hope I'm wrong.

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30 December 2006

Disgusted of Cambridgeshire

Why why did the Television Media in the UK have to show those horrific pictures of Saddam having a noose placed around his neck?

I can understand the need to show it in Iraq, as evidence that they did actually do what they claimed, but those pictures were disturbing and there was no need to show them over here.

I cannot mourn for the passing of Saddam, nor do I regret the fact that he was executed by the State, even though I have real reservations about the death penalty.

I can, however, mourn the death of responsible television journalism in the UK.

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19 December 2006

Chatham House Report - Blair Loses on Two Fronts

The Chatham House report published today largely rounds on our dear Prime Minister for almost everything to do with the Iraq invasion and for being a poodle to the US whilst gaining nothing in return.

It is also worth noting that the praise that it does heap on Blair relates to his pro-European agenda. So the area where he gets praise from Chatham House is yet another area where he is completely at odds with the views of the general public.

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26 November 2006

Official: Lemmy Hates Blair

I had the privilege of seeing Motorhead at Brixton Academy last night; a great night. Lemmy is not renowned for beng a particularly political animal, but dedicated "Under The Gun" to all the soldiers in Iraq who are "risking their lives for all the wrong reasons". He then proceeded to insult Blair.

It says a great deal that even bands like Motorhead feel they have to make political statements.

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22 November 2006

Invade with a lie, withdraw with a lie

Today's timetable for a withdrawal from Iraq ends a period of carefully planned spinning on behalf of the Government, who seem to have an unwritten programme for withdrawal for some time and who have managed a careful media campaign to get out of Iraq as soon as possible and to present a situation where those that want a withdrawal on the right terms are led to believe that the time is right. Unfortunately the level of violence in Iraq is a clear indicator that this is not the right timing.

My concern over this is that, once again, we have not learned the lessons of history. When Harold Wilson took British troops out of Aden in the 60s, he left behind a situation where those members of the population who had supported the British were slaughtered. We are in danger of leaving something similar in Iraq.

One final point. We invaded Iraq on the basis of a lie. Is it poignant that we seem to be leaving on the same terms?