A defeat for interventionism: taking stock of a momentuous week in British politics

U.S. President Barack Obama walks with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron during the G8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen

The dictum that a week is a long time in politics has never been more accurate when we consider the proposed military action against Syria and how what began as the unfolding of the same old script, dictating Britain’s eager participation in joint military action with the US, ended in a momentous defeat for the principal of interventionism.

At the beginning of the week a US-led military strike against Syria, beginning this weekend, seemed assured. Statements emanating from Washington, London, and Paris conformed to the same bellicose and Churchillian rhetoric we’ve become used to over the past decade of western military interventions and adventures. The ships and aircraft had been deployed to the region and the focus of the commentariat, political analysts, and military experts had shifted from ‘if’ to ‘when’ the attack was going to take place, with the only thing left to ponder how big, probable targets, and outcomes.

No one could have predicted that the British parliament would not only refuse to endorse David Cameron’s motion for support in principle for Britain’s participation in the military operation, but that it would also vote against Ed Miliband’s amendment supporting military action once the UN inspectors had reported back to the UN.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that both Cameron’s and Miliband’s justification for military action – i.e. humanitarian intervention bypassing the UN – would have constituted a breach of international law. No such provision exists within international law for one state or any constellation of states to take aggressive military action by themselves on this basis.

The credit for not only the British government’s defeat in the Commons, but now also the Obama administration’s U-turn with its decision to seek Congressional approval before they themselves embark on military action, lies with the British public. Opinion poll after opinion poll in the days leading up to the parliamentary debate revealed a clear consensus against military action. If the reply I received from my own constituency MP to my letter demanding a No vote is anything to go by, MPs were deluged with messages and phone calls from members of the public on the issue.

The result not only rocked the British Establishment, it has clearly rocked Washington, giving succour and momentum to a rising tide of antiwar sentiment in the US.

The shadow of Iraq undoubtedly loomed large of events this week, but so did an understanding of what the specific dynamic of the Syrian conflict involves, brilliantly argued by George Galloway in his speech during the debate. If Britain had voted to join the US and France in a combined action against Syria this week, it would have effectively meant all three countries entering a military alliance with Al Qaeda. The Nusra Front – an Al Qaeda affiliate – is the largest, best armed and funded of the opposition forces currently fighting the Syrian government, and would have been the main beneficiaries of any such military strike, lending them a morale boost at a time when the Syrian army and its allies are on the offensive.

Just pause to consider this for a moment. The British government would have been joining forces with the same ideology that was behind the atrocities of 9/11, 7/7, the Madrid bomb, and most recently and horrifically the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

So, yes, the British public certainly takes the credit for the remarkable turnaround that we’ve seen this week when it comes to British foreign policy and its relationship with Washington. Hopefully it marks the beginning of the end of the so-called special relationship, wherein Britain has consistently filled the role of obedient and eager satrap in service to US power and hegemony around the world.

At this juncture a few words need to be said about the antiwar movement.

I used to be active with the Stop the War Coalition and I still support the work they do, even if I disagree with their analysis on certain issues. The fact they’ve remained in existence this long is a laudable achievement and those involved deserve credit for remaining staunch for so long, particularly through the lean years.

Where I strongly disagree is with the assertions being made by some within Stop the War that the defeat suffered by Cameron and other pro interventionists in Syria this past week was down to them. This is false.

The bulk of the credit for this week’s vote belongs to those who’ve resisted the West’s decade long assault in the region with their lives. The Afghan and Iraqi people ensured that Britain’s military presence in their respective countries has come at a heavy price, too heavy to make anything other than a slam dunk – ala Libya – worth the risk of getting embroiled in another quagmire. By any objective measure it has been the extent of resistance to the US-led occupations of their respective countries that has truly shaped British public opinion when it comes to the concept of interventionism.

Though the bulk of the political class would never dare acknowledge it, the truth is that Britain’s military involvement in both Afghanistan and Iraq ended in military defeat. British forces were more or less chased out of Basra and lost on the ground in Helmand. In both cases they had to be bailed out by the US.

The antiwar movement’s role as a political pole of resistance has undoubtedly been a significant factor in ensuring the British public never forgets Blair’s execrable role and the lies he concocted to take the country into the war in Iraq. But if Iraq had gone according to plan – i.e. it had been pacified at none too great a cost – there is little doubt Britain’s appetite for similar ‘humanitarian interventions’ and military adventures would have continued unabated.

The role of the Iraqi and Afghan people in diminishing the British Establishment’s and a large section of British society’s addiction to war against the people of the Global South should never be forgotten.

 

 

41 comments on “A defeat for interventionism: taking stock of a momentuous week in British politics

  1. What we are seeing is a tactical pause and regrouping by the US and its neo con followers in the UK (with both front benches playing hard to get on a re-run). A mere delay in the planned blitzkrieg of Damascus. We can expect an orchestrated propaganda campaign to shift public opinion over the next week and create the conditions for parliament to revisit support for British participation in a military attack on Syria. The outrider for this strategy today has been hard right senior Tory Sir Malcolm Rifkind calling for another Commons debate notably supported by Blairite Ben Bradshaw advocating that Labour’s ‘amendment’ should be put again to Parliament. I predict that a cross party consensus position synchronised with the US Congress soap opera will emerge within the next few days.

  2. Terry,

    Douglas Alexander of course favoured supporting the government this week on Syria, so his views are those of the Blairite die hards – not evidence of a desire by the Labour mainstream to launch a war

  3. Andy Newman,

    It’s the PLP which matters and it’s a question of whether a sufficient consensus can be reached in support of military intervention. I doubt that there’s any disagreement between Alexander and Miliband. If due process is followed, including a UN resolution, then they will back military action regardless of a Chinese and Russian veto. They will work might and main to keep a majority of Labour MP’s onside. Hence the importance of keeping the pressure on Labour MP’s to oppose intervention and avoiding complacency about where the Labour leadership actually stands on this issue..

  4. Terry: The outrider for this strategy today has been hard right senior Tory Sir Malcolm Rifkind calling for another Commons debate notably supported by Blairite Ben Bradshaw advocating that Labour’s ‘amendment’ should be put again to Parliament

    Rifkind, Saudi Arabia’s most reliable ally in Britain, is a natural partner for the New Labour imperialists in their new global alliance with Saudi financed jihadists.

    Obama’s delay is a tribute to the strength of US domestic opposition to war which is greatly encouraged by the British parliament’s grudging accommodation to British public opinion.

    John Wight is right to point out the central role of the resistance in the countries subjected to attack by the imperial powers. It is worth recalling the long history of this resistance aswell as the equally long record of violence war, repression, torture and chemical air attacks on subject peoples by British imperialism.

    http://www.manifestopress.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1:the-imperial-controversy&catid=1:the-imperial-controversy&Itemid=2

  5. Melotonin on said:

    Just pause to consider this for a moment. The British government would have been joining forces with the same ideology that was behind the atrocities of 9/11, 7/7, the Madrid bomb, and most recently and horrifically the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

    I’m trying to understand what the motive is by repeating the same line, verbatim, that the very worst type of neocon used against those who supported the Iraqi nationalist resistance. Is it supposed to be ironic, a sortof knowing “ha, ha, remember when you said we supported Al Qaeda because Al Qaeda made up part of the resistance in Iraq, well we can do it to?”. If that is the case, it doesn’t work because it is hugely counterproductive. It merely proves they were wrong to say it the first time, thus it’s wrong to say it now. Why mention something so self defeating?

    The only other option is you somehow forgot ten years of arguments used against you and unwittingly decided to use the same arguments yourself. I can’t believe someone who is able to string a sentence together would make such a mistake, it must be the former.

    Please can you clarify your motives?

  6. Karl Stewart on said:

    Melotonin: Please can you clarify your motives?

    I think the author of this excellent article is ‘motivated’ by the desire to prevent the killing of many thousands of Syrians.

    What’s your motivation?

  7. Terry: I doubt that there’s any disagreement between Alexander and Miliband.

    I Douglas Alexander and Ed Miliband were completely on the same page, then surely Labour would have backed the government last week.

  8. Melotonin: I’m trying to understand what the motive is by repeating the same line, verbatim, that the very worst type of neocon used against those who supported the Iraqi nationalist resistance. Is it supposed to be ironic, a sortof knowing “ha, ha, remember when you said we supported Al Qaeda because Al Qaeda made up part of the resistance in Iraq, well we can do it to?”.

    But surely Al Qaeda had no footprint in Iraq at all, prior to the US invasion. So objectively, it was the US led invasion which created the breeding ground for both Al Qaeda to grow, and also for the explosion of sectarian Sunni/Shia killing.

    Given that the impact of the Western anti-war movement had at best marginal impact on the conduct of the war in Iraq by the USA and its allies, the lack of wisdom of the American action and especially the irresponsibility of their post-war de-Ba’athication programe, and the disbanding of the Iraqi national army, are salutory examples of an utterly failed and counter-productive approach.

    The difference is that peoplelike John and I have always opposed the Jihadi terrorists, whereas the USA supported the Jihadis in Afghanistan against the USSR and in the Bosnian civil war, and then reaped what they sowed. The contingent and unprincipled nature of the West’s policy, and of its liberal and Trotskyist cheerleaders, is shown by their willingness to support Jihadi terrorists in Libya and now Syria.

  9. Come on Melotonin – all this sniping might make you feel clever, but it’s scarcely likely to convince anyone here. Try to convince us: please spell out your case for military action. What sorts of things, places or people do you think need to be bombed? What positive humanitarian effect do you think this will have? Why do you think that? What could go wrong? How would you avoid some of the negative consequences seen in Iraq or Libya? If you can give us a plausible scenario in which bombing targets in Syria would help improve the situation there, from a humanitarian point of view, It would be good to hear it. Then we can see whether your case has any merit.

  10. Ah, leave “Melotonin” alone. He’s spent the last 11 years doing exactly this on every serious left wing blog. He’s never got anywhere, never had the guts to reveal his own name (we’re on your, what, 50th name now Mel?), and will probably never stop.

  11. #13 I’m not in favour of anonymous commentators being outed, particularly as I don’t use my real name, but I think perhaps you could give us some examples of other monikers used by this character without it coming under the heading of outing. And particularly as (s)he is using what people said or allegedly said some time ago against them.

  12. Uncle Albert on said:

    Andy Newman: I Douglas Alexander and Ed Miliband were completely on the same page, then surely Labour would have backed the government last week.

    As Jim Murphy pointed out on his blog yesterday:

    “The Labour policy attracted 220 votes and the Government motion won the support of 272, meaning that of the 550-odd MPs who voted 492 supported a version of conditions-based potential use of UK military force if very tight criteria had been met.”

    So it doesn’t look as if Labour and Tories are on different pages. Miliband and co, to avert criticism, made a fuss about the need for evidence to precede decision and also wanted to present the matter to the UN but – crucially – Labour’s amendment did not require UN approval. But the outcome took everyone by surprise – including, I suspect, Miliband himself.

    And, as far as I can know, there’s not been anything from Miliband to indicate a firm conversion to a non-military approach.

    http://www.jimmurphymp.com/jims-blog/blog.aspx?b=29

  13. John Fisher on said:

    If the Milliband amendment had been passed then surely this would not have been a vote against taking military action, but rather a postponement, hence the reason why Fitzpatrick resigned and other s like Corbyn and McDonald abstained presumably with a few others.
    It also seems that Labour and Conservatives were not involved in a pairing situation? Further if Cameron`s whips had advised him of the likely opposition from his own side, rumours of which were circulating well before the debate began, then he might have been able to work out the possibility of what did happen before it happened. To be sure he might well have accepted the Labour amendment! After all it did not rule out action merely postponed it.
    To be honest I don`t think anyone had worked out the likelihood of both amendment and resolution being defeated. Certainly nobody in the debate raised the possibility and I have to admit I listened to around six hours of it!
    My conclusion is that whilst the result happened to be a reflection of the overwhelming majority of public opinion and truly wonderful – it was a fluke!!??

  14. If Parliament had voted no in 2003 would it have been accompanied by a firm commitment that the question could not be revisited?

    And given the answer is most certainly ‘no’, would that have made it any less of a victory?

  15. Andy Newman on said:

    Uncle Albert: “The Labour policy attracted 220 votes and the Government motion won the support of 272, meaning that of the 550-odd MPs who voted 492 supported a version of conditions-based potential use of UK military force if very tight criteria had been met.”

    Wow, so both Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander say the same thing. Two unreconstructed Blairites, both of whom favoured supporting the government last week.

    Of course many Labour MPs also voted for the amendment on the judgment that the criteria for triggering action could never be met; and it looked like about a third of the PLP were prepared to oppose military action had Miliband backed the government.

    Using some skill and wisdom, Miliband held the party together, and defeated the government. This in turn seems to have modified Obama’s actions. For Miliband to have some impact from the opposition benches is quite an acheivement.

    The voices of Alexander and Murphy, that you are so in thrall of, speak for a constituency within the party, but not the majority view.

  16. John Fisher: If the Milliband amendment had been passed then surely this would not have been a vote against taking military action, but rather a postponement, hence the reason why Fitzpatrick resigned and other s like Corbyn and McDonald abstained presumably with a few others.

    There are of course times when a postponement is a serious defeat, tantamount to a cancelation. It would have required a further parliamentary vote, and some forensic scrutiny of a UN inspectors report that would inevitably have been non-conclusive as to who used the gas; the question of the legality of any attack would also have rumbled on.

    Of course Cameron could have recommended a Coalition vote for the Labour amendment, but that itself would have been a parliamentary defeat for the government, and would have suggested that Milband was in the driving seat; and made the government hostage to continued Labour support.

    I don’t think you are giving anywhere enough credit to how difficult parliamentary politics is; nor to how important momentum and maintaining the initiative are.

  17. Melotonin on said:

    Andy Newman: But surely Al Qaeda had no footprint in Iraq at all, prior to the US invasion. So objectively, it was the US led invasion which created the breeding ground for both Al Qaeda to grow, and also for the explosion of sectarian Sunni/Shia killing.

    Given that the impact of the Western anti-war movement had at best marginal impact on the conduct of the war in Iraq by the USA and its allies, the lack of wisdom of the American action and especially the irresponsibility of their post-war de-Ba’athication programe, and the disbanding of the Iraqi national army, are salutory examples of an utterly failed and counter-productive approach.

    The difference is that peoplelike John and I have always opposed theJihadi terrorists, whereas the USA supported the Jihadis in Afghanistan against the USSR and in the Bosnian civil war, and then reaped what they sowed. The contingent and unprincipled nature of the West’s policy, and of its liberal and Trotskyist cheerleaders, is shown by their willingness to support Jihadi terrorists in Libya and now Syria.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond, but I fail to see the relevancy of any of your points. Al Qaeda had no foot print in Syria before the war either. What has that got to do with using the argument that you’re on the same side as the 9/11 hijackers if you support the opposition in Syria? In Iraq, Al Qaeda played a critical role, especially at the beginning of the war when they bombed out the UN and targeted the aid agencies and later triggered a full scale sectarian war by bombing the golden dome mosque, massively increasing the length of the occupation. In Syria it’s taken longer for Al Qaeda to organise. How can John use the argument that it is wrong to be on the same side as Al Qaeda in Syria but not in Iraq? If anything, at least the Syrian uprising was not started by western invasion and therefore is a much more legitimate movement. To play the Al Qaeda card seems like an utterly self defeating argument given the history. I would still like him to explain the logic of his position on this.

  18. Karl Stewart on said:

    Andy Newman: Using some skill and wisdom, Miliband held the party together, and defeated the government. This in turn seems to have modified Obama’s actions. For Miliband to have some impact from the opposition benches is quite an acheivement.

    Indeed, his achievement has been quite phenomenal – which is why the Tory press are so furious with him. Such a change from how they were hailing him as “statesmanlike” when the witch died.

    Melotonin: To play the Al Qaeda card seems like an utterly self defeating argument given the history. I would still like him to explain the logic of his position on this.

    I don’t speak for John, but isn’t it obvious that highlighting the involvement of Al-Qaeda helps to strengthen those in the US who are trying to influence members of their congress to vote against authorising the killing of Syrians?

  19. Uncle Albert on said:

    Andy Newman: The voices of Alexander and Murphy, that you are so in thrall of

    Oh I wouldn’t put it quite like that, Andy – just that these unreconstructed Blairites have been appointed to two of the most important shadow cabinet roles by Miliband.

    The shadow cabinet reshuffle should be interesting. Now if Joan Ruddock was to replace Murphy I’d have no objection at all if you suggested I was in thrall to her voice – I’d even have to think seriously about rejoining the Labour Party…

  20. Melotonin on said:

    Karl Stewart,

    I agree it’s good propaganda for use in mainstream debate in the US. We’re hearing it a lot from republicans at the moment. But the republicans didn’t support the opposition in Iraq. I presume John does not have delusions of grandeur that he is talking to a mainstream US audience and is stating his honest analysis of the situation in an anti-war movement blog read by the left. How can he with a straight face use this type of language? Surely there has to be some basic standards of intellectual consistency?

  21. Melotonin, who no doubt was raging at the horrors of ‘clerical fascism’ before his sudden conversion to their cause, said,

    “What has that got to do with using the argument that you’re on the same side as the 9/11 hijackers if you support the opposition in Syria?”

    Because the opposition is made up of jihadists, both internal and external. And these elements are fostering (very successfully) sectarian division in Syria, aided and abetted by the chemical weapon trading West of course. Support for the ‘rebels’ is support for dividing people along ethnic and religious lines.

    Now it can be argued that even so, it is still better to go through a period of sectarian hell than have Aassad in charge as one has faith that things will turn out alright in the end and revolutionary change is never a simple process. But being the decent you no doubt are, you are not fit to make this call, because if this wasn’t in the interests of imperialism you would be screaming clerical fascism from the rooftops and chastising us for supporting women and gay haters, as you lot did when the left supported the rebellion against the Israeli attacks on the Lebanon and Gaza. To remind you, your lot denounced our so called support of Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Your lot also said our opposition to imperialist carnage in Afghanistan was tantamount to supporting the women and gay hating Taliban.

    Your lot of imperialist apologist scum should shut up!

    Meanwhile, golden silence on Egypt!

  22. Melotonin on said:

    MarKo,

    Because the opposition is made up of jihadists, both internal and external. And these elements are fostering (very successfully) sectarian division in Syria

    As they were in Iraq. Victory for the opposition in Iraq would likely have led to Al Qaeda controlling areas of the country, and would have been a far bigger victory for them globally than merely toppling Assad as they would have defeated their biggest foe the US at the same time as setting up huge training camps. If you’re looking at this on purely an Al Qaeda basis, the stakes were a lot higher in Iraq, yet John made his decision that their victory was worth it. That’s fair enough, but the argument I am making is really one of intellectual constituency. There has been a lot of talk about the inconsistent role the west has played on the use of chemical weapons and other foreign policy contradictions, like why turn a blind eye to Hallabja etc and no take this stand? etc. It is right that this is brought to light and debated. Yet at the same time, some section of opposition to Obama think they can turn around and use the same neocon propaganda they railed against for ten years as if nobody has been paying attention.

  23. Melotonin seems to think this is all semantics. But there seems a big difference between the type of ‘support’ some western lefties offered the Iraqi resistance — i.e. no direct aid, merely cheerleading. And the ‘support’ western governments are now offering the Syrian resistance — international recognition, arms, and possibly a bombing campaign.

    It’s not a simple like-for-like equation: there is a great deal of context that simply saying X=Y overlooks.

  24. Melotonin: There has been a lot of talk about the inconsistent role the west has played on the use of chemical weapons and other foreign policy contradictions, like why turn a blind eye to Hallabja etc and no take this stand?

    Where is the inconsistency? My own view was that The Americans made a terrible mistake in abolishing the Iraqi national army, and a criminal mistake is squandering the vast sums of money in the oil sanctions fund. Had they not done so, then as an occupying power they could have handed soveignty over to a viable Iraqi state that would have left no vaccum for Al Qaeda.

    Iraq is hardly a great example of how to prevent the spread of obscurantist terrorism.

    Your trolling is particularly purile as there was no national liberation movement or unified resistance in iraq; and no-one associated with this website ever made the mistake of wishing into existance in their imagination something that did not exist on the ground.

    We opposed the war on Iraq and predicted that it would end in disaster. It did. It is utterly bizarre to credit the US armed forces who created the conditions that led Al Qaeda to colonise Iraq, and who were poweless to prevent sectarian massacres, with having a reproducible strategy.

    Our consistency is in pointing out that US and UK intervention in the Middle East has consistently failed to achieve virtuous outcomes

  25. Yes, Melotonin just can’t help spouting endless imperialist apology, twist and turns and always ends up with the imperialists were right and just about the best thing that could have possibly happened to x given circumstances y.

    Anyway, I have put your comments into my full proof Imperialist Apologist Spotter Translation Software and you are coming up at 99.99999% probability of being an imperialist apologist. To put this in context, it is more probable that an asteroid containing the burial site of Elvis hits the Earth than you not being an imperialist apologist.

    Please go to Syria and join the free Syrian army, I mean it, please go.

  26. jack ford on said:

    What the decents find impossible to face up to is that their support for the criminal and catastrophic Iraq war has done massive damage to the interventionist cause and the memory of Iraq was very likely one of the main reasons Parliament voted as it did.

    If the West hadn’t been trapped in the Iraq quagmire it’s possible more might have been done to prevent the atrocities in Darfur.

  27. John Grimshaw on said:

    Andy Newman: I Douglas Alexander and Ed Miliband were completely on the same page, then surely Labour would have backed the government last week.

    My understanding from listening to Alexander om Sunday was that he was saying Labour hadn’t made a final decision on military strikes whereas Cameron had now ruled them out (despite wanting to do so). Rather he said that Labour had required significant evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government and that Cameron had failed to do so. Furthermore, he said that Labour had supported the principle of MPs deciding on military strikes rather than parliament being side lined. Of course he failed to point out that it was a Labour government that had done this last time.

  28. John Grimshaw on said:

    Ironically I wonder if this might work in Cameron’s favour ultimately? Yes he temporarily looked like an idiot ( and so did Clegg), but given the massive public opposition to military strikes can he not claim that he has acted by listening to the voice of the people? Furthermore if congress votes for strikes and the UK sits it out the Tories and their allies will be able to concentrate on matters closer to home such as a) trying to win the next election and b) further attacks on the poor and the working class. Just speculation.

  29. jim mclean on said:

    The politician that has come of the worst is probably Hague, the guy that has been bumping millions into support for the rag bag alliance that is the Syrian Opposition. The guy that started the whole intervention thing, the guy who has helped to create this humanitarian disaster. The other loser is the mainstream media who have lost out to the Facebook posts, twitter and political blogs, their was no organised resistance but the sum of the whole in relation to opposition was enough to influence the opinion polls and frighten the MP’s. Nobody in my family reads newspapers apart from the local rag, they rarely watch the news and they are more influenced by a facebook post than any government mobilisation of public opinion. I have watched how support for the bedroom tax has collapsed, people thought it is wrong that there are empty rooms, now as the reality of what is happening hits home, people who were posting support for the idea are totally against it. Not many realised children under 16 may be forced to share for instance.

  30. Very good article. Personally, I would modify the emphasis of the following though:

    Where I strongly disagree is with the assertions being made by some within Stop the War that the defeat suffered by Cameron and other pro interventionists in Syria this past week was down to them. This is false.

    I feel this is slightly harsh. As it happens, I was chatting casually about exactly this issue with a C.C.S. comrade yesterday. We were both of the opinion that the Stop the War Coalition can probably take a great deal of credit for the fact that a vote in Parliament actually took place. The mass mobilizations of late 2002 and early 2003 put sufficient pressure on the Labour government to make Blair have a debate and vote in Parliament. That established a precedent followed by Cameron over Libya last time, and over Syria this time. If the anti-war movement had not existed, I don’t think Blair would have had a Parliamentary vote in 2003, Cameron wouldn’t have had a vote over Libya, and he then wouldn’t have had the the vote – and therefore the chance to be defeated – last week.

    So I think the anti-war movement is largely responsible for the fact there was actually a vote. The outcome of the vote is probably due to a number of factors but I certainly agree that the most important of these, by far, is the heroic resistance to occupation mounted by the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    My more general view of the anti-war movement can be found here, although the piece was written a couple of years ago.

    http://communistcorrespondingsociety.org/reflections.htm#

  31. jim mclean: The other loser is the mainstream media who have lost out to the Facebook posts, twitter and political blogs, their was no organised resistance but the sum of the whole in relation to opposition was enough to influence the opinion polls and frighten the MP’s

    The Daily MIrror was also opposed to military action

  32. jim mclean on said:

    Andy Newman,

    Hard to get a Mirror up here and stopped reading its Scottish cousin the Record a while back.,sports page in particular is dismal….. Nope its the East Fife Mail and the Scotsman online.

  33. jim mclean: Hard to get a Mirror up here and stopped reading its Scottish cousin the Record a while back.,sports page in particular is dismal….. Nope its the East Fife Mail and the Scotsman online.

    Blimey, it is as if you were in another country! :)

  34. Comment 35:

    I wouldn’t write off the gutter media just yet. And to undo the damage they have done will probably take generations. But an interesting take on all of this.

    I was wondering how New Labour would have voted if they were in power (I suspect for war), I have argued that it is better to have Labour in opposition than New Labour in power. Maybe this proves the point?

  35. Uncle Albert on said:

    MarKo,

    Worth remembering the Vietnam war – it took a few years for significant opposition to build. Today we have mass anti-war movements even before troop deployment etc occurs, and that’s with much of the mainstream media pumping out pro-war bollox.