I’ve never voted. Which probably makes me something of a hypocrite, given the nature of this written musing.
I also don’t have the answers to the problems I’m going to highlight either, which probably makes me an even BIGGER hypocrite!
But I’m at an age where, for whatever reason, I am beginning to take notice of the planet and some of those that hold positions of power on it. Perhaps it is a natural process of the acknowledgement of one’s mortality, that one begins to look around oneself and takes stock of the world that they inhabit, perhaps even harbour a slight yearning to change it or make some kind of impact.
I don’t know.
Someone once said that a People, or a Nation, deserves the leaders it elects. I’m also of the opinion that a Nation can also be deserving of the leader it fails to STOP.
I don’t know much about politics; fiscal/monetary policies or Taxation. I know nothing of how to better the National Health Service or State Education. I don’t really know how to solve any of the major problems facing the World today. Equally, I don’t know which political Party, if any, is best equipped to do so either.
But what I DO know, in my heart of hearts, is this. That this current ‘Nu Labour’ Government will go down as the most corrupt, mendacious, scheming, manipulative and positively WICKED administration in British history, (providing that it allows such a history to be accurately recorded).
That all politicians lie is a given. That all political parties frequently fail to deliver what they promise at the election is another. I truly am not writing to advocate, encourage or promote a different political party, but merely seeking to deter continued support for the current reigning one. I simply want to raise a few issues of my own, which hopefully will play a part in the minds of those unsure of where to place the ‘X’ on Polling day.
I believe that man is essentially greedy and self-centred, caring little for events outside of his own immediate circle. That is not a misanthropist view, simply observable fact. It is natural and, to a degree, acceptable enough to want the best for our own families, our children and our own lives. Which is why we invariably listen to the pundits and the politicians and read the newspapers to try and figure out who is going to put more money in our pockets, who is going to give us the better Tax breaks, keep the interest rates down, build more hospitals, create better schools etc..... But the achievements and consequences created by this current Government makes me ashamed of my fellow Countryman, or at least those who have supported and advocated this Government for three terms.
It is ironic that Tony Blair’s main, (and perhaps ONLY), real message in his pre-Election speech in 1997 was to ask, rhetorically, whether we had enough of 17 years of Tory sleaze, before going on to preside over one of the most corrupt and sleaze ridden periods in British political history.
I am NO apologist for the Conservative party, but their misdemeanours, failings and ‘old boy’ network practises pale into insignificance when you examine the illustrious roll call of Labour’s scams:- Major police investigations into thefts of Millions of pounds of tax-payers money, and cash for questions; Hansard’s record of Blair’s blatant lies; Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon’s and Patricia Hewitt’s ‘cash for favours’; the indestructible Peter Mandelson, resigned TWICE and effectively sacked at least ONCE before landing a most lucrative EU Commissioner position, and clearly still untouchable as a big shot in the Party.
Bernie Ecclestone, Lakshmi Mittal, BAE Systems, Powder Ject, just a tiny sample of the companies and benefactors of Labour’s Cronyism.
There cannot be a single major Labour politician or Front Bencher who has not been embroiled in some scandalous revelation over the years. You can even buy BOOKS from AMAZON.COM, documenting the better known episodes!
But these are small potatoes, minor asides and almost humorous inconsequentialities, when compared with the biggest and most serious charges that I feel should be placed at the feet of this Labour Government.:-
Its role in the massacre of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Iraqi men, women and children since the arrival of coalition forces there in 2003.
This was no “War on Terror”. This was, in every sense, a massacre. “Shock and awe” was never so apt. Massive Ariel bombardment with carpet and precision bombing and destruction. A rag-tag assortment of ill-equipped and incapable Iraqi soldiers against the most powerful military might in Global history. Slaughtered from 30,000 feet before Infantry Regiments move in on a massive burying and cleaning operation.
For what? American Imperialism? Definitely.
So that the infamous American company, Halliburton’s, could make BILLIONS of Dollars in Iraqi Oil? Documented and proven.
So that American companies could make fortunes in the rebuilding process? Inarguable.
I am no apologist for Saddam Hussein. He was a murderous, wicked man who killed many of his own people. But he certainly wouldn’t come out anywhere near the top in any list of evil dictators. The WMD’s story was clearly a facade and fabrication from the start. Not least when Blair tried to present, as evidence, ‘documentary proof’ of Iraq’s weapons capabilities which turned out to be a 12 year old plagiarised student’s Thesis taken from the internet, cobbled together with sections from ‘Jane’s Weekly’ and other military publications.
In my mind, to anyone with an IQ above 75 ,that should have set alarm bells ringing that skulduggery was afoot. More saliently, I believe that we probably KNEW EXACTLY what weapons Hussein did and didn’t possess, given that, along with the Americans, we had been SELLING them to him since the 1980’s!
And the so called ‘Dodgy Dossier’ is as laughable as it is lamentable:- Saddam Hussein eats babies for breakfast and any day soon, probably within twenty minutes, he’ll be here eating OUR babies. Penned by Alistair Campbell and his cohorts, this fabricated twaddle was agreed to and claimed ownership of by MI5 Chief John Scarlett, subsequently awarded a KNIGHTHOOD, by Blair, for his troubles.
Nor do I quite understand the ‘Regime change’ purpose. All that has resulted in is the production of MORE Saddam Husseins, probably THOUSANDS of them, hell bent on exacting revenge on the US and its Allies for decimating its nation and stealing its oil. Indeed, we have now coerced Al Qaeda to set up some cells in Iraq, a country where they never previously existed, despite the best efforts of Bush to convince the Americans otherwise.
More terryfyingly, according to British and American Intelligence services, Special Branch and senior Metropolitan Police figures, there are now ACTIVE terrorist cells HERE in the UK. I sometimes wonder if I am alone in contemplating the absolute madness of this apparent situation which is:-
that whilst British soldiers are losing their lives in Afghanistan and previously in Iraq, apparently fighting for our freedoms and democracy; HERE in our own Country we are producing terrorists in our Cities and Towns. In some Mosques, secular schools and madresses, Muslim children are apparently being taught and instructed to rise up against the ‘infidel’, the citizens of the Country which extended to them the hand of friendship and, in some cases, asylum.
The 2005 London bombings may well not prove to be an isolated incident, we are warned by authorities. Terror plots and cells are being constantly investigated and thwarted, we are told, on a regular basis. Many of the much reported terror incidents and activities abroad invariably involve protagonists living, educated or studying here in the UK. And such events and incidents will continue, because we are STRANGLED by political correctness and Human Rights Legislation, (two other great ‘Nu Labour’ inventions), thus deterring the authorities from implementing the tactics and methods needed to counter them.
It is ironic, indeed, that there may very well one day be a real, ‘War on Terror’, one in which we, along with the Americans, have initiated.
I have absolutely no idea what went through Blair’s mind when he agreed to hold the hand of the US in its invasion of Iraq. He clearly knew from the start that it was to be an invasion built on a lie. Otherwise he wouldn’t have had to fabricate the Thesis and dossiers detailed above. He wouldn’t have had to tour the Country, answering questions to innumerable panels and meetings and groups, telling them how much it pained him to commit British troops to war:-
” If only Saddam were to give up his weapons........”
Perhaps Blair thought Bush would reward him and the UK immeasurably for his support and efforts. He clearly thought that there was something of consequence to be gained because by refusing to listen to the voice of the United Nations who were suggesting that the war was illegal, he alienated the European powers that could, (and probably WOULD), have made him the European President, and more than ANYTHING Blair wanted to be the elected President of a United States of Europe.
More likely, Tony Blair was simply obsessed with wanting a greater word count in the annals of History than any other British Prime Minister. If there is any real justice, he will have his wish. But for reasons different to those that he envisaged.
But what does that say for the rest of the Cabinet? The remaining Labour Front Benchers and Government members who worked closely with Blair? They would clearly have had no doubts as to the veracity of the so called fabricated version of events being put out by Whitehall.
Indeed, it is obvious from the various inquiries, inquests and treatises held and written since the events that there was much doubt and consternation amongst the Cabinet over Blair's intentions and allegiance to Bush. Only Clare Short and the late Robin Cook made any kind of stance. Or rather, they made a stance and maintained it, forfeiting their careers in the process.
Because amongst the others, (and there were clearly many, Jack Straw and the current Prime Minister Gordon Brown included), their stance was ALSO taken and then, clearly, changed. Their positions threatened. Their compliance insisted upon. Their prices paid.
As for Gordon Brown, NO price was too high for him. He would have probably agreed to an American led invasion of his own Scotland so long as Blair kept his promise to step down and hand the Premiership to him, democratically elected or not.
As an immensely added bonus of Blair’s departure, (for the WHOLE remaining cabinet, not just for Brown), any subsequent uncomfortable revelations about the Labour Administration, including, (if not PARTICULARLY), the Iraq invasion, could be firmly blamed on Blair’s office.
And so, with yet another pre-election roadshow taking place, when Brown and the Labour Party members flit from Town to Town, promising a “brighter future......more secure Britain........stable economy..........fairness for all.” I am reminded only of two comments. The first, made by the former French President Jacques Chirac, (quaintly known in the US as that ‘Cheese eating Surrender Monkey’), spoken to Tony Blair during an Iraq summit in 2002:-
"How will you be able to look Leo in the face in 20 years' time if you are the one who unleashes this war?”
This remarkably frank and unequivocally cutting comment, relating to Blair’s youngest child, is one that I feel should be addressed to ALL of those politicians, with relevance to their own children, who allowed their doubts, concerns and fears to be brushed aside by whatever promises they were offered.
And the second comment relates to the quote which appeared earlier in this opinion. That if a People deserve the leaders it elects, then each and every one of us will truly deserve the consequences of yet another Labour term if we elect NOT to challenge it.