Dead Men Left

Friday, April 29, 2005

Electoral fraud and a lying war criminal Prime Minister: welcome to the Mother of Democracies

Certainly makes me proud of Britain. Blair's legacy will be the stupendous, rather sickening irony of leading a country that presumed to deliver "democracy" ex nihilo to Iraq, but which could not deliver a few postal votes to its own citizens.

Whilst noting Len's general criticism of international law, there is no reason to go further and pretend that it simply does not exist, or that it has no material effects. The inability of Bliar to abide by what amount to the ill-enforced rules of international conduct is telling in itself - regardless of our general opinion of those rules. That Blair as a result of his criminality had to lie copiously to his Cabinet, Parliament, the British public, and the rest of the world is an extraordinary testimony to the scale of the crisis the anti-war movement provoked.

Goldsmith admits to this "strength of opposition" in paragraph 35:

In short, there are a number of ways in which the opponents of military action might seek to bring a legal case, internationally or domestically, against the UK, members of the Government or UK military personnel. Some of these seem fairly remote possibilities, but given the strength of opposition to military action against Iraq, it would not be surprising if some attempts were made to get a case of some sort off the ground. We cannot be certain that they would not succeed.

I notice the Guardian website is complaining about the lack of coverage in Blogland of the Attorney General's legal advice. Apart from the amusing selection of vituperative pro-war sites presented as evidence for our collective reticence, for those of us opposing the war - what else can now be said? The leaks and the release simply confirm what many of us had suspected: that Goldsmith, as late as March 7, 2003, was not prepared to make an authoritative declaration on the war's legality. (John Kampfner has more.) All that can be added is the advice, next Thursday, to give Blair, this murderous and deceitful man, the "bloody nose" he richly deserves.

But there's an art to electoral pugilism. You can't just whack Blair with whatever is to hand - not if we're thinking beyond the war, to all the other lesser betrayals and disappointments of the last eight years. If there is no anti-war Labour MP in your area, vote wherever possible for genuine anti-war parties or independents. Wherever possible, get out and campaign for genuine anti-war candidates (Liverpool Street, 10.30am, this Saturday to help Respect in London.) The dire New Labour turnout will deliver the rest.