Friday, April 24, 2009

Labour need a war - after all, it worked for Thatcher

Gordon Brown, sitting in the Downing St bunker, contemplating the reception to his budget and attempting to generate a new image for his party as New, Old, Retro Labour, needs to look around to find the winning ticket for the next general election. As things stand at the moment, the prognostications are not looking good.

He needs something that will unite the country, drive the bad economic news out of the headlines and get the nation backing him. He needs a war! After all, it worked for Thatcher back in the early 80s. Down in the polls, recession biting and unemployment rising, the Argentinians gave her a hand up by invading a colony few people in the UK could place on a map. Since Brown is a bit of a Maggie fan, having had her round for tea at Downing St (whilst making sure the press were there to cover it), perhaps he could follow her example and have a war.

So, as luck would have it, Britain and the Argentinians are currently having a bit of a spat about where the boundary lies in the South Atlantic between Argentina and the Falklands. It's all about fishing rights and oil.

Brown would, no doubt, argue that a war would be a great boost to the economy (look at the 1930s!) The Conservatives could be painted as a "do nothing" party on the war. In typical new Labour style, they could have targets for shooting down enemy planes and capturing Argie soldiers. The war could be blamed on irresponsible bankers who lent rival fishing fleets unsustainable sums of capital to build new fishing fleets. And ministers could introduce a scrappage scheme for old British warships. They could argue the war will be over by Christmas and 2010 will see a year of strong growth in international relations.

Meanwhile Derek Draper could be drafted in to compile a dossier on the Argentinians with lots of unfounded smears on their leading fishing vessels (they can launch a fleet of trawlers in 45 minutes - and other stuff like that!)

Without a war, there ain't much left for Labour to give them hope of winning a general election. That's not to say they won't win, and it's certainly not saying the Conservatives will win. They do, after all, have to gain 130 seats and even with an 18% opinion poll lead, they are still a year away from the election and they still keep screwing up on the ground - two council byelection losses today for example, one to Lib Dems, one to Labour.

Mind you, last time Labour took the country to war, it was a disaster. So perhaps not such a good precedent after all!


Andrea Cave said...

The only war Labour will be having is an internal war from the leftovers of their party after the next election. They will lose seats to both the Tories and the Lib Dems but what will be very interesting indeed is how the Lib Dems defend the seats they have won from the Tories since 1997

Anonymous said...

April 26, 2009

Viral Press Officers Needed

I am very busy now preparing for my appearance before the Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee. This will be at 1.45pm this Tuesday 28 April, in the Thatcher Room (!), Portcullis House. It is a public hearing and moral support would be welcome.

I have prepared the following press release:


Thatcher Room
Portcullis House
Tuesday 28 April 1.45pm
Formal Evidence Session on UK Complicity in Torture
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
Witness: Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan
(currently Rector of the University of Dundee).

In 2004, Craig Murray told us that:

- The British Government was complicit in the most vicious forms of torture
- He had been the victim of a lurid smear campaign initiated by New Labour
- The government was lying about all this

In 2004, much of the public and media was not willing to accept that the government would cooperate with torture or with false allegations against an innocent man. Many still had trust in the basic honesty and decency of government.

The evidence that Craig Murray was telling the truth about torture has now become overwhelming, including from the case of Binyam Mohammed. The UK “benefited” continually from intelligence passed on from the CIA waterboarding programme and from torture in countries including Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Egypt.

Craig Murray suffered the most high profile sacking of any British Ambassador for a century. But in 2005 the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee refused to hear him in evidence, despite allowing Jack Straw to appear and attack him.

Astonishingly, this is the first time Craig Murray will ever have been allowed to give formal evidence in the UK on his grave allegations, and be questioned on the truth of his testimony.

As the Scotland Yard investigation proceeds into MI5 and MI6 collusion in 16 cases of torture, Craig Murray will argue that it is not the security service operatives, but the Ministers who set the policy – and specifically Jack Straw – who should be facing criminal charges.

Contact: Craig Murray on 07979 691085 or
Transcript of Craig Murray’s formal evidence statement is at … in_my.html

I need help to get this out to the mainstream media. Can you spare half an hour on Sunday or Monday to do that? Things you might do are:

- Find email addresses or fax numbers for newsrooms at newspapers, press and broadcast media and news agencies
- Send them a copy of the press release, and then telephone to make sure that somebody reads it
- Research on the internet reporters who have covered torture and extraordinary rendition, and send copies to them
- Speak with any journalist you have any contact with, alert them to the story and get them to pass it on to a suitable colleague
- Do not forget the Scottish media, political magazines and journals, specialist broadcasters, regional media and international correspondents in London
- Send copies to relevant NGOs - again following up with a phone call
- Rope in anyone with media experience and contacts you know to help
- Spread the news on the internet

Do not worry too much about duplication - it may be helpful, and there is much greater danger of too little being done than too much. I am sorry I am always asking you for help, but there is only one of me!

The parliamentary TV service is filming the hearing, so there will be footage and pictures available. It will also be webcast by parliament, though whether live or not I do not know.

You can cut and paste the press release, or it should be available in word and pdf here…

Anonymous said...

Craig Murray - Torture 1 of 7...
Craig Murray - Torture 2 of 7...
Craig Murray - Torture 3 of 7...
Craig Murray - Torture 4 of 7...
Craig Murray - Torture 5 of 7...
Craig Murray - Torture 6 of 7...
Craig Murray - Torture 7 of 7...
Philippe Sands - Torture 1 of 6...
Philippe Sands - Torture 2 of 6...

Philippe Sands - Torture 3 of 6...
Philippe Sands - Torture 4 of 6...
Philippe Sands - Torture 5 of 6...
Philippe Sands - Torture 6 of 6...

Anonymous said...

“How the Government and Secret Services Covered Up Flights”…