Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

A question for George Monbiot. Seriously. (Poll)

January 27, 2014

27th January 2014

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Dear Mr Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot)

What if Twiggy Garcia had been filled with revengeful hate when he stood behind Tony Blair at a restaurant last week?

What if… I don’t need to spell out the possibilities in gory deal; we all know they were in a steak restaurant.

As I reminded others here – you, George Monbiot, intend to hound Mr Blair until he is either prosecuted or is no longer with us.

You can write all the provisos, rules and opt-outs you like at your Arrest Blair website but you MUST know where this could lead. It IS a “bounty”, after all. Dead or alive, hmm?

So my question is: if some hater in a position to actually attack Mr Blair were able to do so, and admits having been inspired by you and your site, would you bear any responsibility?

I think you would.

What do others think?

Previous recent posts on this matter:

Arresting Times? Arrest the ignorant know-alls

Twiggy Garcia, aka Ghoulian Assange described the Police as sh**s

Enlightening James O’Brien; Arresting George Monbiot


Enlightening James O’Brien; Arresting George Monbiot

January 25, 2014

25th January 2014

Previous recent posts on this matter:

Arresting Times? Arrest the ignorant know-alls and Twiggy Garcia, aka Ghoulian Assange described the Police as sh**s

My twitter account

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I noticed on Friday morning that LBC  (London’s Biggest Conversation, radio) was doing a slot on the (failed) “citizen’s arrest” of Tony Blair. James O’Brien (twitter handle @) was at the helm.

It still surprises me how quite a few broadcasters and even some printed journalists seem to be unaware of so many important issues.  Mr O’Brien admitted on his radio programme that he hadn’t heard anything about Twiggy Garcia’s attempt to do his master’s bidding (George Monbiot – the Bounty Hunter who hides behind useful idiots). “Moonbat” as he is known to some thinks Mr Blair should be hounded until the day he dies (and after, if at all possible).  Don’t believe me? Keep reading…

But I found James O’Brien to be very fair-minded. He said he had agreed with the Iraq invasion at the start but had changed his mind. That is the opposite of my position. That’s no more than an academic point, but perhaps it shows that minds can change both ways. I hope he is not upset by the title of this article. Mr O’Brien is clearly an educated man, but perhaps, like many, not all that au fait with the Blair and Iraq business and the complexities surrounding.

I thought it might be helpful if Mr O’Brien were allowed to see the balancing argument FOR Tony Blair and the Iraq invasion and AGAINST such as Moonbat & The Anti-Warriors. Hmm… that sounds like a good name for a band. I’m sure DJ Twiggy would give them an airing.

First, the case AGAINST Monbiot & Ghoulian Assange (aka Twiggy Garcia)


I fully recognise that many people, perhaps even a majority, disagree/d with the Iraq invasion. However very few people have felt the need to take the law into their own hands. Bellowing repeatedly their “everyone knows” opinions online suffices for most.

Monbiot’s approach is different and far more dangerous and I contend it is high time his antics were stopped before they have consequences which, as some might say on other matters, can easily be foreseen. As I pointed out here a citizen’s arrest DID NOT apply in that barman’s last fling.

Four years ago I wrote this post – Arrest George Monbiot for his ‘Bounty’/Incitement to Murder Tony Blair. I referred to this statement at Monbiot’s Arrest Blair website:

Monbiot: “The fund will remain open for as long as Mr Blair lives, or until he is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his death or prosecution, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war.”

The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war. You will be welcome to nominate recipients. – See more at:
The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war. You will be welcome to nominate recipients. – See more at:

As long as Mr Blair lives, eh? The keen-eyed among you will notice that the wording has now been altered somewhat. Dare I suggest due to my (and others’) campaign AGAINST Monbiot’s campaign?

It now says “the fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted”. Hmm. Less threatening, perhaps, but that could mean the fund will remain open forever. Sometimes I wish I had a touch of the Monbiot omnipotence.

(Screenshot below from the Arrest Blair website, as at 24 January 2014. Why a screenshot? Well, Monbiot has disabled copying!) Warning: text and silly pictures are liable to change without reference to such updates, explanation, apologies or dates. Ironic, some might say.

copying text has been disabled at Monbiot's site. Well, fancy! Save this text as a jpg, as I have.

Please note: copying text has been disabled at Monbiot’s site. Well, fancy! Save this text as a jpg, as I have. Useful for future reference, aka evidence.

In case you think I must be wrong re Monbiot’s copy disabling, I’ve just checked the source code. It shows this: <script type=… doNotCopy…/script>

In the above screenshot you will notice that Monbiot wishes others to try to “arrest” Blair even if only for the money. This high-principled position is somewhat out of my sphere of familiarity, I’m afraid. I’ve never been into accusing others of high crimes and misdemeanours or of putting myself or others in danger for the sake of a few dollars.


According to his original post – “A Bounty for Blair’s Arrest” – Monbiot launched his website “today” 25th January 2010. In fact he altered it shortly after first publication to say this: “the bounties will remain available for as long as Blair lives.” (My bolding)

It has been altered again, possibly several times, and now only makes a reference to “five years” from the date of the last arrest attempt. Does anyone in their right mind think it acceptable that until January 2019 people are being encouraged – yes ENCOURAGED – (come and grab the money) to harass a former Prime Minister? Or to harass ANYONE, come to that? Yet this is precisely what Monbiot is doing and the supposedly “balanced” world turns a blind eye. Why on earth do we do that? Would we ignore such threats to anyone else? I think not. It is my argument that Tony Blair is the subject of unique exceptionalism in this country.

He is the exception to this:

  • No-one can be subjected to harassment without accounting for such harassment. Even the courts today, at last, are clamping down on twitter harassment and jailing such abusers. Monbiot’s site is in the same category (if put a touch more politely).
  • No-one is guilty of any “crime” until so proven in a court of law.

Monbiot openly stated that it was a “bounty”, which as I pointed out here means (in most people’s wild west reference) “dead or alive”. Right from the start Monbiot added man-hunting to bribery. And he has never changed the tenor of his aims, though presumably legal advice has moved him to alter the wording.

Secondly, the case FOR the Iraq Invasion and Tony Blair’s decisions. Decision backed by Parliament

1. Why The Iraq War Was Legal, from “Back to the Legality Argument” – … all arrangements between Saddam and the international community, after 1991, were based on a ceasefire, explicitly tied to Iraq’s disarmament. In particular Resolution 678, the legal basis for military action during the first Gulf war, and Resolution 687, which determined the conditions for the ceasefire between the UN and Iraq, were extremely important. Both were never revoked and authorisation to use force remained in being throughout the years and was also the legal basis for actions in 1993 and 1998.

So why not in 2003?

Furthermore, the legal advisor to the UN, Dr. Carl August Fleischhauer, confirmed that the original authority to use force in UNSCR 678 could revive, given the Security Council’s agreement that a violation of the ceasefire was in place. (more)


2. Hans Blix to Chilcot – I like most people felt that Iraq retains WMDs

Excerpt:  On his view about Saddam’s WMDs

It seemed plausible to me at the time, and I also felt — I, like most people at the time, felt that Iraq retains weapons of mass destruction. I did not say so publicly. I said it perhaps to Mr Blair in September 2002 privately.

I talked to Prime Minister Blair on 20 February 2002 and then I said I still thought that there were prohibited items in Iraq.

In other words, Blair and Bush believed what everyone believed for very good reasons.

Blix also said, “I have never questioned the good faith of Mr Blair or Bush or anyone else.”


3. Where 45 mins came fromUnholy trinity: BND, Curveball, Iraq


Since there is no point reinventing the wheel I’d like to refer you here for more considered information on the Iraq decisions. (From Julie, @MsIntervention)

Julie’s “Humanitarian Intervention Centre” recently presented papers to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee. See here – Political dimension of interventions and Legal dimension of interventions


Another noteworthy matter: Monbiot no longer takes comments at his arresting site. I cannot imagine why not, Mr Monbiot.

Arrest Blair for crimes against peace

Tell your friends: Google + LinkedIn Pinterest


You can make direct payments to the bank account ‘Justice for War Crimes’. Please note that the account details have changed. Go to the contact page and get in touch if you would like to make a direct payment.

Send cheques to:
Justice For War Crimes
PO Box 50
Y Plas
Machynlleth Powys
SY20 8ER

Amount in the pot at 20.01.14: £8,890.18

First payment to Grace McCann: £2,619.67
Second payment to David Cronin: £2,801.98
Third payment to Kate O’Sullivan: £3,129.02
Fourth payment to Tom Grundy: £2,420.89

Blair must face justice

This site offers a reward to people attempting a peaceful citizen’s arrest of the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, for crimes against peace. Anyone attempting an arrest which meets the rules laid down here will be entitled to one quarter of the money collected at the time of his or her application.

Money donated to this site will be used for no other purpose than to pay bounties for attempts to arrest Tony Blair. All the costs of administering this site will be paid by the site’s founder.*

The intention is to encourage repeated attempts to arrest the former prime minister. We have four purposes:

– To remind people that justice has not yet been done.

– To show Mr Blair that, despite his requests for people to “move on” from Iraq, the mass murder he committed will not be forgotten.

– To put pressure on the authorities of the United Kingdom and the countries he travels through to prosecute him for a crime against peace, or to deliver him for prosecution to the International Criminal Court.

– To discourage other people from repeating his crime.

We have no interest in people’s motivation, as long as they follow the rules laid down by this site. If they try to arrest Mr Blair because they care about the people he has killed, so much the better. But if they do it only for the money, that is fine too, and we will have encouraged an attempt which would not otherwise have taken place.

The higher the bounty, the more people are likely to try to arrest Mr Blair. Please remember that the account will remain open, regardless of how many have already claimed a reward, so new donations will continue to encourage have-a-go heroes.

If you are giving money to this fund, please be aware that, in the interests of transparency, we cannot accept any donation of £1000 or greater unless the giver is happy for their identity to be made public. This is a principle we feel should apply to all organisations that engage in public advocacy.

If, beyond 31st December 2010, a bounty is claimed when the total fund has fallen below £500, the successful claimant will take the whole pot, which we will then seek to replenish. The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war. You will be welcome to nominate recipients.

*This does not include any charges added to your donations by Paypal, Tipit or the other banking services you might use, and tax or legal costs.

The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war. You will be welcome to nominate recipients. – See more at:

– See more at:

The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war. You will be welcome to nominate recipients. – See more at:
The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war. You will be welcome to nominate recipients. – See more at:

By the way I noticed that Monbiot didn’t have much to say on twitter re his chat with James O’Brien this morning.

Lost for words, eh, Mr Monbiot?

And so you should be. You are an inciter, thus very dangerous and an abuser of your position in the media.

Tony Blair audition at Leveson Productions. Lie – halfway round world – truth – boots on

June 3, 2012

All blog posts 2012 + Original, from 2006 to 2012

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3rd June 2012

Thought I’d better catch up on some of my thoughts regarding The Master’s glowing audition at the only show in town – Leveson, My Part In Their Downfall.

The would-be bit parter, looking for a big breakthrough, seemed to have the waiting audience/directors/producer warmed-up, primed and waiting for him to shine. His reputation had travelled before him. But anyway we knew all that. The papers told us if we didn’t. So before any more detailed analysis of content and context, a little word to the good people at DayLife.

I found the picture above at their excellent site, unfortunately with this accompanying caption:

‘A still image from broadcast footage shows Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair reacting after a protester disrupted his testimony at the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the media at the High Court in London May 28, 2012.’

Although I’m sure it wasn’t intended to mislead, the caption attached reminded me how ‘a lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on’. (source)

We also know that a picture paints a thousand words.


The intruder/protester burst in on the proceedings, accompanied by an as yet unexplained clunking noise, at 15:27 into the video below.

By 15:47 the “war criminal” accuser had said his piece. Between the spoiler’s bundling offstage by a few burly stagehands and the picture shown above, there was this –


At 16:09 a shocked Leveson reacted:

LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: I’m sorry for that, Mr Blair. I’d like to find out how this gentleman managed to access the court through what is supposed to be a secure corridor. I’ll have an investigation undertaken about that immediately.  I apologise.

TONY BLAIR:  That’s fine. Can I just say, actually, on the record, what he said about Iraq and JP Morgan is completely and totally untrue. I have never had a discussion with them about that or any relationship between them and Iraq.

LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: You’re entitled to say what you want, but you should not feel it necessary to answer somebody else’s points.

TONY BLAIR: No, I appreciate that, but part of the difficulty actually with modern politics — and I say this not as a criticism of the media — is that my experience of the reporting of these events is that you can have 1,000 people in a room and someone gets up and shouts or throws something. That’s the news. The other 999 might as well not have bothered turning up. But anyway, we were back in —

[THIS IS WHERE, WHEN & WHY MR BLAIR SMILED. At 17:22 he smiled at the fact that the barrister could resume his questioning. Not as a sort of dismissive comment on the intruder.]

MR JAY: We were back in 1997.



The above transcript excerpt was taken from the Leveson Inquiry website, transcript, morning session, 28th May. Pages 86-87.

To describe this still-shot of the TV coverage as his “reacting” is misleading. His actual reaction to the intruder was calm. He had his elbow on the table and his hand on his chin throughout the disturbance and remained serious but unperturbed. Most definitely not smiling in reaction to the incident itself.

To say that this smile was “reacting after a protester disrupted his testimony” is to imply “and look what he thought of that man’s protest. What arrogance!”

The reason I have spent some time detailing the timings of these few minutes is that it is important that we get the full facts, in words and pictures. As Tony Blair himself said “That’s the news”.

Next – a cross-post. A pointer to other would-be thespians on the world stage.

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Red Mercury – Iraq – LBC – Blue Politics – Boris Johnson – Telegraph – Tony Blair – Leveson

June 2, 2012

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2nd June 2012


Update: Boris Johnson was the Editor of the Spectator from 1999 to 2005 The writer below does not say in which year he spoke to Mr Johnson, but we can assume it was after 2003. Why did he sit on this information? FOI anyone?


“… you are sitting on a huge international scoop. If you have evidence that even points to the Iraqis trying to acquire nuclear-related materials from the ex-Soviet countries, that’s big news. It vindicates Mr Blair and Mr Bush!”

I noticed an intriguing article this morning, which is pasted below in its entirety.

Some might say it raises more questions than it answers.  I am aware that even mentioning the possibility that Mr Dhondy’s recollections are accurate could be considered clutching at straws by we drowning Blair supporters. However it is clearly worth looking at, especially if such as Boris Johnson already know quite a lot about it. Am I being too suspicious to imagine that if it were a Tory PM whose name had been dragged through the mire over a political decision, the London Mayor might have been more willing to mention this? On second thoughts – if it were Cameron?

Still, political and personal ambitions and bias aside, perhaps some fair-minded newspaper or broadcasting organisation will consider it worth investigating properly if belatedly. That is the only way. If Tony Blair himself or those working for his interests sink time & effort into this investigation how many will accept those findings, given the zeitgeist?


Mr Blair and the ghost of Iraq War

Farrukh Dhondy

“The world performs
And we are entitled to wonder.”

From The Proverbs
of Bachchoo

Like Banquo’s ghost in Macbeth, the Iraq War returns now and then to haunt Britain’s ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair. This week he was giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry on the relations his government had with the Murdoch newspapers. He was being asked if his friendship with the Murdoch family could have influenced his government’s policies or resulted in corrupt favouritism towards the family’s businesses.

As he stood at the witness’ rostrum a man appeared from behind the drapes where Lord Leveson, the chair of the enquiry, sat. The intruder shouted at Mr Blair playing to the cameras and reporters.

“You are a war criminal,” he repeated and alleged that Mr Blair had been paid by a bank to take Britain into the war. The court’s security guards grabbed him before he could say much more and frog-marched him away.

The newspapers and the TV stations which reported the incident scrupulously avoided the allegations about being bribed by a bank to go to war.

Why did Britain go to war? The question has been the matter of two parliamentary inquiries. Tony Blair and Alistair[sic] Campbell, his chief spin-doctor, insist that they received reports from the intelligence services which said that Iraq had and was acquiring and perfecting weapons of mass destruction (WMDs as they were subsequently dubbed) of the biological, chemical and nuclear varieties.

Mr Blair told Parliament and the nation that these WMDs were a threat to the security of Britain and that Iraq could launch an attack on this country or other countries in 45 minutes and asked Parliament to ratify the deployment of the armed forces.

As the world now knows, there were no WMDs discovered in Iraq. Mr Blair and Mr Campbell, it has been alleged, manipulated the Secret Services and falsified their report to exaggerate the threat of WMDs. The spooks had nowhere said that WMDs definitely existed and the 45-minute deployment was pure fabrication.

All over the world people allege that US President George W. Bush took the US to war to serve the vested interests of a group of American profiteers. That vice-president Dick Cheney, Mr Bush himself and Donald Rumsfeld, the US secretary for defence, had connections and investments in the oil industry and in firms such as Halliburton which landed huge reconstruction contracts, is not a secret.

Allegations that Mr Blair had a financial motivation have never been established and Mr Blair immediately insisted for the record perhaps, in denying the allegation.

Nevertheless, the episode has revived the media’s interest in the matter. An Iraqi exile speaking on London’s LBC radio station said he supported Mr Blair’s stance about WMDs as he was himself an operative in the biological field in Iraq and escaped the country because he knew that the war would target his facility. He claimed he could locate the sites devoted to the development of biological weapons by Saddam Hussein’s regime.

I don’t know whether the Iraqi government or the British Secret Services will contact this gentleman and verify his allegations. If I were Mr Blair I’d use some of my considerable wealth to privately investigate his claim if only to be able to retrospectively justify sending a country to war and being responsible for the expenditure of lives and money in what very many see as a futile, destructive and even criminal conflict.

Some years ago I set out to assist Mr Blair to do just that, though, gentle reader, I can see that this may sound like the comedian Spike Milligan’s satirical book title Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall.

It was after the parliamentary enquiry into the Iraq War had declared that there were never any WMDs in Iraq that I received a phone call from an acquaintance of mine in Paris.

This person had a criminal past and had spent a lot of his life in jail. He was at the time free and living in Paris but still involved in deals which some might have found questionable.

“Farrukh, you studied physics, so tell me what is Red Mercury?”

“It’s an Antimony compound which Soviet scientists claim to have fabricated which can be used as a nuclear trigger. Very many other physicists doubt its existence,” I said. “But why do you want to know?”

He said he’d been in Bahrain before the Iraq War for an appointment with some Arab gentlemen who were interested in buying Red Mercury which he could broker, for a substantial sum, from an ex-Soviet mafia outfit. He had evidence of his meetings with these Arab agents and written and taped records of their interest in purchasing nuclear triggers.

“Iraqis?” I asked.

He was sure they were acting on behalf of the Iraqi government.

“Then you are sitting on a huge international scoop. If you have evidence that even points to the Iraqis trying to acquire nuclear-related materials from the ex-Soviet countries, that’s big news. It vindicates Mr Blair and Mr Bush! Come to London.”

I introduced him to Boris Johnson, now Mayor of London who was then the editor of the Spectator. Mr Johnson said it was too big a story for the “Speccie” to break. It had to be one of the big dailies. He introduced my person to a leading reporter of the Daily Telegraph who was instantly interested.

The snag was that the Telegraph said it couldn’t pay the sort of money that my person from France was asking in exchange for handing over the evidence of the proposed transaction. I believe, though I wasn’t there, that my Paris acquaintance and the Telegraph reporter spent several days circling each other. The deal fell through.

My man had an even bigger transaction he said which couldn’t wait and he flew off to Nepal. He probably still has the emails and proof of his meetings with the nuclear clients and again, if I were Mr Blair I’d pay him a visit in Kathmandu, where he is a permanent guest of the Nepalese government, and strike a deal.



  • The Asian News at Twitter – The official Twitter page of The Asian Age, India’s only international daily newspaper. We have editions in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and London.
  • Radio London – LBC on Twitter London’s Biggest Conversation. This is their contact number. Please do call them on 0845 60 60 973. I could see no reference to this caller at their website or even on google. Plus ca change, Hmm?


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Iraq. Democracy in the cradle of civilisation

May 15, 2012

All blog posts 2012 + Original, from 2006 to 2012

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15th May 2012

The below is a cross-post, with my thanks, written by Paul Richards at Progress Online

I’ve had a couple of weeks to reflect on the short time I spent in northern Iraq. I am one of those many Labour party members who backed Tony Blair over Iraq. In retrospect, I can see what all the intelligence agencies and governments of the world couldn’t see at the time, that Saddam Hussein did not have stockpiles of chemical or radiological weapons at the time of the invasion. But I don’t care. In 1988 I was handed a leaflet outside the Salford University Students Union by a Kurdish student depicted a mother and baby dead on the ground. They had been killed, along with about 5,000 other civilians, by a combination of VX, sarin and mustard gas, dropped on Saddam’s orders on his own citizens in Halabja, northern Iraq. It was one of many uses of what came to be known as ‘weapons of mass destruction’ by Saddam. So the answer to those who say ‘he didn’t have WMD’ is ‘yes he did, and he used them to kill thousands of his own civilians.’

The people of Erbil, where I was staying, certainly agree with that statement. When Saddam was deposed in 2003, the citizens of Erbil took to the streets and celebrated into the night. Their lives now are immeasurably better than during the Ba’ath regime. Erbil stands on the route between Baghdad and Mosul. It has been continuously inhabited for over 8,000 years, by Babylonians, Assyrians, Romans, Persians, Arabs and Ottomans. It makes Cambridge or Canterbury feel like a Barrett estate. You can’t help but feel connected to ancient civilisations. Colonel Tim Collins’ famous speech was in my mind as I arrived. Iraq, he told his (presumably somewhat bemused) squaddies on the eve of the invasion, is ‘the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham.’ It is the cradle of civilisation. Ironic, then, that I spent most of my time in either a brand new international airport, or a brand new five star hotel. Everywhere the builders are constructing the new housing developments, hotels and conference centres which will characterise the next stage in this ancient city’s life. The main employment for young men is on building sites.

I was also struck by the historical footnote that Clement Attlee had fought his way through Iraq in 1917. Having survived the fiasco in the Dardanelles, Attlee took part in the Mesopotamian campaign. Attlee was the last-but-one soldier to be evacuated from Suvla Bay in Gallipoli. The last was General Maude. I imagine a rather English scene with one gentleman offering the place in the rowing boat to the other in the black of night, with Turkish shells landing all around. The two were reunited in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). Major Attlee was wounded commanding Indian troops at the battle of Hannah. Maude, the commander-in-chief, caught cholera and died. Even if Attlee had gone home in 1918 and tended his garden, his life would have been remarkable. His brother Tom was a conscientious objector, and I’ve always thought the tension between them would make a rather good drama.

Back in modern Iraq, I spent time with a group of 11 MPs, conducting a fairly standard media interviews training course (albeit in Arabic). They reflected the diversity of the country: more women than men, Kurds, western dress and traditional Arab robes. One MP spent his youth in the mountains of Kurdistan fighting Saddam’s forces. Then he lived in London for 10 years, and still has a house in Hayes. From freedom fighter in the mountains to catching the bus and going shopping Middlesex is quite a journey. He is one of three members of the Iraqi parliament who hold British passports. The MPs were like British MPs. They spent their breaks from my training course gossiping and plotting. They were passionate about their constituents and their country. They wanted to learn new skills. They were proud of what they have achieved. Imagine Stella Creasy in a hijab, or Rachel Reeves speaking Kurdish. That’s what the women were like. It was a privilege to spend time with them.

I am in no doubt that democracy in Iraq is genuine, vibrant and will develop and grow. I know the depth of feeling that Britain’s involvement in Iraq generated among Labour people. But I cannot understand how anyone can doubt a democracy, which is what Iraq now is, is not better than a dictatorship, which is what the people suffered for decades. Surely the job of progressives now is to develop links with the trade unions, women’s groups, civil rights organisations and democratic parties, to help democracy flourish, and to bring Iraq into the mainstream of modern states? Raking over old ground, or endlessly apologising, helps no one, and certainly not the people of Iraq.


Paul Richards writes a weekly column for Progress, Paul’s week in politics. He tweets @LabourPaul



From John Rentoul, October 2010  – More reasons why the Iraq war was not wrong


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Heller Raising plumbs new heights

May 9, 2012

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9th May 2012

Heller Raising plumbs new heights

“In 2003, sorry … 1956, Britain’s prime minister took this country into an unlawful and unprofitable war in the Middle East, and misled its parliament and people about its origins and purpose.”

And so the die is cunningly cast.

At Richard Heller’s website directly under his name, there is this gem: ‘Raising world literature to new heights’

I have a soft spot for modesty. Evidently just another thing I do not share with Mr Heller.

Like so many of today’s opiners he is one assumption short of a private, personal opinion. He claims to speak for all of us when he says – ‘Leave us alone, Tony Blair’

This article, aka opinion piece, was published at his website by Mr Heller on 7th May. It also appeared at   He alludes to & may well bear some fond childhood memories of the 1956 days of Look Back in Anger while reminiscing his principled (then 8 year-old’s) protests against then PM Anthony Eden’s Suez plans.

But far more serious for his long-term health, Mr Heller seems to suffer from BDS –  Blair Derangement Syndrome. This condition is exemplified by an inability to see any good in a Prime Minister elected three times and who served his country – our country – as PM for 10 years; longer by far than any previous Labour prime minister. His constituents returned him as their member of parliament for 24 years. Perhaps one can safely presume from that evidence that they were reasonably satisfied.

But for Mr Heller today’s Anthony – ACL Blair – is beyond the Eden pale. I am truly spoilt for choice when considering where to start with the hell raiser’s denunciation of Tony Blair.

From the start, with the usual ‘devastating’ comparison to Sir Anthony Eden/Suez – Tony Blair/Iraq is also found lacking. Eden is somewhat forgiven by the simple fact that he had the good grace to retire to the land and the cows.

So with a raising world literature flourish and selective reading of history Mr Heller attempts to link the two Anthonys.

In fact Eden resigned from politics in 1957 after having served less than two years as PM. He retired to the countryside because his health was threatening his life. His retirement was by doctor’s orders rather than “in disgrace”.

Heller compares and contrasts what the modern-day Anthony is up to. Bristling with indignation at the effrontery of it all he culminates his Blair excoriation by also insulting the noble profession of farming: cow dung shifting is Blair’s true, due inheritance.

It is clearly utterly reprehensible that after 10 years as prime minister and two dozen as an MP Tony Blair is going where no other former British prime minister has gone.  Into business, religious understanding,  encouraging sport in the northeast, advising African governments on leadership while keeping a weather eye on variable concerns over climate change issues.  And all while still (ohGod’elpus) representing the international Quartet in the thankless search for peace between Israelis & Palestinians.

It is all too much for one mere mortal to do. And Heller is raising hell about that mere mortal having the conceit and audacity to try.

I mean it’s obvious, isn’t it? This Blair man is only working himself to a standstill for three reasons. One, to purge his conscience over his er…  “mistake”, Iraq. Two, to set up a grand array of mitigating circumstances in case one day he is brought before some court or other. Three, to make sure he has enough money in the bank to fly to the moon if that is the only place he can eventually seek retirement asylum.

So we have his business, charities, tax, advisory arrangements all lambasted as nothing other than self-serving. Even his Faith Foundation, which has brought and is still bringing together millions around the word, is for filing away under ulterior motives.

Heller’s other damning comparisons of Blair to Eden are wrong-headed and at times frankly misleading. He says that “for 20 years after Suez … He did not hawk himself round the world for money. Although a vastly more experienced diplomat than Tony Blair he was never offered any international appointment. He did not set up any foundations in his name. He did not have a spin doctor or a retinue of any kind. Above all, he abandoned any hope of a political comeback.”

As mentioned before Eden was ill after a gallstone operation which went seriously wrong. He was unable to continue in office or to fight to try to stay there. In contrast Tony Blair is in rude good health. As evidenced last night he is pulling them in in the USA – oh yes and in other parts of the world, Mr Heller, not just the appreciative US.  Much of Mr Blair’s so-called hawking is not for money, but pro-bono, as with his representation of the Quartet on Israeli/Palestinian issues.  As for charities set up in his name, why not, Mr Heller, when his name is a brand in itself? As for spin doctors, they were not invented in the 1950s. Nor too were the internet, instant news dissipation and even citizen journalism. And above all else – back to where we were, Eden was incapacitated thus never likely to even be physically able or willing to make a political comeback. Tony Blair on the other hand (was) retired at the height of his political nous, acumen & influence. Why stop there?

I am not arguing that Heller is wrong in comparing standards in political life today and 60 years ago. In fact I think he is right in this. But in my opinion, none of that drop in standards is Tony Blair’s doing. Adding up 2 & 2 – his dislike of Blair & his disapproval of the Iraq war and getting 5 – is ‘raising’ standards to a new er… what’s the word? … low.

Heller is not the only one seriously perturbed by talk of a possible return to domestic politics of the former prime minister. Tony Blair is clearly the human equivalent of Marmite. When one has made up one’s mind that not only did Tony Blair support the US in Iraq for the wrong (personal) reasons, but he “lied” to do so and will likely never be held… er… “accountable” for that, it is but a small step for any highfalutin’ writer to dive to the depths of illogicality & even hatred.

Such a pity. Hatred destroys the hater, not the hated.

Meanwhile, rest assured that when Richard Heller examines his writings he always gives it an A-Star. I commend to him the joys of not passing judgement.


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George Galloway to Saddam:”you have to get rid of what you’ve got”

March 30, 2012

All blog posts 2012 + Original posts list: from 2006 to 2012

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30th March 2012

This 32-second video from George (pussy cat) Galloway’s infamous outing on Big Brother speaks volumes. It’s worth half a minute of your time, believe me.

Galloway to Rula Lenska, on Galloway’s little chat with his friend Saddam:

“But the meeting was between me and him. I asked to see him.  I said ‘look, er…  I’m going to be frank with you. You have to know from me that they’re definitely going to attack. And I then said to him,  I fixed him eye to eye like I’m fixing you. And I said –  ‘and you have to get rid of what you’ve got’.”


Instead of asking the obvious, as would an averagely intelligent human being – say for instance – ‘what did you mean by getting rid of what he’d got?’ – Rula Lenska  says as per the GG script- “was he hated by the people?”

Upon which cue George Galloway says of the “indefatigable” Saddam – “Not at all, not at all.”

So I’ll ask what GG meant, since Ms Lenska wasn’t quite clued-up enough.

What, Gorgeous One… what EXACTLY was it you suggested Saddam had to “get rid of”? A couple of the superfluous  Mansions? That run-down Roller? An oil well or two? One of the wives/ex-wives? Another son-in-law?

In August 1995, Raghad (Saddam’s eldest daughter) and her husband Hussein Kamel al-Majid and Rana (his 2nd daughter) and her husband, Saddam Kamel al-Majid, defected to Jordan, taking their children with them. They returned to Iraq when they received assurances that Saddam would pardon them. Within three days of their return in February 1996, both of the Kamel brothers were attacked and killed in a gunfight with other clan members who considered them traitors. (source)

Or was it … (drumroll while one utters the unutterable)…


As if, eh?

Eh, President Assad?


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“Tony Blair is an Angel”. Not MY words. Those of a member of UKIP.

February 15, 2012

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15th February 2012

You meet some interesting people on Twitter. But I have to say that Les Critique @Ministryofspiel surprised even me.  At his new blog he writes in unblushing praise on a man I occasionally refer to, somewhat blushingly, as “my hero”.  As I told someone not that long ago – I’ve never really had one of those before. Well, more or less.

If I were to say that Tony Blair is an angel I’d have to prepare myself for the ‘you  sycophant/religious nutter‘ comments.  So, well done UKIP/Tory supporter Les Critique.  And thank you for permitting the cross-post here:


Posted by ministryofspiel on February 15, 2012
They both deserve a medal and the Nobel Peace Prize.

Ok I’m waiting for the rotten tomatoes to come out, death threats and lord knows what else!! and maybe I have contradicted myself and my beliefs, but I am a man who can admire someone from any political side, (but Tony really wasnt that far away from my side!!) I would call myself a “Blue Blairite” Yes I hate Labour vehemently and all Socialist, Left wing movements but Tony Blair was different.

Tony Blair is a remarkable man and incredible humanitarian man of peace, for I believe he and George W Bush saved the world.

I find it remarkable how a man can transform a party of horrific incompetence, a party in the pockets of the unions, singlehandedly (with a little help from his spinning friends!!)  transform a party, rotten to the core with communist dinosaurs and corrupt with blood money from the wicked wicked Trade Unions, a party with a vision to destroy life for those over a particular salary bracket! He made Labour electable and this man, with his vigour, energy, passion and drive did it and overturned a stale government of almost 20 years with a resounding majority. That is no mean feat, that is Tony Blair!!

Tony Blair is a Europhile, allowed the opening of the floodgates to mass immigrants, Brown ripped them off the hinges!! His ministers, ruined the Education system introducing a crippling top up fee system which would deprive many talented pupils a place in University, His government created a welfare system that made it pay to scrounge and do nothing with ones life, he (admittedly he did not want to do this) ended the English tradition and much loved Fox Hunting. He did a lot of terrible things for the country and giving Gordon Brown the reigns was the nail in the coffin for Britain, who in 3 years of leadership, destroyed the country and eclipsed the failings of 10 years of Blair. Gordon Brown was the death knell for Britain.

But where his government failed the UK, his character, his grit, compassion and determination may have saved the world.

Countless Prime Ministers tried and failed miserably to end the barbaric crusade of the evil Irish Republican Army, governments failing, cease fires ending, yet this man brokered a peace pact, The Good Friday Agreement, which virtually put out the flame of evil from the Republicans. Northern Ireland is now a safer place, the UK is a safer place, The IRA, would laugh with pleasure and consider it a feat as their bombs murdered children. Tony Blair was the one who said “no more” and he did something about it, which many had tried and failed.

In 1999 whilst the sick and evil Slobodan Milosevic’s army was destroying Yugoslavia, committing mass atrocities of rape, murdering men, women and innocent children, especially boys, the world stood by and watched. Whilst hearing the screams of terror, the machine guns firing and the smell of fire, blood and death in the air, The Yugoslavians must have been, whilst in the grip of incredible fear, praying for someone to come, praying to be rescued, praying for an Angel. God obviously heard. Tony Blair led a NATO coalition and freed the yugoslav people from unspeakable horror. Tony Blairs actions as in Northern Ireland liberated the country and gave the people the peace they thoroughly deserved. Whilst the victims will never recover from the trauma Milosevic put them through, Im sure they will always remember the lights in the sky, the huge “wings” from above coming to set them free. Thanks to Tony Blair.

911 changed the world, when the evil Osama Bin Laden orchestrated the greatest islamic terror atrocity the world has ever seen, he knew he had the world in his hands and to play with  as his toy and do with what he saw fit. He loved it. But of course Left Wing conspiracy theorists could not accept that a vile terror organisation was responsible, “its the Jews, its the Freemasons, Bush did it for oil, Its an Insurance job”!!! NO it was a crazed, evil islamic extremist who knew exactly what he was doing. When the “messiah” carried out the horrific attacks, he knew well that he was leading his people into war, luring the west into his trap! and that he did so!!

911 must have been an incredibly expensive operation and in my “Right wing” conspiracy theory, I would happily wager a fish supper and can, that Saddam Hussein had invested heavily in this wicked plot!!

In a way Bin Laden & Al Quaeda carried out a modern day Gun Powder plot and it wouldn’t shock me that in years to come, the Left Wing thugs of the world will wear Osama masks in the name of “Protest”.

So we have a nut job in Bin Laden who only had to say “hello” to get his flock gathered, a flock all over a very big planet, a flock so twisted and evil with a frightening gift of intimidation and manipulation recruiting people of all creeds and religion to join the evil cause. A man with funding who could do untold damage to the world.

Saddam Hussein, just as evil and twisted, did he have WMD’s? did he not? Well he either didnt or he did? I certainly believe he did!! So Mr Blix found Jack shit!! well hello!!! Nukes can be shifted!! duuuuhhhh!!!

So the world had 2 crazed extremist tyrants on the loose, one being shielded by the Afghans and their Extremist Taliban regime!!

The world needed protecting and there were only two people courageous enough to step up to the plate and effectively save the world!!, The Great George W Bush and our very own saviour, our “Angel” Tony Blair.

So Lets give the Left their way, its 911 again and we do nothing!!! We cry, we have tributes, we condemn Osama but we don’t go into Afghanistan!! We just let it be! The same for Saddam, he pricks the world around, threatening to nuke us, but hey sod him!!!

The atrocities of 911 would only have been the scratching of the surface had action not been taken and a message to the extremists sent that we will not tolerate terrorists and the world will not be held to ransom.

Yes lives have been lost tragically, but lets look at Iraq and the fanatics there how they treated the hostages they took, “beheadings, executions” these are the people that we have to deal with day in day out controlled by the mad men, Saddam & Osama!!!

The wars on Iraq and Afghanistan may have been long and bloody, put the end result will be a planet, a world saved from obliteration by fanatics.

The wars have been costly, in both lives and money but at what price our children’s children and so on.

The eyes of the world have been opened to the dangers of radical Islam and its teachings of hatred, violence and death. These people give the good people of Islam, which is a good religion based on peace, caring, love and loyalty a horrible name and sadly ropes them in to a war that they play no part in.

Tony Blair is a humanitarian as is George W Bush, both have terrible flaws domestically but my lord above they put their protective  arms around the world and and took the bullets of fanatics, the insults and hatred of the Left but in years and years to come, even maybe when they have both sadly passed, one day the world will read and watch and realise what great saviours they were and one day give these incredible men a huge;


I certainly do, every day.

Tony Blair is an Angel and a saviour, and in my opinion, one day he should be made a saint. But in my eyes and probably the people of Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan we are all unanimous, he should probably get the Nobel Peace prize.

Biblical History shows Lucifer to be an Angel also, he just got himself a bad name but look deeper and through the things written.


My thoughts: I haven’t yet looked at the ‘Lucifer’ reference! But I will. Probably. I just want to say thank you to Les Critique.

This gives strength to my long-held contention that not only right-wing Labour members appreciate Mr Blair and his record. It also proves, as I have said before, that Tony Blair was (probably still is given half a chance) THE Prime Minister this country should admire and be most proud of.  After all, which other British leader can you recall who laid his/her neck on the line for so many controversial causes – mainly humanitarian?

If there is a God let’s hope that both Messrs Blair & Bush see the day when the world recognises them for what they are; heroes.

Heroes first, then Angels.



Blair Supporter
blairsupporterBlair Supporter

@Ministryofspiel – Just wondered, before I cross-post you, do your UKIP colleagues know what you think of the “Angel” – Tony Blair ?
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Les Critique

@Ministryofspiel Les Critique
@blairsupporter I’ve never hid my admiration of Blair, I love Tony but hate the rest.

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Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

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