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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the australian connection « Previous | |Next »
April 30, 2005

Tony Blair has been forced to publish the Attorney General's crucial legal advice on the Iraq war in the last week of the election. In the newly published advice of March 7, Lord Goldsmith warned Mr Blair that the government would be vulnerable to legal action were a second UN resolution not secured:

"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."

The attorney general had a lot of caveats in his warnings to Tony Blair about the potential dangers of going to war. Then Lord Goldsmith caved into pressure from No 10 because 10 days later, on March 17, Lord Goldsmith dismissed all his earlier caveats. And in a single bit of paper, in a parliamentary answer, he says that Iraq was in breach of its disarmament obligations. The legality of the war was no longer in question.

If the Iraq war has irupted then Blair himself has become an issue in the election campaign, thanks to the Australian connection of dirty dog whistle politics practiced by Lynton Crosby.

BelllS3,jpg.jpg
Steve Bell

The Conservatives supported the war enthusiastically. They still support the war. They also think that it was a legal war.

However, a presidential Blair has failed to stem the Conservative-led assault on his battered integrity arising from his deliberate underplaying the known legal risks inherent in going to war against Saddam Hussein, when presenting these to parliament. He must have come close to misleading Parliament as the papers published for MPs were quite different to the legal advice of March 7, which the Blair Government has sought to keep secret.

Update
I've only been following the British election at a distance through the corporate media. By all accounts Labour should win. The Liberals, are hovering around 20% are likely to improve. The Conservatives are stuck at 30% and can't get moving, even though they, with Crosby's help, are doing their best to frighten people.

I have been reading this blog by Austin Mitchell's wife. Whilst campaigning in the Midlands (the Grimsby electorate) she observes:

This is the kind of street where "Our People" live. For a quarter of a century the party has told me this is where we must go to "get the vote out". These are supposed to be the people who will vote Labour whatever happens, but I don't think it's true anymore. These people are quite frankly fed up. The tellies bring the world of Westminster to them every night and they hate the sight of all those politicians promising the good life. Nothing ever changes round here. All these people are struggling through on two or three hundred pounds a week. Scrimping and saving to make ends meet. The promises of middle class lifestyles seem as far away as ever eight years after that landslide in May 1997. Can't help feeling that this will be the year when they will stay at home on polling day to try to teach us a lesson.

It sounds like the dynamic well-scrubbed Blairites have turned their backs on their traditional constitutency. This is the other election.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:51 PM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

The election in Britain hasn't had much media time in the US. The normal narrative is that Blair supported Bush etc etc etc. This appeared in the Washington Post's Outlook section this morning; The Key To The Vote. It was published directly below an article on US immigration, especially in relation to the Mexican border.

Cameron,
most of the Australian commentary has been on the australian connection and the toxicity of the Blair brand despite 13 years of uninterrupted growth and falling unemployment.

What is not being explored in the Australian media is the disconnection between the negative presidential style election campaign waged in national TV and press and the punter's everyday life. Little mention is made of the nonexistence of Labour's campaign footsoldiers to do all the grunt electoral work.So no one really knows what is happening in the 100 or so marginal seats.

From what I can understand a key battlefield is the progressive middle class, or more specifically, the possibility of a big shift by disillusioned Labour voters over to the Liberal Democrats.

The Tories are not making any headway at all on this battlefield despite the sullen mood among the electorate over Blair's ongoing privatisation and user pays reforms

From what I can make out all parties are wedded to the idea that more growth equals success. So the environment, including climat echange, is a glaring omission from the brands being offered in electoral campaign.