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Blair a war criminal
March 27, 2003 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Blair, the war criminal Tom Dalyell, a Labour MP with over 41 years of service in the House of Commons has voted with his Labour Party constitutency to call for Blair to reconsider his postion as party leader. He further states that he believes "[Blair] should be branded as a war criminal and sent to the Hague".
posted by lometogo (22 comments total)

 
I've been to empassioned speeches by George Galloway and Alan Simpson. The hatred for Blair among the Old Labour MPs is growing. The hatred for Gordon Brown is at least as great.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:28 AM on March 27, 2003


nitpick - It's Tam not Tom Dalyell (pronounced Dee-ell).
posted by niceness at 10:39 AM on March 27, 2003


Sir Thomas Dalyell of the Binns is of the dwindling school of Scottish aristocratic socialists. He's a tenth-generation baronet, an Old Etonian, a Cambridge graduate, and as Father of the House (MP since 1962), gets away with speaking for the left, knowing that Blair can't touch him. His continued questioning on the cover-ups surrounding the Belgrano sinking and Lockerbie bombing have managed to enrage both Labour and Tory governments. (Look in Hansard for his written questions, which invariably put ministers on the defensive.) And no-one's ever been able properly to address the 'West Lothian question' he posed over the legitimacy of Scottish MPs serving at Westminster in the context of devolved power.
posted by riviera at 11:11 AM on March 27, 2003


"War Criminal" is one of those phrases that's like a sock full of gravel with a hole in the toe: the first time you whack somebody with it it has a hell of a punch, but every whack makes the hole get bigger so more gravel leaks out (and pings people standing around on all sides), until finally you're just flailing away at someone with a sock. I'd really like it if, when we find some political tool like this, we could save it for when we really need it.

Also, it's getting hard to see what's going on for all the sock-waving.
posted by hob at 12:35 PM on March 27, 2003 [1 favorite]


Best. Analogy. Ever.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:49 PM on March 27, 2003


Can poodles be prosecuted in Britian?
posted by nofundy at 1:02 PM on March 27, 2003


And back to the political arguments...

As riviera says, he [Tam] does, because he can.

I won't bother commenting on TB as I've got to the point where I've finally realised (or make that, finally accepted) that it really is a case of same shit, different shovel.

The scary thing is, if Tone goes down at any point in the future, I'll cheer louder than I ever did when Thatcher got chased out of Downing St.

*sigh*
posted by i_cola at 1:12 PM on March 27, 2003


"war crimes" allegations are a lot like "treason" allegations...

Let the back-and-forth begin. Blair is the only brit pol with balls since Thatcher left 10 downing st.
posted by clevershark at 1:33 PM on March 27, 2003


clevershark:
The word 'bollocks' springs to mind.
posted by i_cola at 1:40 PM on March 27, 2003


clevershark:

Blair is the only brit pol with balls since Thatcher left 10 downing st.

Yeah, but the people of Great Britain might disagree with you a little bit. If I were British I'd be pissed that the U.K. government seems to be nothing more than the tired ass puppet of George W. Bush.
posted by mark13 at 1:42 PM on March 27, 2003


Blair is the only brit pol with balls since Thatcher left 10 downing st.

Stock answer for US wishful-thinkers who couldn't name a British politician since Thatcher and before her since Churchill.
posted by niceness at 1:52 PM on March 27, 2003


mark13:
If you were British you would be
a) more attractive to American women ;-)
b) pissed off that the U.K. government seems to be nothing more than the tired ass puppet of George W. Bush.

p.s. Are we supposed to call poodles 'Freedom Dogs' now?
posted by i_cola at 1:54 PM on March 27, 2003


Let the back-and-forth begin. Blair is the only brit pol with balls since Thatcher left 10 downing st.

Bravo for Blair. I always had him pegged as a Clinton clone, complete with endless pandering to left-wing special interests in his country and a preoccupation with public opinion polls. He has totally proven me wrong. I hope history rewards him for his leadership.
posted by Durwood at 2:04 PM on March 27, 2003


Politicians with balls aren't always a good idea :- think Hitler, Stalin, Mao, ...
posted by daveg at 2:22 PM on March 27, 2003


Politicians with balls aren't always a good idea :- think Hitler, Stalin, Mao, ...

Hitler only had one, actually.
posted by jessamyn at 4:27 PM on March 27, 2003


Oooh, a flameout, I'll get the marshmellows...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:45 PM on March 27, 2003


Criminal or not, Tony Blair's stated reasons for pursuing this war of "liberation" are extremely left-wing, even Communist, and it's therefore all the more bizarre that the Conservatives and the traditionally centrist British people are supporting him. In this week's Spectator, Peter Hitchens argues that
The idea that naked force can create human freedom is itself a left-wing idea. Even more socialist are the war faction’s contempt for the sovereignty of nations and their unashamed belief that ends justify means.

This makes intuitive sense to me as a conservative; I have spent hours trying to reconcile my feeling that this war is unjustifiable and that we in the UK should stay out of other countries' politics wherever possible, with the Tories' support for the "liberation" of Iraq. It seems to me that there is a much stronger case for staying out of the war for traditional Conservatives (and perhaps traditional American Republicans), who value international law and order and the maintenance of the status quo even at the possible expense of individual suffering, than there is for the more left-wing liberals and Democrats. Doubtless the left-wingers who make up the most visible and vocal part of the antiwar would be happy to impose their own preferred form of government on the rest of the world if only it could be done peacefully. I would not, because the plain fact is that democracy is a political fantasy for many parts of the world including much of the Middle East. It's appalling that our useless Conservative Party has squandered a brilliant chance to make a popular stand on principle and is supporting a Bolshevik war of aggression.
posted by Bletch at 7:18 PM on March 27, 2003


Bletch, the swaparoonie of the Hitchens brothers from their established positions when addressing the current war would make your head spin. Hitchens, P. has said that if the current war were done in the manner of classic Victorian liberal imperialism (liberal in the English, not American sense) he'd support it wholeheartedly. But since those days are gone, you might as well not bother:

'I think the imperial era, when Western European powers, and to some extent America, seized territory and governed it, was an enlightened period which did a great deal more good than harm. But I think that playing around with countries, intervening in them, setting up temporary Heath Robinson regimes which then allow you to depart and permit a decent interval before they collapse, is dishonest, cheap and shallow - and I'd rather not intervene at all.'

Which sort of contradicts the point that you're trying to derive from this particular column. Blair's project is straight out of the Gladstonian book, and Gladstone wasn't a gut liberal (or Liberal) more than a moral paternalist. It's not a left-wing issue at all, since the left of the Labour party has the luxury of saying that they opposed Saddam when the UK was arming him in the 1980s.

Doubtless the left-wingers who make up the most visible and vocal part of the antiwar would be happy to impose their own preferred form of government on the rest of the world if only it could be done peacefully.

Well, not really. The left-wing argument is usually that you work as best you can within the existing system (in both evolutionary and revolutionary ways, the latter illustrated, for instance, by the creation of the NHS) to empower the majority of the people sufficiently for them to embrace further expansion of the social changes that empowered them.
posted by riviera at 8:34 PM on March 27, 2003


If you're wondering why the US doesn't want to see a Intl. Criminal Court, might this article present the first argument?

This is the basic problem with international legal systems - they're fundamentally undemocratic (since many of the "jury" are appointed by dictators), will be used for revenge, and don't have the proper checks and balances. Now, of course, Blair won't be sent to The Hague. But I fear that an expanded Hague, in the form of the ICC, will be locking away the unpopular and not simply the criminal.
posted by Kevs at 9:07 PM on March 27, 2003


I love hob's analogy almost as much as I admire the maverick member for Linlithgow.

That said, I think that in this case he is presently incorrect. The Attorney General Lord Goldsmith has ruled that war without a second resolution is legal under UK law, until his decision is challenged Blair is not in breach of international law. I'm told however that there is a more than outside chance of the Matrix challenging Goldsmith's decision. If this does happen surely Cherie would have to resign - after all she did act as a de facto whip for the resolution for war?
posted by dmt at 3:08 AM on March 28, 2003


Bravo for Blair. I always had him pegged as a Clinton clone, complete with endless pandering to left-wing special interests in his country

Wow.
I spat coffee over my monitor then....

Blair pandering to the left wing. Wow. Amazing.

.

words fail me.

Does left wing mean something completely different in the states?
posted by couch at 3:32 AM on March 28, 2003


couch: yes (See esp. Why the Left Keeps Moving Right)
posted by dmt at 3:44 AM on March 28, 2003


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