Monday, July 09, 2007

Ealing Southall Blogs: MPACUK and ES-Watch

MPACUK are having trouble distinguishing which of the 11 non-Labour candidates to back to punish Labour over Iraq. Perhaps not the greatest issue to be honest for Ealing Southall these days. Blair has gone. Bush has all but gone. And there are anti-war voters in the Brown government, even at the cabinet table.

I've pointed out how proud I am of the 139 anti-war Labour MPs. I've also recounted how Lib Dem Lord Tim Garden condemned the attack on Iraq at the get-go when he was plain old Sir Tim. But very much a Libdemologist.

Why did I do that? More to the point why did Tim? Because as a military man, a military studies academic and a conscious Libdemologist he thought we should be attacking Syria and Iran first!

As he said in early 2003 when debating against first strike at Cambridge Union here (but see Clarification and Comments):
"Why, with so many other troubles are we fretting about a clapped out regime that has been successfully contained for more than a decade?"

Also usefully hoving into view is Ealing Southall Watch which answers my question posed to Iain Dale at 9pm last night - who's advertising in Pardes Weekly? - with this illustration (click to enlarge).

This blog also has a positive review of both Lib Dem (find it yourself) and Labour campaigns in contrast to the Cameroonies lack of substance.

We also learn that the Christian Party evangelist candidate is a work colleague of Phoney Tony. All 12 candidates: PDF download.

Oh, and best of all we can see the Tory (top) and Lib Dem (bottom) Barmy Bar Charts". Glorious example of horizontal scale issues with the latter. 1,000 being represented by almost twice as far on paper as 10,000. Can't believe a word they say, the fibbing twisters.

CLARIFICATION: As GA has pointed out in comments the Cambridge speech was not where Sir Tim Garden ranked Iran and Syria as more important targets. Can't find that link right now. Deleted? Anyway, more clarification in comments.


Anonymous said...

With respect Chris, that's complete rubbish. A cursory reading of the speech makes clear that Garden made two separate points, neither of which was advocating an attack on Iran or Syria.

(1) He said Iraq was being successfully contained and we should be more worried about a range of other things, from al-Qaeda to China. This is where your quote came from. He didn't suggest invading anywhere though. And he didn't mention Iran or Syria in tbis context.

(2) He expressed concern about the first strike doctrine taking more general hold. That there were those who, already, were not content with planning to invade Iraq, they were teeing up Iran and Syria. It is clear from the speech - even leaving aside Garden's known views - that he is not saying this approvingly!

Chris Paul said...

GA: You're right. His remark at Cambridge appears to be a more conventional "why iraq, why now?" kind of anti war sentiment.

But it does contain the germ of the idea of bigger fish to fry. As you will know Sir and now Lord Garden has been and continues to be a prolific writer on such matters, I am not in the same place as my archives, I cannot immediately find the specific remark about Syria and Iraq, but I recall him making it and being challenged about it at the time.

As I suggested at MPACUK it may be that his web presence has been sanitized.

Also, if you are a Lib Dem yourself you will know full well that on the ground Lib Dems are divided about the war just as other parties are. They are only united in this being a useful election claim not on the bona fides of the decision.

Much as I welcomed the Lib Dem support for the Labour rebellion on Iraq I so suspect that left to themselves this would have been more like the Hunting Vote*, based on the fairy story Blair gave parliament that is.

* 52 Lib Dems voted, 26 for, 26 against. Snap!

Anonymous said...

Well done on instant clarification Chris. Lib Dems or Iain Dale would never do that.

GA puts "with respect" and "complete rubbish" in one sentence with fluidity! Perhaps a LD propaganda writer.

Those bar charts are hilarious and the Easling Southall Watch blog is a great find. Well done!

Chris Paul said...

Thanks anon. To be fair sometimes Dale does recant or clarify slightly. Anyway, I've had another look for the Garden idiocy but no time to pursue it fully. I would say to GA and anyone else that I think Garden writes a lot of sense most of the time. But not always. He has certainly got a more nuanced understanding of the yes-no to war question, and the now-it's-started exit route.

But I stand by my estimate. If not being perennial oppositionists and in a free vote Lib Dems would have split down the middle on Iraq. I am a long standing opponent of imperialist wars - 30 years at it so far. My first march against the noughties wars was in September 2001.

But nonetheless I can understand Blair's dilemma once he understood Bush was determined to do it (possibly from three days after 9-11, or from 10 years before when Daddy got routed?). The war is going to happen anyway. Blair faced the question of "shall we hold the bully's coat?" and got it wrong as far a I'm concerned.

Let me tell you another little anecdote GA. In 2003 I was persuaded to stand for LP in a local election. We were in an anti-war ward and we were a very strongly anti-war local party. We used to support a weekly vigil against the war locally as well as LP one at the Town Hall etc.

Without the war it was a safe seat for us. With the war the LD insurgency had a chance despite our principled anti-war position (and in my case 25 years anti imperialist action). My rival attended the vigil every week up until the Friday after Shock and Awe began.

On that day the man appeared to be excited beyond words. His great hulking feet were dancing out a happy little shuffle on the pavement. Like a war dance. And we scarcely ever saw this character again until election night when he claimed a victory - based solely on the war - with a rugby scrum style hollering and air punching.

Was he against the war? Possibly. Was he delighted when it started? It certainly looked like it to me.

Lib Dems have been taking far too much pleasure out of the coming of this damned war. What a boon to the march of apoliticism and misery.