Above is a link to the initial assessment of the contents of the Chilcot report from the BBC web site.
So proud that I stood with Charles Kennedy and opposed this unnecessary war where so many lives were lost. Shame on those Labour MP’s who voted for war and a Tory Party which followed Blair’s troops into the lobby to vote for war.
Surely every MP who voted for that appalling war must feel utterly ashamed of themselves today. I still recall Tory MP’s calling Charles Kennedy every rude name under the sun for his anti-war stance. He was a brave man who sadly did not live long enough to see the report which has vindicated his view.
RIP the Iraq war dead, our political leaders let you down badly and created the instability in that region that still haunts us today and will do so for generations to come.
Here’s a link to Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron’s speech in the House of Commons today:-
Tim Farron writes
The publication of the Chilcot Inquiry today will finally expose one of the most shameful moments in our nation’s history.
It is likely that the report will confirm Tony Blair and his Labour government wilfully misled Parliament and the British people on the imminence of the threat from Saddam Hussein and his possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
That deceit led to the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003 which cost the lives of around 100,000 Iraqis and almost 5,000 coalition forces, including 179 members of the British Armed Forces. With no plan for what would happen next, Blair and President Bush left a power vacuum that enabled the rise of Daesh and caused many more years of bloodshed and instability in the Middle East.
The findings published today will be a vindication for the Liberal Democrats and for everyone else who fought against this illegal war. In particular, Charles Kennedy’s leadership of our party at that time provided a voice for millions of British people who knew that this was the wrong thing to do, as this video shows:
Today the Liberal Democrats are calling for the current British government to pledge that we will never go to war again without an assurance that the action is legal under international law, that we have a clear exit plan, and that the intelligence on which we base our decisions is free from the influence of political spin doctors.
The War in Iraq eroded the public’s trust in politics, damaged Britain’s moral authority on the global stage, and made our country and world less safe. This must never, ever happen again.
Tim Farron MP
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
And watch the late great Charles Kennedy leading the charge against Tony Blair’s war:-
The BBC has the story – see link above
And not before time either. The Iraq war was Labour’s darkest day in government. Don’t we all recall going to war with the Tories backing a Labour government whilst only the Lib Dems, of the major political parties, standing against the illegal war.
A Labour apology will be a great epitaph for the late great Charles Kennedy who as Lib Dem Leader stood against Labour’s warmongering and was called just about every name under the sun for his campaigning against the war.
This is approaching a national scandal. We Lib Dems opposed the illegal war which Tories and Labour backed. Goodness knows how many thousands of people lost their lives via this Bush/Blair venture.
Coincidentally the Lib Dem group on Sefton Council had already put down the motion below for debate at tomorrow’s Sefton Council meeting before today’s kick into the long grass was announced.
Motion Submitted by Councillor Dawson
“This Council notes:
(i) the loyalty bravery and professionalism with which
troops recruited in the North West of England,
including the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton,
conducted themselves during the invasion and
occupation of Iraq.
(ii) widespread concern that the decision to embark upon
the Iraq invasion was made based upon false
premises and untrue propaganda fed to the British
people by representatives of the Government of the
(iii) that the Chilcot Inquiry into the events which led the
United Kingdom to embark upon the the invasion and
occupation of Iraq, is complete and has been shared,
months ago, with former Prime Ministers.
(iv) that the publication of the Chilcot report has
been delayed for many months, without excuse, which
is leading to widespread and profound belief by
ordinary members of the public that those who
supported that war on false premises are covering up
The Council resolves to write to the Prime Minister,
expressing concern at the continuing delays in publication
and calling for an immediate publication of the Chilcot
The May General Election is the time when the public have their chance to hold politicians to account and the Chilcot Report may well lead to some holding to account being required. How convenient then that such holding to account will be on hold for another 5 years when memories have faded even more. I am appalled.
Just how many people died in Labour’s illegal war we will probably never know.
Having said I rarely, if ever, read national newspapers in a posting not long ago I broke my duck today as I had some time to kill whilst waiting for Jen in Ormskirk.
I bought the Independent on Sunday and there on the Comment page was Ming Campbell reminding us all that just 10 years ago many of us rose up against Blair and New Labour’s rush to war in Iraq. Ming was effectively the leading politician of the day opposing the war from the Lib Dem benches and he even eclipsed our Leader at the time, Charles Kennedy who was too cautious in my view in his opposition to the war. This is part of what Ming says 10 years on:-
“Ten years ago this weekend, a million people marched through the streets of London in opposition to the Blair government’s seemingly unstoppable journey to war in Iraq. It is difficult now to imagine such emotional outpouring as there was in London that day. But such was the opposition to the Prime Minister and his clear determination to join with President Bush in military action against Saddam that people of all political parties and none, and from every economic and social background, came together in support of the maxim “not in my name”
Ming went on to say why Blair was so wrong and how the consequences of that illegal war have had such bad effects for the UK and elsewhere. And it solved little or nothing in Iraq.
Thanks Ming, for this timely reminder of those campaigning days just 10 short years ago. We may have lost the fight to stop the war but we are proud of your principled stand when other politicians simply stood behind Blair and nodded through the road to war and the subsequent deaths of many.
Shaking the hand of the man who gave Blair a lot of grief over the Iraq war
But this brought back another thought because Ming was of course subsequently hunted down and forced out of the Leadership of the Lib Dems by a press who labelled him to old to be a party leader. But how many in the right wing press were out for this skin because he led the fight against the Iraq war in Parliament? There can be little doubt that Ming was a thorn in the establishment’s side and that he had to pay for opposing the war.