Martin Linton on Iraq

Just got back from a Wandsworth Stop the War Coalition meeting. I don’t usually go to these things but is was in my local pub and their guest speaker was our MP, Martin Linton.

You have to have a bit of respect for Linton for coming to the meeting. He was one of the MPs who voted for the the war and he still supports it. So it was brave of him to come along to a Stop the War meeting. He didn’t, however, consider the meeting important enough to mention it on his web site.

The meeting went along predictable lines. Linton repeated the usual government line and the anti-war group members laughed at him. There were, however, a couple of interesting points.

Firstly, Linton agreed that if it wasn’t for the hunt for WMD then the war would have been illegal (tho’ he doesn’t agree that the subsequent failure to find any WMDs affects that legality). But he went on to say that he wishes that wasn’t the case. He’d like to see a change in international law which would entitle one state to invade or attack another simply to act as international “policemen” rather than having to give reasons of self-defence. This makes it harder and harder for me to vote for him in the forthcoming election.

Secondly, someone asked what he thought of the suggestion that George Bush decided to invade Iraq very soon after Sept 11th 2001. He replied that he had heard that Tony Blair had suggested that Bush should invade Iraq even before that date. Linton said this was in someone’s political memoirs. I think I’ll email him for more details of that reference.

It was the first time I’d heard Linton speak at any length and I really can’t say I was impressed by what I saw.

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