Ethical Foreign Policy? I think not

Labour was elected with what Robin Cook described as an ethical foreign policy. He went in protest to war.

New Labour has brought us Iraq and Afghanistan. New Labour has denied that rendition flights had used UK airports and bases. They had. New Labour denies torture allegations. The evidence suggests otherwise.

Labour candidates, if you want the support of old Labour voters like me need to demand that Brown apologises for the wars, for rendition collaboration, and agrees, now, to a public enquiry into torture allegations.

He looked pathetic when caving into demands that the Iraq inquiry be held (at least in part) in public. He is in danger of a repeat performance over torture allegations.

If Labour candidates can’t achieve this now, they should individually denounce New Labours unethical foreign policy and offer apologies to their constituents.

Lets be hearing from you, Nancy Platts, Simon Burgess and Celia Barlow. These are extraordinary and difficult times for Labour. Extraordinary and exceptional actions are required from it’s candidates if they are to have any chance at the elections.

Getting it wrong when doing the right thing

Gordon Brown did the right thing in announcing an inquiry into the Iraq war but got it so wrong by saying it would be held in private. Even when it was so apparent that the public mood demanded that it be held in public, Brown seemed reluctant to shift.

Today Peter Mandleson has said the privatisation of the Royal Mail was unlikely to go ahead. Great news! Was this decision taken on the grounds of a deeply held principle that would galvernise support from disillusioned Labour voters? No. He has said that the legislative programme is too full.

Why why why does Labour get it so wrong when doing the right thing?

Gordon Brown fails dismally over Iraq Inquiry

Gordon Brown looks increasingly pathetic over the Iraq inquiry. Having committed himself last Monday to a private inquiry, he has faced an increasing volume of calls for the inquiry to be held in public.

Today those calls were echoed by Sir John Chilcot, the chairman of the Iraq inquiry, who has said that as much evidence as possible should be held in public in a full retreat from the stance originally taken by Gordon Brown. In a letter to Mr Brown this evening, Sir John said it was “essential” to conduct a mainly open inquiry.

In the letter he said: “More broadly, I believe it will be essential to hold as much of the proceedings of the inquiry as possible in public, consistent with the need to protect national security and to ensure and enable complete candour in the oral and written evidence from witnesses.”

So Gordon Brown has, as predicted in this blog last week, totally failed those who wanted a confidential inquiry (Blair, Bush, Mandelson), and looks weak and ineffective to those who have called for the inquiry in public. As a leader he has failed us dismally and he can take no credit at all for this public inquiry.

Brown lets us down on Iraq Inquiry

Gordon Brown had the perfect opportunity to put clear blue water between himself and Tony Blair. However, rather than announcing a free-ranging, public inquiry into the war in Iraq, he has chosen to conduct the enquiry behind closed doors.

This has already provoked outrage amongst both supporters and opponents of the war.

Brown himself had, until now, escaped largely untouched by the bitter recriminations of this ill-fated and illegal venture. Yet because of his lack of judgement he will be seen as a co-conspirator and apologist for the war.

What is more, if he bows to the intense pressure that he will no doubt come under, he will be seen as weak and will not benefit from what could otherwise have been seen as a positive and brave mood designed to draw a line under the worst decision of New Labour.

Oh dear, Gordon. You have really let us down.