Paul | 30.08.2003 13:49 | Oxford
When questioned about the war on Iraq he talked a lot about the human rights abuses in Saddam Husain's Iraq. When pressed he mentioned the UN resolutions and was able to name resolution 1441 as a reason but did not seem aware that Britain's ambassador assured that the resolution had no 'automaticity'. He could not name resolution 678 but claimed it gave authority for the war. It did not. it was only to force Iraq out of Kuwait and the disarmament of Iraq was only discussed four months later.
It was pointed out to him that people at that very time were being killed and human right abuses being perpitrated in Acheh, Indonesia using our weapons and that a third of the population were killed in East Timor with the help of our weapons. In reply he just said that arms sales have been more transparent. He did not answer why we continue to have an arms industry seeing as it only employs about 30,000 people and is subsidised by tax payers to the tune of 14,000 pound per person. It does not make us a lot of money or employ many people so why do we have it? Not the sort of question Andrew Smith would answer even if he could.
I could go on but you get the idea. Unfortunately it is indicative of Tony Blair's Britain that polititions that are yes men, are ignorant of many important facts, avoid expressing strong opinions and making a stance get to this position.