Brent East By-election candidate-End the illegal occupation now.
‘I am standing in this election for peace and public services and against war and privatisation.
The war on Iraq was for oil and US domination of the Middle East. I want an end to the illegal occupation of Iraq by coalition forces. Blair must go.
This election is also about the disastrous policy of privatisation, the failure to restore the state pension, the scandal of SATs and tuition fees, the state of our transport system and the scapegoating of asylum seekers.
I’ve been campaigning for the rights of working people in Brent for 20 years. The voters of Brent East can’t trust the Lib Dems or Labour, but they can trust me.’
Notes for editors:
1) Brian Butterworth was selected as the Socialist Alliance candidate for Brent East on 29th July 2003.
2) Brian is the secretary of the largest trade union in Brent, Brent Unison
3) Brian is chair of Brent Stop the War Coalition
BRENT STOP THE WAR COALITION QUESTIONNAIRE
Reply from Socialist Alliance Candidate Brian Butterworth
1. Could you please inform us as to what view you took of the background to the war and the period leading up to the invasion of Iraq by allied forces?
This was a war of choice for George Bush (and his willing helper Tony Blair). The group of ultra conservative and oil rich advisors around the White House are committed to the ‘New American Century’. The aim of this project is to ensure worldwide economic and political dominance of the US, and they have now placed the use of military force at its centre.
2. What was your view at the time regarding whether or not Bush and Blair should have attempted to achieve a second vote at the Security Council of the U.N. before carrying out any military action?
I opposed war with or without UN backing. The attempt to get a second resolution was just an attempt to give spurious legitimacy to an act of imperialist banditry.
3. Do you consider that there were/are any breaches of International law and International agreements as a result of the actions by allied forces? What is your view that if this is/ was the case, then those responsible should be prosecuted under international law?
This was an illegal war, illegitimate and unjustified war. I regard Blair and Bush as war criminals. They are responsible for the death of thousands of people. They should be brought to justice.
4. Did you at any time have an opportunity to record your vote on these issues? If so could you inform us as to how you voted and on what you specifically voted?
I voted with my feet, by mobilising for and attending all the anti-war demonstrations. The important thing now is to build the demonstration on September 27th to call for an end to the occupation of Iraq and Freedom for Palestine.
5. What is your view about whether or not there were/ are Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and who do you think is responsible for them?
There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq at the time of the war. The Bush gang made it clear that only reason they talked up WMD was because it was the only reason they could all agree on. They lied, and they knew they were lying.
6. The situation in the Middle East is said to be made less politically stable as a result of these events. What is your view on this? Do you feel this has further undermined or strengthened the peace process in the region?
The situation in Iraq is a catastrophe. This is matched only by the horrors taking place in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Israel’s war on the Palestinians makes a mockery of the phrase ‘peace process’. I do not believe there can be peace in the Middle East until the Palestinians get justice and US and UK Imperialism gets out of the region.
7. What is your view on the post war redevelopment and reconstruction prospects for Iraq and how is that, in your view, best achieved?
Four months after the war both water and electricity supplies are still disrupted. If this is a measure of the desire of the occupying forces to redevelop Iraq, the prospects are grim indeed. The first requirement is the complete withdrawal of US, British and all foreign forces out of Iraq. It should be for the Iraqi people themselves to determine their country’s future. Iraq sits on the second biggest supply of oil in the world. This is not, or does not need to be, an impoverished country. Two wars and a decade of sanctions have rendered it so.
8. In respect to the Hutton Inquiry, would you comment on what you think will come out of this and what you think should come out of it.
Blair should resign. Just yesterday it was revealed by the MOD that the question of the 45 minutes was talked up by Number 10. This whole enquiry shows that we were lied to, that a war of conquest was fought in our name, but against our will, that thousands of people have died, and it is time the politicians responsible were brought to account.
9. What is your view of the detention of those people held by the Americans at Guantanamo Bay, and what do you think the British government should do about the British nationals and long-term residents among them?
This is an act of state terror and kidnap. Blair and Straw should send a plane and demand their return. They are only too willing to charter planes to deport refugees, so this should not be beyond them.
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