Arrest this man!

With fascinating stuff going on locally, I haven’t been paying much attention to the Iraq inquiry over in Britland, except to marvel at how remarkably uncurious the panel are. Anything of interest seems to have aris from witnesses’ desire to unburden themselves – or, in Campbell’s case, to continue acting out this weird psychodrama where he attaches himself to a father figure (Maxwell, Blair) and then defends them to the death.

Anyway, Mr Tony himself is giving evidence tomorrow. Apropos of which, Madam Miaow not only gives us a pen portrait of the inquiry panel – not only establishment to the core, but not a lawyer or military man among them – but also draws attention to George Monbiot’s appeal to raise a bounty for anyone willing to make a citizen’s arrest of Blair as a war criminal. I’d be very careful about trying it – make a grab for the Vicar and you run the risk of getting shot – but in publicity terms this is a very good idea on George’s part, and deserves to get more of an airing in the left blogosphere. Just remember when Peter Tatchell made his splendid attempt to arrest Bob Mugabe, and the massive impact that had.

I’d like to finish with a bit of a moan, but only a mild one. I’m sure Stop the War, despite being banned from protesting outside the QE2 Centre tomorrow, are putting in a lot of energy and organising plenty of events. But I do get the feeling there’s a trick being missed in terms of all the media interest. There are antiwar voices on the news, to be sure – some of the military families have been brilliant, and the aforementioned George Monbiot has just performed well against Nick Cohen on the wireless – but I’m not hearing much from the antiwar movement as such. Now would be a nice time to show some flair and imagination, and I really hope they do.

Much more on this story on a regular basis from the indefatigable Craig Murray.

13 Comments

  1. Alex Snowdon said,

    January 28, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    To be honest, I get the impression Stop the War is pulling out all the stops – and there’s enough flair and imagination in the line up of tomorrow’s protest events to keep even me happy. There’s been a significant level of coverage in papers like the Times, Mail and Evening Standard of preparations for protests. But we should recall that we, on the left and in the movement, don’t have control of the media. We can only do so much!

  2. splinteredsunrise said,

    January 29, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Oh sure, I don’t want to be carping about it – there’s plenty happening in London that we in the sticks don’t even hear about. It would just be nice to see a bit more visibility when there’s so much coverage around the issue. You strike when the iron’s hot.

  3. Madam Miaow said,

    January 29, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Luckily, it’s not a competition. The more the better and Monbiot’s bounty is such a great way to focus minds.

    Good luck tomorrow, everyone.

  4. red_eck said,

    January 29, 2010 at 8:04 am

    ‘George Monbiot has just performed well against Nick Cohen on the wireless’

    Do you have a link for this?

    cheers

  5. Neil said,

    January 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    “Peter Tatchell made his splendid attempt to arrest Bob Mugabe, and the massive impact that had.”

    Yeah mostly on his skull.

  6. Neil said,

    January 29, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Just got back from the morning protest. I would reckon there was between 200-250 (I am crap at estimating numbers though) at it.

    Some lively stuff at it including a cheer leading squad calling out anti war slogans and a mock up of Tony Blair in a cage festooned with his more infamous statements that were economical with the truth to say the least.

    Unfortunately the nutter brigade were out in force. 9/11 truthers, some bloke holding up signs accusing the Masons of killing a bunch of people I’ve never heard of and that fucking Irish ex-priest, you know the one who wrecked the Marathon a few years back?, all decked out in a green and gold Irish dancing costume with an amp blaring cheesy Irish trad doing a jig under a sign saying “God will take the power from world leaders”. Oh yes he’s also wearing a big badge with the four provinces on it, just in case you were having any difficulty placing his nationality. *puts head in hands and weeps*

    There was a bit of doom and gloom from some old hands about the turn out, some people saying this week is the death of STW. (There was a protest outside the Afghanistan conference yesterday which was even smaller.)

    Mind you I think the turn out was fairly respectable given it was a Friday morning and it was pissing rain. My main criticism would be that Andrew Murray give the same speech he always gives (2 million people on the streets, we were right all along, still marching, great success etc, etc, etc) and someone from the Lib Dems was on the platform clearly electioneering.

  7. robert said,

    January 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Disturbing thing about the Vicar is that he’s plausible. Not like Campbell or Mandelson who are cunning twisters. Paddy Ashdown always said Blair was a devil to deal with in negotiations and he always believed it at the time. Blair lives in this bubble world where he’s completely sincere and its always somebody else’s fault. You need a sharp QC like Carmen to pin him down not these people on the Chilcott panel.

  8. skidmarx said,

    January 30, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Emily Maitlis was claiming the protest was dying off at lunchtime on the BBC, just as Sky News were saying it was lively.

    When Tiny Blur talked about ‘ad hoc meetings; small “a” ,small “h”; not capital “A”, capital “H” ‘; I’m sure it reminded me of something else with a capital “AH”, but for the life of me I can’t recall what that is?

    Carne Ross seemed to have most of the detail on what the panel failed to ask.

  9. January 31, 2010 at 12:51 am

    I attended the protest on Friday morning, I thought the the world’s media out numbered the number of protesters, which maxed at 300.
    The entire worlds media was there
    The paradox is, although the issue didn’t create a mobilisation it did create a hugh political crisis.
    The only person the media was interested in interviewing was George.

    Hence my gonzo video of the mornings events

    • ejh said,

      January 31, 2010 at 8:51 am

      Blimey, that guy outside the House is looking a bit rough.

    • skidmarx said,

      January 31, 2010 at 1:18 pm

      The only person the media was interested in interviewing was George.
      Strange, the BBC and Sky were outside all day and interviewed a number of people, but not him. They must exist in a different universe to the media you refer to.

      As for him looking rough, he did miss his Talksport show again last night. Rumours of his demise…

  10. Gregor said,

    January 31, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    ‘There are antiwar voices on the news, to be sure – some of the military families have been brilliant, and the aforementioned George Monbiot has just performed well against Nick Cohen on the wireless – but I’m not hearing much from the antiwar movement as such. Now would be a nice time to show some flair and imagination, and I really hope they do.’

    The problem is that ‘anti-war’ is a fairly nebulous term. If it means people who thought dropping bombs on Iraq to make the people free was a daft idea, then anyone from Jeremy Clarkson to George Galloway could be regarded as anti-war. Doesn’t mean that there is a strong agreement between them.

    But it seems to me that the very problem is that this inquiry is taking place because things went so badly in Iraq. If, say, Christopher Hitchens was right (takes some imagination I know) and there was no war but a brief skirmish, then I doubt if anyone would care too much about Tony’s dossier. Many of his political and journalistic critics not only supported the war on Serbia but also supported the war in Iraq: mainly using Saddam’s human rights abuses as justification.

    The problem, as I see it, is that all three main political parties (and the vast majority of mainstream journalists) believe very firmly in ‘liberal intervention’. Just look at how idiotically politicians from all parties acted in 2008 when a tie-chewing nutter bombed his own people and the Russians got involved?

  11. robert said,

    January 31, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    I seem to recall David Miliband, the heir to Blair sounding off during the Russia-Georgian war about there being no such thing as post Soviet space. I can just imagine Tsar Vladimir telling our Dave that there was now post Soviet tanks all over this space and what are YOU going to do about it?

    It will be interesting to see if the Iraq catastrophe kills off the whole doctrine of liberal interventionism which I regard as a naive and frequently criminal doctrine.


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