The self-serving hypocrisy of politicians never ceases to amaze me. In his latest column, John Hayes seeks to justify his support for the Iraq war while at the same time distancing himself from its architect Tony Blair.
He writes, and I quote: “I placed my faith in the PM’s word when he told Parliament there was an imminent threat to Britain from Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction.”
Mr Hayes goes on to say: “We now know for certain that there was no such imminent danger to the UK.” Most of us knew that 13 years ago and we didn’t need Chilcot to tell us.
In London one million people marched against the war. They knew Blair’s WMD fantasy was hogwash. Millions more of us who didn’t march also knew it was hogwash.
Naturally the Tory press smeared opponents of the war with the usual labels – extremists, traitors, the enemy within etc. It’s little consolation that history has proved us right.
Mr Hayes is quite correct that Saddam Hussein was a murderous dictator but he was none of our business. (If we were to topple every Middle East dictator we’d have to get rid of Mr Cameron’s chums in Saudi Arabia!)
As one terrified Iraqi civilian recently told the BBC: “You helped us get rid of Saddam. No, today, we have one thousand Saddams.”
Sadly, the only court in which Tony Blair is likely to be arraigned is the court of public opinion. Standing alongside him should be every MP who voted for the war, including John Hayes.
Whatever Blair promised Bush, our MPs would have stopped it. Labour MPs rebelled in droves, voting against. Many more abstained. It was only the large number of Conservative opposition MPs who voted for the war which gave Blair his mandate for invasion.
Instead of belatedly criticising a decision which he agreed with at the time, John Hayes should stand up and apologise for supporting Blair’s war.
I’m sorry Mr Hayes, this fantasy that you and your friends were innocent little lambs led astray by the big bad wolf is an insult to our intelligence.
You are your colleagues could have stopped Blair in 2003 and you didn’t. Your words today are as inexcusable as your actions were then.