Same Old Spin
Bayonets can now be removed, as the hand-to-hand combat that was widely predicted within the Labour Party has truly been averted; Gordon Brown is the “new” Labour Prime Minister. In what must have been an agonising and torturous ten-year wait, the man who assumed himself to be the rightful heir to John Smith has finally stepped over the threshold of number ten.
Try as he may to return British Politics to a domestic agenda, the recent terrorist attacks against Britain must be an early wake up call and a reminder that he is supping from Blair’s poison challis: a poison which he himself helped to concoct. A new cabinet with anti-war appendages will not be enough to absolve Gordon Brown of the decisions he made to take Britain into this disastrous war, nor cleanse him from the blood of the hundreds of thousands who have since lost their lives. He may assume that the widely publicised differences between himself and Tony Blair will be enough to distance himself from that fateful decision; however, lest we forget, Gordon Brown’s differences with Blair were not ideological, but spurred by ego and ambition.
Likewise, such is the nature of these slimy political chameleons, that David Miliband, the new Foreign Secretary, is also attempting to reinvent himself as a born-again anti-war advocate. He “accidentally” leaks information into the public domain that he “privately” opposed the war in Iraq. What hypocrisy! The man voted in favour of going to war and was an enthusiastic cheerleader of Blair’s policy at the time. These turn of events are very telling about the new cabinet and, in particular, Gordon Brown. The Cabinet is no different from the last; they have not abandoned the New Labour culture of spin.
The war was a mistake; it has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, reduced Britain’s credibility on the international stage, and made the country a target for both international terrorists and domestic fundamentalists. One possible way of reducing the domestic terrorist threat would be for this cabinet to do what the previous cabinet refused to do. Acknowledge that the domestic threat to Britain is a direct result of British Foreign Policy. Once the cabinet makes that admission, it can then set about addressing the grievances of not solely those Muslims who feel aggrieved here in the UK, but the grievances of those Muslims worldwide, who, rightly or wrongly, assume this to be a campaign to destroy Islam and to secure the resources of the Middle East.
The recent knighting of Salman Rushdie made me ask a question that I’m sure many of you readers asked yourselves. What did he do to deserve a knighthood? It makes one wonder what he was getting up to behind the scenes? And what other service he may have put in for the realm? Putting aside the fact that he had done nothing to merit a knighthood, the decision was insensitive to the feelings of Muslims worldwide and resulted in Pakistani mobs burning effigies of the Queen and the Pakistan Ulema Council in retaliation, bestowing upon Osama Bin Laden the title “Saifullah” or Sword of Allah. If the knighting of Rushdie was not enough to incense the Global Muslim community, Tony Blair was then made Peace Envoy to the Middle-East. I do not believe an author of fiction could have written better. Don’t be too optimistic about a peaceful world and a terror-free Britain. As long as this government remains in denial as to the real causes of domestic terrorism, I think we have a bumpy and bloody road ahead of us.