Saturday, May 26, 2007

Two Viceroys and a loyalist

The establishment, the best word to describe the individuals concerned, apologies for haters of clichés, has got together a commission to decide what should be done with Iraq. Apparently leaving this up to the Iraqi people is boring. The grandees who help to rule Britain and the southern area of Iraq are maybe feeling miffed that their opposite numbers in the US are enjoying cooking up “Iraq study groups” and “benchmarks” with which to dictate to the government of Iraq what they should be doing i.e. hurry up with the oil law to let the US/UK oil companies get their hands on the oil reserves that currently belong to the people of Iraq.

The commission is chaired by a Tory former viceroy of the statelet of Northern Ireland Tom King, Lib-Dem Lord Ashdown, former viceroy of Bosnia and Baroness Jay. Apart from voting against the Government on some votes on House of Lords reform the Baroness has loyally voted New Labour time and time again. This includes voting through the super draconian powers the government decided that it wanted for “fighting terrorism” and for bullying people through the mental health system.

Baroness Jay said that “The Iraq Commission aims to produce a long term strategy for Britain’s role in Iraq”. You can bet a month’s salary that this long term role will not include getting out and staying out. There are eight “Commissioners” who will help the barons and baroness. These are various luminaries of the foreign policy elite spiced up for the Guardian reading classes with Maeve Sherlock, Asim Siddiqui and Brian Brivati.

Sherlock is the former Chief Exec of the Refugee Council but is perhaps more notable as a New Labour apparatchik and former NUS president. Though she won’t feel too alone as another former NUS president will also be on the commission, Stephen Twigg

Asim Siddiqui is a British Moslem who is allowed in as he is a City slicker. Brian Brivati is an academic from the Unversity of Kingston. Brivati seems to live in a particularly high ivory tower. He thinks that history will come to regard Tony Bliar as a truly great statesman (I am not joking) and that you can have such a thing as a humanitarian war.

No one from the Iraqi community in Britain.

No one from the anti-war movement.

No one with an ability to think for themselves.

NB: Paddy Ashdown in today's Observer about the Iraq Commission


AN said...

I quite like the term Establishment, which i think derives from C. P Snow, and the excellent Strangers and Brothers series of novels, is anyone knows differently then please correct me.

On the issue you raise Lousie, it is true that this is a committee close to the corridors of power (a term which definitly does come from Snow), but ...

Firstly, Would the british state ever have left field voices on such a committee? Wouldn't even including such oppositionists be pre-judguing the conclusion in the eyes of the MOD and military?

secondly, the more establishment the committe the more unafraid they might be to recomennd withdrawl, in the sense that "only Nixon could go to China", or only De Gaulle could withdraw from Algeria.

Louisefeminista said...

Yeah, I like the term establishment.

AN: No, I don't think the committee would have included leftie voices but we don't stop pointing the obvious out.

As there ever been a committee/enquiry that has ever taken the establishment to task? Maybe the McPherson enquiry over institutional racism in the police.

"secondly, the more establishment the committe the more unafraid they might be to recomennd withdrawl.."

How brave do you feel on that point for a bet? £20 says withdrawal won't be the top demand.

But where is the evidence that withdrawal is going to be argued by these people? Look at their track record.

You could characterise these people as "pragmatic incrementalists" as essentially they attempt to do things by slow establishment consensus. They certainly won't support immediate withdrawal.

Nixon wanted to drive a wedge between China and the USSR. The bourgeoise were perceptive enough to realise that China could be won over to capitalism.

De Gaulle was also perceptive enough to realise that Algeria was a lost cause.

At the moment, perceptiveness and insight is rare amongst the current establishment. Maybe this commission will try and gain insight about Iraq but get out and stay out won't be on the agenda.

Louisefeminista said...

Paddy Ashdown is in today's Observer writing about the Iraq Commission. Withdrawal is not on his political radar. According to him there was nowt wrong in invading (or occupying)just that they have messed things up while they have been in there and "see what can be salvaged from the mess"..,,2089054,00.html

AN said...

I agree there is nothing wrong with pinting out the obvious, and you are right that if the commission reflected public opinion there would probably be a different balance.

My points were not intended to be noit picking, but offered in the spirit of my also stating the obvious ;o)

The dilema is actually that the British government would dearly love to withdraw, but does not have enough control of the situation to construct a scenario where a withdrawl will not be seen as a defeat on the scale of Suez.