In this clip from the BBC News at 10 – 9th of April 2003 – political editor Andrew Marr tells the public that Tony Blair has been vindicated in his decision to invade Iraq. Marr also states that Blair’s critics will not now turn around and thank him for having been right all along, because “they’re only human.” The editor notes that nobody will be able to say that Tony Blair is the type of person who is driven by opinion polls and “the drift of public opinion.” However isn’t a leader who will listen to public opinion exactly what we expect our PM to do? In fact isn’t that what democracy is all about? A Guardian article from January 2003 notes:
The results of the tracker question on an Iraq war shows that opposition to a war has risen steadily from 37% in October to 47% now. Over the same period support for military action has fallen from a peak of 42% to only 30% now.
British public opinion is never consulted before going to war, or in fact before deciding to covertly build a mercenary force, and provide them with money and weapons, as has been going on in Syria since 2011. On issues of war the public are a liability, as if given a vote, it is unlikely that we would have voted yes to British involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Thanks to Ed Miliband’s revolt we were saved from entering another conflict – and on the wrong side – but our covert operations against the Syrian government continue.
It is ironic how Marr says that on that night of April 9th 2003, Blair “stands as a larger man and a stronger prime minister as a result” of not having listened to his critics, but in 2015 he is now so, pretty much universally, reviled, that he can’t go out in public here for fear of attack, or of someone trying to make a citizens arrest.
Support for war falls to new low