Friday, 4 September 2015

Mea culpa

I voted for the Tony Blair Labour party in 1997. 

Mr Blair took Britain into Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. His government, under Blair's Defence Secretary George Robertson also signed up for extraordinary rendition, allowing the CIA to use UK airports to abduct people to torture - the subject of John le Carré's desperate and brilliant "A Most Wanted Man." 

These wars destabilised a region already on its knees after a succession of wars supported by Westminster; the bombing of Libya in 1986 with the collusion of Margaret Thatcher and the 1991 Gulf War under her successor John Major.

The warmongering continues. Westminster licensed for export £537m in arms to the Middle East and North Africa region in the past 12 months including the grenades that maim and the bombers that kill. These are the weapons that are driving people into the waters of the Mediterranean.

And now there are 13 million refugees from Syria, some of whom want to escape the horror by coming to Europe. Half of these people are children, as this week's news dramatically underlined.

This is me. This is us.

I am to blame for the refugee crisis. Me, and the 13.5 million other people who voted for Tony Blair in 1997. We supported a government, another government,  that created death, destruction and a space for anarchy in the Levant. We, all of us who voted for Westminster, created this situation. 

Now we must take action. 

We must provide a home for the people whose homes our bombs have destroyed. It may only be for a while - most refugees want to get back home - but we must open our borders, provide secure routes to safety and share our enormous wealth with these people.

And then we must turn against the Westminster that creates war. We must have a government that creates peace and dialogue, not war, destruction and death. And if Westminster cannot manage that, then Scotland must.

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