Sunday 31st of May 2020

from witch doctor to war criminal .....

On the second anniversary of the Iraq war, Panorama reveals how several of the claims Tony Blair made in public during the build up to the war – and afterwards – conflict with what we now know was going on behind the scenes, as evidenced for instance by government officials and documents.

This is the story of what Mr Blair did not tell us before sending British troops into battle. Iraq Tony And The Truth


The lies of Blair, Bush and Howard are starting to surface in the serious media ... two years too late. But at last, it is shown with strength in the mainstream that we should not have trusted them nor can we trust them still.

Active, detailed and growing

45 minutes, 45 minutes, 45 minutes ....... eeeearrrkkk!

Credibility? "We rate it very highly."

Cohones? Bolas!

Response in the UK v/s response in Australia

One of the things that surprised me when I arrived in Australia just over two years ago was how accepting the media and the Opposition was of Australia's role in the Iraq invasion. Of course, I wasn't particularly familiar with the media set-up here. I wouldn't have been that surprised had I known then what I know now! In the UK, for all their many other faults, at least there is a consistent and high-level opposition to involvement in the Iraq debacle, and this is reflected in some of the newspapers and by the occasional TV programme. There is a much higher level of passion surrounding the debate. Pollies are prepared to take much greater risks and slowly but surely the truth is being exposed. The media play a critical role in 'shaping' public opinion; that is why the campaign (which I hope YourDemocracy will play a part in) on the cross-media ownership laws is so important. But I don't believe we can simply blame the media. We all culpable for what this government does, whether we voted for them or not. I guess we're a little less culpable if we really speak out strongly in oppostion to what is done in our name, but that degree of of reduction is nothing to write home about. So here are some questions. Why is it that many, many people simply regard what's going on in Iraq as a 'done deal'? Why did all that antiwar energy just dissipate and then slowly transform into muddled support for 'our soldiers' overseas? Why do we let Howard get away with it? Why are the Opposition pollies such an anodyne lot, with one or two notable exceptions? Ultimately it is the responsibility of citizens to find a way to voice their opposition to wrongs done in their name and to make sure that that voice is heard, loud and clear. I hope that YourDemocracy will become the forum in which we find ways to do just that.

Why are we so dissipated?

It is often asked. Why are the numbers against the war apparently so massive yet their voice so weak?

The answer isn't just about organisation, which can just mean a big protest or public meeting. The answer is far less sexy again. It is about institutions. We need a way to institutionalise our efforts. If it is not to be by means of joining or creating new political parties, it doesn't remove the need to embody ourselves.

Family First has discovered this and indeed the church is a traditional form of organisation for communities. FF has demonstrated that a relatively marginal group in our society can organise and make a serious impact. Our numbers (say, against the Iraq War) are many times that of Family First but, as you say David, we remain correspondingly ineffective.

Unions are the traditional form of institutionalisation for workers in the Leftist tradition, and I support unionism strongly. But in my mind the institutional basis for a new movement is not in the workplace but in the community, in community associations and permanent assemblies.

So next time you go to a public meeting, and they are often very inspiring and personally 'empowering', think about how such one-off events might be made a permanent sitting, maybe twice a year, with a constitution and an executive. The battle at the grass-roots is against alienation, and the fortunes of this struggle provide the terrain of possibility for every other.

One thing that inspires me about community meetings is that, like Webdiary, they are not ideologically defined and so can include a wide range of views. The last thing that needs more institutionalisation is our sectarianism.

It's Mabo, It's Justice, It's Law, It's the Vibe

David, this article in The Age may throw a bit of light on the Australian way of looking at things: The new battle over East Timor

And, as predicted by Stephen Wong (What John Howard will Say) Howard has pretty much confirmed his view, that if history does not suit the political objective, it's best to file it away and move on. I guess that's why he's going to Gallipoli for photo-ops.

Cross Media

John Richardson's link to a Panorama expose about what Blair said is worth visiting.

David, you mentioned "the campaign (which I hope YourDemocracy will play a part in) on the cross-media ownership laws is so important".

I've been muttering about this on the fringes of this site for a couple of weeks. But I don't have the energy, time, contacts or knowhow to get such a campaign rolling. Do you mean to say there is some kind of formal campaign on this issue already up and running?




Many complex factors are at play in trying to understand why is it that many, oh so many people simply regard what's going on in Iraq as a 'done deal'?... Or have no idea about what went on.. Say, people do not care much about the rest of the world when the sun shines in their backyard...

One could write a whole thesis if it had not been done already (has it?). One thing for sure, we’re not the only ones in the same boat asking why people “do not want to understand or see the lies about it

hopefully he'll need a "little mate" .....

‘Tony Blair is expected to join one of the most exclusive groups of businessmen in the world after he leaves Downing Street.


The PM is being lined up for a highly lucrative position with the Carlyle Group – an American-based investment giant with strong links to the White House and the defence industry.


The firm has been nicknamed "The Ex-Presidents Club" because it has had a host of former world leaders on its books including George Bush Senior, his former secretary of state James Baker and former British PM John Major.’  


Blair To Join World Elite?


See here for more background on the secretive & subversive Carlyle Group The Carlyle Group


Note:   The first one minute forty-seven seconds of this program is in broadcast in Dutch: the remainder is in English.