The Voice of the People

The dreadful news from Iraq, overtaking in its monstrousness even the deepening horror of Syria, has rightly recalled that moment eleven years ago when two million British people – one in thirty of the population – marched in London to protest against Blair’s leading the UK into joining the US to invade Iraq. The official rationale for this was to defeat terrorism! At the time, I wrote this poem addressed to Blair:

The voice of the people is heard in the land

We don’t want your ancient enmities

Your new crusade

Bin Saddam

We don’t want your paranoid scaring

Terrorism on a flying carpet bomb

You have to get them first

Before they square the Circle Line

We don’t want your puerile patronage

Head teacher of the universe

Calling out the naughty boy

To put away his catapult

We don’t want your ecclesiastical certainties

Giving the Pope an audience

Knowing God is on your side

We don’t want your gunboat diplomacy

Dealing with the other

As in the nineteenth century –

The time for that is past.

The people are ahead of you.

We are beyond

Final solutions.

March 2003

As always, Robert Fisk gives a good analysis of the inner dynamics of the latest conflict, especially its financing.   As he says, “Apart from Saudi Arabia’s role in this catastrophe, what other stories are to be hidden from us in the coming days and weeks?”