Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Why I'm voting Liberal Democrat. Reason 2: The Iraq War

I've decided to vote Liberal Democrat in the forthcoming 2010 British General Election.

I'm giving my reasons in six posts. The first one was here. Now...

Reason 2: The Iraq War
This might seem an old issue for many people, particularly first-time voters. After all, it might be said, the US & UK military campaign began way back in 2003, and Iraq was a live issue in the 2005 General Election. And the Labour Government survived that election.

But thanks to the various official inquiries since then, the facts of the case are even clearer than they were at the last election.

I'm not going over all the arguments here, but the resulting situation is this:

  • There has been no acknowledgment by those in the Labour Government who took this decision that they made a horrendous mistake.
  • Aside from the immediate deaths and suffering caused, there will continue to be negative consequences for British interests for years to come.
  • The people who made that decision are largely still in government.
  • The chance of such a mistake in British international relations happening again will only be minimised if the party responsible is seen to be punished by the electorate.

The Official Opposition, the Conservative Party, supported the decision to go to war, and again there has been no acknowledgment of error.

I do not call the politicians who took the decision liars - although the Labour party's spin machine has much for which to answer - but they did not take on board the reasoned arguments articulated clearly then and since then by diplomats, academics, and the British people. Politicians need to know that they will be held to account for their decisions, or we will make the same mistakes again and again.

Only the Liberal Democrats have consistently and honourably put the case against the war.