» Friday, January 28, 2005


Asked what the Prime Minister would say to the large number of people who believed that the Iraq war had done more harm than good to Iraq, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that we were on the eve of an election in Iraq. You would have to check the history books for the last one, but there certainly hadn’t been a democratic election in Iraq for many, many years. The Government saw that as a great step forward.

Asked if Geoff Hoon had agreed an exit strategy with Iraqi authorities and the US, the PMS referred journalists to the Prime Minister’s interview with the Financial Times published last Tuesday. The Prime Minister had spoken about a timeline following the election. Prime Minister Alawi had also set out what would happen after the election. The Prime Minister made it clear that both the UK Government and the Iraqis would like to see the troops leave at some stage, but that would not happen until the situation in Iraq was more secure. We expected the Iraqi security forces to improve security over time. These were issues that we would look at after this weekend’s election. Put to her that the Prime Minister had said that he would like a significant reduction of forces in Iraq by the end of 2005, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had set out the position in his FT interview. In terms of withdrawing troops from Iraq we had set out yesterday that we were planning a reduction of 350 troops by the end of February.

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  1. "Check the history books".

    Says it all, really, doesn’t it? That’s the only thing Tony is bothered about – his place in the history books. Well if there was any true natural justice in the world, he’d go down as a mass-murderer who aided and abetted the slaughter of the Serbs, the Iraqis, the Kosovans & others that I can’t recall right now who were the victims of our (and our Organ Grinders the USA) "foreign policy" since 97; of course, there are lots of people you could list in the same way for time immemorial, but I’m talking purely about Tony B.Liar here. You could also accuse him of turning a blind eye to the slaughter in Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Burma et al while selectively and wrongly choosing the Iraqis to pick on. Oh I do hope your entry in the history books does you the justice you deserve, Tony…

    Comment by PapaLazzzaru — 28 Jan 2005 on 4:12 pm | Link
  2. Agreed. And as to any concept of a ‘plan’ for withdrawal of troops or ‘exit strategy’ as they like to call it, well forget it.

    These guys are just making it up as they go along. But they will grasp the first opportunity to get out from under before the next election – even if that requires the customary declarations of success, democracy, justice, peace in our times etc – together with the right photo-opportunities, sound bites and so on.

    Image is all, action irrelevant.

    Comment by Chuck Unsworth — 28 Jan 2005 on 4:43 pm | Link
  3. Can we please turn the comments function off? The lobby note is a great resource, but I’m a bit tired of hearing nutters rage on about how Blair HAS BLOOD ON HIS HANDS AND IS THE MOST EVIL MAN WHO HAS EVER LIVED. Surely there’s a Usenet group they could find for that?

    Comment by Tinker Belle — 31 Jan 2005 on 11:56 am | Link
  4. Tell you what Tinker, while the web designers are re-writing this website so it’s more to your taste, perhaps we can also persuade the writers of sites like the BBC to re-work their sites so we can post our comments on there and save you having to read them here. You pillock!

    Comment by PapaLazzzaru — 31 Jan 2005 on 12:58 pm | Link
  5. It may be, of course, that some believe Blair’s hands to be immaculately clean. Equally there are those who believe that Blair would make a fine model for a modern Pontius Pilate.

    What is really objectionable is the notion that either opinion should not be heard. Those who do not like others’ views do not have a right to stifle comment. And let us note that censorship is the weapon of choice for most despots.

    Some of us could probably do with getting out a bit more….

    Comment by Chuck Unsworth — 31 Jan 2005 on 1:34 pm | Link
  6. Tinker Belle;

    If you want to read the unannotated version bookmark this page:

    <a href="http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page746.asp">http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page746.asp</a&gt;

    The whole point of this site is the comments function. There is an awful lot of dissembling, prevaricating, and equivocating by the PMOS. Even those of us who support the government recognise that – so people are going to post critical messages. No one’s forcing you to scroll down to the comments.

    Comment by square peg — 31 Jan 2005 on 2:37 pm | Link

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