Hazel Blears gets a Hammering
Guardian News Blog.
Anyone who watched the mauling of Hazel Blears on Question Time last night was left in no doubt about how much trouble New Labour is now in. She was derided and scorned by panel and audience alike, even when Ms Blears was defending the perfectly defensible over the 7/7 London bombings (if we couldn't stop the provisional IRA detonating large bombs when we knew who half its members were and had the organisation riddled with informers, can we really blame the government for failing to stop a jihadist atrocity?). Even if you discount the obvious partisan allegiances of some in the audience their attitude to her and all things Tony Blair was unremittingly hostile.
The blogger in question (Oliver King) missed an important point here. The mauling of Ms Blears, a staunch Blairite, went in crescendo and reached climax when she was reiterating the usual lies regarding how according the HMG there is no link between the 7/7 bombings (and possibly three other foiled plots) and British involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. Let's have another look at the arguments:
- Other extremist Islamist attacks had taken place prior to 9/11: yes, Hazel, amongst others an attack on a US embassy and an attack on the USS Cole, both American targets. Ask yourself why.
- After Afghanistan/Iraq other were attacks perpetrated in other countries: yes, Hazel, one on a British Embassy in Istanbul and one in Madrid, the latter causing the withdrawal of Spain from the Coalition of the willing. The only other attacks that cannot be explained so easily are the Bali bombings.
Do remind yourself that the British Government had been warned (by intelligence) of the possibility of Britain being perceived as a "Crusader State" by Muslims worldwide and the possible consequences. In the aftermath both invasions an Islamist terror attack on British soil was widely seen as inevitable, a case of "when", not "if".
Do also remind yourself of one of the bombers' last words (Siddique Khan).
Do ask yourself why al-Qaeda doesn't attack Sweden.
Do remind yourself that Britain went to war for entirely the wrong reasons.
Do remind yourself that your Government has attempted to erode civil liberties in a number of knee-jerk reactions, intended to stem the tide of Islamic terrorism, a phenomenon for which the ill-conceived actions of your Government was at least partly responsible for.
Keywords: terrorism, 7/7, Hazel Blears, Tony Blair