Friday 21 March 2003

This War is Still Immoral

by Paul Routledge

The bombs are falling on Baghdad. Our boys are in action. The awesome destruction of modern high-tech warfare is being visited upon Iraq.

And now comes the big pressure here at home. Overnight, it is deemed unpatriotic - or worse - not to support this illegal and immoral war.

Just because Tony Blair has sold himself into unpaid political and military slavery to President George Bush, everyone must shut up.

The debate is over. Whipped, bullied and bribed, MPs have approved the invasion, though half of Labour's backbenchers don't support it.

But this is not a time for faint hearts, either on the battlefields of the Middle East or right here where the British people must be free to make up their own minds.

This absolutely essential fact of democratic life must be borne in mind. Freedom here is at least as important as for Kurds and Marsh Arabs.

Right outside my window at Westminster is a large, noisy, youthful crowd protesting about the war.

They are good-natured. From time to time, they rush through the police cordon and sit on the road in Whitehall or Parliament Square.

They are a bloody nuisance to drivers, and the lifeblood of our democracy. The fact they are free to do so is a glorious testament to our way of life. Long may it continue.

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