Monday 22 March 2004

One year on: Blair told it’s time to quit

See ya Tony, don't get hit by the door on the way out!

Cook: "It's an anniversary of failure"

George Bush yesterday ignored global anti-war protests on the anniversary of the war in Iraq and instead proclaimed that it had been “good for America”.

But in sharp contrast Tony Blair remained publicly silent as tens of thousands took to the streets in London and Glasgow while the former Labour foreign secretary, Lord Owen, used the occasion to call on Blair to stand down, saying his “shelf-life” was almost over and he should not repeat the mistake of Margaret Thatcher by staying too long.

Owen said he had held discussions with Blair over Mrs Thatcher staying in office too long. “He was very conscious of this fact.” Speaking on GMTV today Owen said he thought eight years in power for Blair was enough and that “his [Blair’s] shelf life is coming to an end and he ought to have enough sense to see it.”

Blair’s former foreign secretary, Robin Cook, will also say today that 12 months after the US-led invasion there is “no sign of success” and only an anniversary of “failure”.

The Liberal Democrat’s foreign affairs spokesman, Sir Menzies Campbell, said yesterday that a year on from the military action, the case for war had still not been proven, no weapons had been found, and there was no evidence the world was any safer from terrorism.

Large scale demonstrations were held throughout most European capitals, in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles as well as Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Japan, India, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, and South Africa.

In most cities Bush and Blair were the focus of the marches. Burned effigies of Bush and Blair were a common theme throughout the world.

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