63% of British people stand for peace
British politicians split in their opinions regarding the Iraqi crisis. Robin Cook, former Foreign Secretary, the head of the Labour faction in the British parliament, made a decision to quit his position. Healthcare Minister, Lord Philip Hunt, followed Cook’s example and resigned as well. A mid-ranking British Interior Minister, John Denham, resigned from the British government too. The three ministers decided to quit because of their disagreement with British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s position about Iraq. Lord Hunt stated that he did not approve the use of the military force in Iraq without the UN Security Council’s approval.
The crisis in Downing Street did not start just yesterday, when the three ministers resigned one after another. Claire Short, the International Development Secretary of the British government, became the first sign of the crisis. Claire Short stated on Sunday that she would resign from the government, if Great Britain was going to launch the military campaign against Iraq without the UN’s approval. However, she attempted make a certain correction to her statement yesterday, although words have already been spoken. Yet, Downing Street continues setting out its certainty that the UN Security Council will back up the army action against Iraq. As we all know, the time has already elapsed, Iraq has not disarmed itself, Bush’s ultimatum has been rejected.
This is the end for Tony Blair – he has lost his war. There is a phantom hope, though, that the British parliament will listen to the prime minister’s arguments and will approve British soldiers’ participation in the war against Iraq. However, the situation in the British parliament shows that Tony Blair is not going to win.
Anti-war sentiments can be noticed in the streets of the British capital. Spokespeople for Stop the War coalition urged British people not to leave for work on the first day of the war. As it was said, thousands of protesters would gather in front of the building of the British Parliament right after the first strike on Iraq. It should be mentioned here that Stop the War coalition has recently organized a huge anti-war demonstration in London, which gathered a vast and diverse crowd of up to 750 thousand people (police said two million people).
By the way, the latest opinion poll, which was conducted by the British agency Mori, showed that 63% of British people stand for peace. The number of anti-war proponents gained eight percent over one week. However, all those things do not show any influence on the situation in general, which is rather joyless for Tony Blair.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov