The Null Device

Britons oppose Iraq invasion

According to this article, many prominent Britons, from diplomats and generals to academics and cultural figures, oppose invading Iraq. (via Charlie's Diary)
"Regime change, yes, but then what? There is no credible person to take over from Saddam Hussein. The Iraqis in exile are the most ghastly corrupt group you could imagine."
"How can we contemplate invading a country and deposing its leader without a UN resolution, without the support of its neighbours, without that country having committed an explicit new act of aggression, without unequivocal evidence that it is successfully developing weapons of mass destruction, and without the foggiest idea what to do with that country afterwards?" said Prof Blakemore.
Richard Dawkins, the writer, biologist and professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford, was also firmly against any US assault: "Obnoxious as Saddam Hussein undoubtedly is, it is not obvious that he is more of a danger to the world than 'President' Bush and his reckless handlers... It would be a tragedy if Tony Blair, a good man who has so much to offer this country, were to be brought down through playing poodle to this unelected and deeply stupid little oil spiv," he said.

(Mind you, it's from that notorious left-liberal rag, the Grauniad. I wonder if The Times could come up with a similarly comprehensive list of eminent proponents of war in Iraq.)

There are 7 comments on "Britons oppose Iraq invasion":

Posted by: steven http://www.plep.org Thu Aug 15 16:40:54 2002

A recent survey showed more Britons opposing the war than supporting it; the reasons given tend to be because they don't see much justification for it. Public opinion could go either way if and when it eventually kicks off.

The Times is, of course, owned by Rupert Murdoch, btw. The Daily Telegraph, traditionally the journal of the hunting, shooting and fishing classes, has published pieces sceptical of the war, though I believe that their editorial line is largely supportive.

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Thu Aug 15 16:57:15 2002

Here the local murdochs are shockingly biased. Opponents of war are painted as a lunatic fringe of misguided zealots or political extremists. And it's not just the war -- during the police brutality at the S11 demonstrations, the murdochs went on about "ultra-violent protesters" getting what they deserved. Also, the recent news item about declining CD sales not being caused by MP3 swapping were reported as "Music piracy not sole reason for CD decline" or something. You get the idea.

Is the Times fairly impartial, or is it a propaganda organ along the lines of foxnews.com?

Posted by: steven http://www.plep.org Thu Aug 15 22:12:09 2002

The Times isn't quite as bad as Fox, but it has a definite right-of-centre bias and pretty much follows the Murdoch party line. The paper still has a historical reputation, after all, which it might lose if it went totally overboard. One suspects the Murdoch influence partly explains its relative decline compared to the other 'quality' papers, like say, the Guardian and the Telegraph. The Sunday Times is still respected though.

Murdoch also owns the Sun, which is the best-selling tabloid, which can be entertaining but has a definite party line. All the Murdoch papers were rabidly pro-Thatcher in the 1980's; with New Labour, they have shifted somewhat to supporting Blair. It's entirely possible to support New Labour and still be right of centre though! The exception is the Scottish edition of the Sun, which supports the Scottish National Party... go figure...

Posted by: Graham http://grudnuk.com/vm/ Fri Aug 16 01:31:35 2002

Yeah. Well at least there's a diversity of opinion in the British press. 70% of Australia's capital city newspapers are owned by Murdoch, the rest by Fairfax. Australia needs good politbloggers more than most places, I suspect.

Posted by: mark http://cyberfuddle.com/infinitebabble/ Sat Aug 17 07:59:25 2002

acb: to be fair, though, the S11 protesters were (from memory) pretty out of line. My personal "favourite" piece of biased reporting was the Today Show finding the most spaced-out "k3w1" *moron* they could, questioning him about the protests ("it's cos we don't want multinationals pushing us around and stuff"), and representing him as The Average Anti-Globalisation Guy.

Steven: The Guardian is pretty left-leaning, IMHO. It's not like a left equivalent of Fox, though, thank $deity.

Graham: You mean, like Tim Blair? *g*

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Sat Aug 17 18:37:05 2002

Apparently the stuff about S11 protesters throwing urine at police/ballbearings at horses was made up by Murdoch reporters. And the police behaved very brutally; (a) they were given orders to remove ID badges beforehand (against regulations), and (b) they deliberately targeted peaceful and vulnerable protesters, bashing the elderly, children, etc., to instill terror.

(I heard a rumour that one 15-year-old girl was held down by two cops and bashed/kicked unconscious by a third, and is now wheelchair-bound/severely brain-damaged. Though I've seen no confirmation for this. Anyway, she was probably one of those Resistance com^H^H^Hterrorists who deserve everything they get.)

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Sat Aug 17 18:40:16 2002

I heard another account on 3RRR from a young woman from a student newspaper who was held down and clubbed like a by cops, only being rescued by balaclava-clad "black bloc" anarchists. (Of course, officially that did not happen, because here the police would never bash unarmed demonstrators without provocation.) It's pretty frightening stuff.

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