U.K. Cabinet leader resigns to protest war - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-17-2003, 01:43 PM   #1
Blue Crack Addict
 
verte76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: hoping for changes
Posts: 23,331
Local Time: 10:25 PM
U.K. Cabinet leader resigns to protest war

Britain's Blair Loses Minister in Iraq Protest

Updated 12:24 PM ET March 17, 2003


By Mike Peacock

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair suffered his biggest political hit of the Iraq crisis on Monday when a senior Cabinet minister resigned in protest at his hawkish stance.

"It is with regret I have today resigned from Cabinet," the government's parliamentary leader and former foreign secretary Robin Cook said in a statement.

"I can't accept collective responsibility for the decision to commit Britain now to military action in Iraq without international agreement or domestic support."

Blair's pro-American Iraq policy has set the centrist Labour leader against a large part of his party in the biggest crisis of his premiership since taking power in 1997.

Cook, who had previously said he would not support a war without United Nations backing, resigned ahead of an emergency cabinet meeting and as the United States told Iraqi President Saddam Hussein he must leave the country or face war.

Another minister who has threatened to resign, International Development Secretary Clare Short, told reporters she would make a statement later. Apart from those two, Blair is thought to have relatively solid Cabinet support.

Weighed down by Blair's political problems, Britain's sterling currency fell by late afternoon to a three-month low versus the U.S. dollar at below $1.57.

On a more welcome note for Blair, his government's top lawyer countered claims from some quarters that war on Iraq would be illegal under international law by saying he believed it could be justified under a raft of existing U.N. resolutions.

"Authority to use force against Iraq exists from the combined effect of resolutions 678, 687 and 1441," Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith said.

U.N. resolutions 678 and 687 were passed before and after the 1991 Gulf War. Resolution 1441 was unanimously voted through by the Security Council last year, demanding Saddam disarm or face "serious consequences."

DECISION TIME

President Bush had given the United Nations just the rest of Monday to give its blessing to a resolution sanctioning the use of force to rid Iraq of suspected weapons of mass destruction. But France restated a veto threat that effectively signaled the end of diplomacy.

Blair's ministers were being asked to make a final decision at their Cabinet meeting. "Judgments will have to be reached as to whether we have come to the end of the diplomatic road," a government spokesman said.

The United States has advised the United Nations to pull its weapons inspectors out of Iraq, the clearest signal to date that war is imminent.

Both London and Washington were training their verbal guns on Paris. "The damage done by this threat of a French veto to the whole diplomatic process has been enormous," Foreign Office Minister Mike O'Brien said.

The British embassy in Kuwait told its nationals to leave the country urgently while flights were still available.

Aides believe Blair can ride the political damage as long as war in Iraq is short and does not result in the deaths of thousands of innocents or British soldiers.

The government has yet to say whether it will give parliament the opportunity of a vote on the Iraq crisis but it is expected to be this week. There too, it faces trouble.

Last month, 122 Labour members of parliament, more than one in four, defied Blair's hawkish Iraq stance. Rebels in Blair's ruling party say that number could rise by another 40 this time.

But the support of opposition Conservatives will deliver Blair parliamentary support almost whatever the size of the Labour rebellion.
__________________

__________________
verte76 is offline  
Old 03-17-2003, 01:54 PM   #2
Blue Crack Addict
 
deep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: A far distance down.
Posts: 28,501
Local Time: 02:25 PM
I hope this is not the beginning of an "unintended" regime change.
__________________

__________________
deep is offline  
Old 03-17-2003, 02:01 PM   #3
Blue Crack Addict
 
verte76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: hoping for changes
Posts: 23,331
Local Time: 10:25 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by deep
I hope this is not the beginning of an "unintended" regime change.
I do too. I'm trying to be careful what I say about British politics, being an American. I don't want to be invasive about someone else's politics. I just thought this was newsworthy as Cook is a "big shot". My mother really likes Blair and she feels badly for him. It really does look like he's in an impossible situation. But his people have to decide what to do, not us.
__________________
verte76 is offline  
Old 03-17-2003, 03:18 PM   #4
Acrobat
 
cloudimani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ireland
Posts: 483
Local Time: 10:25 PM
There is at least one minister in the commons with some degree of backbone

Well done Mr. Cook, Tony, pack your bags mate
__________________
cloudimani is offline  
Old 03-17-2003, 06:07 PM   #5
Refugee
 
Anthony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,538
Local Time: 10:25 PM
Robin Cook has always had my respect, but that respect has increased by a ten-fold. A truly great politician, a great man for having the backbone, conviction and principles the rest of the government should have.

Mr. Cook, you have my respect and my vote. Blair, you do not.

Ant.
__________________
Razors pain you; Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give;
Gas smells awful; You might as well live.

Dorothy Parker, 'Resumé'
Anthony is offline  
Old 03-18-2003, 06:31 PM   #6
Blue Crack Addict
 
verte76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: hoping for changes
Posts: 23,331
Local Time: 10:25 PM
There were actually two more resignations of top-level aides to Cabinet ministers today, but (surprise, surprise) I can't find anything about this in the U.S. media. Anyone know who these people were? For whatever reason Clare Ferguson decided not to resign. Interesting.
__________________
verte76 is offline  
Old 03-18-2003, 07:10 PM   #7
Refugee
 
Anthony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,538
Local Time: 10:25 PM
Which one's Clare Ferguson? Do you mean Clare Short?

Ant.
__________________

__________________
Razors pain you; Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give;
Gas smells awful; You might as well live.

Dorothy Parker, 'Resumé'
Anthony is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com