Iran; the Risk of Military Action.
We all want to ensure that the Bristish Service personnel detained by Iran are safe and secure and are released unharmed. However there are questions that have to be answered by all sides about what led to their arrest by the Iranians.
Where exactly were the British service staff operating?
In whose territory were they when they were detained?
What was their role or mission?
Similarly, where were the Iranian forces?
What was the Iranian operation?
Especially, what were the grounds upon which they detained the British personnel?
My fear is that already the hawks in the US are using the detention of the British military personnel as a further justification for military action again Iran.
Some of those surrounding Bush are content to use this incident to set Iran up for further provocative actions against Iran and even invasion.
Instead what is needed is calm negotiation to get to the truth of how and why the British were detained and how they can be freed safely.
One measured approach could be for Britain to request the UN to invite both Iran and Britain to meet to explain each other's version of events and to seek to negotiate a resolution to the present stand off. This potentially dangerous situation could be turned to everyone's advantage by bringing about a new point of contact for longer term negotiations.
A rush to threat of further sanctions and acts of military aggression will do nothing except exacerbate the present, hazardous sitauation.
On a more parochial note, I hear on the news that Mandelson is calling for a challenge to Gordon Brown from a new generation of New Labour MPs and in the press Blair has let it be known through his aides that he is encouraging Miliband to run.
The depths of personal bitterness and nastinesss amongst the architects of New Labour never fails to surprise me. This group has worked closely together in their project to hijack the Labour Party, undermine the socialist principles upon which it was founded and destroy its mission to transform our society.
Now they are tearing each other apart for what?
Not because of any difference over political philosophy, ideas or policies. This is about naked ambition and bitter personal infighting.
Do any of them care about the future of our party or our government?
They are disgracefully putting their own political careers and ambitions and personal animosities above the needs of our movement. By making our party look so divided in this way they are undermining our support just before the elections in Scotaland, Wales and local government.
I am calling upon all of them to put the interests of our party first and to act with some dignity not like a pack of political hyenas fighting over a carcass.
Let us have a democratic election for the leader of our party.
Let's have a range of candidates standing based upon the range of different policy approaches within the party.
And for the party's sake let's end this persistent, personal backbiting within what's left of the New Labour clique.
We need a friendly, comradely debate over policies not this personality clash between the Blair and Brown factions of New Labour.