As the Climate Change Campers pack up and leave my constituency I just want to say thank you to them for the immense contribution they have made to our campaign against the expansion of Heathrow. More importantly I want to thank them not just for increasing our awareness of the link between the expansion of aviation and climate change but also for raising our consciousness about how social movements can be brought into existence and how they can mobilise effectively.
For one of the key lessons of the Climate Change Camp is that when the political system is ignoring us and failing to represent us, social movements, widespread coalition forming, creative protest and direct action are once again the effective tools for change for the committed but disenfranchised.
As we hear of another British soldier dieing in Iraq and large numbers of Iraqis themselves being killed in almost daily barbarity surely now is the time to demand the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq now.
Every rational person from senior generals to the squaddie in Basra now knows that the military adventure of Iraq has been a bloody, life-devasting, disastrous mistake. British soldiers are now under such attack that they are largely pinned down in their fortified bases serving as sitting targets for attack by insurgents. Even where areas are handed over to the Iraqis we can't even guarantee the safety of the Governor of the province as exemplified by the recent assasination.
Gordon Brown must know the game is up. Having supported, argued for and funded the war he is impicated fully in this fiasco. The least he can do is accept that the situation is irretrievable and order the withdrawal of British troops. At present he is either dithering or is for waiting for the best public relations opportunity to move withdrawal forward without appearing to lose face.
Too many lives are being lost and too much suffering is taking place to wait for a face saving public relations strategy to be rolled out.
British forces should be withdrawn now and if we have to take to the streets again to achieve this let's start organising the demonstrations now.