Half Decade

Many subjects clamour for my attention today. I missed National Sanitation Day yesterday but I’ll give you a Bogstead update shortly. I found myself idly reading the judgement on the Paul McCartney/Heather Mills divorce last night – got about 25% of the way through the 58 pages. Dreadful stuff – no wonder she didn’t want it published. Poppy’s fan club are reporting themselves a bit starved of information so I shall prepare an in-depth interview with photographs.

But the worst of today is the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. I was in South Africa when it started – watching Sky in hotel rooms, listening to the arrogance of ‘shock and awe’. It would be facile to say that I always knew it was wrong. I remain a fan of Robert Fisk who says in today’s Independent that ‘the only thing we ever learn is that we never learn.’ I think I can claim to have seen enough in 30 years of Irish violence to know that it is much easier to start wars than to stop them. What really does disappoint me today is to hear Gordon Brown bringing out what is essentially the ‘regime change’ justification for the war in response to a question from Nick Clegg. Yes Saddam was utterly appalling. There was a telling line in last night’s dramatic reconstruction of the debate: ‘Saddam fed people into meat grinders. If he liked you, he fed you in head first.’ But regime change was not and should not have been the justification for war – and it should not be used now retrospectively.  If Saddam, why not Mugabe?

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