Friday, November 27, 2009

Lord Falconer Speaketh With Forked Tongue

I thought Question Time last night was one of the better ones of late. But I thought Lord Falconer went a little far in one of his comments. At best it was misleading, at worst it was, well, make up your own minds. This is what he said aboutthe War in Iraq about six minutes in...

The British government never at any time suggested there was a link between Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

This is far from the truth. Tony Blair did exactly that in his speech to the Commons when the vote was taken to support military action, on March 18 2003. Here is the quote:

Those two threats [terrorism and states with NBC weapons] have, of course, different motives and different origins, but they share one basic common view: they detest the freedom, democracy and tolerance that are the hallmarks of our way of life. At the moment, I accept fully that the association between the two is loose, but it is hardening. The possibility of the two coming together of terrorist groups in possession of weapons of mass destruction or even of a socalled dirty radiological bomb is now, in my judgment, a real and present danger to Britain and its national security.

Tony Blair, 18 March 2003, House of Commons"
Blair quite clearly says the association is 'loose but hardening'. Lord Falconer put in an otherwise impressive performance last night in his defence of Tony Blair and the War in Iraq. But he should have been pulled up on this misleading statement.

33 comments:

pete-s said...

He has had a lot of practice; being close friend of Bliar, did he teach him all he knows.

True Belle said...

Did the coalition kill more civilians in Iraq than Saddam did?

The gassing of the Marsh Arabs was evil, did we lose sight of everything else?

Newmania said...

I watched it and was also impressed with the fat man , what I really relished however was, for once , that the Conservative Party had someone there who was not an embarrassment . David Davies was contemporary smart and likeable , Melanie Phillips on fine form and even that bleeding heart Richard Stilgoe to the Guardian reading world Marcus Brigstock was good

I was disappointed that with all the enthusiasm for ceding more responsibility to Scotland no-one mentioned that this makes the equal voice Scots have on our affairs even more of an imbalance which is quite obviously Labour gerrymandering as it has been form the start.


Incidentally on the Environment which cropped up there was some disagreement about whether ice is growing or receding. It is in fact growing in the Antartic but receding in the Arctic .
This , if you think about it is exactly what you would expect if you turned a freezer off . Where it is on land the ice grows as more moisture is allowed not the atmosphere ., where however it is in water , it acts like ice in warming water and melts .

That’s the problem with the global warming people , they may well have a good point but they use anything to hand , why on earth did Brigstock not have the cojones tot ell all the audience ijits that Cumbrian flods are called is a 50 year floods because it happens every fifty years ,.., its called the weather . If Environmentalists continue to use anything to hand true or false , then they cannot complain if people do not believe them .

Ean Craigie said...

The cae for regime change should have centered on Saddam and his treatment of large swaths of his own people, not WMD, an evil man well disposed of at a high cost.

On Laddy Falcon, so what is new.

Unsworth said...

Yes it's all about memory, isn't it?

And as we have so often seen, history is constantly being rewritten.

Falconer has always supported the Blair entourage and his responses were predictable. What I found interesting, if loathsome, was his apparent inability to recognise or consider the vast numbers of casualties both during and after the war. His sole concern seemed to be in exonerating himself and Blair.

Dippyness. said...

In response to True Belle..
Suggest you look at how many woman, children & civilians have been killed not just during the war, but as a direct result.
Mugabi is equally evil if not more so..Yet we do nothing.
US wanted two things.
One: To show off their might. #fail
Two: The oil.
Blair saw it as a chance to emulate Maggie Thatcher.
Maggie, however, would never have used lies to take us to war!

Lola said...

Once Falconer got going I lost the will to live. Deceit, pure and simple. I didn't die, evidently, but I did fall asleep. So that's one thing that Falconer can usefully offer to insomniacs, an alternative to sleeping pills

Tom said...

Hang on Iain - Blair doesn't mention Al-qaeda!

trevorsden said...

I think this is a pretty small hook to hang falconer on - especially as Blairs remarks make sense. The Iraq invasion was justified - however the aftermath both politically and militarily was botched. Will the enquiry expose the British Armys defeat in Basra?
We get obsessed with sticking pins in Blair - but unless the British Army's mistakes are not exposed then truly our soldiers lives will have been lost in vain.

We did not 'kill more civilians in Iraq than Saddam did'. The actual war killed relatively few people, and most of the civilians killed since have been killed by terrorists.

The wild claims published by the Lancet are of course junk, based on little more than a flawed opinion poll.

The end result of this enquiry may well be to hamstring future British foreign policy and its response to Muslim hegemony.

javelin said...

No the guy who looks like he's been at the pork pies actually said "the British Government never said that Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were conjoined twins"

iain said...

I don't believe Falconer did put in an impressive performance.

The man's trained as a barrister. He filled his 'speech' full of carefully selected bullet points that only someone particularly well-versed in the subject could gainsay on the spot.

His basic argument - that Tony Blair is as pure as the driven snow - is of course complete garbage.

Ben said...

I actually found Marcus Brigstock laugh-out-loud funny on Question Time, probably for the first time ever.

What worries me, though, is that he seemed to be perfectly serious.

Unsworth said...

@ trevorsden

In this context one needs to be very careful about the definition of 'civilians'. What's yours?

And your source for casualty numbers is?

Man in a Shed said...

This is standard Labour tactics - keep telling lies and you'll only be picked up on a few.

Unsworth said...

@ Newmania

Agreed, almost entirely. But is being 'contemporary' a virtue or a vice?

Actually I though Melanie Phillips failed to put an effective case with regard to her position on global cooling/warming. Still, not an easy thing to do in the space of about a minute, anyway.

neil craig said...

Naturally he lied about global warming too. Melanie philips put up a good performance but being put in poll position makes it difficult particularly when the BBC's guest comedian, Marcus Brigstock, claimed to have personally done scientific experiments proving Greenland is melting. This is wholly untrue but could not be questioned.

Nonetheless there was movement from David Davis in, while saying warming is happening (currently it isn't) it may not be catastrophic.

A common point with Iraq is that both policies are defended by saying that the "independent" experts, or at least those paid by government, all agree with the government's policy. This was exactly the same line used by Nicola Sturgeon who, 3 times, said the experts they had hired to say whether the SNP policy of increasing drink prices had agreed with them. As Professor Nutt knows independent advisors who give independent advice don't last long.

Newmania said...

Agreed, almost entirely. But is being 'contemporary' a virtue or a vice?


ha ...good point , quite right.

Newmania said...

As Professor Nutt knows independent advisors who give independent advice don't last long.


The point about Nutte was not that he strayed into Policy it was that Alan Johnson sexed up his drugs conclusions. ( You try getting sex drugs and Alan Johnson into a sentence). He used Nutte`s unimpeachable authority to back a case Nutte did not back. Johnson lied , this week he is quoting some authority or other to back his desire to take our genetic fingerprints and keep them. Probably lying again, the examples he used were of innocent people made the Police match their own un-retained DNA to evidence at the scene , nothing to do with it in fact

By appearing dim Johnson gets away with more than he should on marriage immigration and much else he is an A 1 Chump and I mean chump in the Mandelsohn sense

Doubting Richard said...

The irony is that there were links between Ba'athist Iraq, so the lie is pointless. I have never seen any credible source even try to claim that there was no such link.

Mick Turatian said...

For me the biggest eye-opener of this edition of Question Time was the various contributions from Marcus Brigstocke.

I have always enjoyed his rants on The Now Show (BBC R4)but, blow me down, on QT (eg Global Warming and alcohol pricing) he turns out to be a prescriptive authoritarian prig.

Newmark said...

Tom said...
Hang on Iain - Blair doesn't mention Al-qaeda!

That is so. In Iain's quote Blair doesn't mention Al-Qaeda and, looking at Hansard, he didn't explicitly link Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda during the debate on March 18th 2003.

However, in a letter to Labour MP Lynne Jones (which she has published) he wrote "Iraq has a long history of support to a number of international terrorist organisations. We do not know all the details. But there were unquestionably links between Saddam Hussein's regime and Al-Quaida, and Al-Qaida personnel have been present in Baghdad.

Twig said...

@trevorsden

British troops in Iraq had to let 40 armed men who had just ambushed them “walk away” under “constraining” and “frustrating” rules of engagement

tallbendyman said...

Falconer wasn't defending Blair or the war; he was defending his own disgraceful behaviour as a turncoat.

tallbendyman said...

@TrevorsDen

The Government's stats people (ONS?) in fact validated Lancet's approach some time after they had been repudiated. Very quietly, of course.

From Wikipedia

"The Lancet surveys are controversial due to their methodology and because their mortality figures are higher than most other reports that used different methodologies, including those of the Iraq Body Count project, the Iraqi Health Ministry and the United Nations, as well as other household surveys such as the Iraq Living Conditions Survey and the Iraq Family Health Survey. On the other hand the ORB survey of Iraq War casualties estimated more deaths than the Lancet survey. Out of all the Iraqi casualty surveys so far, only the Lancet surveys and the Iraq Family Health Survey were peer-reviewed. The Lancet surveys have triggered criticism and disbelief from some journalists, governments, the Iraq Body Count project, some epidemiologists and statisticians and others, but have also been supported by some journalists, governments, epidemiologists and statisticians.[5]"

tallbendyman said...

@Newmania

As you are clearly an AWG expert, I am surprised that you do not know that the rise and fall of Arctic ice is, as much else with regard to climate, cyclical. And not just the MWP & Greenland, evidence from early 19th century Arctic explorers validates this.

Do keep up.

boggartblog said...

Fatty's performance showed that even faced with the most damning evidence senior Labour figues will just keep lying. The idea of the Wahabi Al Qaeda boys cosying up with Saddam's secular Muslim regime is totally far fetched.

The Inquiry Discovers What We Already Know

M said...

Lying like Falconer did is now the stock in trade of Labour. They think that we all suffer from collective amnesia and so they can get away with it. Whatever happened to the media pulling people like Falconer up when they lie?

M said...

Ref Newmania comment above - you've got it all wrong ref ceding powers to Scotland for Scotland merely lent them to the UK Parliament in the first place when the Act of Union was signed.

In any event if they had the courage the Tories could blow Labour clean out of Scotland altogether if they promised at the Uk general election to return full fiscal autonomy to Scotland for Labour are only promising limited fiscal powers which are next to useless towards improving Scotland's economy.

Labour hang on to their vote in Scotland courtesy of the benefit junkies that Labour jealously looks after. The SNP want to do away with benefits dependency and that is why Labour fear and loathe the SNP so much. There is nothing that Labour fear more than that the people of Scotland will fall from their clutches via prosperity.

bewick said...

you have to be joking Iain. charlie Falconer NEVER puts in a good performance - and the audience expressed their disbelief with boos.

He is a lying scumbag just like his former flatmate Bliar.
Learning the Law didn't do much for either. Totally unfit for purpose and always has been.

Victor, NW Kent said...

Melanie Phillips on QT almost made me ashamed to be an AGW sceptic. She advanced a series on dogmatic statements in an unsympathetic way. Whether polar bears are decreasing our increasing is obviously affected by who is counting and what they are trying to prove.

The best part of the night was the chap in the audience who told Falconer off for talking all the time. Falconer's standpoint was precisely what one might have expected - he is Blair's buddy.

Brigstock has shown his socialist credentials before and was equally as dogmatic as Phillips. The Greenland argument is based on limited evidence. A comprehensive ice-core sampling conducted 13 years ago shows that the temperature in Greenland dropped substantially from 1308 to 1384 during which time the Norse colony ceased to exist. In other words, it was warmer before that period and warmer again afterwards. It was certainly colder again from about 1724 for 80 years or so and now is warmer - but far from warm. When eliciting information from primitive peoples such as the Inuit it is necessary to work through an interpreter. You are then always captive to the slant that the translator has and that, in turn, may be affected by the way in which questions are framed and the desire of the interpreter to please his paymasters.

neil craig said...

Victor said "Whether polar bears are decreasing our increasing is obviously affected by who is counting and what they are trying to prove."

No it isn't.
Polar bear numbers are a matter of fact, large & tangible fact. The numbers have increased approxiamately 5 fold over recent years, not because of nature but because of laws against hunting them. This is a matter of hard fact.

The eco-fascists have deliberately lied about polar bears being endangered because they are cuddly (from a distance of several thousand miles), making a photogenic standard bearer & being far away we are more easily lied to about them. The eco-fascists being thus proveably a wholly corrupt & cynical bunch of liars knowingly promoting false fears to increase their parasitism. This is also a simply a statement of hard fact.

Newmark said...

neil craig said...
"Polar bear numbers are a matter of fact, large & tangible fact. The numbers have increased approxiamately 5 fold over recent years ..."

The published polar bear numbers are very coarse estimates. Hardly facts. No population surveys have been done in some areas in recent years.

From what I have read from numerous sources, the population is about double what it was 40 years ago and has been more or less constant for the last 10 years. Where do you get your figures from?

neil craig said...

"In the 1950s the polar bear population up north was estimated at 5,000. Today it's 20- to 25,000, a number that has either held steady over the last 20 years or has risen slightly. In Canada, the manager of wildlife resources for the Nunavut territory of Canada has found that the population there has increased by 25 percent."

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/09/the-precarious-state-of-the-u-s-polar-bear-population/

The article also goes on to explain how Gore deliberately & frauidulently used a photo of a bear which had swum out to an iceberg to suggest all the ice was melting from under them. There really is no lie these people will not tell.