We should have learned after Iraq – but Brexit shows we are still willing to blindly follow politicians into disaster
In an extensive interview with the BBC, Sir John Chilcot said that Tony Blair was not “directly with the nation” and relies on belief instead of taking Britain to war in Iraq.
If it is a huge disaster, a historical mistake that casts a stain on the body politic to date, is now accepted by everyone who has not been completely defeated by this belief at the time. And even by some who were.
But have we really learned anything? Sir John’s report on the conflict, and what he said during the interview, has taught us something?
With the participation of the country in another historical error – Brexit – I would say no.
At first glance, there seems to be so many parallels between the two, but if you remember.
Just as it did before the Iraq war, there was a strong body of supporters who supported it, people who wanted to deploy a web of lies and half-truths to convince a narrow majority of the public in their case.
Meanwhile, tens, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in protest, only to be ignored or, worse, to ensure that their patriotism and loyalty are questioned.
“I think the country has enough experts,” said MP Murdoch Central Michael Gove, who was then the lead editor of The Times, a newspaper that supported the war. He does not speak well, does he?
The big difference between the two is, of course, that Brexit will not see brave men and women in danger. There will be no massacre of civilians by street prescription.
Poverty kills the spirit. Therefore, if Brexit’s economic benefits are as bad as some fear, there will be blood in the hands of his followers. Much cheaper than paid in Iraq, true, but the blood is the same.
The minister appointed to negotiate Brexit wanted the EU to break
Belief rather than facts. In a modern and rich democracy that offers education to its people, it should not be. But it is.
Blair’s confidence in belief is what makes him such a problematic figure figure for those who are opposed to the current folly of the country does. He is a “great beast.” A real talent, at an age in which they are extraordinarily difficult to find in British politics.
Compared to him, the two sides of the ongoing debate Brexit are small, evil and timid.
But it is almost impossible to appeal to the man who once took the country into a deep and dark hole to try to save another, as has sometimes been explained.
The commentary Chilcot really gives no new light on things. Most people who have followed this story will already know that this belief won with Blair.
And those who continue to comply with their decision, the face of all evidence that it was a bad one? Their minds will not be changed. They are also motivated by the belief that it has become faith, as it is the faith that motivates Brexiteers.
Faith can be dangerous if certainty is given to members is destructive.
Iraq proves that too. The pity is that we are always inclined to blindly follow the fanatics.
There was a brief moment when it seemed we understood, or less when the parliamentarians showed they could understand.
Another labor leader, Ed Miliband, after the vote, said that Britain had “learned the lessons of Iraq.”
It seems like it was not right.
Given the grave in which politics has fallen late, bad agreement reached with the Conservatives with a fanatical sectarian party based on faith in Northern Ireland, I am not sure that we can rely on Parliament to save us next time tried this.