Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Harriet and the High Street

It has been a while since I posted anything on this blog. Somehow there has been an impression in the UK that because Tony Blair is not around so much, maybe things have changed. On Sunday there was a TV interview with Harriet Harman, the recently elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. Now I may be only slightly awake on a Sunday morning, even between 9 and 10, but I don't think there was any question or answer about the war in Iraq.

This is strange. As memory serves during the election Harriet Harman had a view on Iraq widely understood to be slightly different to the government position. Why would Andrew Marr not ask about this? OK the BBC was done over by the Hutton Report etc. but the occasional question about Iraq would not be too provocative.

I have found the relevant blog and put in a comment-

"And one former member who was on her way to the hairdresser, who left over the war in Iraq and is thinking of re-joining."

I am not sure why. I used to be a member of the Labour Party but have voted Liberal Democrat since 2003. Doing a search on "Iraq" finds not much on this blog since the election for Deputy Leader. There was no mention of Iraq as far as I know during th einterview on Sunday with Andrew Marr.

So is the idea that maybe the issue will just go away? There are still US troops in an active situation. What is the current UK policy about this? Part of the downside in the lack of debate around the choice of Gordon Brown as leader is that there is no depth of understanding on several policy issues. Iraq could turn out to be one of them.

Currently awaiting moderation.

Meanwhile in the USA, Congress is more or less sensible. The UK Labour Party is so timid nowadays that it may take a change in the US President before there is any further debate on Iraq.

And Dan Froomkin continues to be a much more effective source of questioning than the drift in UK media.

Today's Guardian features an article by people from Compass-

Brown has already defused many of the political landmines: rejuvenating the Commons, attacking the royal prerogative, apparently stepping away from the failed policy of marketisation of public services and starting to end the combat role of British troops in Iraq.

So no further discussion required then.