Monday, April 18, 2005

New election twist

The upcoming British election seems set to be one with an unusual number of independent candidates, including former ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, standing in the Foreign Secretary's seat of Blackburn, two independent anti-war candidates - Reg Keys, father of one of the Redcaps killed in Iraq and David Shayler, the rogue Security Service officer - in the Prime Minister's seat of Sedgefield and now this.

I've been following this issue with a moderate amount of interest and obviously my gut instinct is that these people, who did an unglamorous but absolutely vital job of work (with a low survival rate), deserve their medal. However, the refusal of the government to provide such even when it is set to cause them a lot of discomfort, makes me suspect there must be more to the story than is generally realised. Certainly, I suspect this is a decision that has been made on the back of professional advice and not political expediency.

This is not, of course, the first time the government has stood by an unpopular decision in this area. In the early days of the government, defence ministers killed - entirely correctly - moves to issue a blanket pardon to soldiers executed during the Great War, in spite of the fact that said move had substantial lobbying power behind it and was broadly popular in the country at large.


Anonymous Steve Hooker said...

You know, I think Reg Keys will defeat Blair.

For all the world to see.

7:48 PM  

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