Its only PPS's (Parliamentary Private Secretary) atm, but that is quite significant in some sense. One down and three more saying they will resign if there is a war without UN approval. There is talk again in the corridors of Westminster that Robin Cook and Clare Short will go to. The other talk is that 'if' there is a leadership challenge over this then Cook might throw his hat into the ring whispering 'foreign secrtary' into the ear of Clare Short.
For those interested the rules of engagement in leadership challenges for this government can go two ways. Either it occurs from within the Labour Party, or its a no confidence vote in the House.
In the case of the first, Labour Party rules state leadership challenges can only happen at the Conference so that would mean that Blair would be safe until at least autumn. There can be no stalking horse in the Commons like that which happened with Thatcher.
In the case of the second that would be much more interesting to watch. I am not 100% sure on the parliamentary protocol that determines who can request a vote of confidence in the government, but I am guessing that it can be formally requested to the Speaker by pretty much anyone. The problem that Tony would face if that happened would be that he would be relying on the Tories for his support, which might make his position untenable, forcing him to stand down anyway. If that happens then, wait for it....... John Prescott become caretaker party leader and caretaker Prime Minister because he is Blair's Deputy. Good God what a horrible fucking thought.
Sunday is always a good day for politics in Britain for some reason. It really sets the week up
I think Blair won't survive a war without second UN resolution - at least he will be relying on Conservative votes to keep himself in power.
A motion of no confidence can be proposed by any member of the house. It depends if you have the balls to do it. If we go to war with no second UN resolution then there will be no shortage of proposers or seconders.
From what I hear from Labour Party people I kow the grassroots is more to the line of 'Anyone But Gordon' which is exactly why he got beat by Blair the first time round. I say Robin Cook PM and then the Tories will win the next election.
I see Claire Short has officially said that she will resign if a second reoslution is not achieved and military action goes ahead. Now fair enough Short often makes these kind of threats but they are usually very vague. Todays comments were one hell of attack on Number 10, and apparently Tony had no idea she was going to do it! I love this shit its fun to watch them all fight with each other
If there is not UN authority for military action or the reconstruction of the country, I will not uphold a breach of international law or this undermining of the UN, I will resign from the government.
The whole atmosphere of the current situation is deeply reckless - reckless for the world, reckless for the undermining of the UN in this disorderly world, reckless with our government, reckless with his own future, position and place in history.
People like me are being told, 'Yes, all this is under consideration'. And then the spin the next day is, 'We are ready for war'.
I feel the need [to put my cards on the table] now, because it is 10 minutes to midnight, to say out loud what I think Britain should do with its influence - because our failure to use our influence properly is so dangerous for the world.
We are undermining the UN. Allowing the world to be so bitterly divided - the division in Europe, the sense of anger and injustice in the Middle East - is very, very dangerous. It is a recruiting sergeant for terrorism.
see, this is what i was saying in the tlf thread. the UK is firmly against war without a UN okay, so leadership has no right to vote otherwise.
i have a soft spot for this sort of thing, for some reason. principled resignation. it's admirable. though maybe counter-productive in some ways.
Resignation on points of principle are commendable, but threats of resignation publically made are simply attempts to garner political capital with voters predisposed towards your views, or rather (in the circumstances) vain attempts to get Blair to change his mind.
The "international law" comment always strikes me as a bit odd too - I thought law was de facto what was enforceable, which is kind of the whole point here...
errrm MstrG, shes a politician for god sake. You don't honestly expect her to be consistant do you?
Incidently, I want to address this Kosovo thing because I think its being invoked with a hefty dose of historical revisionism, like pretty much everything around this whole issue of Iraq might I add. Nothing but doublethink and selective amnesia across the board.
Kosovo is seen as different because it was action by NATO, another multilateral non-state actor that is pretty much the same age as the UN. It was not a unilateral or bilateral action in anyway.
As I recall as well, there was never a resolution put to the Security Council that specifcally asked for authorisation of military action either. This is why the invoking of Kosovo for the large part is misnomer in the argument of 'that war had no UN backing but it was supported' line. Whilst it was true that it had no specific UN authorisation for military action through a resolution it is not true that it had 'no' UN backing. I do not believe you will find a UN resoltuion that condemned it, implying that it was in fact supported, at least tacitly (check out the wording of subsequent resolutions on Kosovo and the manner in which 'NATO' is fudged). What is important that I think is forgotten iwhen Kosovo is invoked is that no one asked the UN to vote on it, and as such no one on the UN voted against it, so it is not right to say it had n'no UN backing' because basically no ojne ever really asked the UNSC if they backed it or not.
It was also considered on the international stage to have a certain standing of legitimacy because it was so significantly multilateral in nature and dealing with a specific problem that fell within its remit and sphere of influence geographically.
Interstingly, NATO would have been another way to deal with Iraq and avoid the complete shambles that Bush and Blair have created. If they had done it through the Alliance and not through the UN (like they did with Kosovo) they would have probably had little to no condemnation except for on the fringes. Sadly this will not happen now though, and to be fair it probably would never have happened really, because Bush, for all his words about strengthening NATO, doesn't appear to really care about it one iota for the large part and has consistantly undermined the alliance since his first snub when it invoked Article 4 (quite rightly) in the immediate aftermath of September 11th. His actions have seemingly run contrary to his words on issues relating to probably the one treaty that has ensured international peace for the past 50 years.