18 November 2003

Get mad - and get even

In fact, it is a challenge more pertinent to Britain than anywhere else. For unlike Bush, Silvio Berlusconi, Jose Maria Aznar or John Howard, Blair - ostensibly - comes from the left. So, unlike the anti-war demonstrators in the US, Italy, Spain or Australia, most of those who oppose the war also supported the man who is prosecuting it. And unless they come up with an alternative they may well end up doing so again.

It is in this one crucial respect that America remains a far more hopeful place than Britain. For there is little confusion in the American anti-war movement about whom the enemy is and what needs to be done about him. Their protests are having real consequences in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination, where anti-war candidates are making all the running and lifted the level of debate to a far higher level than we are currently seeing in the Labour party.

This is what makes the charges that the demonstrations are anti-American as ridiculous as they are predictable. Americans are not the problem: Bush is. The majority of Americans disapprove of his handling of the war. As the bodybags and the bill for occupation mount, so the opposition keeps rising. If anyone is bucking the tide of US public opinion it is Blair and Bush, not the protesters.

Apparently Bush will no address parliament while he is in the UK. They have a tradition of independent presiding officers in Britain which would make the Brown fiasco impossible there. I'm fascinated by the extent to which political manipulation is being dressed up as security in order to further the Bush election drive.

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