To accuse a British Prime Minister of 'playing politics' with the lives of our young soldiers is a very serious charge. I could not have contemplated such as shocking thing before the Iraq war. But I believe Tony Blair knowingly lied to the British people in order to win support for his decision to invade. I was guilty of gullibility at the time - and gave my full support to our Prime Minister and to our troops because I accepted that our national interest was threatened. Gordon Brown would have known exactly what Blair was doing. He was complicit in the deceit.
On Tuesday, Gordon Brown flew into Iraq and announced the withdrawal of 1000 British troops. Brown's 'spin machine' in trying to tell us this was just the routine business of government. I believe that they are lying. It was the middle of the Conservative Party Conference. Brown is hoping to be in a position to call a General Election tomorrow, or early next week. The troop reductions had already been announced. Shamefully, the BBC gave this visit wall-to-wall coverage. It seems to me that the visit which the Prime Minister of Great Britain arranged was for the specific purpose of using our armed forces for his own partisan political purposes. He is a national disgrace.
The visit will prove to be a big mistake. The BBC may have swallowed the bait - but the British people will not be so gullible. Brown intends to call a General Election as an opportunistic 'cut and run' election while his premiership remains in its 'honeymoon' period (so opportunistic that I am converted to the idea of fixed term parliaments). It will give a massive advantage to incumbent MPs and will undermine our democracy. He would probably have got clean away with it, by persuading us that he needs his own 'personal' mandate. But the opportunism that Brown has so shamelessly exhibited by his visit to Iraq, added to his calling of an election (costing the taxpayer about 100 million) after not much more than two years will show the British people just what a shallow opportunist the man is. He has made a serious mistake. He should be punished by the voters.