In last year’s general election, we raised money and volunteers for mainstream anti-war candidates in marginal seats. Most were Labour or Liberal Democrat; others were Plaid Cymru or SNP. All had opposed the war in Iraq. 21 of the 35 candidates we supported were elected, and many have told us that our help made a real difference.
Now, we are working with MPs and others to make sure that Britain does not participate in more of George Bush’s wars.
Shooting the messenger
Freedom of speech is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. However, a transcript of a meeting between President Bush and Tony Blair in April 2004 is reported to show that the President wanted to bomb the Al Jazeera TV station in Qatar because he did not like the news they were reporting from Iraq.
The memo was supposedly leaked by a Foreign Office official, David Keogh, to his friend Leo O’Connor, researcher to the then Labour MP Tony Clarke. Clarke had a strong anti-Iraq war record (Vote4Peace supported him at the May 2005 election). He suspected he was being set up and he handed the document to the police. Now Keogh and O’Connor have been charged under the Official Secrets Act.
TAKE ACTION NOW – Email the Director of Public Prosecutions urging him to drop the case.
Why is the UK government pursuing the case against Keogh and O’Connor? If you share our concerns please click here to email to the Director of Public Prosecutions, urging him to drop their cases and save himself, and the US and UK governments further embarrassment.
The two men accused of leaking the Al Jazeera memo have once more appeared in court, charged with offences under the Official Secrets Act. At a preliminary hearing on January 24th the crown prosecutors argued that the entire case should be held in secret. They have applied to the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw for permission for a closed hearing. The saga continues on April 25th. Please see this news story.
- In-depth information - compiled by Vote4Peace about this situation.
- Dahr Jamail - on how Al-Jazeera is succeeding under pressure. (04/02/2006)
- The Los Angeles Times - on how others see us. (21/01/2006)
- Richard Norton-Taylor - on the Leo O'Connor's denial that his leak could have harmed security. (11/01/2006)
- David Leigh and Richard Norton-Taylor - on the Labour MPs who leaked the Al-Jazeera bombing proposal (10/01/2006)
- Christopher Hitchens - on 'The Bush Bombshell' about Al-Jazeera (09/01/2006).
- Richard Norton-Taylor and Julia Day
- on Leo O'Connor and David Keogh (29/11/2005).
- Kevin Maguire and Andy Lines
- on President Bush's plans to bomb Al-Jazeera (22/11/2005).
Royal Prerogative – feedback from Autumn 2005
Our thanks to everyone who wrote to their MPs asking them to support Clare Short’s bill which would ensure that Parliament would have a vote before British troops were committed to participation in any war. Sadly, there was not enough support for the bill to go forward.
More encouragingly, there have been many media reports that Gordon Brown, Britain’s likely next Prime Minister, is in favour of many of the changes in Clare Short’s bill. WE look forward to campaigning further on this after Tony Blair stands down as PM.