Iraq

A Special Kind of Hypocrisy: Gordon and the Iraqi Interpreters

David T writes:

Adam was going to post this essay on Gordon Brown and the plight of the Iraqi interpreters yesterday, but didn’t get to it.

It takes a special kind of hypocrisy to invoke the names of some of the most courageous heroes of the 20th century as moral mentors and then spit on their principles. But perhaps only a prime minister could do it eight times.

In his book Courage: Eight Portraits, Gordon Brown pays homage to eight men and women he admires who took a stand against tyranny. Several paid with their lives. Edith Cavell, an English nurse who helped Allied soldiers to flee Belgium in the First World War, was executed by German troops. The German Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged in Flossenbürg concentration camp for his struggle against Nazism. Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat in wartime Budapest who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews, disappeared into the maw of the Soviet gulag.

These are names not lightly invoked. But the principles by which these men and women lived – and died – are the very opposite of the Brown Government’s craven refusal to relax the stringent conditions for Iraqi interpreters that must be met before they can settle in Britain.

Nobody asks Mr Brown to make the ultimate sacrifice, risk his personal safety or even a further weakening of his crumbling political base. It is more likely that the British sense of fair play, the belief that those who risk their lives to aid our Armed Forces should be properly treated, would bring Mr Brown electoral benefit.

Mr Brown is a religious man who, like many of his heroes, draws strength from his faith. His father was a minister in the Church of Scotland whose religious principles profoundly shaped his world view.

Mr Brown again mentioned Wallenberg in his speech in July to the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, in which he paid homage to the Jewish people’s power of survival and proclaimed the need for liberty, tolerance and justice.

“We will show those who would give licence to terror the way home to what is right, too – showing them that the path to a better future runs not through violence, not by murder, and never with the killing of civilians, but by liberty’s torch, through justice’s mighty stream, and across tolerance’s foundation of equality,” he said.

As far as the Iraqi interpreters are concerned, justice’s mighty stream is dammed at 10 Downing Street. Mr Brown can clear it with the stroke of a pen. He need not look far for guidance. As he told the Knesset: “My father taught me that loyalty is the test of a real friendship. Easy to maintain when things are going well, but only really tested in hard times.”

The rest of this disgraceful tale is here.

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