Former Labour MP Harry Barnes opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Current Labour MP Ann Clwyd supported it. But they have this in common, and it sets them apart from (and above) many others on the Left: they care about what happens in Iraq even when it doesn’t give them a chance to blame the US or the UK for something.
When Labour Friends of Iraq (LFIQ) was founded in 2004, the initial Joint Presidents were Ann Clwyd and myself. She had been as vigorous in her support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq as I had been in opposition to it. Neither of us have changed our minds about the issue since then. But we both felt that whatever people’s views in the Labour Movement had been about the invasion, a situation had arisen which meant that the clear priority for Labour should be to try to aid the people of Iraq by giving support, assistance and encouragement to those Iraqis who were trying to meet the basic needs of their people in terms of security, living standards, civil rights and democratic opportunities. In particular we believed in working with our Labour Movement equivalents in Iraq; especially those within the Trade Union Movements in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Both these movements are interconnected and see each other as being close brothers and sisters.
Read Ann Clwyd’s recent House of Commons speech on Iraq.