ONE blogs – JOHN CALDER – Man for Monday: WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN?

So goes the song (Where have all the flowers gone?). Politicians will never learn because they don’t want to, because they will never admit that they are wrong, because they care little if at all about human life unless it concerns them personally, and above all because being in office gives them the impression that they are infallible. Their only fear is of losing their office and the power that goes with it. Arrogance comes after they have been in power for a year or so, and when public opnion swings against them they cannot seem to understand why?

Yes, I am talking about the situation in Afghanistan, a war that was doomed from the beginning. Any person who knows the history of that country must realise this. A country that has been invaded so many times; always with the same result: a humiliating withdrawal from a region of Asia that whatever its internal conflicts will always hate the invader more and unite to defeat him. Afghanistan is a highly diverse series of tribal cultures to which the Western concept of democracy, civilised cooperation and rule of law is totally alien.

The ordinary public, or rather the many differing publics of America and Britain are at last asking why it is that we are there, why so many of our soldiers are dying there (without thiking much of how many of THEM are dying as well) and there is now a considerable majority opposed to the war. Demonstrations on a growing scale are now certain and they may lead to more than that, violence against the Police, the Government and even against ethnic culture with the BNP and their allies leading it.

Gordon Brown seems to have lost all sense of reality in the many fields where he is active: finance, foreign policy, our presence in other countries, our public services, our desperate need to create employment and in civil rights. His justification for the War is weak and completely unconvincing. It is absurd to think that a foreign war helps to prevent the risk of Terrorism at home. It is by our terrorism there- and there is no other word for it- that we incur the certainty that a terrible revenge will be visited upon us here, by those who have links with the culture we are supposedly at war with. Only swift withdrawal will reduce that risk, and prominent apologies for our past actions must go with that withdrawal, together with a promise not to repeat such stupid adventures ever again.

There has been connected violence in Texas by a Muslim officer who did not want to return to the conflict. A British soldier who has also refused to return to Afghanistan has had a hero’s welcome from a demonstration and the warm approval of his colleagues. It is now up to the British public to urge more soldiers to refuse to go to a war that is certainly illegal, as our earlier attack on Iraq was, and to refuse to see those who do not desire to be used as hired killers to be punished by the military. There can be only one just reason for any army today and that is for self-defence of one’s own country.

Unfortunately, rising unemployment has become a successful recruiting tool. Could that be one reason why Brown supports the War? So that while bailing out his friends in the City with our taxes he is happy not to have to support more of the unemployed. The thought must have occurred to many!

The trouble is that while we know Brown will soon go, and go forever, we can hope for no better from the Tories. Once again, I say to voters: look at the individuals, not the parties, insist they have meetings you can go to, vote for credible independents where possible, and if there is no one, then go and spoil your vote by writing on the ballot paper what you think. Every candidate has to read what you say. A large number of spoiled votes could lead to a major change in the system. There are many ways to register democracy.

John Calder 8/11/09