I am so pleased that Ed Miliband intends to say that the Iraq war was wrong and undermined the authority of the UN. We are told he will say that Blix should have been given more time for inspection. I agree completely, and when I hear what he actually says I might well rejoin the Labour Party. Obviously what has been done cannot be undone but if the Labour Party never faces up to it, the guilt continues to besmirch the whole party. (It is worth noting that brother David, in evidence to the Chilcot inquiry said the war was essential to uphold the authority of the UN!)
I note that (Baron) Martin Rees, 59th President of the Royal Society, the Master of Trinity College Cambridge and Astronomer Royal, says [Independent 27 September 2010] that he believes this century may be humanity’s last. He says he is a technological optimist but a political pessimist. I share his worries and yet the catastrophe that faces us is avoidable.
For example I have installed a ground-source heat pump. It is brilliant and gives me a warm house with no gas bills and no carbon dioxide emissions. Why don’t we have a programme to install renewable energy technologies, across the country, neighborhood by neighborhood? We could end worries about fuel bills for those on low incomes, cut carbon dioxide emissions and generate large numbers of quality jobs building and installing the new technologies. They have been doing this in Sweden over the last few years and now 70% of domestic heating is provided by heat pumps.
So Netanyahu has decided that the pause in the expansion of the settlements is over. Israel has already taken over 40% of Palestinian land in the Occupied Territories. They are supposedly talking peace whilst announcing that they intend to take even more. President Abbas has said repeatedly that peace talks would have to stop if settlement expansion is restarted. Now he has said he needs days to consult. The US administration is pressing all parties to continue talking. It is hard to understand what president Obama thinks he’s doing. He said in his recent speech at the UN that he hoped within a year there would be a new member which would be the independent Palestinian state. But there cannot be a Palestinian state if Israel keeps gobbling up Palestinian land. Israel is in gross breach of international law and neither the US nor the EU do anything about it.
I suppose it is too much to hope that Ed Miliband might reconsider UK policy on this issue. If the UK stood up for international law, we might be able to get a change in EU policy and a peace deal based on two states would be in the interests of everyone including Israel.