The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Reply from Tom Levitt MP

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Below is the reply received from my illustrious MP re the policy of genocide in Iraq and my request 
that he support the Conscience campaign.

Dear Mr Fogarty

Thank you for your letter of 3 July. I appreciate that my previous reply was brief in respect of 
each of the points you raised and, as you correctly say, I did not wish to engage in a protracted 
argument about detail. Suffice to repeat that I am very sympathetic with much of what you say, the 
outcomes you and I would wish to see are very similar but I have reservations about the 
practicality of the approaches you suggest.

For example, my previous letter makes it absolutely clear that less and less Ministry of Defence 
expenditure, in percentage terms, can be regardedas aggressive. Peacekeeping activities and 
disaster and humanitarian relief play increasingly large roles in MoD activities. The proportion of 
MoD money which is spent on aggressive activities probably varies from month to month, certainly 
from year to year. If you wish to believe that 10%% of your taxes are being diverted towards more 
peaceful operations (someone doing exactly the same job of food distribution in the Third World for 
example, but without a uniform) then please do so. I am sure that (perhaps regrettably) it would 
not be difficult to find someone who would wish to see an increased proportion of their taxes go to 
the front line of the armed forces to compensate for this...

Of course I want to see an end to the present tensions in Iraq. Of course I seek a political rather 
than a military solution. And of course it would be better if Saddam Hussain realised his mistakes, 
accepted that he is guilty of genocide of his own (Kurdish) people and perhaps allowed in an 
independent tribunal to assess his record over the last 20 years. But I regret that is a world of 
political reality this isn't going to happen [sic].

The thrust of your letter, however, suggests that there are major flaws in the democratic process. 
We have had to live with these flaws for at least 500 years. As someone once said, democracy is 
actually the worst of all possible forms of government - apart from all the others. I will 
certainly continue to do my work as a representative of the people of High Peak, elected on a 
majority of the votes in 1997 and 48% of them in 2001, to the best of my ability - and conscience.

Yours sincerely

Tom Levitt MP

And my reply...

Dear Tom

1.      Thank you for your letter of 18 July. I very much appreciate you giving me a considered 
reply rather than the seemingly ill-informed briefings put out by the Party.

2.      I was interested to read your claim that the Ministry of Defence is spending less money 
than ever on activities that might be regarded as aggressive and is now diverting most of its 
revenue towards food distribution in the Third World. As you might suspect, I was also a little 
sceptical. I would very much appreciate it if you could ask the Minister how much of the MoD's 
revenue was spent on humanitarian aid and how much was spent on military aid for the years since 
the last election. Perhaps you could also confirm that approximately 10% of the money collected by 
the Inland Revenue is earmarked for the Ministry of Defence.

3.      As you rightly state, life would be a lot better for Iraqi civilians if they didn't have to 
pay the price for the actions of the political class of their country and its power struggles with 
the governments of the USA and the UK. As you also state, it is unlikely that Saddam Hussein is 
about to undergo a Damascene conversion. However, the US and the UK governments conspiring to 
commit acts of genocide against ordinary Iraqi civilians does not seem the best way to tackle the 

  4.. I take great heart in your preference for a political rather than a military solution and I 
would like to take this opportunity to enquire whether you will be signing the Pledge of 
Resistance, pledging yourself to exclusively non-violent resistance to the government should it 
decide to pursue the agenda laid out by the government of the USA. As you are no doubt aware, any 
such military action would not only be immoral but also illegal. Your decision to sign would also 
be in keeping with your democratic principles as you would be upholding the opinions of the 56% of 
British people who say that they oppose a war with Iraq.

I look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes

Diarmuid Fogarty

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]