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[casi] On learning that my MP will do a sponsored swim for cancer victims

The letter from the BMJ can be found at Here is my letter to the sorry
excuse of an MP that, apparently, receives nearly 60K a year for
representing my views to the government.



Dear Tom

Many thanks for your calendar and your release detailing your
uncontroversial views on Iraq.

I understand that a man of power, and therefore responsibility, must often
have to rationalise the irrational to himself in order to sleep at night.
That you cling on to your belief that Tony Blair is simply trying to keep
old Dubya on the straight and narrow seems beyond belief, but I suppose that
it serves its purpose. Once again, I would urge you to learn from the past.
If what you say is true, you are suggesting that the government of this
country is following a policy of appeasement towards the government of the
USA. History would seem to indicate that such policies don't work. The fact
that the unelected president of the USA brushes off accusations of a
unilateral stance by pointing to his allies (the British "Labour" Party and
the right wing governments of Italy and Spain - interesting bedfellows)
should force you to at least question your claim that Tony Blair is
exercising a restraining force.

However, my real reason for writing to you is to express my hope at your
somewhat more humanitarian concern for cancer victims. Having lost my mother
to this disease, I was reassured that you too shared my concern. But, I
wondered, do your concerns extend beyond the limited space of the United

In the hope that I can reach past the protective armour that surrounds your
political career, I am sending you a letter from the British Medical
Journal, hardly one of the most revolutionary organisations that this
country knows. I would urge you to read it and to seriously consider why
myself and thousands more people like me are opposed to this war.

We do not oppose it out of sneaking regard for the brutal dictator of
Baghdad. We do not oppose it out of a misguided belief that everything will
turn out right in the end. We do not oppose it to forward our own political
agenda. We oppose was, quite simply, because in all wars, the innocent
suffer and die and the guilty tend to profit.

If you could guarantee that no innocent Iraqi or Kurd would die in the
slaughter that your boss and his boss wish to inflict upon Iraq; if you
could assure me that once the Dictator and his cronies are felled, the Iraqi
people would be left in peace to organise their own future; if you could
promise that the interests behind this war are genuinely concerned with
world peace (overlooking the whole problem with the Israelis), then I would
offer my guarded support for military action. Yet I am sure that even you
would agree, these claims would reflect the highest degree of naivety.

I will not be making a contribution towards your sponsored swim because I am
of the opinion that gestures like this, whilst noble, rationalise the
irrational. I will, however, continue my efforts to ensure that governments
and their apologists respect the right of people like myself who would
rather see military expenditure go down and investment in the far greater
weapons of health and education go up.

With best wishes

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