The People v. Tony Blair: Politics, the Media and the Anti-War Movement
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Some people dismiss mass protest. The People v. Tony Blair shows the huge demonstrations against the Iraq War in 2003 nearly brought down Blair and almost forced Britain out of the war. Based on interviews and insider accounts, it describes panic in Downing Street and despair in Whitehall. A controversial intervention into the debates about power, media and popular protest, The People v. Tony Blair argues that even a hostile media can be neutralized when a mass movement becomes powerful enough.
the British government was the most vulnerable point of the war effort. Blair was clearly at odds with the British people and his own party. If the US’s main ally could be dislodged there was just a chance the whole project could collapse. The epic proportions of the upcoming demonstration started to sink in on the day, about two weeks before the march, that coach numbers reached 1,000. The take-up was boosted further by a clumsy government attempt to stop the march. With contempt for both
contacting the local unions and the media. It was these permanent and connected centres of radical opposition in communities up and down the country that produced such a remarkable series of massive mobilisations. The international movement didn’t emerge spontaneously either. The first suggestion for an international day of action was made at a 150-strong meeting in Barcelona in October 2002 that was planning for the European Social Forum scheduled for Florence that November. British activists
Le Carre, J. (2006) ‘The United States has Gone Mad.’ In Not One More Death , pp.9-10 [ back ] 27. Kumar, D. (2012) Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire , p.113 [ back ] 28. Gardner, L. C. (2008) The Long Road to Baghdad: A History of US Foreign Policy from the 1970s to the Present , p.63-4 [ back ] 29. See notably Anderson, P, ‘Jottings on the Conjuncture.’ In New Left Review , November-December 2007, pp.12-13 [ back ] 30. Hardt, M. and Negri, A. (2000) Empire , and (2004) Multitude: War
on the horizon of the post-1989 vista. The collapse of communism had swelled the chorus of self-satisfaction celebrating the conquest of neoliberal economic policies domestically under Thatcher and Reagan. The USSR, the US’s main competitor, had been removed from the scene. But the reorganisation of the Western economies along neoliberal lines had itself partly been a response to economic challenges in the sphere of production. The figures speak for themselves: in 1945 the US share of world
writing the dossier, Major General Michael Laurie, wrote to the Chilcot Inquiry in 2011 saying, “the purpose of the dossier was precisely to make a case for war, rather than setting out the available intelligence, and that to make the best out of sparse and inconclusive intelligence the wording was developed with care.” And on 26 June 2011, the Guardian reported on a memo from John Scarlett to Blair ’s foreign affairs adviser, released under the Freedom of Information Act, which referred to “the