Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

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Friday, October 22, 2004
Playground wisdom has it that any lie told while your fingers are crossed behind your back doesn't count. The same view is shared by the Stop the War Coalition. They now claim that the notorious email to StWC supporters in which they said
"The StWC reaffirms its call for an end to the occupation, the return of all British troops in Iraq to this country and recognises once more the legitimacy of the struggle of Iraqis, by whatever means they find necessary, to secure such ends."
was a draft (it wasn't marked as such) and - get this - not really sent out to the public. Harry deals with that one at his place. "Firstly, the email was sent out to Stop the War supporters. Who do they think they are kidding? How else do they think the rest of us found out about it?"

Harry links to the original email which is still proudly posted up at a site called Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation. Follow the link and read it while you still can.

Read what Oliver Kamm has to say about who the leaders of the Stop the War Coalition are as well.

UPDATE: And another thing. The famous "draft" email was in the public domain by October 12 when Norman Geras blogged about it. Harry Barnes MP laid his Early Day Motion on the 14th. According to this Independent article the StWC "hit back" with their counter-accusations on the 19th. If the email was, as the Stop The War Coalition now says, merely a draft (a special sort of draft that is not marked as a draft) then why did they let comment about the wording bubble away in blogs, in newspapers, and in websites friendly and hostile for at least a week before bestirring themselves to correct it?

Not that the correction is exactly reassuring. "Not appropriate" indeed. The Stop the War leadership showed what kind of people they are by the original wording (draft or not, those words would never even have been considered for inclusion had they not represented opinions commonplace in the organisation); they show what they think of the public by the amended version, which implies that excuses for barbarism would be appropriate in some other forum, just not in this missive that the public saw.