18th Feb 2003
RE: Listen to us, who were in Hyde Park
I think it essential for progress on peace in the Middle East and indeed across the whole world that Iraq is disarmed of any weapons of mass destruction which it might hold.
I welcome the progress that has been made to implement UN Resolution 1441 and I believe that Tony Blair has played a vital part in helping to persuade the United States to pursue this issue through the United Nations.
I recognise that the realistic threat of overwhelming military force has been a key element in securing the return of UN weapons inspectors and I consider that they still have a great deal of important work to do.
I urge the Government of Iraq to comply with every requirement of resolution 1441.
I firmly believe that there are many other diplomatic means, backed up by military pressure which can be used to achieve a peaceful and effective resolution of this crisis.
I believe that it is essential that the solidarity and standing of the UN and the significance of its resolutions are enhanced in order to achieve a wider peace in the Middle East based on the independence and territorial integrity of both Israel and Palestine.
I will never support military action taken without the backing of the United Nations.
I want to vote on this matter in Parliament and in fact consider it deplorable that we have only had one substantive motion back in November. We should celebrate the fact that unlike Iraq we are a democracy. We certainly should have had the opportunity to vote on military build up.
If there was a substantive vote on military action held today I would vote "no" even if this were to take place under the auspices of the UN. I do not believe that it is necessary at this time.
Hilton Dawson M.P. - February 18th 2003
© Peter Bagnall