Again, there are more poll results that show that the tides are turning. An ICM opinion poll in the Guardian newspaper showed opposition to military action against Iraq had now reached 47 percent, up from 37 percent just three months ago, and that support for an invasion has dropped during the same period to just 30 percent from 42 percent.
The raw data from the poll shows some interesting trends. Most surprisingly, support for the war in Britain is divided almost evenly between Tory and Labor parties. The key demographic that supports this war in Britain are 20-30ish year old males, especially those who live in the North and in rural regions. Miners, truckers, construction workers... while those who oppose the war are women, professional workers who tend to be concentrated in larger cities and in the South, women, the youth, and those over 65.
In other words, there is a cultural war -- not a political one -- going on here. Blair needs a support base for his policy of bowing and scraping to the Bush administration, because clearly his own party does not agree with his policies anymore.
Demographically, this is quite different than in the U.S. When you have an object under pressure, you have to look for a weak point. That weak point is in the U.K. That is where public opinion will cause things to turn first, and Bush will be awfully alone without Britain.
I'm watching the House of Commons live where Jack Straw, Blair's Foreign Secretary, is getting attacked en masse. Glenda Jackson is laying into him... go Glenda! (Finally, an actor turned politician that I actually *like*!)
Blair is also on the defensive, as MP's grilled him for 2 1/2 hours today on Iraq. He refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons today, and seems sure that he can win British citizens over to his side... that's not what his poll results indicate, however! He's falling, and he's falling fast.
Blair is clearly on the defensive. "We are not in conflict yet, so we haven't reached the circumstances where I say to the British people we are in conflict with Iraq. When and if that time came, people would find the reasons acceptable and satisfactory because there is no other route available to us."
The problem, of course, is how you define "no other route available." If Bush wants a war, is war inevitable for Britain, even though the majority of its citizens (and, indeed, the majority of the world) are opposed to such a war? As opposition for war against Iraq grows, at what point does U.S. foriegn policy end and British foriegn policy begin?!
It is wrong for *any* government to lead their people into a war they do not support and do not want. The question is, how can this war be stopped? Our politicians lack the will, as they have been bought. The U.N. Security Council also lacks the will, for they too have been bought. We can't depend on them to bring us peace. It is our responsibility to bring about peace ourselves, and if that means shutting down our countries in the process, that is what we must do.