It's still '68 in my heart but consider this. When we went to war in'03, many Labour Party Members of Parliament voted for the war despite having reservations. The alternative would have been that the Government would have fallen and the Labour MPs felt this was unacceptable after the Thatcher years. They would have lost their little earner in London.
The Conservatives, of course in opposition, then and now, voted for the war because it has been years since we have killed a satisfying number of foreigners and they were worried that we would lose the knack, unless we practice regularly. Honourably, the Liberals voted against the War although they quickly supported the Government's position, once the killing started. "Right, I've made my point, now for some realism etc.etc."
But what if the Conservatives had been in power? Surely it would have the traditional lunatic charge at the enemy ..stark bollock naked. No. If the Conservatives had been in power, it would have only been with a narrow majority, with any luck. The Conservatives would have some rebels in Parliament who would not support their own party. They always have some strange characters that are unpredictable.
Some would not want to follow the US anywhere, but would be happy to lead the fight themselves. Others would be drunk, as the voting is in the afternoon. Some may be ill, as they are a party of rather older men with no healthy vegans. Some would simply be cantankerous or jealous...they all think they should be leader, just like the other parties. Some will be confused, as there are no servants allowed and would go through the wrong lobby. Lots would not be there, as they have other, lucrative work abroad and would lose a lot of cash by having to be voting.
Hence it is not clear that they could have got a majority for the war because the Labour Party would have rediscovered its pacifist soul, if the war had been a Conservative idea, you can be absolutely certain of that. The Labour MPs would have been outraged at the prospect of a brutal bombing campaign as proposed by the hated Conservatives 'Let us wait for the UN to finish the inspections they may have said.'
The Labour MPs are leaping about now as Blair's grip is loosening daily and he is being subject to attack on all fronts. Physically he looks tired..he cannot last. However the Tories are hopeless. Their new young, greenish Tory Leader, David Cameron, is so hamstrung by his lack of manoeuvre on Iraq that he seems doomed in the same vein as the others Blair has seen off. He has one smartish colleague called David (Two Brains) Willets..but even when you hear his dull debate... you realise they mean two Conservative brains!
I saved a Conservative... REALLY? ...In fact it was from me. Also it was Tony Blair, who is in the Labour Party, apparently, and not a true blue conservative. Blair famously carries a copy of the Bible and the Koran when he travels. Given that the former concerns a man known as the Prince of Peace and the other a famous warrior you wonder who had more influence on our Tony.
It was before he was Prime Minister. Hopes were high after the Thatcher years and he was not yet such a disappointment. I had no real expectation of sudden redistribution of wealth etc. but who could have predicted following Bush into Iraq? Right up to invasion I was thinking this is a magnificent bluff. I was sure the adolescent years of watching body counts on the news would have meant it impossible for anyone of our generation to contemplate joining military action so hastily, with the same people that gave us My Lai. (I heard Colin Powell was involved in the investigation at the time.)
Anyway, I was younger and a lot fitter and could have thumped him a good one when I shook his hand in Auchterarder. I didn't. I said words of encouragement.. I cant remember what. If I had clobbered him..they would have simply thought I'd gone mad, as I was such a keen Labour supporter. It would have been a soft asylum and I'd be out by now.