A tale of two hearings

By Symon Hill
March 5, 2010

Two very different hearings have taken place in Britain today, concerned with questions of peace and war.

At the Iraq Inquiry in London, Gordon Brown admitted using £18 billion of taxpayers’ money to fund the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. He said that invading Iraq - hugely unpopular with the British public and widely regarded as illegal – was “the right decision and made for the right reasons”. He walked freely from the inquiry room, protected by security staff.

At a military court in Colchester, Joe Glenton was convicted of a crime because he refused to continue fighting in Afghanistan after his experience and his conscience told him the war was wrong. He was led from the court by troops to begin his prison sentence.

The message is that funding violence leads to polite questions, while opposing it leads to prison. Or perhaps it’s really about who has the most power. No wonder so many people have lost faith in the system.

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