Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Blairite before Blair - 20th August 2003, 23.05

Back in the days when Britain still had memories of the days that Britain ran an empire, David Owen was an ill-fitting figure on the Labour front bench. He soon jumped from the ship of fools and ended up in the backwaters of politics, keeping company with the likes of Bill Rodgers and Bryan Gould. However, in a tone of reminiscence, here's a proposal of his from the days of Grange Hill. Note the reaction of liberal internationalists who preferred the observance of the law. Now that the international jurists have the upper hand, Owen's heirs, the Blairites, prefer war to assassination, in order to meet the same aim: removal of the nastier dictators.

Owen, Britain's foreign secretary from 1977 to 1979 under a Labour government, told BBC Radio: "I actually at one stage did raise the issue of assassination and it was not just frowned on but looked on as an outrageous suggestion.

"I'm not ashamed of considering it," Owen said, because Amin's regime was "one of the worst of all".

"For sheer personal callousness and bitterness, it's an appalling record and it's a disgrace on us all that he was allowed to stay in office for as long as he did," Owen told the BBC.


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