JACK STRAW MP on IRAQ
John Whitaker "Jack" Straw (born August 3, 1946, Buckhurst Hill) is a British Labour Party politician. He was Home Secretary from 1997-2001, becoming Foreign Secretary after the 2001 UK general election. He has been the Member of Parliament for Blackburn since 1979.
We hope you will all agree, that no matter what the character of a person is, and no matter how he conducts himself in society, there is no justification for taking the life of anyone. NK
Jack Straw - So many lives for so little oil
Secretary of State
In office after the 1997 UK general election, he brought forward the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, increased police powers against terrorism and proposed a reduction in the right to trial by jury. These policies were deemed excessively authoritarian by his former students' union which in 2000 banned him from the building - a policy which lapsed in 2003. However, he also incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into British law and pressed for action on institutionalised racism in the police revealed by the Stephen Lawrence case. He was embarrassed by newspaper revelations that his teenaged son Will Straw was dealing cannabis. William was cautioned by police after his father turned him in. Further embarrassment to Straw occurred in 2000 when his brother, also named William, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 16 year old girl.
Expected by commentators to be demoted to Transport Secretary after the 2001 UK general election, there was some surprise when he was instead appointed Foreign Secretary succeeding Robin Cook. Within months Straw was confronted by the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. He was initially seen as taking a back seat to Tony Blair in the 'war against terrorism'. According to polls, Straw is - along with Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and John Prescott - one of the few British government ministers who is recognised by a majority of the British public. On November 26, 2003, he made an unannounced visit to Iraq.
In the run up to the 2005 UK general election Straw faced a potential backlash from his Muslim constituents over the Iraq war - the Muslim Public Affairs Committee attempted to capitalise on anti-war sentiment with 'operation Muslim vote' in Blackburn but Straw was re-elected on just a slightly reduced majority despite their best efforts. Speaking moments after his re-election during the BBC's election night coverage Jack Straw called MPAC an 'egregious group' and expressed disappointment at their campaign tactics, which he saw as overly aggressive. Straw enjoys a reputation for involved local campaigning in his constituency despite his cabinet post, often spending many hours in the run up to elections literally standing on a soapbox in a high street area taking questions from the crowd and responding to criticism with a microphone.
On October 13, 2005 Straw took questions from a panel of (mostly anti-war) individuals in a Newsnight TV special on the subject of Iraq, addressing widespread public concerns about the exit strategy for British troops, the insurgency in Iraq and inevitably the moral legitimacy of the war. On several occasions Straw reiterated his position that the decision to invade was in his opinion the right thing to do, but said he did not 'know' for certain that this was the case. He said he understood why public opinion on several matters might differ from his own - a Newsnight/ICM poll showed over 70% of respondents believed the war in Iraq to have increased the likelihood of terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom, but Straw said he could not agree based on the information presented to him. He stated he could not 'know' the answer to this question with certainty either.
I'm okay Jack
The 45-minute claim was false - Wednesday October 13, 2004
After two years, one war and at least 16,000 deaths, the Government finally admits to lie.
Humiliating climbdown: Jack Straw,
Britain's Foreign Secretary, formally withdrew the infamous 45-minute claim
Tony Blair's claim that Iraq was within 45 minutes of launching weapons of mass destruction a central plank of his case for war fell apart yesterday as the Foreign Secretary formally withdrew the infamous claim and revealed MI6 had abandoned its source for the bogus intelligence.
Oil be alright Jack!
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