Saturday, February 08, 2014
As some of you will know, the former Conservative MP Sir Cyril Townsend died on November 20th last year after suffering from leukaemia.
Though one might well disagree with Sir Cyril’s liberal Toryism in many policy areas (he eventually joined the Lib Dems) he was an outstandingly brave parliamentarian in defying the dominant factions within his party over the Middle East (where he was an outspoken supporter of Palestine), and over the Thatcher government’s last and most egregious error – the bill which became the War Crimes Act 1991.
His contributions to the War Crimes debates can be read online, for example his last substantial Commons speech at http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1997/mar/05/war-crimes#S6CV0291P0_19970305_HOC_434
Within weeks of Sir Cyril’s funeral, where the coffin was draped in a Palestinian flag, the odious Thatcherite toady Charles Moore published an especially nasty attack in the January 11th issue of The Spectator. This is now online at http://www.spectator.co.uk/columnists/the-spectators-notes/9112041/the-spectators-notes-369/
I have added the comment below to the online version, but who knows how long it will last...
One has become used to vicious slurs against opponents of the Zionist lobby, but Mr Moore's attack on the late Sir Cyril Townsend so soon after the latter's death is especially disgraceful. To imply a similarity to IRA terrorist funerals in Sir Cyril's decision to be buried with a Palestinian flag is truly shocking – since Sir Cyril was a regular soldier until entering politics, and served on the front line against a murderous terrorist campaign in Cyprus. His political bravery was consistent with his personal courage, and reflected the conviction that our national interest has been undermined by obeisance to Israel. Could Mr Moore explain what is "extremist" about supporting a Palestinian state? Mr Moore joins the Zionist amen corner in bleating about double standards, when the truth is that in the modern Conservative Party especially, an almost unanimous deference to Israel is enforced. He asks what would happen if a British MP were buried with an Israeli flag: has he forgotten the late fraudster and former Labour MP Robert Maxwell, who was interred on the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem after a lifetime of overt and covert service to international Zionism?