Ten bird roast - roaring succsess - but everyone has had so much Champagne a kebab would have had the same response! Happy New Year everyone..
New Years Message
Whether we like it or not, what will affect us all in 2007 will be determined by how the situation develops in the Middle East.
Without doubt, Iraq is on the brink of full civil war. The coalition forces have been reduced to mere by-standers observing an internal conflict between long standing feuding factions within the Islamic population. I say Islamic, because tensions between Sunnis and Shias are not limited to Iraq and are a pan Islamic problem which casts its shadow over all countries in the region.
I have already said earlier in the year that the division of Iraq into three independent states is the only way to bring peace within Iraq, but what effect would that have on the region?
Partition of Iraq would, for the first time, create a shared border between Sunni Saudi and Shia Iran.
If partition did take place, the southern state centred around Basra would be Shia and heavily influenced by the revolutionary neighbouring Shia Iran.
This would have a destabilising effect on other countries in the region including Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Saudi is already vulnerable. An oil producing state with a disenchanted Sunni population; it has a weak ruling family and is the home to Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Would the oil producing, western friendly Saudi Royal family become a terrorist target? As callous as this sounds, if they were, the effect such an attack would have oil prices would probably send us into a world wide recession.
So maybe partition isn’t seriously on the table because of the trouble we can’t clearly see that it would bring. Which takes us back to civil war in Iraq. Does this mean that the present situation, i.e. hundreds of deaths per day, is the lesser of obvious evils? It is in fact an absolutely desperate situation. Is this as good as it is going to get? That the daily loss of British and American lives is the price we have to pay for, amongst other things, world economic stability?
The death of Saddam may have brought joy to the Shias but the Kurds feel cheated. They have been robbed of their opportunity to let the world know of the atrocities they suffered at the hands of Saddam. Who will be interested now Saddam is dead? The Sunnis will be galvanised and united in their hatred. They will see the death of Saddam as further American interference into the affairs of Iraq.
Commentators now question whether more people may have died in Iraq since the invasion than died under the rule of Saddam. What victory is this? Are things better for the Israelis? Is the world a safer, better place? Let’s hope 2007 can bring some answers and maybe this time next year things will be calmer and more peaceful for us all.
I have agonised since I started this blog site as to what it should be used for. I don’t yet welcome comments. This is because I am an MP not a blogger, I simply don’t have time to moderate the comments.
I have, however, decided that from the New Year, as soon as Richard can make it work for me, you will be able to comment on the site, and my staff and I will somehow manage it between us. To those of you who have commented directly, many thanks. Some of you have said that you want to see the site focused on Mid Beds, some that you want me, as your representative in Parliament to focus on national issues, and some have commented that you feel you know who your MP is now, more than you have ever known an MP before – which is the best news! So, with a little bit of fine tuning I am going to carry on in the same eclectic vein. A little bit of local and national and a bit of what your MP is about and who she is, all thrown in.
I will continue to pray throughout 2007 for God to send his angels to watch over Mid Bedfordshire. That we will know peace happiness and prosperity and that 2007 will be a year filled with joy for us all and those we love and care for.
God bless, Nadine.