Skip to content

June 21, 2011

Brian Haw was no war hero.

I wouldn’t wish to denigrate a recently deceased man, but some of the emotional hyperbole used to praise the life of Brian Haw – the peace campaigner who died on Saturday – has been utterly ridiculous. The Guardian asked if he was a “hero for our times” whilst Jenny Jones, the Green Party’s London mayoral candidate, said he was “another war casualty”. Jones’ comment could be the most absurd of the lot.┬áTo compare an anti-democracy protester who abandoned his seven children to sit in a tent for a decade with those brave troops who lost their lives serving their country is frankly preposterous.

Although many rightly objected to the filthy mess that his campsite caused, the bigger objection, in my mind, was with his selfish hypocrisy whereby he benefitted hugely from the freedoms which we are so fortunate to have in this country – the freedom to protest, freedom of speech – whilst campaigning against the liberation of Iraq, where such freedoms were never permitted under Saddam Hussein.

As John Rentoul argues,

“Haw was not a well man, who abandoned his family to shout abuse at democracy. He deserved our pity.┬áThose who deify him as anything to do with principle or peace deserve our scorn.”

Comments are closed.