More than 100,000 signs petition against Tony Blair's knighthoodTASNIM LOKMAN
SHAH ALAM - An online petition asking that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s newly announced knighthood be rescinded has been signed by more than 100,000 people as of this morning.
The petition was launched by Angus Scott on change.org as soon as the New Year Honours were announced last night, the Daily Mail reported.
“Tony Blair caused irreplaceable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom an to the fabric of the nation’s society”.
"He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent, civilian lives and servicemen in various conflicts.
“For this alone he should be held accountable for war crimes,” Scott was quoted saying.
Military mothers also voiced out their disappointment, describing Blair’s knighthood as an “ultimate” insult.
Mothers who lost their children in Afghanistan who spoke out against the knighthood have threatened to return Elizabeth Crosses to show their disgust.
Elizabeth Crosses are given to bereaved families as a form of recognition for member of the British Armed Forces killed in action or result of a terrorist attack after the Second World War.
The Mirror quoted a military mother, Caroline Whitaker, who lost her son Gareth after he was dead in Afghanistan in 2012 that the establishment was “making a mockery” of hers and other children’s deaths.
Another military mother, Carol Valentine said the knighthood was the “ultimate insult” after her son Siman was killed while he cleared land mines in Afghanistan in 2009, whilst Hazel Hunt, whose son Richard also died during, was pondering sending back the Elizabeth Cross as a mark of protest.
Blair’s name was announced last night as an appointee to the Order of the Garter as a knight companion, 14 years after he left Downing Street as prime minister.
Blair’s knighthood caused an immediate backlash as he is often branded an architect of the 2003 Iraq War, which started in large part over claims of the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the country which were never found.
Critics have accused him of joining then-United States President George W Bush and sending British troops with the US forces to invade Iraq.
This led to more than 200,000 Iraqi civilians died.
Then-Foreign Secretary Robin Cook resigned from the Cabinet in protest over Blair’s decision to invade without the authorisation of a United Nations resolution.
Later, an inquiry by Sir John Chilcot in 2016 said the Blair government had failed to exhaust all peaceful options before joining the coalition to invade Iraq.
More than 250,000 people, including combatants but mostly civilians, are thought to have been killed in Iraq’s upheaval since 2003.