Unhappy New War’s Day

It’s slightly unnerving being in a foreign land when your country is going to war. There isn’t much fuss about the war here, it doesn’t affect China that much, only some potential economic damage relating to oil prices. A couple of people today talked to me about it. The main concern, presumably one that comes from the Chinese media, is not that the US/UK/Spain are acting in an immoral way, or that the US doesn’t have the right to exert its power to protect its interests. The fear here is that the war will spill out into a larger and more dangerous conflict across the Middle East.

Some good news today. To my surprise and pleasure I spotted that Anne Campbell, Member of Parliament for Cambridge and for me, was one of the rebels who voted against the government the day before yesterday. She supported the amendment which said the war in Iraq was not yet justified, and had to resign her junior government position in order to do so. I had emailed her about ten days ago and got the usual vaguely supportive response that was mainly loyal to the government; this clearly wasn’t how she was acting in private. It’s encouraging that there are people in the world with the courage and conviction to stand behind their beliefs, and to show the potential for both parliament and international law to have strength.

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