Monthly Archives: March 2002

Iraq – future of the United Nations on the line

Speaking at a meeting of his Constituency Labour Party last night, Gavin Strang MP told local party members that the United Nations must deliver a resolution to the Iraq crisis.

Speaking in the Labour Rooms, Portobello, Gavin Strang said

‘The outcome of the current crisis over Iraq could make or break the United Nations.

‘For eleven years the United Nations Security Council has had resolutions banning Iraq from developing weapons of mass destruction. And for eleven years Iraq has flouted those resolutions.

‘I am very pleased that the United Nations Security Council was able to agree Resolution 1441 earlier this month, and that weapons inspectors have now returned to Iraq.

‘Before the UN reached this agreement, it looked very likely that the United States would ignore the UN and opt for immediate unilateral military action. This could have had very dangerous implications for the Middle East, and for the coalition against international terrorism that has been pieced together since 11 September last year.

‘The reputation of the United Nations is now on the line.

‘If the United Nations Security Council can see this crisis through to the end – if Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programmes are completely dismantled – then the authority of the UN will be greatly enhanced.

‘But if Iraq is allowed to continue with its weapons programmes without an effective response from the international community, then the United Nations will have failed, and the reputation of the UN will be weakened for a generation.

‘The UN was created to deal with matters like Iraq, and the UN must deliver.’

Local MP’s dismay at Post Office job cuts

Gavin Strang MP expressed his dismay this week at the news that 15000 jobs were to go in the postal service industry.

The news was broken at the beginning of the week by Consignia, the new name for the Post Office, that plans were afoot to cut costs dramatically.

Gavin, along with a growing number of MPs at Westminster, feels that the decision by the postal services regulator, Postcomm, to open the monopoly previously held by the Royal Mail to competition from private companies, could lead to major problems with the daily delivery.

In a debate in Westminster this month Gavin spoke passionately about his concerns for the future of the national postal network.

“There is a fear that enormous damage will be done, and a British institution, that provides a great service, will wither away. The concern is not only felt by trade unions and people in the labour party, but extends throughout the population.”

“My experience of the Royal Mail in my constituency, where I have lived for more than 30 years, is that it provides an excellent service”.

Gavin spoke this week on the new developments.

“It is always distressing to hear that workers are going to lose their jobs. I hope that, even at this late stage common sense will prevail and the Communications Workers’ Union will be able to reduce the scale of the losses and insure that there are no compulsory redundancies.”

Please follow this link to see the Parliamentary debate on Consignia on 12 March 2002.