Socialist Worker

‘Let Tony Blair order his son to fight in Iraq’

Scottish Socialist Party MSP Tommy Sheridan is a friend of Gordon Gentle’s family. He spoke to Socialist Worker:

Issue No. 1915

GORDON WAS a beautiful young man of 19 years of age.

He was tall, slim and handsome. He had a whole rich life ahead of him.

It is a tragedy that it was stolen by the desire of Bush to not only control the world’s oil reserves, but also to control the world.

Gordon was, sadly, very typical of the young men who join the army from working class households throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

He was literally recruited from within the benefits office where he was signing on.

The lure of a trade and a regular wage proved too much for Gordon.

He was an economic conscript, like 99 percent of the army rank and file.

His mother and father are heartbroken.

But both have called for all British troops to be recalled from Iraq, to stop other parents having to go through what they’ve been through.

Their call for troops to be withdrawn is even more potent after the news that another Scottish soldier was killed last week.

Parents across Britain with sons and daughters serving in the armed forces realise that their children are being sacrificed on the altar of oil—not to defend their country.

If Tony Blair is not prepared to order the troops home, let’s see him send his own son to face death in Iraq.

Why is it that young working class Scots must die in the sands of Iraq, while the children of the politicians who sent them there are safely ensconced at university, looking forward to a happy, productive and lucrative life?

A Private Level One Infantry soldier is being paid the equivalent of the minimum wage to face the prospect of a horrific death in a foreign country.

We must all redouble our efforts to demand the immediate withdrawal of British troops and allow the Iraqi people to decide their own fate, free from intervention.

They weere sent to die for oil and US power

Private Lee O’Callaghan from Bermondsey, south London, was 20 when he was killed in Basra.

Private Christopher Rayment, 22, was from London. He died in an accident in al-Amara.

Corporal Ian Plank, 31, was killed during a military operation in Iraq. He was from Poole, Dorset.

Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Evans from Llandudno, North Wales, was 24 years old when he died.

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