Socialist Worker

Dead soldier's father will stand against Geoff Hoon

Reg Keys, father of Tom Keys, a military policeman who died in Iraq, explains why he will stand against Geoff Hoon in the general election

Issue No. 1940

Military Families Against War poster for 19 March protest

Military Families Against War poster for 19 March protest


It has been a long battle with the establishment to get some justice. When we invaded Iraq, I thought this war was just. So did my son.

I believed what they said about weapons of mass destruction that could be fired within 45 minutes.

I remember Tony Blair saying in parliament in February 2003 that Saddam Hussein could stay in power if he gave up his weapons.

Then, for me, the doubts started. There was the David Kelly affair and the resignation of the chief of the CIA.

It is clear we have all been lied to by this government. Saddam is, of course, no choir boy. But he could not give up his weapons, because he didn’t have any.

Now they are shifting the goal posts, saying it is all about democracy and freedom and that we should move on from WMDs.

But that was the reason given for war. And you cannot impose democracy on people, it has to come from within.

In addition, there are plenty of other dictatorships around the world. Are we going to go to war with China or Saudi Arabia?

I have been deceived. My son was deceived and the 80-plus other British servicemen who have been killed in Iraq have been deceived.

Now we are effectively fomenting civil war in Iraq and destabilising the whole of the Middle East.

There is talk of attacking Iran or Syria, who have formed a common front to protect themselves. It has to stop.

I came to the conclusion to stand as an independent candidate against Geoff Hoon through discussion with friends.

It will give me a platform to challenge someone who is right at the centre of this deception over the war.

I want to ask him to open the books and tell us exactly what this war is costing in financial terms. That’s money that could be spent on pensions, health and education.

It will be a David and Goliath battle. If I recall the Bible properly Goliath was a Philistine — ignorant and of low moral worth — which is fitting for Hoon.

I’d welcome any support in my campaign. And whatever result I get, I am not going to “move on” and allow the government to get away with what it’s done.

Reg Keys plans to stand as an independent anti-war candidate in Geoff Hoon’s constituency of Ashfield in Nottinghamshire


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Features
Sat 26 Feb 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1940
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