Defiant PM Says: I'll Face Down Iraq Protesters ; War Critics Dismissed as 'Urban Intellectuals' N Most Britons Want Troops out, Poll Shows
Andy McSmith, Ray Whitaker and Francis Elliott, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)
Tony Blair will signal this week that Labour should abandon 'urban intellectuals' who deserted it over the Iraq war. As the party's conference begins in Brighton today he is determined to face down growing pressure for a withdrawal of British troops.
He believes Labour will lose if it seeks to win back middle- class voters who protested against the war at the last election and can rely instead on its heartland to remain in power.
Mr Blair's hardline stance comes as a poll released last night showed that a majority of Britons wanted UK troops to pull out. Senior military, diplomatic and intelligence figures added their voices to the protest last night.
The Prime Minister's determination to ignore the issue was made clear yesterday when party managers stifled a proposed debate on Iraq.
Mr Blair will make only a passing reference to the subject in his main conference speech on Tuesday, most of which will be about the importance of improving choice in health and education.
His strategy was made clear by one of his ministers last week who said that 'urban intellectuals' accounted for just 4 per cent of the vote. Liam Byrne singled out Cambridge " lost to the Liberal Democrats on an anti-war vote " as he argued that Labour must stick to economic issues. 'If we win back Cambridge but lose seats such as Crawley, we will be out of power.'
The spectre of the conflict loomed over the eve of the gathering, however, as senior …
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Publication information: Article title: Defiant PM Says: I'll Face Down Iraq Protesters ; War Critics Dismissed as 'Urban Intellectuals' N Most Britons Want Troops out, Poll Shows. Contributors: Andy McSmith, Ray Whitaker and Francis Elliott - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent on Sunday (London, England). Publication date: September 25, 2005. Page number: 1,. © 2009 The Independent on Sunday. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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