INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
BBC SEPTEMBER 18, 2002 - by Staff & Agencies
STARS TELL BLAIR: STAY OUT OF IRAQ
Celebrities representing the Stop The War Coalition this morning delivered a petition to Downing Street urging the prime minister, Tony Blair, to drop support for an unjustifiable war on Iraq.
The letter - whose signatories including Blur frontman Damon Albarn, comic Mark Lamarr and film maker Ken Loach - read: Under the present circumstances we believe an invasion of Iraq would be unjustifiable and could have potentially horrific ramifications. It would open a Pandora's box which may be impossible to close.
More than a hundred actors, writers, musicians and playwrights have signed the letter.
Actor Roger Lloyd Pack, of Only Fools and Horses fame, said: Now that we have got this offer from Saddam we should take it at face value. We know that he is a two-faced, conniving son of a bitch but we should do everything that we can to avoid war with Iraq.
It would create havoc in the Middle East and destabilise the already fragile world. I think that anyone who has got a voice should speak out at this very critical time, he said.
Actress Susannah Harker, of House of Cards and Pride and Prejudice, added: If this is about producing weapons of destruction I think that America is the worst culprit and they should be dealt with first.
Frances de la Tour, of Rising Damp fame, said: We know [a war] will not solve the problem of Saddam Hussein, and support needs to be given to the Iraqi people. They do not need to be bombed.
They are no more likely to get Saddam than they were Osama bin Laden. You would just cause havoc among the ordinary people.
Signatories included playwright Harold Pinter, actors Jemma Redgrave, Julia Sawalha, Phyllis Logan and Susan Wooldridge, novelist Jeanette Winterson, comic Ade Edmondson and musician Brian Eno. Members of the bands Massive Attack and Asian Dub Foundation have also signed.
The letter called on the British public to join the Don't Attack Iraq demonstration in London on September 28.
It read: Nations across the Middle East as well as many of our European neighbours have indicated their opposition to an attack on Iraq which presents terrible dangers to the region and the world.
We urge the British government that it will not support any military assault being planned by the USA and will listen to both world opinion and the clear views of its own electorate.