Crowdfunding’s biggest successes have predominantly been in the tech industry as cars, videogames, and smartwatches have been funded by people coming together to throw some money at something they’re interested in. But one new crowdfunding success promises more: a one-way ticket to The Hague for former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The campaign on the website CrowdJustice was launched in July by the Iraq War Families Campaign Group, led by the families of British soldiers who were killed in the Iraq War. Their initial target of £50,000 was raised in only nine hours and by the campaign’s end midway through August more than £150,000 had been pledged – enough to fund everything they needed.
The funds will go toward an in depth legal analysis of the Chilcot Report, as well as “a comprehensive opinion approved by expert senior counsel” as to whether legal action is likely to succeed.
The Iraq War has been a contentious issue since before it started in 2003. At the time millions attended anti-war protests and thirteen years later its impact has been clear; it has been blamed by many for contributing to the rise of ISIS and Jeremy Corbyn has apologized for the war on behalf of the Labour party. 179 Brits and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians died in the War between 2003 and 2009.
Additionally, support in the past for the Iraq War has been toxic for a number of politicians, mostly within the Labour party. For example, Angela Eagle and Owen Smith’s views on the war have been the subject of substantial criticism during the current Labour leadership challenge.
It’s impossible to predict whether or not legal action will provide justice for those killed in the Iraq War, but it no longer looks as impossible as it once did.
[David McGinley – @mcgingley]