Part of Local Government Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:05 pm on 24th March 1999.

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Photo of Mr Tony Benn Mr Tony Benn Labour, Chesterfield 9:05 pm, 24th March 1999

Is the Deputy Prime Minister aware that the only body in the world that can deal with an humanitarian crisis is the United Nations itself, by organising a peace conference without the threat or the use of force and providing aid on the necessary scale? Is he also aware that NATO does not act on behalf of the international community, and never has done?

People of my generation, who lived through the 1930s and the 1940s, feel a sense of utter shame and disgust that the British Government should be breaking its solemn commitments to the United Nations and launching air attacks on Serbia, which was praised to the skies during the war, because it was the Serbian resistance to Hitler that gave us the opportunity of the victory that we secured. To demonise Serbia now, when Yugoslavia was deliberately broken up by western policy makers, is to mislead the public into a crusade that does not exist.