In the early weeks of 2003 I was becoming ever angrier that the Labour Government that I had helped to elect were seriously contemplating embarking on a war that would inevitably result in the death of tens of thousands of people.
Not being the protesting type I channelled my anger into letters to MPs and newspapers but late on the evening of Feb 14th I decided I would stand up to be counted and therefore I got up at the crack of dawn on the Saturday to take a train from Liverpool to London.
What followed was one of the most uplifting days of my life. In my 34 years of life I had rarely felt truly patriotic. I had grown up in the self centred Thatcherite era and we were now six years into the shallow and cynical Blair era.
That afternoon in a cold and dreary London I witnessed so much passion and compassion from so many people united in common purpose to stop the madness that was about to befall us that I returned to Liverpool with renewed faith in the British people.
There were people from all ages, cultures, religions and ethnicities talking and singing together. I saw teenage muslim girls chatting with elderly catholic nuns. Young men with blue hair laughing and joking with middle aged women from the home counties.
By the time I reached Hyde Park most of the speeches were over but it didn’t matter. This was not a day about politicians, it was a day when the people cried out with one voice to an arrogant political class- ‘Not in Our Name’. It is to the eternal shame of that political class and especially to the Labour Government that it blatently ignored the voice of so many and pushed on with its war that was to bring such tragic consequences to so many people.