The bombs weren’t falling on Syria for more than 48 hours before a home grown psychopath was using them as an excuse to attack innocent people.
Whilst the police were still investigating the incident Labour MP John Cryer, who voted against airstrikes, was on TV saying that linking the two was “dangerous.”
I understand his point, but I fundamentally disagree with him.
The maniac responsible referenced our actions in Syria specifically, so that link was clear, and present, and a contributory factor in his attack.
A ticking bomb he might have been, but those airstrikes are what caused the explosion.
It saddens me that one of our central concerns was proven valid so quickly, and I am grateful we don’t live in a country where easy access to firearms would have made this a deadly incident instead of just a horrendous one.
I am not going to spend this whole piece haranguing the MP’s who voted for the bombing; my last article covered those people pretty well, but I’ll tell you; the number of them who have run, bleating, to the press about the way members of the public, and in particular their own constituents, are treating them is indicative of the mind-set that produced the expenses scandal and a raft of other dodgy behaviours.
There’s an arrogance that permeates Westminster which really is quite incredible.
These people really do think of themselves as being a class above the rest of us, and the notion that they have to explain themselves at all is fundamentally counter to their self-image. It offends me, and I’m sure a lot of you as well.
But they don’t care about that.
They view us with contempt, and if some of them are occasionally removed from the gravy train in elections that doesn’t fill the rest with as much trepidation as it probably should.
Most of them don’t even have any loyalty to their own party, as is being made crystal clear by those who are fixated on avoiding automatic re-selection by Labour, because representing the public is bad enough but God forbid they have to explain themselves and their actions to the members of the organisation they allegedly represent.
I am angry with all of them, but deep down I suspect that it’s nothing compared to how some of them feel towards themselves.
Because although we’re only a week down the line, many of them must already know they were duped, or allowed themselves to be, by Cameron and the appalling and immoral government he leads.
The vote had barely been had before Michael Fallon was announcing that the campaign wouldn’t be over quickly.
When asked if it would take “months” he said that was doubtful.
He’s since said it could take anything up to three years … so this isn’t a case of working towards a settlement or trying to erode ISIS capabilities at all.
There’s no over-arching military strategy here, no operational concept for defeating or even seriously degrading ISIS.
It doesn’t take three years to manage that.
There’s certainly no plan to “win the peace.”
This is embarking on something with no end in sight, using horrifying weapons, it appears to me, just to clear them off the shelves.
The “70,000 fighters” claim has been blown apart too, after Fallon’s own department was said to have told Cameron not to rely on that figure.
He’s since admitted that it’s not a cohesive whole but a number of “disparate groups.”
In the fullness of time, I expect that every single plank of the government’s case is going to be shown up as little more than a barefaced lie.
In the meantime, Cameron is pleased. Osborne is even more fulfilled, as he made clear during his appearance in front of the right-wing US think-tank The Council For Foreign Relations, where he said the vote was a “source of real pride” for him and the government.
He went on, “Britain has got its mojo back and we are going to be with you as we reassert Western values, confident that our best days lie ahead.”
“Britain has got it’s mojo back …”
If there was a contest for the most grotesquely offensive thing uttered by a politician on this side of the Atlantic recently (I have to add that qualifier, because otherwise we’d be handing Donald Trump some kind of gong every other day) then that surely would take home the prize.
But in those words lies, at least, a core of truth.
Because this is what the House was really voting on last week, and as usual it’s taken a Tory, shorn of shame and willing to bask openly in the glory of making war, who’s come right out and said so.
Not for Osborne the fraudulent appeals to emotion rather than intellect which we saw from the likes of Hilary Benn, whose week, in the shadow of the bombing, has been the best of his utterly inconsequential career, and who the media have rushed, with a hilarious desperation, to christen Labour’s next “leader in waiting”.
(I suppose that’s after Dan Jarvis, Chukka Umunna, Yvette Cooper, Tristam Hunt, Andy Burnham and all the others who the press have stuck with the label … and that’s just in the last few weeks. It really is embarrassing reading absolute hogwash like this day in day out.)
So this partly comes down to “Western values” again, those that are best exported in the belly of a bomber.
Reduced to this, to our re-entry to a global dick-swinging contest where the prestige is in taking part and not necessarily about the size of your member, what pride there must be amongst the cadre of Labour MP’s who thought this was an issue of conscience.
Osborne has shown them up as the gullible fools that they are.
Aside from the usual financial assistance to the arms industry, this was about two things; Britain’s “place in the world” and making the Labour leadership look weak on national defence.
That so many of their own party are quite aware of that and were willing to go along with it anyway is disgusting.
More than anything, it reveals again, as if we needed reminding, that there is something horribly wrong with the British psyche that our “mojo” depends on the killing of foreigners with dark skin and strange unpronounceable names.
On a night like this I can’t help wondering how some of the 55% feel watching this stuff.
Because when I go to bed at night, with all this going on, I am comforted by four little words;
Not in my name.
And not in my country’s either.
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