30 August 2013

Britain says "NO" to an attack on Syria

"The last time a British prime minister was defeated by the Commons on a war motion was 1782 when MPs refused to go on fighting – of all people – the restless Americans wishing for independence. It’s taken Tony Blair, Iraq and the dodgy dossier to bring about such a historic moment again in our land. The travesty, the falsehoods went deep over Iraq. Last night we found out just how deep into the political psyche of the nation. After Iraq, if a PM said there are trees in the rainforest you’d need to send for proof...

The PM said the evidence could never be 100 per cent and that it required a judgement call. But post Iraq, no government can rely on YouTube and shadowy intelligence as a pretext for bombing another country as David Cameron did (as Kerry and Biden have done in the US). Equally, what politician – post-Iraq – would reasonably even attempt the ploy of saying to the British public that we have evidence but we cannot show you? Trust daddy, he knows best. Once upon a time – ante Blair, ante Iraq – it might have worked. Now it looks either desperate or plain daft. Worse, even had he produced intelligence-based evidence, many would still not believe it. When the credibility of MI6 and 5 have been damaged to that extent, you begin to see the Iraq legacy for the catastrophe that it is in terms of voter confidence in the key public institutions of state...

So, irony of ironies, it may well prove that that most abject and dutiful slave to US foreign policy, Anthony Blair, is the man who finally made it possible for the British parliament to think and decide upon matters of warfare all by itself and, on occasion, to say no – not just to the prime minister, but to the White House. "


  1. In the words of Dubya: "Fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again."

  2. Why "ante Blair, ante Iraq"? Shouldn't it be "ante Bush" or "ante Cheney"?

  3. David Cameron - for all his faults - occasionally shows statesmanlike flashes of old-style British Conservatism. One of these is his acknowledgement that Parliament, not the overmighty executive, is sovereign.

    Yes, the man was defeated in a vote; but he stands victorious in defence of an important principle.

  4. Blair came within ONE vote of a vote of no confidence. The female MP that made the decisive vote said later that the very next day she regretted it, though at the time she had done it simply because she did not want to cast the vote that took down the government. I cannot recall her name.

  5. I read your blog from front to back (you do have some interesting articles-- as long as you don't stay into categories you obviously don't comprehend, like politics) and I have noticed a pronounced silence on the affair of state since Obama became president. You loved to expound on every real or imagined travail of the Bush administration, but you are oddly silent on the abundance of errors of the Obama administration. This calls into question your real objectivity when it comes to things political. I don't see a lot about Syrian, domestic spying (you had a lot about Bush doing that), guns-for-criminals and terrorists, etc. I don't think you've mentioned Bengasi once. I guess these don't fit with your political narrative. And I really miss your bi-weekly attacks on Palin.


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