Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate – Hubert H. Humphrey
As this mornings newspapers front pages show pictures of our jets about to take off from Cyprus in order to bomb ISIS held oil fields in Syria, the debate on if our politicians got it right continues to rage on through social media and online forums across the country.
For what little its worth I think they have gotten it wrong. Whilst not against military action against ISIS, SwivelEyed.com does not think the PM’s plans have any real structure and fall apart at close scrutiny.
I personally think it is a plan doomed to failure, at great expense which could be allocated elsewhere, and suspect a precursor to “mission creep” demanding troops on the ground at some point. Expect this paragraph to be quoted and thrown liberally around at any opportunity if I am proven right.
Anyway, none of that matters, our democratic process has spoken and bombing Syria it is.
And whilst the result didn’t go the way we here at Swivel Eyed Towers wanted, yesterday showed some exceptional scenes in parliament. Some to be applauded, others to be frowned upon, wholly dependant upon your point of view.
The actual debate itself, I feel, was a magnificent show of representative democracy. I wish more key issues, were treated in such a grown up, serious manner.
Beginning at 11.30 , the issue was debated back and forth for a marathon 10 hours before the final votes were counted and the conclusion made. At least we can’t accuse the politicians of making a rush of the decision.
28 MPs did speeches either for or against the motion. There were compelling arguments both for and against. By far and away, in my opinion the strongest speech of the day was by Hilary Benn.
Since it was for air strikes, and I am against, might give you an idea of just how powerful it was. His leader Jeremy Corbyn certainly didn’t seem to enjoy it one bit. If you have not yet heard it, I suggest you watch the below video.
It was great to see representation from different views on the subject being given throughout the day and many, if not all were delivered with conviction and passion. Something usually lacking in our politicians and their speeches.
The only thing to mar the day, was at the end when the vote was delivered to show bombing Syria had been passed, a number of MP’s began laughing and joking with each other.
I appreciate it was a long day, and it may of been what those laughing had wanted, but given the seriousness of the vote and inevitable civilian deaths that will occur due to the bombings over the next few years, I don’t think its something to giggle about like a bunch of pre-pubescent children.
The other thing to come out of the vote was the division in parties from their voters. Over the past few days on social media I have seen Labour arguing with Labour, Tory supporters debating each other, UKIP vs UKIP and the same from almost every parties supporters.
Some of the weirdest things I have seen in politics this year, is some Corbynistas, Tories, Kippers and even Greens on the same side of the argument. Not likely to see that again for a while!
It shows that this was not a clear cut decision regardless of the party you support, which would have made a decision even harder to make for the MP’s.
Ah, the MP’s. Most of the news has been about the 66 MP’s in Labour that voted for air strikes against Corbyns wishes, so I’m not going to go into that. What I will say is its a bit unfair for the media to focus solely on them.
Other parties had their own divisions.
The Tories (who had implemented the whip lets not forget), had seven votes against and seven who abstained and despite the Lib Dems coming out before the vote in favour of bombing (er what?), two of their eight MP’s rebelled and voted no.
Finally Douglas Carswell voted for air strikes for UKIP, despite Farage saying he didn’t believe in the PM’s plan and therefore would have voted against, given the chance.
UKIP do not implement a whip system even when they don’t have only one MP, so Douglas is free to do as he wishes.
That said, as a UKIP supporter I have seen a hell of a lot of support for Farages point of view on Syria from Kippers, yet we find the only MP we have, voting the opposite of the UKIP leaders message. If Labour are going to get scrutinised for 30 odd percent going against the leaders line, then UKIP should get some for 100%
He doesn’t just represent Clacton. He represents over 3 million voters. An impossible task, but I think he can try harder to vote in line with party message. I’m probably not the only one that’s getting more than a bit peeved with it.
(Although, on the very tiny chance Douglas reads this post, I will apologise for calling you a cunt on Twitter… a bit strong and unwarranted).
Anyway, so there we have it, the democratic process in motion. We cant always get what we want, you can’t please all the people all the time and all that.
But to reiterate my feelings again ,it did show the democratic process in a great light. I wish we saw it more often for other issues.
Maybe next time though we could even try and make it on an issue that doesn’t involve war, bombings and lots and lots of innocent dead people caught up in the cross fire.
That would be great.