The rhyming echoes of the Iraq conflict are all too clear. Downing Street “has checked out the legal position, and an invasion does not need UN approval”. Ed Miliband is “giving succour to Assad” said Downing Street this afternoon. The White House is due to give senior US Congress members a classified briefing on “why it is certain” Syria has used chemical weapons. Although the danger of British armed involvement has receded this afternoon, we could yet see more ‘evidence’ turning the tables on those who want Peace and Honesty, not War and Hypocrisy.
Not since May 1940 has the House of Commons stood between the world and potential disaster. But unlike 73 years ago, this time the requirement is not for blood, toil, tears and sweat to be expended in the defeat of a murderous foe: our political class long ago sold out to the enemies of British culture. This time, the requirement is for the ordinary legislator to stand up to an insane Executive. At this, the end of summer 2013, our MPs must threaten their Party leaders with tears and blood – or else. We must toil to make that clear to them…and then sweat it out to see if there is one last ounce of spunk and decency left in the Palace of Westminster.
The portents this afternoon are not too bad. Instead, the 450-minute parliamentary debate that kicked off with a statement by Cameron at 2.30 this afternoon will conclude with a vote on military action only “in principle,” with a second vote—after a second debate—required ahead of any such action. In place of the strong message Cameron hoped to send to Assad, he simply unleashed a fresh barrage of verbiage towards Damascus, and shot himself in the foot.
I am told that some MPs have received in excess of a hundred emails from their constituents: this has been enough for a sizeable chunk of Conservative backbenchers to tell their whips where to stick it. In classic Camerlot style, therefore, School Bully has backed out of Thursday’s strongly pro-war vote – and watered down the motion to one resembling legality (if not reality) a little more.
But supporting America in this reckless bit of Palmerstonian nostalgia is a braindead policy move even by Cameron’s lamentable limbo-bar standards. It is largely about this really rather horrible man wanting to be Blair’s heir – in the same way that old Moral Tone himself did not want to be seen as less of a warrior than the Mad Handbag.
Otherwise – aside from getting us all to look the other way while they pick our pockets – taking part in a strike to ‘liberate’ Syria is a stupid, amoral and above all pointless exercise. There is less justification for this war – far less – than there was even for Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939. It seems inconceivable that my country’s citizens could be so fixated on television, beer and football to ignore a Coalition in senseless thrall to the trigger-happy foreign policy agendas of an ally we should’ve dumped after Suez in 1956.
We are being asked to risk a major regional conflict involving the major powers, in defence of a rebel army in Syria that consists of propaganda-spouting Islamists with a long history of cynical lies and delusional belief systems.
What we are really doing is even worse: supporting an oil-greedy nation that sees cheap highway travel as its God-given right, but has never had the guts or public-spirited instinct to tell the oil business to butt out so a post-oil means of locomotion might be developed.
We are backing up a rotten Republic driven by the mania of a tiny minority for money and power….and the ‘we’ representing us in this anti-Crusade come from a tiny, puffed-up class that rips us off, embezzles from us, steals our savings from us, lies to us, and uses our money to save financial maniacs who should be imprisoned for life in search of a quite different form of salvation.
One hundred emails to MPs might sound a lot, but that is a maximum of 62,000…and probably nearer 20,000. That’s about 0.005% of the electorate. I decided last year that nothing will arouse the British any more beyond their immediate pockets, so it is down to around 170 (mainly Tory) MPs to display, just this once, some bottle, balls and beneficence.
I find this a terrifying prospect, but not quite as depressing as the low likelihood of Labour’s Shadow Cabinet displaying any one-Nation leadership on the issue. Earlier this week, Mr and Mrs Balls, Ed Miliband and others were busy debating the pros and cons of saying one thing or another in one way or another, while focus groups were being hastily arranged to judge the Country’s mood. Dear oh dear oh dear.
The only bloke that matters in all this dangerous missile-rattling is the man who gave so much hope to so many six years ago (although not to me). President Obama is proceeding onwards through the Black Dude phase, as he hurtles with the inevitability of a 1914 German timetable towards his goal: an emergence from the political chrysalis as the greatest Uncle Tom the American military-financial axis has ever enjoyed giving a full length of musket up the ass. The guy just loves it. Christ alone knows what Michelle thinks.
As for Cameron – and in a way, even more so for the pond life in his Cabinet – he remains what he has always been: just another spineless buffoon single-handedly proving that we should be able to impeach Prime Ministers by electronic voter majority. I never thought a day would arrive when I might find the Roman Games approach to dangerous Emperors a good idea. But it’s here now.
I asked myself this late August afternoon if the human species is really so stark staring mad as to want to end the world to defend the “honour” of a centagenarian energy form whose polluting vagina everyone seems to want to frack or otherwise ravage until she dies on the job….or gives us all an incurable disease.
The answer, of course, is in the negative; only mad people would do so. No, if the world is going to end this year, it will be human apathy that does for it. There are, after all, only 3 of them to every 97 of us. So as, if and when the globe explodes in a pointless array of fissionable bollocks before too long, we know precisely who to blame: us.
And talking of the self-obsessive approach to idleness, where are the vegetables of Brussels in all this? Here they have an arms embargo, there they have a divided communiqué, and on the other hand, um, yes and no with reservations. Just as with Prime Ministers who must have their wars, the EC cannot make a decision beyond no decision. Some things never change; or rather, far too many things never change.