Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Defiance and morality

Tomorrow there is a vote on whether the UK should extend its current bombing campaign against ISIS in Iraq to include Syria as well,  joining allies such as France and the US who already carrying out bombing runs against ISIS in Syria.  The current expectation is that the UK parliament will vote in favour of military action, especially since Jeremy Corbyn has announced that Labour MPs will be allowed a free vote on the issue rather than voting in accordance with party policy.

Mr Corbyn's supporters as hailing his decision to allow a free vote as the moral thing to do, hoping that the majority of Labour MPs will vote against.  To me it's a serious failure of leadership.  A survey of Labour party members showed that 75% of them were against airstrikes in Syria, which is a pretty clear mandate.  By refusing to use a whip, Mr Corbyn appears to be weak and ineffectual, almost a typical sandal-wearing, lentil-eating, Guardian-reading cliche dad, who doesn't discipline his children because they should be allowed to do the right thing of their own accord.  And we all know how well that works out.

Will the airstrikes stop ISIS?  I don't think so.  If you voted Yes last year, think back to how you felt on 19th September.  Did you just shrug your shoulders, think 'oh well, that's that then' and move on with your life?  Many of you, like me felt a range of emotions, but one that isn't often mentioned is defiance.  And that defiance has continued, as can be seen with the phenomenal success of the SNP in the past year and the continuing high levels of political engagement in Scotland.  Do you think the ISIS fighters will feel any differently?

As for the moral case for the bombing, ISIS live among the ordinary people of Syria.  Is there a moral case for bombing people who are not part of ISIS but who happen to live in areas that ISIS fighters also live in?  If your answer to that is 'yes', you need to take a long hard look at yourself.

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