2 thoughts on “I’ve written to Lucy Powell with my feelings on Syria

  1. The hospitals and schools point devalues your argument, after all, if everything were assessed on relative worthiness, we would spend nothing at all on arts and culture, or defence, our roads would suck, and we’d cut funding to almost all charities – why fund the RSPCA or Cancer Research when you could fund WaterAid or Save the Children instead. Relative worthiness is not a sensible way of looking at government spending, just as comparing a national economy to a household budget is equally meaningless.

    In absolute terms then, is it right to *consider* bombing Syria (the motion was to consider it, not to do it)? Well, on my TV tonight I see the NAPALMING of a school full of children. We’re told many have more than 50% burns, and probably won’t survive. It’s barely a week since Assad almost certainly ordered a chemical attack that killed hundreds in one go. Over the last two years, we’ve been trying diplomacy constantly, and while we’ve been doing that, over a hundred *thousand* have died.

    Diplomacy has been tried. Slowly. Painstakingly. Repeatedly. Patiently. It isn’t working. If the plan is to get unanimity in the security council, maybe we’ll get it, someday. How hollow will that achievement seem when we realise how many people died while we were negotiating it?

    I supported the motion. It didn’t commit us to military action, it committed us to *considering* it, with another vote before any actual deployment. It sent a message that Assad can’t be guaranteed safety hiding behind Russia and China, and that the use of WMD by *anyone* will have repercussions that might give them second thoughts. It perhaps might have changed things without even actually firing a shot. As it is, we’ve now *committed* to not getting involved. That sends a different kind of message entirely.

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