Saturday 31st August
I watched most of the debate on Thursday night, and was surprised and delighted by the wisdom of our parliamentarians, especially many on the Tory side, who had the unenviable task of voting against their own Government. Many cited their constituents and their conscience and the memory of being lied to by Blair, but the overwhelming mood of the House was ‘What Good Would It Do?’ And you have to agree with them, that in the balance of probabilities any attack would achieve little, except possible extend the war a bit longer, as Assad would be hurt more than the currently losing rebel side. The possible consequences were too awful to contemplate ranging from retaliation by Iran to scuppering the hopes of real peace talks over Palestine, to sowing another generation of Jihadists.
So, at last Parliament asserted itself. There are many of us who have felt that Party Politics is a large part of the problem with our Democracy. Many MPs, I am sure, are elected with the best of intentions to do good, but find that time and again they are forced to support policies which they do not actually believe in themselves.
Politics is the Art of the Possible, and Cameron has found yet again, as with Phone Hacking, that what he thought was possible is not at all feasible.
So, what next? Well, it is still possible that the US will go it alone, or just with the French. I think that actually the arguments in this debate will resonate more and more with Obama, and he will call the whole thing off. That of course still leaves Syria, and Assad in charge, but maybe now there will be some serious arm-twisting to get peace talks started. We can but hope.