This is not a simple question, and even though I have made
up my mind, there are still a number of questions that have not been answered.
I believe the Labour Party should support the Government on
their decision to start air operations in Syria.
Jeremy Corbyn has stuck to his principles and does not
believe we should start combat operations, I accept his opinion but I now hope
he will allow Labour MPs and shadow Ministers a free vote, if the Tories do
decide to put the decision to a vote this week.
Whatever the decision, Labour will be damaged by this issue
and it has not helped with the likes of Tory Minister Fallon playing party
politics over such an important issue.
David Cameron did not persuade me when he spoke to the commons
last week and it seems he still hasn’t got all his own MPs on side so he still
needs at least some Labour MPs to vote with him or abstain.
So if Cameron has not persuaded me, why do I support
Military operations? I support our involvement in the Syrian bombing campaign because
I believe after the atrocities in Paris we have to show a united front against
I do not believe Cameron and Fallon and their opinion that
the RAF are needed to make the operation a success, we could just increase our
bombing missions in Iraq to free up US and French planes to concentrate on
Syria. In fact I am sure we are already involved in Syria, with planning, early
warning and target acquisition in support of other air forces already bombing
I do wish the Shadow Cabinet could come to an agreed decision
but if not I hope it is a free vote and that Corbyn does not use this important issue
as yet another pawn in his battle between the PLP and his supporters. I
understand why he has asked members and I applaud his attempts to allow the
party membership to be more involved in policy making but when it comes to
going to war, we (the public) do not have the full facts, actually MPs do not
have the full facts and Yvette Cooper raised that point in parliament. But
Jeremy Corbyn and the shadow Cabinet have been briefed by the intelligence
services and after that briefing (rather than the points Cameron made) it seems
most of the Shadow Cabinet supports military action.
Corbyn on the Marr show this morning (where he was very
impressive) slated the Tories for playing party politics over this important decision
but if Jeremy is playing internal politics then he is not showing the leadership
that is expected from the leader of the opposition.
I for one have not received an email from the party asking
me my opinion on the bombing of Syria so am not even sure this asking members
their opinion is actually valid. Where Corbyn is right is that he is in the
majority – I am sure the majority of Labour members do now want to bomb Syria,
in fact I am sure most of the country do not want to see us involved in Syria
but politicians have to be prepared to make decisions that are not always
universally popular. That is why they take positions in the Shadow Cabinet,
Jeremy must act differently to when he was just a back bencher.
So I support our involvement in Syria and expect the Shadow
Cabinet to have studied the evidence in front of them, read the intelligence
reports and then make a sound judgement.
Cameron needs Labour support because he can’t even lead his
own party, his performance at the dispatch box last week was poor and he failed
to show there was a real plan (I am sure there is – just he could not explain
it) he also leaves a number of questions unanswered and though many may blame
Blair for Iraq, the mess Cameron left behind in Libya is nothing to be proud
So we still need more answers, to help get the correct facts
over to the British public;
1. Where and
who are these 70,000 fighter who are both against ISIS and Assad?
2. Where is
both the plan (and the money) to reconstruct Syria after peace is secured?
Cameron has not even got the support of all Tory MPs
4. Remember when
Cameron wanted us to bomb Syria last time, it was to bomb Assad that would have
5. If ISIS are
routed, will the bombing campaign end or continue against Assad?
So many questions still to be answered but I still believe we
should join a military campaign against ISIS in Syria.
Many in the Labour Party will not agree with my opinion,
some who are friends and i respect them for the opinion, I may even suffer some
abuse from the trolls that seem prevalent in some sections of the left who
support Jeremy Corbyn (they need to follow his example about taking the abuse
out of politics)
I do not just support military action because I was in the
army for over 25 years; it is because I believe that on certain circumstance
combat operations are needed. Remember the successful military operations
(under Blair) Kosovo and Sierra Leone.
We should and must not just become an inward facing country,
in 1939 it was the working classes in their thousands who joined the forces to
not only defend this country but to defeat fascism, and some of my first heroes
on the left were those Labour men, socialists and trade unionists (like Jack
Jones) who left these shores to fight against Franco in Spain. What do you
think those men and women would do now?