Monday, April 16, 2018

Spectacularly Wrong in concept, wrong in practice, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wants a War Powers Act to 'Bind the hands of all future prime ministers to wage war' without Parliamentary approval, the Labour Party has a long way to go to convince people they are a government in waiting

Dear All

Security of the Nation seems a rather basic concept which many people expect the Government to take seriously and act when necessary. We all hope that when our politicians take us to war, they do so for the right reasons. Jeremy Corbyn wants to take away the power to wage war from future prime ministers.

This act would place people in danger and ultimately get people killed.

When action is required, it has to be swift in order to be effective. The Syrian bombing campaign pitches Parliament against the executive; Prime Minister Theresa May argues that a military campaign that saw 100 missiles used on the Assad regime’s chemical weapons factories is “the right thing to do”.

If we are targeting chemical weapons factories, along with American and French forces, it beggars belief that the UK opposition parties would oppose this.

I have always said that when it comes to foreign affairs, Jeremy Corbyn goes badly, given that as opposition leader, he would get defence briefs, it makes his anti war stance all the more baffling. In an ideal world, no one should be using chemical weapons, in an ideal world, the Russians would have stepped in and told Syria not to use such weapons. The fact is we aren’t living in an ideal world, we cannot count on people doing the right thing from the Russian side, and we are continually bogged down by what can be described as ‘low road’ politicians.

If the Assad regime falls, Syria becomes another unstable and failed State in the Middle East, Syria supports Russia, and although many in the West don’t like that, there is a time to wake up and smell the coffee, a proxy war power struggle in this area does no one any good in the long term. We need more Middle East countries to be stable not less, and we need everyone to grasp the normalisation of the use of chemical weapons isn’t something anyone should tolerate, regardless whether they are from the East or the West.

I agree with Theresa May’s decision not to give MPs a debate and vote; it seems that the Labour Party has joined the PR campaign by Nicola Sturgeon, that Mrs May has “sidelined” Parliament. Given that Sturgeon is woefully out of her depth, it is ridiculous that the Labour Party should hitch its star to her wagon.

Here is a cracker to read:

Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti has made clear Labour would not act against the Assad regime even if OPCW inspectors found evidence of chemical weapons use in Douma.

Unbelievable is it not that innocent people can be murdered and Shami Chakrabarti wouldn’t stand up and defend their right to life, sometimes defending others right to live involves force, military action.

If there was a Westminster election called tomorrow, how could anyone have faith in people like Diane Abbott sitting in Cabinet, the Labour Party if it is to be seen as a viable government needs to set up several gears!

Jeremy Corbyn is entirely wrong to suggest:

“What we need in this country is something more robust like a War Powers Act so that governments do get held to account by Parliament for what they do in our name.”

War isn’t a debating club.

I have no problem with the West bombing chemical weapons factories in Syria because these factories represent an unacceptable threat to life.

The Labour leader told the BBC’s Marr Show:

“If we want to get the moral high ground around the world, as a member of the Security Council, as a country with a long tradition of international involvement, shall we say; then we have to abide by international law. And I say to the Foreign Secretary, I say to the Prime Minister, where is the legal basis for this?”

Getting it wrong politically usually ends up being shown in the polls, a month ago Labour had a 7 point lead with Survation. Due to various incidents that has disappeared following the Skripals, anti-Semitism and Syria.

The Tories are up 3 points, Labour are down 4.

Asked how Jeremy Corbyn would respond if the chemical weapons watchdog, the OPCW, did confirm Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian leader, was responsible, he replied:

“I would then say confront Assad with that evidence, confront any other group that may be fingered, and then say we must now come in and destroy those weapons.”

Bashar al-Assad isn’t a tin-pot dictator like Saddam, he is educated, however, it seems that even educated people can be stupid sometimes; he seems to rely too much on Russian support.

Whereas it is true that the Russians want to keep their Russian Naval Base in Northern Syria, they don’t want to end up being painted into a corner by acts of the Syrian regime.

Are we heading towards World War 3?

Although people have been saying this, I don’t think so, I think the Russians can live with the destruction of Syrian chemical weapon factories, but long term they will want a stable Syria, which may see them change their minds about who is best in charge.

But that scenario is a long way off, Bashar al-Assad is their man and they want to keep the status quo going, basically there isn’t anyone with any real claim to the Presidency waiting in the wings.

One thing is clear, there are no winners coming out of this war!

Finally, and to my surprise, Kate Osamor, Labour shadow cabinet minister said Jeremy Corbyn would be “better off” leaving statements on foreign policy to other Labour spokesmen and that he did not “need to speak”. Later; she tweeted that her quotes had been “used selectively”. I assume she wasn’t just thinking about the Syrian crisis and had an eye on the long term goal of having a future Labour Government.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

The bad guys don't hold committee meetings. The bad guys don't compromise themselves through internal divisions. The bad guys don't wait to act.

And nor should we.

The right to declare war is a prerogative of the Prime Minister. Parliament, if it feels strongly enough, can defund wars and even oust the Prime Minister. This is as much power as it needs. Let the PM do her job.

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SNP out said...

Jeremy is a gift to the Tories, he's looking incredibly weak. As for debate, would that not give the game away, let's discuss for hours on end then vote. If the vote is yes then al Assad knows your coming and moves the chemicals. If the vote is no then that makes us look weak and al Assad can continue to use these weapons knowing we won't do anything. If I was going to break into your house, I wouldn't phone you to let you know I'm coming. We will not see a labour government while Jeremy is leader, does anyone think that Diane Abbot is fit to be Home Secretary? The thought of that terrifies me.

Al C said...

People are worried about another Iraq or clashing with the Russians, as am I. However, chemical weapons factories are unacceptable no matter what the consequences. Corbyn shouldn't confuse the two, and he may seem measured, but judging by his management of the more morally bankrupt (antisemitic in particular) in his party, this suggests he's more like a ditherer. He said his response to a nuclear strike in one BBC interview would be to chat about nuclear proliferation. What?? If no missiles are going anywhere then by all means, start discussion, but when you have an attack coming straight in, you haven't got time to talk!

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