Monday 2 September 2013

David Cameron's petulant reaction to defeat

I have already written an article on the defeat of David Cameron's "Rush to War" (the first time a Prime Minister has lost a vote on war since 1782), however I have a couple more points to make before I focus my attention back onto domestic politics.

Firstly, the reaction to the defeat from Cameron and other Tories can be described as petulant at best. Ever since they lost the vote on their "Rush to War" by 285 votes to 272, the Tory leadership have been angrily berating Ed Miliband for daring to represent public opinion and vote against a war without evidence.

What the Tory leadership seem absolutely unwilling to do is to, is to examine their own role in this debacle. Like a pack of egotistical narcissists they are desperate to blame others, and utterly determined to ignore their own failings.

The Tory leadership failed to make their case for war so incredibly badly that 30 Tory MPs openly defied the party whip to vote against their own government. Had Cameron and William Hague convinced just half of these Tory rebels to abstain, instead of voting against their own government, then the vote would have been won, and the Tory leadership would have got their beloved war.

Additionally, another 31 Tory MPs abstained, and 10 of David Cameron's government ministers failed to turn out for the vote. Had David Cameron made anything resembling a convincing case for war, does anyone imagine that so many members of his own party would have voted against his plans, or deliberately abstained from the vote?

Despite these transparent failings from David Cameron, the Tory leadership are determined to pin the blame on Ed Miliband, with numerous angry accusations and insults being hurled at the leader of the opposition and other members of the Labour party. Perhaps the most telling was the Tory Education minister Michael Gove calling Labour MP Dai Havard a Nazi for voting against Cameron's imperialist warmongering (everyone knows that once you've resorted to using the word Nazi as an insult, you've lost the argument). Funnily enough I'm not familiar with the part of Nazi history where the Nazi party democratically voted not to bomb/invade other countries. Perhaps Gove will amend the National Curriculum to include that bit for future generations to learn about?

Other accusations hurled at Ed Miliband by the Tory party include claims that he has been playing party politics over the issue, that he doesn't care about the suffering of Syrian civilians and that he has behaved in an unstatesmanlike manner.

If Miliband is guilty of playing party politics over the issue, then what on earth is the Tory effort to blame Miliband for a defeat that would never have happened if Cameron's own MPs hadn't voted against his blatant warmongering? Had Cameron convinced his own MPs to support him, then Miliband's stance would have changed nothing. By trying to paint Miliband as a party political tribalist who is responsible for the lack of war, Cameron is doing nothing but demonstrate his own pitiful hypocrisy by trying to score party political points over a defeat inflicted by his own MPs.

If Miliband behaved in an unstatesmenlike manner, how could we describe David Cameron's behavior over the last week? Rushing back from holiday to try to launch a war that the public are opposed to, making such a flimsy case in favour of war that his plans were shot down by his own MPs, then instead of considering his own desperate shortcomings, orchestrating a tirade of unstatesmanlike abuse at the leader of the opposition.

The insinuations that Miliband doesn't care about the suffering of Syrian civilians are the easiest of all to demolish. Firstly, the idea that the situation would be improved for ordinary Syrian civilians by lobbing a load of cruise missiles into Damascus in support of the Al Qaida backed rebels is absolutely ridiculous. If Cameron gave a damn about the Syrian civilians he'd be calling for a peaceful negotiated settlement, not capitalising on a horrific chemical weapons attack to push a pro-war agenda he was hawking many months prior to the attack.

Another glaring demonstration that Cameron and his Tory led government don't give the faintest damn about Syrian civilians is that fact that in January 2012 (11 months after the Syrian conflict erupted) the Coalition government approved export licenses for fluorine based products that can be used in the production of chemical weapons. This means that if the Ghouta chemical weapons attack was carried out by the Assad regime (something that is far from proven), David Cameron's government may well have been responsible for supplying the ingredients used to create those weapons! Some concern for the welfare of innocent Syrian civilians eh?

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