The vote in the UK parliament against the government’s motion on the principle of military intervention in Syria has made me ashamed to be British:
Ashamed because the country that I love and have lived in for over 60 years has seen fit to abandon the vast majority of Syrian people to the wiles of your callous dictator. Ashamed because we will not stand shoulder to shoulder with other countries and accept our responsibility as a democratic nation. Ashamed because even at this late hour we will not even attempt to deter the Assad regime from gassing you and your children with chemical warfare.
It seems that our parliament is more interested in political jockeying for the upcoming general elections than making any attempt to help you, Assad’s victims, not least the two million of you who are refugees living in a vast camp in Jordan. Those Britons who will surely complain at the arrival of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees when Assad takes his revenge in the near future will get short shrift from me: What would they expect those so remorselessly persecuted to do, remain there and be slaughtered?
Not just our government, but the British people too have lost their moral compass as public opinion in the UK seems to be against military action to minimise your suffering. If we won’t get involved, even when children are being killed in their schools by chemical bombs raining down on them, then I start to question my own sense of being British any more. We have learned little from past failed attempts at appeasement: our government’s proposed action was to be limited to removing weapons of mass destruction only, but Britons now, in what I see as the most selfish action in generations, have decided that we will abandon the position that we would customarily hold, that using chemical weapons is completely unacceptable.
As our Defence Secretary Philip Hammond observed after the vote in parliament “The Assad regime is going to be a little bit less uncomfortable tonight as a result of this vote in parliament.”. The only winner from the outcome of this vote is Assad, it’s that simple, and the fact is that we as a nation don’t know yet what we have lost.
A man who received unduly high numbers of calls from marketing companies is making money from them with his own higher-rate phone number. In November 2011 Lee Beaumont paid £10 plus VAT to set up his personal 0871 line – so to call him now costs 10p, from which he receives 7p. The Leeds businessman told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme that the line had so far made £300. Phone Pay Plus, which regulates premium numbers, said it strongly discouraged people from adopting the idea. Mr Beaumont thought of the scheme because he was sick of cold callers seeking business or soliciting services he didn’t want. He said: “I don’t use my normal Leeds number for anyone but my friends and family.”
I know how Mr. Beaumont feels. I sometimes get cold calls, but I usually leave the receiver by my PC with a YouTube audio of Gavin Bryars ‘Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet’ playing. The clip is almost 30 minutes long and, having done some research into the efficacy of this method of deterring callers, no one has gone the full 25 mins 59 secs. I can honestly say that ‘Jesus Blood’ has never failed me yet!
Evidence of a chemical attack – dead Syrian children
Dr. Nidal Kabal, a former Syrian ambassador said today on the BBC that it would be “suicidal” for the Assad regime to use chemical weapons when the UN inspectors were present in Syria. That rather tells you that it would be the best time because it gives the Assad regime the best possible excuse: “What? Chemical weapons? Us? We would have to be mad do do such a thing at the moment”. Their response is logical, but it is also the sort of superb double-bluff that Arabs mire themselves in.
The UN inspectors are not in Syria to apportion blame but to establish whether chemical weapons have been used. The evidence is overwhelming: dead children in the hundreds, dead goats – whole herds of them, dead chickens and wild birds such as pigeons. There is only one fact here: This was done by the Assad regime who can see their fate clearly written but are throwing every last ounce of horror into the pit of iniquity they have created. I challenge anyone to look at the image given here and rationalise why civilised countries should ignore this inhumanly grotesque scene.