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.