> Never any money for welfare, always plenty for warfare..
RAF fighter aircraft were poised to launch air strikes against Islamic State (IS) jihadists after Parliament gave the green light for military action.
At the end of a marathon Commons debate, MPs voted by 524 to 43 – a majority of 481 – to endorse attacks on the militants in Iraq in support of the United States-led coalition, with Labour backing the Government motion.
> Of course Labour did… Cameron probably told them there were weapons of mass destruction only 45 minutes away. Well, it worked last time they voted us into a war…
Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs – meeting in emergency session – that Britain had a “duty” to join the military campaign as IS posed a direct threat to the country.
“This is not a threat on the far side of the world,” he said. “Left unchecked, we will face a terrorist caliphate on the shores of the Mediterranean, bordering a Nato member, with a declared and proven determination to attack our country and our people.
“This is not the stuff of fantasy – it is happening in front of us and we need to face up to it.”
The US and its Middle-Eastern allies have already carried out dozens of bombing missions in a bid to stop IS over-running Iraqi positions.
The vote gives British military planners the go-ahead they have been waiting for to launch attacks on IS positions in Iraq – but not in IS-controlled parts of Syria where the group has training camps and command-and-control bunkers.
The first wave of attacks is expected to be carried out by RAF Tornado GR4 ground attack aircraft based in Cyprus.
Flying from Cyprus will give RAF fighters an hour over IS-occupied Iraq – more than enough time to choose their targets. The Royal Navy is also expected to deploy submarine-launched cruise missiles.
The Prime Minister recalled parliament following an official request from the Iraqi government. The Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour leaderships all supported air strikes although some MPs expressed fears that the UK would get drawn into a wider conflict.
However, three Labour MPs – Grahame Morris (Easington), Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley) and Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow) were among the rebels opposing air strikes.
Two others – Jenny Chapman (Darlington) and Ian Lavery (Wansbeck) – did not vote.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright, said:
“I think there had been a compelling case made. There are two or three elements that really convinced me, because any decision that parliament has to take to commit British military resources is a profound and sombre one.
“The first is this wasn’t Britain unilaterally going into a country almost like an invasion, this was at the request of a democratically elected government of Iraq who is very concerned about the collapse of that state.
“There is a regional coalition, with Arab states involved, it is classed as legal and there are no ground troops.
“That criteria, proportionality, regional cooperation and legality expressed by a democratically elected country, those were the things that clinched it for me.
“Of course, it goes without saying the atrocities that ISIL are carrying out, beheadings of British citizens, threats to others, the recruitment of Jihadists from Britain, we have to stamp this cancer out.”
Mr Wright said he had considered the views of his constituents, some of whom had contacted him ahead of the vote, before committing to the Government’s motion.
“This is an issue where people appreciate the complexity, people appreciate that is not the same issue as was Syria last year,” he said.
“It was split half and half. People were saying you have to go in, they have beheaded some of our people, you have got to stop this, there’s a humanitarian crisis and then I had people saying we should not commit to air strikes, violence doesn’t help.
“You have to weigh up the arguments and work out what you think is for the best.”
Mr Wright said he was aware of the dangers of so-called ‘mission creep’ once the bombings began, but felt there would be adequate oversight .
“You are always going to have to have close scrutiny from the parliamentary process, that goes without saying,” he said. “This will come back to the House.
“What was really striking in the minutes after (the vote) is that this was not done flippantly by any member of parliament, there was a really sombre mood in the house and in the corridors of Westminster afterwards. People were realising the gravity of what we have done, but thinking that given the situation this is probably the best approach.”
Sedgefield Labour MP Phil Wilson, ( Tony Bliar‘s successor) said he backed the strikes because: “ISIS is a barbaric terrorist organisation which needs to be eradicated. It is only right that we play an appropriate role in its destruction.”
In the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury backed British air strikes, saying: “The action proposed today is right.”
But he warned: “We must not rely on a short term solution, on a narrow front, to a global, ideological, religious, holistic and trans-generational challenge.
“We must demonstrate that there is a positive vision far greater and more compelling than the evil of [IS].
“Such a vision offers us and the world hope – an assurance of success in this struggle – not the endless threat of darkness.”
All the Tyne & Wear MPs (except Stephen Hepburn in Jarrow) voted for military action. Are we really suprised ?
Source – Northern Echo, 27 Sept 2014
Here is a full list of the 43 MPs who voted against
Jeremy Corbyn (Teller)
Rushanara Ali (Formal abstention)
Lib Dems (1)
Plaid Cymru (2)
SNP (5 and teller)
Angus Brendan McNeill
Mike Wishart (Teller)
> I’ve posted this vid of the Dead Kennedys Kinky Sex Makes The World Go Round before, but it bears repitition. Dates from the Thatcher/Reagan era, but just change the names to Cameron and Obama and see if you can tell the difference…
At a time when, once again, America (and its vicious but puny sidekick UK) seems to be trying to pick a fight with Russia, its a good time to post this again.
First released in the 1980s, if I remember correctly, it takes the form of a telephone conversation between Margaret Thatcher and the secretary of war
at the state department of the United States, who proceeds to put forward the idea of an economic war…
We have a problem, the companies want something done
About this sluggish world economic situation
Profits have been running a little thin lately
And we, we need to stimulate some growth
Now we know there’s an alarmingly high number of young people Roaming around in your country with nothing to do
But stir up trouble for the police and damage private property
It doesn’t look like they’ll ever get a job
It’s about time we did something constructive with these people
We’ve got thousands of ’em here too, they’re crawling all over
The companies think it’s time we all sit down
Have a serious get-together and start another war
And the payoff – what politician could resist…
Now just think for a minute, we can make this war so big, so big
The more people we kill in this war, the more the economy will prosper
We can get rid of practically everybody on your dole queue
If we plan this right
Take every loafer on welfare right off our computer rolls
Now don’t worry about demonstrations, just pump up your drug supply
So many people have hooked themselves on heroin
And amphetamines since we took over, it’s just like Vietnam
We had everybody so busy with LSD they never got too strong
Kept the war functioning just fine
It’s easy, we’ve got our college kids so interested in beer
They don’t even care if we start manufacturing germ bombs again
Put a nuclear stockpile in their back yard
They wouldn’t even know what it looked like
Thatcher, of course, really gets turned on by the idea, as no doubt Blair did and Cameron would.
This is one piece of music which (Thatcher’s prescence aside) has not dated at all, its a relevant today as it was when Reagan was bombing Libya and Thatcher was posturing over a few rocks in the South Atlantic that we didn’t even know we “owned”.
The more things change, the more they stay the same…
> No money for welfare, but always money for weapons of war…
Watch the video before reading the article. It’s from the Thatcher/Reagan era, but although the faces may change, the song remains the same.
Britain should renew its nuclear weapons programme, according to a cross-party group of MPs and experts, although it should consider whether to abandon continuous patrols.
The Trident Commission, which includes Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Conservative foreign secretary, Sir Menzies Campbell, the former Liberal Democrat leader, and Lord Browne, the former Labour defence secretary, published its final report on Tuesday.
The group concluded the Trident nuclear system should be renewed, even though to do so could cost up to £20bn, to provide an effective deterrent to other states who might wish to threaten the UK with their own nuclear weapons.
> And these states are… who, exactly ? How are you going to nuke a terrorist organization that operates across national borders ?
But the commission also called on the government to consider relaxing its rules on providing round-the-clock deterrence, though it was split on whether the UK should do this unilaterally or in conjunction with partners.
The report said: “If there is more than a negligible chance that the possession of nuclear weapons might play a decisive future role in the defence of the United Kingdom and its allies, in preventing nuclear blackmail, or in affecting the wider security context within which the UK sits, then they should be retained.”
> This, of course, is all from the viewpoint of those who believe they have a place reserved in the bunker.
For the vast majority of us, in the event of a nuclear action we’ll all fry anyway – the idea that we might do so more happily if we knew our counterparts in the other country were also frying is horrendous, but that’s how its sold to us.
And all too often, bought by us.
The consensus from all group members, including Sir Menzies, whose party has traditionally been most hostile to renewing the UK’s nuclear deterrent, is a sign of the similar conclusions reached by all three parties on the issue in the last year.
While the Conservatives have always favoured replacing the entire weapons system, along with all four submarines, the Lib Dems prevented them from making the final decision to do so during this coalition.
But following a Cabinet Office investigation into alternative options, the Lib Dems now back replacing the Trident system, albeit arguing for a reduction from four to three boats. Though this could mean abandoning uninterrupted patrols, the party argues that this would be worth doing as it would save up to £5bn in capital costs and show the UK’s commitment to disarmament.
> Lib Dems go back on profoundly held views shock ! And justify it on the grounds that spending slightly less on weapons of mass destruction amounts to showing the UK’s commitment to disarmament.
Labour has taken a position somewhere between the two, arguing that continuous deterrence must be maintained, but that it might be possible to do so with three boats rather than four if the design is sufficiently advanced.
All three parties accept that any other form of nuclear weapons system, whether based on the land, air or in less powerful submarines, would actually be more expensive than simply replacing the Trident boats. The commission endorsed that conclusion, saying: “We are opposed to proposals to develop alternative platforms and delivery systems, with new warheads, simply on the basis of possible but speculative cost savings.”
The final decision to replace Trident will be taken by 2016, barring any last-minute changes of heart by the three main parties.
> So if you’re hungry, homeless, disabled, living under threat of benefit sanctions, just be grateful that in the case of a nuclear war, you might die horribly and pointlessly, but so will your counterparts in the “enemy” state.
You’d rather that £20 billion was spent to ensure death rather than to sustain life, surely ?
Source – Financial Times 01 July 2014