It is the first time since 1782 that a British Prime Minister has been beaten on a war motion – then it was the American War of Independence and the MPs were voting to stop the fighting – now it is 2013 and MPs have voted against David Cameron’s proposal to strike the first reactionary blow against the acting Syrian regime.
The voting process saw Cameron utterly defeated in his leadership with members of his own Conservative party joining in with Labour’s lambasting of the Prime Minister’s proposal. Following the votes public announcement (wherein the proposal was rejected by 272 to 285, a majority of 13), Cameron ruled out any possibility of British involvement military action in Syria. And this ruling has probably mustered a collective sigh of relief from a large portion of the population with many media outlets having reported in the last few weeks large dissatisfaction with the idea of British resources being used in a new Middle Eastern crisis.
The fact is that, to many people, Syria just signifies yet another situation where British politicians seek to place our soldiers amidst a conflict that has very little to do with us as a nation. Today we find ourselves overwhelmingly faced with potential conflict; with Argentina on one side and the Middle Eastern conflicts on the other, it is difficult to see a future without violence; but perhaps last week’s vote is a much needed move away from the worldwide peacekeeping that we have somehow found ourselves heading up.
…Britain has, in the past, commanded the world’s largest modern empire…
Of course there is always the assumption that we are simply following doggedly behind America’s legs, the bulldog to Obama’s eagle, but the fact is that in conflict Britain has always tried to capture dominance from the jaws of larger foes – after all it is no coincidence that Britain has, in the past, commanded the world’s largest modern empire; but today, in our modern age and in recent years, it seems that we have finally become outmatched, perhaps not by any single nation but by the sheer number of nations that we seem to be pitted, or potentially pitted, against.
As an outsider looking in, you might look at the political leaders of Britain as being men that are striving for far more than they can reach; the fact is that much of Britain has never given up the sense of pride that came with past military conquests – we have not accepted that we cannot fight every war, that we are no longer a global superpower. And I think that David Cameron is one such delusionary – perhaps there is a noble cause in striking against the Syrian regime, but when that noble cause is outweighed by the need for internal support then is it really worth it?
…healthcare being slated nationally as not making the cut…
Britain is currently a nation beset by no end of financial insecurity – healthcare, education and every other facet of British life have been affected by an on-going spate of spending cuts. So how could we really justify opening another bank account for a new war? With education and healthcare being slated nationally as not making the cut then can we really afford to maintain the current annual military budget of £37 billion?
I think it is safe to say that currently a large portion of that £37 billion is being poured into military activity in the Middle East, and for that reason alone it is fair to see why many members of the British population are unhappy about our military usage. The argument has long been that our advance into Afghanistan and Iraq was a part of a larger scheme that in the end did little to defend our country – the underlying tones suggesting that people at the top had gotten rich off of the advance only lending to further the feeling of unease that accompanied our being there.
…human rights are being brazenly violated…
So now we stand today – potentially forced by our own greed to ignore a situation in which human rights are being brazenly violated. The question of whether or not the Syrian population is being ill-treated has been, in effect, nullified by a country’s lack of trust.
The simple and frank truth is that today there is no trust for our politicians; their ulterior motives, greed and stupidity are a daily decoration for the front pages of tabloids the nation over. Sadly the truth is that in modern Britain, we associate a politician in exactly the opposite fashion to what they should be.
…David Cameron has become little more than a scapegoat…
David Cameron is perhaps the poster-child for broken politics and for modern Britain – the man that pretends to understand the working class, the man who pretends to understand what it is to be poor and uneducated; but truthfully David Cameron has become little more than a scapegoat – a public figure at which all manner of insult and slant can be projected. Our British crisis is not the product of his hands only and in fact there is very plausible argument that it was in actuality entirely out of his hands. But that changes nothing; he is the face of pompous, educated, quivering modern Britain – the man that will shout blindly at his fellows in the big wood lined hall about the need for education and healthcare but then fails to back it up; maybe he does believe in the need, but he certainly does not appear to.
It takes a particularly strong person to run a country; it takes a strong person to lead a battle in war; it takes a strong nation to climb out of the rubble of recession – unfortunately I do not believe that David Cameron was ever that man – and with the devastating loss that he suffered last week I think he is less that man than ever – Britain, if it wants to reach the heights of power that we once held, needs to look to horizons as yet untapped, for it is becoming clearer and clearer that blind war and futile conflict is leading us only closer and closer to our own loss of power.
But for now we should sit back and watch, wait for the West to become more embroiled in the politics of the Middle East – by the time you will read this it probably will already have started, and the bombs will have begun to fall.