Friday, 30 August 2013

On Second Thoughts

If Idle were the hon member for Goodwood and the Downs, as he clearly ought to be, he has no idea how he might have voted last night. Boy Assad is poisonous, just as Old Assad was, but there is something rather comforting about the fact that they are Shia Alawites who run a secular Ba’ath Arab autocracy in an overwhelmingly Sunni state, rather than religious nutters who would have us Europeans all dead or enslaved and a Caliphate in place. ‘Rather comforting’ may be the wrong expression, but you see what I mean.

Obama wanted the retaliation to the chemical atrocity to be ‘a shot across the bows’ of the Assad regime. What? Does he know what a shot across the bows means? It means a warning from which no one gets hurt. Where was he planning to lob his missile - into the ornamental lake in the presidential compound, injuring nothing except the prized collection of carp? I don’t think Obama knows what he is talking about, or what he wants to do. Maybe the story that Cameron has been lobbying Obama for months to get angry with Assad is true. Maybe Sam Cam’s visit to the refugee camp really did set this all rolling.

Cameron doesn’t know what the outcome of the Syrian civil war will be, nor has he expressed a preference, just that there should be no NBC weapons (it’ll take ‘em longer to kill each other with conventional stuff, but what the hell). Intervention will almost certainly not result 100% in the outcome desired by Downing Street and the White House, so the Law of Unintended Consequences will be unleashed (idle, in his 52 year span on earth, has discovered this law to be a bugger). Where is the British interest in all this? It is hard to fathom, though Cameron said he was clear in his own mind. He had reached his ‘judgement’ and he expected to have it supported by Parliament.

If we wondered what esteem Cameron is held in by his own party, let alone his coalition partners and Labour MPs, we now know.  Above all, last night’s vote established that the Prime Minister has neither the trust nor the confidence of the country to go wargaming on our behalf.

Mostly, this is Blair’s fault. His dishonesty and conceit will be remembered for as long as history books are written. Only ten years after his Big Lie, even strong prime ministers with working majorities (ie not Cameron) would have had difficulty winning a Commons vote on an issue as vague as Syria.

Cameron tried to square Miliband and thought he’d succeeded, but Miliband welshed on him, mostly for cynical reasons, but also because Miliband is another leader neither liked or respected by his MPs. Miliband is a strange creature – all earnestness and apparent honesty and bleeding-heart empathy, but with a fatal flaw in his character, which seems always to make him re-think after he has shaken hands, and to be dishonourable.

Well, the Ed Miller Band is one big step closer to Downing Street after Cameron’s folly of the past week, so we had better get used to the idea that this buck-toothed, goggle-eyed, camel-nosed Old Labour socialist is a probable, rather than possible winner of the next general election. Time to check that your passport isn’t about to expire.


Elby the Beserk said...

Would I be wrong in thinking that many in the Middle East prize stability above "democracy", whatever that is (one is reminded, thinking of the BBC's outrage that the democratically elected Morsi had got the boot) that the boy Hitler (with whom Morsi's Muslim Bros had strong links in the 30s and WWII) was also elected democratically.

Syria has been destroyed now; it will never be the tolerant country that it was, with a growing economy and a burgeoning middle class. Now it will be for however long just another battlefield in the Sunni v Shia apocalypse the Middle East has inflicted on itself, in which the West has aligned itself with the extreme elements of Sunniism.

Fucked. For good.

Anonymous said...

Whilst Dave may be planning a re-shuffle that gets rid of all the ministers who didn't vote his way, I think we might just be hearing the sound of knives being sharpened by a few of the Conservative front bench...

Elby the Beserk said...

Today's Telegraph. A very good point.

SIR – David Cameron said that he “gets” the view of the British people over military intervention in Syria and will act accordingly. Let us hope that he now also gets the majority view over EU membership, immigration and HS2.

Pete Taylor
Virginia Water, Surrey

idle said...

I had exactly the same thought when reading that letter, Elby.

Electro-Kevin said...

EU membership, immigration, HS2 and foreign policy are all agendas determined by the BBC.

If the BBC hadn't been showing close-up rolling footage all day long, every day, then our PM wouldn't have felt compelled to take a risk in making a fool of himself.

He mistook the BBC agenda for public opinion.

Impartial and distant coverage is what was required of the BBC. Not the emotive stuff we got.

I also think that William Hague has proven himself to have been over rated.

As Peter Hitchens states: this is all a consequence of the Arab Spring willed on by romanticists in Western governments and organisations. Assad has no intention being taken a prisoner and so will fight to extremes.

It is still not proven that he ordered the deployment of the gas. Why might he do this and then go to lengths to deny it ?

idle said...

Hague Mk 2 is a disappointment, E-K. I don't know what happened between the loss of the 2001 election and 2010, but the result was a Westminster centrist consensual stereotype rather than the conviction politician of Hague Mk 1.

I think his attitude towards Syrian intervention, like Cameron's, is correct but he, like Dave, couldn't articulate it like a proper globally-minded Conservative.

Elby the Beserk said...

And Hague's voice is becoming a caricature. I have to turn the radio off when he comes on, with that ridiculous filtered through ?what? Yorkshire drawl. The man is NOT a statesman, and the mess that that Miliband Major made of the FCO he is just making worse.

Sod it. They are all bloody useless with a few honourable exceptions who because of their position have no influence.

Thud said...

We have no dog in the fight so I'm happy to cheer on both sides. As for the future here passport and escape plan are bang up to date.

apricotfox said...

The thing that exercised me over the past 72 hours was the amount of time given over by BBC news to David Frost's have that headline is a very sorry reflection on our society and its priorities. no..sorry..actually it's a very sorry reflection on the vaingloriousness, self-referential nature of the BBC. Really shameful to have that billed as the first news item on the day the story broke.