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The silence of the bams

Posted on December 02, 2015 by

It’s never usually terribly difficult to get a Scottish Labour MSP to express a view on anything. It’s hard to open a newspaper without being forced to hear Jackie Baillie or James Kelly’s opinion on something or other.

(Admittedly it’s generally the SNP, and the opinion is invariably that they’re bad and whatever they do is wrong – but still, they’re not shy about coming forward with it.)

So when Neil Findlay attacked the SNP for all having the same view on bombing Syria last night (about which he was inexplicably furious, even though that view was exactly the same as his own opinion), we thought it’d be easy enough to find out how many of his MSP colleagues were on the respective sides of the debate.

It turned out that we were wrong.

We searched the press and the Twitter accounts of every Scottish Labour MSP we could find for any expressed opinions on the bombing of Syria. Below is every single comment or tweet we found. (Not just a representative one for each MSP.)

JACKIE BAILLIE

No opinion.

CLAIRE BAKER

No opinion.

RICHARD BAKER

No opinion.

JAYNE BAXTER

No direct opinion, but has RTed a couple of anti-bombing comments.

CLAUDIA BEAMISH

No opinion.

NEIL BIBBY

No opinion.

SARAH BOYACK

No opinion.

MALCOLM CHISHOLM

syriachisholm

KEZIA DUGDALE

syriadugdale

MARY FEE

No opinion.

PATRICIA FERGUSON

No opinion.

NEIL FINDLAY

syriafindlay

RHODA GRANT

No opinion.

IAIN GRAY

No opinion.

MARK GRIFFIN (nope, us either)

No opinion.

HUGH HENRY

Retweeted one anti-bombing tweet.

CARA HILTON

syriahilton

JAMES KELLY

No opinion.

JOHANN LAMONT

(After also attacking the SNP for unity.)

syrialamont

LEWIS MACDONALD

No opinion.

KEN MACINTOSH

No opinion.

HANZALA MALIK

No opinion.

JENNY MARRA

No opinion.

PAUL MARTIN

No opinion.

MARGARET McCULLOCH

No opinion.

MARGARET McDOUGALL

No opinion.

MICHAEL McMAHON

No opinion.

SIOBHAN McMAHON

No opinion.

DUNCAN McNEIL

No opinion.

ANNE McTAGGART

No opinion.

ELAINE MURRAY

No opinion.

GRAEME PEARSON

No opinion.

JOHN PENTLAND

No opinion.

ALEX ROWLEY

No opinion.

RICHARD SIMPSON

(Bit vague, but sounds like sort-of opposed.)

syriasimpson

DREW SMITH

No opinion.

ELAINE SMITH

No opinion.

DAVID STEWART

No opinion.

And that’s it – every last comment we could find. Of 38 Scottish Labour MSPs, we could find just FIVE (that’s 13%) who’d made clear statements of their position – two of which were replies to other people rather than unprompted statements – along with three others who’d vaguely hinted at one. Of those eight, all were opposed to the bombing, as is the branch office’s only Westminster MP Ian Murray.

Remarkably, on the most serious decision a country can ever make – going to war – the vast bulk of Scottish Labour MSPs appear to have no public opinion at all. Those who’ve expressed a view are, without exception, on the same side as the SNP’s 54 MPs, who were nevertheless castigated by Neil Findlay for not being split over it.

Readers can, as always, come to their own conclusions. But we do wonder how the constituents of the 30 Scottish Labour MSPs with no apparent position on the subject feel about their representatives’ unwillingness to speak up, either way, on their behalf.

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    161 to “The silence of the bams”

    1. RogueCoder says:

      War is a reserved matter, therefore Scottish Labour’s position is whatever UK Labour’s position is.

      Erm… yeah… not clear what that is either.

    2. FiferJP says:

      Oh look, they’re abstaining from having an opinion. 😀

    3. handclapping says:

      Better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to speak and prove it?

    4. Embradon says:

      Not many household names on that list. I have only ever heard of 22 of them and would only be able to identify 15 by sight.

      Malcolm Chisholm is the only one I would stop doing a sudoku to listen to.

    5. Lanarkist says:

      War and Scottish Labour MSP representation.

      What are they good for?

      Absolutely nothing!

      Say it again?

    6. handclapping says:

      Edmund Burke: ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’

      Do they even qualify for ‘good men’?

    7. Des says:

      Dave Stewart voted for war in Iraq as an MP so would be interesting to know what his opinion is today.

    8. The Man in the Jar says:

      Jackie Baillie without an opinion that must be a first. I suspect that they are “up to something”

      “Don’t mention the war!”

    9. drekken11 says:

      Is Malcolm Chisholm an MSP or an insurance broker? (Or both at the same time!?)

      I only ask after clicking his website link on his twitter bio…!

      #AskingForAFriend

    10. handclapping says:

      I am blessed; 2 of my 3, Baker, Baxter and Simpson, have sort of expressed my anti-bombing stance. What representation!

    11. bobajock says:

      Worrying considering their masters in London might be just as clueless about the opinion of the Westminster MPs. One has to feel for the constituents whose choice of MSP/MP might result in the death of innocents.

    12. Bob Mack says:

      Yes or no. How difficult is that? Very difficult in fact.
      Here we have Scottish Labour politicians having to cling tenaciously to sitting on the fence,terrified to publicise their views in case it loses them more votes.

      If an opinion poll said 70% of Scots supported the war,their clamour to agree would drown out the sound of the exploding bombs.
      Uriah Heep springs to mind for some reason

    13. Jimbo says:

      Shower of spineless, dithering, mealy-mouthed abstainers – just like their London leader.

    14. Sandra says:

      I suspect that as usual they will abstain, then claim credit should the outcome go against the Tory motion. Meanwhile shouting, altogether now, SNP BAD

    15. gordoz says:

      Should have linked queries to ‘SNPBad’ for clarity on any Labour MSP’s position. (Or just qoute BBC Northland – home of the Truth!)
      🙂

    16. Luigi says:

      Well, there is one simple way to deal with this uncharacteristic, bam silence:

      A motion in Holyrood, condemning the action if bombing goes ahead, on the basis that Cameron has no contingency plan if/when it all goes pear-shaped.

      Make the silent ones take a stand, one side or the other.

    17. Capella says:

      They must be warmongers then, otherwise they would speak out. Which side is most advantageous? Difficult. The fact that it is illegal obviously doesn’t concern them.

      David Cameron is concerned that Syria has not got an elected Head of State. Assad must be overthrown.
      Would he not be more convincing if he deposed his own 2nd (or is it 3rd) cousin the Queen, who is also not an elected Head of State. That at least would have the advantage of being his own business.

    18. crisiscult says:

      There’s a sort of meme doing the rounds linked to the Syria, critical of SNP, that this is a matter of conscience and our public representatives should be free to vote as they wish, while at the same time, attached to that meme, is the ‘add-on’ that they are there to represent constituents, not the party. This has confused me mightily. A political party’s position on international relations, how I want my country to be seen in the world, what I want my country to do internationally, is very important. Now, I’m being told not to vote for a party, to get down to the fine details of what’s in my MP’s heart and soul. Fair enough I might say, but I think we need to get rid of political party manifestos and indeed the whole party system.

      Alternatively, I can say that in fact the promoters of this meme are in fact just engaging in bulverism in the sense: SNP are bad. Here’s why they are bad on this occasion.

    19. Marcia says:

      Some of these MSP’s are forever on twitter, facebook, issuing press releases on non-devolved issues implying how wonderful the world is having them but strangely quiet on the Syrian affair.

      Could it be that the Labour Party in Scotland selection for Holyrood is taking place at the moment and they don’t want to rock the boat?

    20. Training Day says:

      Bit ironic Lamont confessing to uncertainty when she demanded ‘shhhertinty’ from the SNP every single day of the referendum campaign.

      Wait, what? There are 38 of these dolts?

    21. Dcanmore says:

      Proving what a bunch of empty suit bench warmers they really are.

    22. Luigi says:

      Surely, there has to be a motion in Holyrood, very soon?

      At the very least, people need to know where candidate MSPs stand on this matter, before the election in 2016.

      I would be happy with a free vote, because I would like to know the positions of individual MSPs before I vote next year.

    23. Cameron about to open debate,will have vote on bombing at 10 tonight,could be a long day.

      Hopefully democracy will out.

    24. Rob James says:

      It’s a safe bet that Slab’s sole representative at Westminster, the anti-trident, anti-war campaigning hero of the ‘peepul’, will abstain as usual.

    25. donald anderson says:

      Every one of them deserves to lose their gravy train seats “Never mind the isuues. A vote for me is a vote for me. What’s it git to do with Scotland anyway. Big Brother will decide …£

    26. heedtracker says:

      Maybe SLab’s decided war has not much to do with their Scotland region. It looks that way with activists like this dude.

      Scott Arthur ?@DrScottThinks 4h4 hours ago
      Forth Road Bridge – It’s important to note that the chief engineer lost his job when the SNP privatised FRB bridge maintenance. #forthbridge
      6 retweets 6 likes
      Reply Retweet 6
      Like 6

    27. Ken500 says:

      Cameron is a psychopathic liar. Every word he utters is a lie.

    28. heedtracker says:

      Unionist toryboys like this dude, also not in anyway interested.

      Kevin Hague ?@kevverage 17m17 minutes ago
      I’ve had a little rant about @JoanMcAlpine’s article in today’s Daily Record

      Kevin Hague ?@kevverage 3h3 hours ago Walthamstow, London
      Not Scots but SNP who’re being mocked ‘cos your indyref plan now proven reckless. We deserve an apology from you.

    29. Swami Backverandah says:

      What Rev?
      You’re asking the good Labour MSP folk to reveal whether their colleagues in Westminster are a bunch of terrorist sympathisers?
      And there’s virtual silence?

      You’d think they’d be quick to condemn that epithet.

    30. Ken500 says:

      The NI subsidised bigoted Masons, who hold the balance of power, are really going for it wanting boots on the ground.

      Cameron is a psycopathic liar. A compulsive liar.

    31. Ken500 says:

      Cameron is already illegally bombing.

    32. I suspect that many of these Labour MSPS are waiting to see whether there is substantial public support for the bombing campaign in Syria before they make any public
      pronouncement.

      As for Neil Findlay, its obvious his comments on the SNP are designed to draw the publics’ attention away from how deeply split the Labour party is.

      What happens if the bombing actually makes things worse in Syria and it turns out to be another Libya, Afghanistan or Iraq?

      Can Cameron and all those other unionists tell us what they will do then?

    33. galamcennalath says:

      They are keen enough to talk about reserved matters when they want. Especially when blaming the SNP for something the SNP can do othing about!

      Clearly, this is one reserved matter SLab want to stay quiet on!

      Could it be that they don’t want Scotland to appear almost united against the bombing?

    34. Swami Backverandah says:

      from Sparrow’s live blog

      “The SNP’s John Nicolson asks Cameron to identify which MPs are terrorist sympathisers.

      Cameron says MPs can speak for themselves.”

      Will no one think of the poor Labour MSP’s?

    35. McBoxheid says:

      It actually very much makes sense to me that all of the SNP MPs are voting no. If you look at why they are SNP in the first place and if you actually understand the groundswell of Scottish opinion, then the answer is obvous.

      It goes to show how far Niel Findlay and the onionist defecazzi are away from how the majority of Scots think and what the believe in.

      All Findlay is interested in is getting his name in the paper or on the internet and he is trying to deflect from the fact that his party is in such a mess.

      It is the standard unionist response. SNP bad even if he agrees with what the SNP actually stands for in this instance.

    36. Ken500 says:

      Osbourne looks more and more sleekit every day.

      Cameron the slavering psychopath.

    37. Carnyx says:

      I’m of the opinion that Daesh have to be defeated by military means, they don’t give anyone any other choice. As such I’m probably more “pro-bombing” than many here although I actively opposed intervention in Iraq, Libya and against Assad in Syria.

      Daesh are not going to settle down and become a normal country, they are not going to negotiate peace and they are not going to just go away if we ignore them, they are always going to be attempting to provoke the rest of the planet into a millenarian war with them, attempting territorial expansion and conducting terrorist attacks, they see it as their divine duty. Sure, the catastrophic western regime change policies have created and empowered them but now they exist as a territorial entity they have to be physically destroyed. Because of their nature military defeat undermines their whole claim to have divine sanction, loss of all territory takes away their claim to be a “caliphate”.

      As such, you’d think Cameron would be easily able to win my support for his UK bombing in Syria, but he hasn’t. Enough people are bombing them already, Cameron has ignored the Kurds and focused on a fantasy of FSA “moderates”. The YPG/PKK, Assad and Hezbullah and Iranians are the only significant anti-Daesh boots on the ground who can take over territory from Daesh and Cameron’s plan has no coordination with them. The UK shouldn’t go into Syria without a comprehensive peace plan agreed with Iran and Russia meanwhile Daesh supporting Turkey ought to be be kicked out of Nato and the PKK delisted as a terrorist organisation. Indeed I’d go further, the whole region’s borders need reform, there should be a Kurdish state, a Sunni state, an Alawite state in Syria and Shia Iraqis can either join Iran or become independent, whichever they wish.

      I thus hope Cameron loses this vote and is forced to come up with a better plan, that I may support in the future. As it is, Cameron is still exhibiting all the faults of previous western policy, Corbyn isn’t any better cause he seems to think we should oppose any military action, Slab seem to be stuck between two faulty positions. The SNP seem to have come out of this fairly well, conceeding that they might support military action if a good enough plan is presented but opposing the one that currently stands, they are doing the whole UK a service in this.

      Petition to delist the PKK

      https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/113738

    38. Colken says:

      O/t but obvious connection..
      ‘You know those four terror suspects you’ve been surveilling in Luton?
      We want them arrested’
      ‘We may not have enough evidence yet to secure convictions..’
      ‘Do. It. Today’

      Second item on BBC radio news this morning, after the bombing debate.

      Don’t you love it when everything comes together?

    39. dakk says:

      If Neil Findlay had any integrity and his opposition to bombing was heartfelt, he would be pressurising his Slab colleagues to make their opinions/opposition known.

      Instead he is only interested in inventing a perverse line of attack on SNP rather than trying to stop the killing of Syrian people at our hands.

      How very Slab.

    40. Haggis Hunter says:

      Would have thought Jackie Baillie would have wanted a chance to use her Nukes?

    41. Bob Mack says:

      Let us consider the dog fighting pit we are about to enter.

      Turkey are buying ISIS OIL and indeed supplying them with arms and munitions. Turkey are also bombing the Kurds who Cameron says will fight Daesh

      Saudi Arabia another UK ally is directly funding DAESH.

      Russia is bombing Daesh and those fighters Cameron calls boots on the ground.

      It seems our allies are more terrorist sympathisers than we.

      Can we really enter this scenario and control all the elements? Don’t think so.

    42. Famous15 says:

      Cameron the terrorist recruiting sergeant refuses to withdrawhis remark on terrorist sympathisers.

      The blood thirsty braying would have made General Gordon of Khartoum very happy.. The fate of General Gordon should be remembered.

    43. Cameron gets to the truth,

      how `will we look` if we do not join in with the other big boys in the bombing orgy,

      the politics of the school yard.

    44. caz-m says:

      Someone called Cameron and his supporters,

      “Baby Killers”,

      that’ll do for me.

    45. schrodingers cat says:

      i don’t have a twitter account

      could those that do, please ask the 30 abstainers, politely if they support the bombing of Syria?

      ps/ot

      https://twitter.com/hashtag/jarablus

      the jarablus -Aziz isis corridor to turkey is about to be closed by russian backed ypg from the west and usa backed ypg from the east.

      usa just dropped supplies,,,,,but wont say to who? turkey are furious

      this is the game changer

    46. Nana says:

      Live Russian MOD briefing re stolen oil funding terrorism. All findings to be published on the Russian MOD website later.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMA4B2ZnQ2o&feature=youtu.be

    47. galamcennalath says:

      Bob Mack says:

      Turkey are also bombing the Kurds who Cameron says will fight Daesh

      Yes. I believe that the Kurds’ aims are to secure Kurdish areas and are fighting Daesh as part of that objective. They have enough on their plate without going out of area as gun fodder for Cameron!

      Russia is bombing Daesh and those fighters Cameron calls boots on the ground.

      Yes. Russia went to Syria to look after their own interests by bolstering the Assad regime. Russia attacks everyone opposed to Assad ESPECIALLY the groups Cameron says are his boots on the ground.

      The man is deranged AND thinks our heads zip up the back. We can access media beyond the BBC!

    48. schrodingers cat says:

      Carnyx

      well said

      petition signed

    49. Ken500 says:

      Even if all Labour voted No. It would still carry. It would need more Tories to vote No – unlikely to happen. It is the NI Masons that hold the balance of power. They support the Tories for even more subsidies, looking after themselves. They ruined their economy with their bigotry. Brainwashed from the day they were born. Cause trouble everywhere they hang out. They are the villians in Westminster. Sine Fein are the trouble in Westminster because they don’t turn up. The bigots can have a field day, instead of being isolated.

    50. Ken500 says:

      Stolen Oil – the Russians are stealing it and destroying it. It’s the people’s Oil.

    51. cirsium says:

      thanks for the link, Nana, and welcome back.

    52. heedtracker says:

      Toryboy HoC laughing their heads off there. Its not hard to see their “This toryboy house says let’s UKOK nuke Russia” debate.

    53. David McDowell says:

      Incredibly Neil Findlay still hasn’t got it.
      The fifty or so Labour MPs voting to support Cameron are in control of the Labour party – not Jeremy Corbyn, not the majority of Labour Party members, and definitely not the people who vote Labour.
      The cabal of London Labour turncoats are in the back pockets of Cameron’s arms manufacturing pals, and nothing is going to stop them getting their grubby little hands on that big, juicy kickback they’ve been promised.

    54. dramfineday says:

      Aw well, that’s me included in the “terrorist sympathisers” descriptor.

      The following saying didn’t work the last time and it’s not going to work again, unfortunately, but here goes anyway:- “NOT in my name”, thank you.

      Over to you labour MSPs……… or is the shiver still looking for a spine?

    55. Macart says:

      And yet spookily they all agree that SNP = bad. But then that’s not freaky, sheepish or robotic in any way shape or form, oh nononononono. That’s principled that is.

      Or could it be they have no fixed opinion because they have a career to mind? Who knows? What is important is that Scotland’s true representation reflects the majority of the people they represent and as far as I’m concerned its looking right.

      Good to see you back Nana. 🙂

    56. HandandShrimp says:

      Say nothing and when it all goes wrong claim you were dead against?

      Also Syria doesn’t really have an SNPbad context (despite Findlay’s insane attempts to give it one) so it is well outside most SLabbers comfort zone.

      Is “wibble” a policy position 🙂

    57. gus1940 says:

      We have all heard how wonderful the RAF’s Brimstones are but can they guarantee that they will land in the Pickle Barrel 100% of the time.

      We all know how accurate The USAAF’s claims in WW2 were regarding The Norden Bomb Sight.

    58. starlaw says:

      Neil Findlay has his priorities right .. Neil Findlay, he even has his fliers printed locally.

    59. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      Scottish Labour. To busy eating their cereal?

    60. galamcennalath says:

      Bateman …

      http://derekbateman.co.uk/2015/12/02/bombs-away/

      “This is all about doing something and hoping for the best without knowing what or ultimately caring enough.”

    61. heedtracker says:

      Robertson pretty strong on BBC 24 tv news now, over 2000 US air strikes so far alone, say costing $1 million each, killed how many and achieved what? NO answer from pig fancier toryboy.

    62. heedtracker says:

      Robertson pretty strong on BBC 24 tv news now, over 2000 US air strikes so far alone, say costing $1 million each, killed how many and achieved what? NO answer from pig fancier toryboy.

    63. Macca73 says:

      South of the border many are looking to Corbyn as some sort of symbol of hope. He personally talks a decent game but having seen his record on the Trident vote and if we are to go to war bombing Syria then I’m afraid there’s much of this on him.

      He should have enforce the whip in my opinion and told the labour detractors to vote with him or face serious problems. He didn’t. My feeling is that had he done so then he could have said to them that they face the Hague when it all goes belly up!

      I bet that would change a few votes…

    64. ArtyHetty says:

      Just one thing to say today. Not in my name or my childrens name.

      Oh and it will come back on you, warmongers.

    65. Valerie says:

      Had a quiet, windy, muddy walk with my dogs this morning, just reflecting how very lucky I am.

      I’m in good health, I have a comfortable home, and there is food in the fridge. I have been reading a lot in recent months about conditions in Syria, and whilst I can’t begin to imagine the horror, I confess to being teary as I walked

      Can you begin to think of the terror and trauma suffered by ordinary people and children?

      We have no right to be in these countries. I want Scotland to only ever be involved in humanitarian efforts.

      Listening to the debate, umpteen have asked pig fker to apologise, but nothing. We should note that comment carries all the information we need about what you are if you disagree with ANYTHING not Tory.

      Labour intervention said after touring area, to take evidence, said so called support among fighter would be 10/15k!!

      Glad to see public condemnation of BBC for not using Da’esh.

      I’ve raised this on other threads, language is important, please use Da’esh.

    66. starlaw says:

      what will happen to the crew if one of these aircraft is forced down in Syria. What will be their chances of survival. What of the chances of the civilians in the area’s bombed. Every MP voting for bombing must not be allowed to forget when the whole thing goes pear shaped.

    67. Alastair says:

      So can we trust the judgement of our Politicians.
      Up stands Dr Liam Fox disgraced former Defence Secretarty – what ‘were he ta’ get it wrong.
      Shameful.

    68. Nana says:

      @Cirsium Thank you.

      @Macart

      Howdy Sam, trying to catch up now, my inbox stuffed with links. Need to make time for reading to see what’s what.

      Blimey I go away for a wee while and all hell breaks loose, bloody overgrown tory schoolboys making a hash of everything as usual!

    69. Clootie says:

      Labour MSPs don’t require an opinion at the moment. They are quite content to sit on the fence and therefore able to claim at a later date that they had always been For/Against (delete as required)

      This is a variation on the “Abstain” option. You were neither in support or opposed to a motion but instead you play heavily on the “Labour amendment to the motion”. The latter being so vague that it can be twisted appropriately.

      The gunboat is still the debate option of choice for Westminster. The “gunboat” may have morphed into a more advanced model but the principle remains the same.

      Once again we ignore the actions of dictators/rogue states elsewhere yet focus heavily on oil production areas. Of course none of it is driven by the USA need to get the Oil price above $50/bbl – the break even price for Shale Oil production in the States.

      What was the point of the UN again?

    70. Angra Mainyu says:

      100 years of Unrelenting love…

      ” In 1917… the British occupied Iraq and established a colonial government. The Arab and Kurdish people of Iraq resisted the British occupation… As the Iraqi resistance gained strength, the British resorted to increasingly repressive measures, including the use of poison gas.”

      “The Arab and Kurd now know what real bombing means in casualties and damage. Within forty-five minutes a full-size village can be practically wiped out and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured.* It was an easy matter to bomb and machine-gun the tribespeople, because they had no means of defence or retaliation.” (Sir Arthur [“bomber”] Harris)

      So, that’s one bookend marking the start of our 100 year love affair with the region — chemical weapons against “tribespeople” with “no means of defence and retaliation…” Brilliant.

      At this end of the equation, we have probably killed about 3 million Iraqis over the last 25 years going by most conservative estimates. This bookend includes the 600 thousand children who died prematurely as a consequence of our sanctions.

      Is it any wonder so many of them hate us? We are the last people who should be allowed anywhere near that region.

    71. heedtracker says:

      Why does JC just not use the whip? Lets ask our noble and honest public broadcaster

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34554670

      No idea, but ofcourse they do.

    72. Anagach says:


      starlaw says:

      what will happen to the crew if one of these aircraft is forced down in Syria.

      What will happen if a Russian S400 anti air missile downs a UK Tornado.

      The chances of a f*** up in such a crowded area of operations do not seem low. With everyone backing slightly different combinations of groups.

    73. gus1940 says:

      I see that more and more politicians from other parties and commentators are following The SNP example in using the name Daesh.

    74. Auld Rock says:

      Think that you all might be interested in Comical Ali’s reply to my email asking not to support Cameeron, it speaks for itself. Hope it copies OK.

      Auld Rock

      “Thank you for your email regarding today’s vote in the House of Commons on air strikes against ISIL/Da’esh in Syria.

      You will have seen it reported in the press and media this morning that Liberal Democrat MPs will support the motion in the House of Commons today to extend to areas of Syria our current military involvement against ISIL/Da’esh in Iraq. I want to explain why, after lengthy discussion and deliberation, we have reached this decision and why I will support it.

      Decisions of this sort are never easy and this has been the most difficult one that I have ever known. I certainly do not share David Cameron’s reported view that those who oppose intervention are “terrorist sympathisers”. This is an issue on which we have all had to come to our own conclusions and for many of us it has been an enormously difficult process. I know no one, inside parliament or not, who has approached this from anything other than a position of good faith and I respect completely those who have reached a different conclusion from mine.

      By comparison the decision to oppose war in Iraq was simple by comparison – it was clearly illegal and it was difficult to identify what the British interest in intervention was.

      Recognising that some of the problems we are dealing with today have their roots in that disastrous misadventure, we should be quite clear about why this is a different conflict with different issues.

      The intervention against ISIL/Da’esh in Iraq which we currently support is legal by virtue of the fact that we were invited to take part by the Iraqi government. The proposed extension of that to Syria is legal as it has the mandate of a United Nation Security Council Resolution 2249. The legality of the proposal is therefore clear.

      The wording of that resolution, if fact, goes further than authorising action. It “calls on” states that have the capacity to act.

      I also believe that there is a UK national interest that justifies acting here. Our neighbour and ally France has asked that we should. That same request has already received positive responses from Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.

      ISIL/Da’esh is a brutal organisation that subjugates woman, tortures and executes gays and will kill or torture anyone in their own community that does not actively support them. They have a capacity to take their war to our own communities as recent atrocities in Beirut, Paris and Sharm Al Sheikh have demonstrated. They are a force that has to be confronted. We are already engaged in this through our participation in strikes against them in Iraq. Refusing to extend that to Syria will not remove the threat of an attack happening in this country.

      Of course, bombing alone is not going to be enough to resolve this. To beat ISIL/Da’esh militarily will require ground troops and those must come from within Syria and the surrounding countries.

      It will also require a concerted political and diplomatic effort. That means that the Vienna process must be supported and broadened as far as possible.

      Most importantly of all, if we are really to learn from the mistakes of Iraq and Libya we must be prepared to commit to engaging in post-conflict stabilisation and reconstruction and to commit the money to that.

      Whatever decision the Commons takes today will have consequences. Be in no doubt, however, that failing to act will also have consequences. The civil war that has killed thousands and which has seen unprecedented numbers of people displaced from their homes and come to Europe as refugees will continue.

      Earlier this summer the response of British people to that refugee crisis was a compassionate one which had at its heart a determination to help. We have an opportunity (NB this is only an opportunity – it comes with no guarantees) to be part of an international effort to bring that conflict to an end, to use international institutions to rebuild a broken state and to do so in a way that is legal. To shrug our shoulders and refuse that opportunity because it is too difficult or should be left to others is to cheapen the compassion of that response and determination to help.

      Yours,

      Alistair Carmichael MP

    75. Big Jock says:

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14117707.Poll__72__of_Scots_oppose_extending_air_strikes_in_Syria/

      Proof that Scotland is different:

      72% oppose in Scotland and only 54% oppose in England. A difference of nearly 20%.

    76. Swami Backverandah says:

      Cameron has said he requires a clear majority.
      How many is that?
      Would 30 be acceptable?
      20?
      What about under 20?

    77. Alba 46 says:

      Very strong and statesmanlike performance by Angus Robertson. He doggedly stuck to his main question re the makeup of this so called 70,000 force that would form the basis of the ground offensive once the bombing stopped. He repeatedly stated that he would give way to the PM, Foreign secretary or ANY member of the government to provide the details of this so called ground force. Needless to say he did not get a response.

      The westminster government took a further hit when a member of the security committee who has just recently returned from the middle east stated that in the talks she had with the various governments it was confirmed to her that the 70,000 force is nearer to 10,000 to 15,000.

      People we are being lied to yet again. Its about time that the government started to tell truth and labour grew a backbone.

    78. Swami Backverandah says:

      Among the many others in Carmichael’s response, this is a major flaw in the pro-bombers argument.
      “Whatever decision the Commons takes today will have consequences. Be in no doubt, however, that failing to act will also have consequences.”

      Not bombing is not the equivalent of failing to act.

    79. Rock says:

      The biggest concentration of chameleons in the world can be found within the UK Labour party.

      The war criminals Blair, Brown, Straw and Mandelson turned the Labour Party into snake oil salesmen.

    80. Luigi says:

      Carbuncle is supporting bombing because he was told to. End of.

    81. Macart says:

      Was it ever any different?

      This has tragedy written all over it. Good piece over on Bateman’s blog.(galamcennalath has already posted the link) It gives a pretty clear picture of just what a shambles the whole situation in actuality is.

      All we are set to do is radicalise and create yet another generation of future enemies.

      Madness.

    82. Luigi says:

      starlaw says:

      2 December, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      what will happen to the crew if one of these aircraft is forced down in Syria. What will be their chances of survival. What of the chances of the civilians in the area’s bombed. Every MP voting for bombing must not be allowed to forget when the whole thing goes pear shaped.

      Jeremy Corbyn must not be allowed to forget when the whole thing goes pear shaped. Trying to shirk responsibility on to individual MPs won’t cut it, I’m afraid. As a leader he had to take a stand. Failed at the first serious test. Crobyn is now as responsible as Cameron is for what unfolds.

    83. Bob Mack says:

      Margaret Beckett states that France should expect help from an ally.

      What Mrs Beckett should remember is that once a year we stand in front of a Cenotaph honouring those who gave their lives honouring that commitment.
      This is not an existential threat to France,who are already dishing out retribution for Paris.

      In an hour of true need ,we would be there.Of that there is history to back me up.

    84. Swami Backverandah says:

      That 70,000 figure is disputed for a number of reasons, but one of the reasons why the Gov will not disclose who they are, preferring at this stage to take flak around the so-called ground troops claim, is that it most likely includes foreign-to-Syria troops who will occupy Syrian territory after Assad is removed.
      Wrapped up in the necessary motive of removing Da’esh, this is the aim of the Vienna talks. William Hague said as much, and there’s an increasing dribble of comment from the military cohort about foreign troops being required.

      In my opinion, Vienna is aiming for a long-game partition of Syrian territory,and how this is done will depend on who is to benefit. Foreign troops will be included in the occupation.

    85. Jack Murphy says:

      Caesar! 46 said at 1:56 pm :-
      “The westminster government took a further hit when a member of the security committee who has just recently returned from the middle east stated that in the talks she had with the various governments it was confirmed to her that the 70,000 force is nearer to 10,000 to 15,000.” [!!!!!] 🙁

      This was an intervention during an excellent speech from Angus Robertson MP—-it can be found on the right hand scroll of Parliament TV—-just click on 13:11:50 for the start of Mr Robertson’s speech.

      http://tinyurl.com/hkq7clu

    86. manandboy says:

      Cameron’s problem is that he can’t tell the House of Commons or us, all the commercial and political reasons he has for joining the bombing spree over Syria. He will have a list of ‘deals’ the length of your arm.

      Politics is no longer about the voters and democracy etc.. Neoliberalism has completely taken over in the past 35 years. In fact, politics is dead; democracy is dead; public service is dead. The 1% know that, but the majority of the 99% don’t; and broadcast and print media mean to keep it that way.

      As for the Labour MSP ‘no opinion’ mob, they have their eyes on next May’s elections to Holyrood. Only 5 months away, Baillie & crew will be terrified of making a mistake this close to a vote. It’s nearly diarrhoea time for them.

      There are no explanations to be found for current events by thinking pre-Thatcher. What Cameron is proposing with a handful of vintage tornadoes makes no sense in pre-Thatcher thinking. But to a neo-liberal, it’s brilliant.

      It’s just a pity the soon to be Daesh suicide bomb attack on London’s swish shopping centres are part of the deal. Cameron knows that, but he’s going ahead anyway, because in a neo-liberal world, there are no victims. At least not of the neo-Liberal variety.

    87. Andrew Mclean says:

      Auld Rock says: 1:51

      So to sum up Carmichaels response, my lawyer said its ok, I never heard about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction or 45 minuets to attack us, a French big boy asked for honners against a bad boy, some others are joining in too, so we are bombing them for their own good. And so we can show even more sympathy to refugees. And if we do we will be able to give them tones of money later!

      That it? have I missed anything?

    88. ArtyHetty says:

      Wow, just wow. Re, Carmichael, so our friends in Saudi are angels eh? And, was Iraq not our enemy within living memory, so now we do as we are asked by them. The enemy of my enemy and all that.

      Looks like he is saying, that rebuilding a country is perfectly legal and acceptable by means of bombing the hell out of it and killing lots of civilians, who have not managed to escape in dinghies from the hell.

      Absolutely disgusting attitude.

      Just one question mr.C? Where is the ‘money’ going to come from? Will there be anything left to reconstruct, or stabilise?

    89. Macart says:

      @Nana

      See my post @2.12 regarding tory schoolboys.

      Cameron’s you’re either with us or against us bollox leaves a nasty taste to boot. Basically a masterclass in arrogance, Camo has just told most of the folk he’s governing to get in line.

      They’re insane and they’re in charge for the foreseeable future.

    90. Andrew McLean says:

      Question will the French, or to give them their nom de plume Cheese eating surrender monkeys be annoyed if we vote no?
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/feb/11/pressandpublishing.usa

      Funny old world isn’t it?

    91. Jimbo says:

      HandandShrimp wrote:

      Is “wibble” a policy position

      Aye, where Labour are concerned it is – as is “dither and abstain”. They’ll say and do anything that allows them to remain committed to being uncommitted.

    92. Bob Mack says:

      @Andrew McLean,

      No.

    93. galamcennalath says:

      Big Jock says:

      “72% oppose in Scotland and only 54% oppose in England. A difference of nearly 20%.”

      No! 54% in England are FOR bombing. Assuming there are no DKs then 46% oppose.

      The difference is at least 28% and potentially more if there is a DK figure.

      The two nations now view domestic and world events quite differently.

    94. Jimbo says:

      Luigi wrote:

      Jeremy Corbyn must not be allowed to forget when the whole thing goes pear shaped. Trying to shirk responsibility on to individual MPs won’t cut it, I’m afraid. As a leader he had to take a stand. Failed at the first serious test. Crobyn is now as responsible as Cameron is for what unfolds.

      Yes indeed. Byrefusing to take a stand Corbyn and his Labour Party will be complicit in the murder of innocents.

    95. galamcennalath says:

      I do believe in the early days of the Labour Party, abstinence was official policy. Then they meant abstain from alcohol ie. temperance.

      A century later and abstinence has again become policy. This time it’s much wider – they abstain from almost everything except actually standing at elections!

    96. heedtracker says:

      Funny old world isn’t it?

      Not in toryboy world. Why are they suddenly weeping and wailing now for the victims of the civil wars they’ve caused?

      Is it really a request from France that’s got all UK war mongers in to action and why didn’t they act on IS years ago?

    97. Famous15 says:

      After listening to Alan Johnson my opinion of Jeremy Corbyn wasraised as was my sympathy for him was raised after listening to Yvette Cooper. The hypocricy was sticking in her throat.

    98. manandboy says:

      By joining the other nations who are anti-Islamic State, the Tories will have calculated that the UK electorate will feel that the UK is all together, on the same side, against a common barbaric enemy.

      Meanwhile, the Tory government wages it’s own war against Scotland and against the poor and needy in both England and Scotland, as well as in Wales and Northern Ireland. No bombs, no bullets, but casualties certainly and suffering for sure; and set to continue for at least four more years.

      Perhaps Cameron thinks we’ll forget that when we see the tornadoes take off for Syria.

    99. handclapping says:

      Handandshrimp
      Do you ever get the feeling that the reat of the world is moving faster than you can keep up?
      ‘Wibble’ was a pencil position in my day and now there’s you implying that it is/was/maybe a Labour (whatever that is nowadays) policy.

      Should I be thinking of getting a nurse?

    100. handclapping says:

      ‘rest’ or ‘beat’, either will do 🙂

    101. Andrew McLean says:

      Watching the warmongers convention and struck they don’t play music in the background to rally the troops?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2QAMqTgPKI

      It’s enough to make you wonder sometimes if you’re on the right planet
      Just think, war breaks out and nobody turns up.
      Are we living in a land where sex and horror are the new gods?

    102. Petra says:

      Angus Robertson one of the few talking sense. Very proud of him and our SNP MSPs at Westminster. He mentioned that 72% (74%?) of Scots were against bombing in Syria but we’re getting dragged into this anyway ….. against our will ….. by a Party that we didn’t vote for.

      He asked the crucial question that is how many of Cameron’s (fantasy) 70,000 boots on the ground are moderates. No answer from sweaty, red-faced Cameron or his defence minister. Now finding out from a female MP (on Foreign Affairs Select Committee) that Defence experts had informed her (FASC) that there’s around 15,000.

      Fox goes on to point out that many Daesh supporters have left Syria, are now in Libya and that we’ll have to deal with them. Looks as though we’ll be chasing and bombing Daesh all over the Middle East for ever more as it attracts hordes of supporters year after year.

      John Baron Tory (Foreign Affairs Commitee) making some GREAT (around 2:10pm) points re. dealing with finances, Daesh on Media, their ideology and so on. Highlighting that Cameron has offered no comprehensive long term strategy and that he has not adequately answered the FAC’s many questions. He says that our troops are struggling in Iraq and that we should finish the job there before moving on to Syria. He of course will be voting against.

      John Lewis Chair of the Defence Committee ….. extremely knowledgeable (WELL worth listening to … 2:25) also voting no. So many real experts supporting Corbyn’s view. Just makes you wonder who the Blairite Labour politicians are actually listening to. Aw right still listening to Blair and of course Cameron. I’d also like to add that their speeches have been absolutely pathetic, such as Yvette Coopers, extremely embarrassing and just highlight how truly ignorant they are.

      As a bye, I think we can safely say that around 27% of Scots who didn’t vote for Independence are against bombing Syria. I wonder how many of them would vote for Independence now?

    103. Tîm Criced i Gymru says:

      At least be calm in your minds that there shouldn’t be anywhere near 38 of them remaining after May 2016 !

    104. ross says:

      Effectivelly what Cameron is wanting us to be is that little shite who puts the boot in after the bigger kids have already floored the opponent, and then gets bragging rights. Playground stuff.

    105. Proud Cybernat says:

      Hell’s bells – are there really that many Labour MSPs in Scotland?

    106. Proud Cybernat says:

      @ galamcennalath
      2 December, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      “The difference is at least 28% and potentially more if there is a DK figure.”

      Surely a material difference.

    107. john king says:

      Pleeeasse,
      someone else tell me they saw that banner at the bottom of the screen on sky news (Ihave to watch it at work)
      What I read nearly gave me a heart attack,
      I cant remember the exact words but it was something like, Cameron at the dispatch box saying “the allies need British bombs for the safety of innocent civilians due to their higher accuracy”
      I shit you not!

      by the time others in my team heard what I was screaming about the banner had gone, now they think Im a nutcase because NOBODY would be THAT stupid.

    108. Auld Rock says:

      Andrew McLean,

      Andrew you got it.

      Auld Rock

    109. Luigi says:

      Petra says:

      2 December, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      As a bye, I think we can safely say that around 27% of Scots who didn’t vote for Independence are against bombing Syria. I wonder how many of them would vote for Independence now?

      Many of us have been focussed on Europe as the big issue for IndyRef2, Petra. However, now I am wondering if this current nonsense will trigger a big enough outrage on Scotland? It all depends on how well, or how badly it goes, I suppose. We will soon find out. It could well be the final straw – who knows? Time will tell.

    110. john king says:

      Apparently the Brimstone missile is so accurate it can enter the air con in a car come out the air blower, pick its target and kill a single person by going up his nose and mincing his brains then plugging the orifices so the car owner doesn’t have to have it valeted, it also has a charge of air freshener which when it vapourises the people in its 3 foot kill range it releases a pleasant odor to mask the smell of death so as not to put people off shopping for pumpkins in the market.

      Oh and it does a wee sweep round afterwards
      Anybody laughing?

    111. Nana says:

      @Macart

      Cameron’s “if you are not with us, then you are against us”
      I find very disturbing. We are now being called terrorist sympathisers along with our country’s first minister.

      Government beating the war drums with the aid of the media , is this not how the Nazis came to power and making accusations against reasoned argument in order to stop folk criticizing the government is that not McCarthyism.

      What’s next, conscription for all those standing in a dole queue.

      I believe if we are dragged into another could this be ‘material change’ for indy2. What do you think?

    112. Bob Mack says:

      Five hours into the debate and only Angus Robertson from the SNP has been allowed to speak.
      Funny that eh.

    113. ahundredthidiot says:

      Nana

      Couldn’t agree more, particulary re indyref2, in fact, if this goes really bad over the next few months (armies like to fight in middle East in winter mind) calls for UDI might find their voices growing.

    114. Macart says:

      @Nana

      If commons votes for it, we are bound to it at this point in time. It is after all what 55% of Scotland voted for and for better or worse, these are the consequences we all are living with.

      What it will do is IMO, form a tipping point. I would think that opinions will begin to form and change rapidly from this point on.

    115. Cuilean says:

      To ‘The Man In The Jar’;

      They are ‘up to something’.

      They are ‘up to’ what every Labour politician is always ‘up to’. And that is:

      * drumrolls *

      looking after no 1.

      There is a ‘fight to the death’ going on at the moment on ‘the mother ship’. Until that death struggle is resolved, the Labour MSP place-men, yes-men & careerists, don’t know what to say or think. Their opinions and beliefs are usually spoon-fed to them from the mothership. Until normal service is resumed from the mothership, these MSPs are on ‘standby’ mode.

      They are as much use to Scotland as a chocolate teapot.

      SNP/SNP 2016

    116. Effijy says:

      I’m old enough to remember the US raining mega tons of bombs
      on the Vietnamese Communists to no avail.

      Bombing resorted to inhuman levels, spreading the poisonous Agent Orange, and then they dropped Napalm.
      There are famous pictures available on-line showing the innocent young children who had the clothes, and the skin burned from their bodies by the napalm bombs.

      They blitzed the country with everything they had, the US lost over 60,000 of their own in the conflict, and just under 600,000
      civilians lost their lives.

      The end result was the defeat for the bombers and victory for the
      Bamboo stick bearing natives?

      History now shows that if that country had been allowed to turn communist, without resistance, they would a few decades later return to Capitalism. No War, No Deaths, No Change.

      Can we learn anything from the above and the various global leaders who tried and failed to control Afghanistan?

      With regard to the new bomb types being promoted, Brimstone, that
      helps minimise collateral damage, i.e. innocent bystanders.
      Can anyone feeling comfortable about an airstrike being aimed at the apartment above you, or the house next door?

      Our Police are not allowed to shoot at a hostage taker if the
      innocent are in the line of fire. Why doesn’t this apply internationally?
      Please don’t kill a room full of children in my name, in order to
      take out an armed psychopath.

      These proposed bombings will kill the innocent, and perhaps a few
      of the minority terrorists, but it will fuel the recruitment
      drive for new supporters, and so the eternal circle continues.

      I find it strange that these terrorists don’t seem to post information about what drove them them blow themselves up and
      live in rubble with no hope of a normal life.

      Do they reject being invaded by foreign powers, having their homes bombed, poor water supplies, no electricity, no schools,
      or hospitals, and the loss of loved ones through the conflict?

      Without any doubt some of these terrorists are completely inhuman
      now, and beyond reasoning, but surely we can’t be saying that the majority are beyond reasoning and negotiation and without any yearning for a peaceful outcome?

      O/T in relation to the trade unions supporting Trident, in order to save a few hundred jobs at the cost of £Billions,do they support bombing as it will create/secure jobs manufacturing these bombs? Would they threaten to strike if we stopped bombing?

      I fully respect the opinion of others, but I just cannot see anything positive coming out of yet more sustained bombing.

    117. Martin says:

      I long ago stopped expecting those dolts to have an opinion on anything, ever. Bit surprised that the mouth (JB)is so reticent, but maybe the party has ordered her silence as she has embarrassed them too often.

      Re Syria- it’s pointless, isn’t it? If people weren’t about to die it’d almost be an amusing metaphor for the entire Uk political system- using 1930s solutions to 2010s problems.

    118. dramfineday says:

      Valerie at 1.34 – plus 1 from me. Effijy at 3.59 another plus 1.

      It didn’t work when it was first used and it’s not going to work again, but I’ll say it again so that it’s clear to all:- NOT IN MY NAME, thank you.

      Come on you labour lot, it’s not hard.

    119. gus1940 says:

      Once the result of the vote is declared later tonight we shall have a pretty clear indication which members of The PLP are on Washington’s payroll.

      If as expected the government wins the vote it will be interesting to see in which direction the shares of BAe and others in the arms business go tomorrow.

    120. Valerie says:

      Russia really ramping up against Erdogan, and his family,the oil dealers.

      They have posted their evidence of the oil trucks crossing into Turkey on their Defence website.

      Also, the Russian Depute Defence Minister said –

      Erdogan wouldn’t resign if he was caught with his face smeared in stolen oil!

      Surely to f**k someone will ask why the yanks etc have turned a blind eye.

    121. Legerwood says:

      I recognised very few of those names – barely a handful – and I would not cancel root canal treatment to listen to any of them.

      Bombing a country and its people when they have no protection from the bombs and when no one in that country has asked for your help is obscene.

      Peace never came out of a bomb bay at 30,000 feet.

    122. Marie Clark says:

      Poor, poor Syria and all of their innocent people.

      Syria needs more bombs as much as Custer needed more Indians.

      I was thoroughly disgusted and upset when we entered Iraq. Okay, Saddam was a bad man, but what came afterwards was a hundred times worse, and it’s still ongoing?

      So her we are once more, wanting to interfere in another middle
      eastern country. WHY? What gives the UK any right to do this.

      I can’t tell you how upset this is making me feel. What the hell is wrong with some politicians that the seem unable to learn the lessons of history. This is just so, so, so wrong.

      As for Jeremy Corbyn, he is an utter disgrace. He is the Leader of the Labour party after all. Why not put a three line whip in. I know, it’s more to do with not splitting THE PARTY. How spineless. I would have had a three line whip and if the Blairite tendency didn’t like it they could feels free to resign and join the blue tories. Good riddance.

      Boy am I so pleased that we have the SNP representing Scotland.

    123. Andrew McLean says:

      Pat McFadden Labour saying its just an extension from our campaign in Iraq, or really Russians in Iraq are they, their planes flying tooled up right next to ours are they, the terrorists in London & Paris Tunisia were IS from Syrian were they?

      Syria is another country FFS

      Pat you are trying to radicalise me, am calling the polis on you!

    124. Pam McMahon says:

      Powerful speech from Alex Salmond in the debate. Cameron looked quite discomfited and shifty. That’s what REAL opposition does to him. Sadly, he doesn’t often suffer it.

    125. Thepnr says:

      Rev, just reading this story now and unlike, normally, when I would read all the posts before commenting, I felt it was important to ask this question now.

      I did though search for every post with SNP in the text before posting this to try to ensure my question hadn’t already been asked. Which is this:

      Will your next post be a similar exercise on SNP MSP’s references to bombing Syria?

      If you are making a point, then I believe it should be. Or how can we compare?

      I know all elected officials are representing their electorate but not all would wan’t to make their personal views public.

      The same may apply to SNP MSP’s or again it may not. A lot of work I know, searching twitter is not a skill of mine, but if you don’t do it then you may be beaten to it.

      Would very much appreciate it if you could. You know what I mean.

    126. Inbhir Anainn says:

      As far as I can establish all SNP Members of Parliament will be supporting Amendment (b) in the name of Mr John Baron in today’s House of Commons debate. Basically while welcoming the renewed impetus towards peace and reconstruction in Syria, and the Government’s recognition that a comprehensive strategy against Daesh is required, does not believe that the case for the UK’s participation in the ongoing air campaign in Syria by 10 countries has been made under current circumstances, and consequently declines to authorise military action in Syria.

    127. Bob Mack says:

      Two planes flying a mission together in Syria.
      One is British ,one is Russian.
      The British plane peels off and bombs DAESH targets on the ground.
      The Russian plane peels off and hits the fighters opposing Daesh on the ground

      Does something seem wrong there?

    128. galamcennalath says:

      The more I read about the Middle East, the less of a pattern/framework I see.

      It’s like a cross between an onion, an orange and a pomegranate! Layer upon layer, but with other divisions running across the layers. And, when you get down to detail, there are lots of little units in disagreement with each other!

      Israel might sit apart, isolated. I’m sure they’d like it that way. The occupied territories, settlements and Palestine make them part of the chaos.

      The great Sunni Shiite chasm. Minorities of each historically and presently getting a bum deal in many countries.

      The post WW1 colonial curve up.

      The big regional players. Iran, Saudi, Turkey and Israel. Plus other countries.

      Some of the other minorities aren’t all that minor. 30m Kurds, half in Turkey, the rest in Iraq, Iran and Syria. This has to be the biggest cock up of the WW1 carve up.

      Other minorities like Alawites (Assad’s group). Historically were persecuted but have dominated Syrian government recently. And lots of other minorities who just always get persecuted. Once there were Jews and Christians everywhere. The Jews have left, the Christians soon will.

      And last (maybe) but not least, outside countries, organisations and multinational company seeking influence and control of resources,

      So, in all of this, what does Cameron (and his other bombing allies) hope to achieve? I haven’t got a clue, but what really worries me is that I don’t think they have a clue either!

    129. Lochside says:

      Cameron today described the choice as one of between Assad the ‘Butcher’ and IS. well, should we believe the words of a fucker of dead pigs?

    130. Iain More says:

      SLAB for the most part showing they are once again a waste of Space,Oxygen and Food!

      How can so many of them not have an opinion on this issue?

      I suppose the nodding SLAB lapdogs are all waiting for London HQ to tell them what their opinion should be??????

    131. Andrew McLean says:

      notice from party Minitrue RecDep
      word speak update doublethink new unpersons terrorists now all ISIS from Syria no longer Leeds London Brussels Tunisia use memory hole.

      Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.

    132. weetroot says:

      I did not realise that there was so many Labour MSPs, I have only ever heard of Kez and her mentor Ian G.

    133. Robert Kerr says:

      God help any RAF aircrew downed and captured by the religious fanatics.

      It will be on U-tube and not be pretty.

      The backlash by the EDL etc against muslims in this country also won’t be pretty.

      Unintended consequences!

    134. schrodingers cat says:

      Andrew McLean says:

      Question will the French, or to give them their nom de plume Cheese eating surrender monkeys be annoyed if we vote no?

      a tad disrespectful,

    135. Cherry says:

      Could deploying Brimstone be more of a huge grandstanding sales showcase. The last paragraph of this article

      http://www.fighterjetnews.com/2015/03/30/saudi-campaign-could-pave-the-way-for-wider-brimstone-integration/

      “One question that raises though is whether the Saudis would consider wider Brimstone integration throughout their fleet. Besides the Tornado and the Eurofighter, Saudi Arabia also uses the F-15S. Were the Brimstone to be integrated onto that platform it would make a wider case for Brimstone integration throughout NATO, especially in the United States which is currently developing a more advanced form of the AGM-114 Hellfire missile but is also where MBDA are hoping to establish a new market for the Brimstone.”

      Wars do create money…but at what cost…so proud of our SNP MP’s BUT alas the government has a heart of stone and a political agenda to follow, by lining the pockets of Arms Companies, which quite a few have shares in.
      This is greed on the back of poor innocent children.

      NOT IN MY NAME!

    136. Another Union Dividend says:

      Very O/T

      Phil Gormley, former deputy director of the National Crime Agency, will replace Sir Stephen House who formally stood down this week as Police Scotland Chief Constable.

      Another appointment of someone who has no knowledge of Scots Law or served in Scotland and thought the Police Authority would have learnt from the appointment of Stephen House or is this yet another case of the Scottish cringe.

    137. boris says:

      Excellent analysis exposing the inability of labour MSP’s to reach a collective decision. Dugdale should have imposed the whip in order that the Labour Party in Scotland would be seen to be united in a view. Another opportunity missed.

    138. sensibledave says:

      schrodingers cat 5:00 pm

      Andrew McLean wrote:”Question will the French, or to give them their nom de plume Cheese eating surrender monkeys be annoyed if we vote no?

      You wrote “a tad disrespectful,”

      A Tad? Its up there with Cameron’s idiotic comments about terrorist sympathises – and takes us back to the back end of yesterday’s thread.

      On an issue such as this, for either side to accuse the other of the most extreme variant of their respective positions is appalling. Be it Warmongerering child murderer, or uncaring pacifist coward – neither is acceptable in a grown up debate.

    139. Andrew McLean says:

      schrodingers cat says: 5:00
      I am sure they won’t take offence and will understand the irony.

    140. manandboy says:

      If this vote in the Commons, to bomb Syria, wins, then 24% of the UK electorate will be taking England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to a high altitude bombing war in which thousands of young children share the same city space as Daesh.
      Have these children, who are about to die under British bombs, no say in the matter. Are they NOTHING to the 24% and the Tory Party? Is Cameron such a coward, that he will not spare these children, who are no different to his own.

      This is not a ‘war against terror’ – that’s just a PR slogan.

      On these terms, this cannot possibly be a united kingdom.

    141. Gerry says:

      I wish someone could walk into the HoC today with 24 tin hats and rifles. I feel sure that if 2 dozen of our representatives were to be picked at random to accompany the soldiers who will be sent to do their bidding, they would at least be listening to each other and giving this debate and our armed forces the respect that they deserve.
      Proud of the way that the SNP MPs conduct themselves. Cameron needs to be pushed on the 70k “moderates” that he claimed were waiting to help. If only there was a tin hat and rifle with his name on it.

    142. Bob Mack says:

      @scrodingers cat @ sensibledave,

      It is in the article he posted.It is a quote from an American publication.
      Do not jump to conclusions or you may end up a Tory.

    143. heedtracker says:

      On an issue such as this, for either side to accuse the other of the most extreme variant of their respective positions is appalling. Be it Warmongerering child murderer, or uncaring pacifist coward – neither is acceptable in a grown up debate

      Its highly suspect in the UKOK extreme sensibledave, that so many red and blue toryboy’s suddenly give more than twa fcuks about anyone at all in the middle east.

      You’re a pack of lunatics basically but we voted NO to be reigned over by you, at least for a bit longer, so what do I know.

    144. Patrick Roden says:

      One of the things not being mentioned is the strategic importance for the USA UK and French governments removing Assad.

      If they fail to do this, their will be Shia governments in Iran, Iraq and Syria, who along with Hizbolah, form a very powerful close knit unit that is a threat to both Turkey (sunni) and Saudi Arabia.

      it goes without saying that America is also threatened by these countries being influenced by Russia and Iran so both them and their ass lickers in Westminster want any excuse to get in there!

      people wondered why Jim Murphy was a member of a group who’s main aim was to promote America’s interests throughout the world…

      Well now you know…what we don’t know though, is what is in it for the likes of Murphy?

      can it be that like Tony Blair, he will find himself being offered lucrative positions when he retires from politics?

      Oh wait…

    145. Desimond says:

      Its not war is it?
      Its a horrified August 12th.
      Calling it a war only tries to validate the exercise in destruction.

      Will next years Poppy Sellers include the “heroes” who bombed Syrian villages?

      The horror or horribleness of all of this is compounded when people like Malcolm Chisholm says “respect” to people for having the opinion its okay to want to bomb others.

      It up there with “Yeah hes a serial killer, but hey, he was always brought flowers on Mothers day”

    146. Craig P says:

      As a reserved matter, it is quite right that branch office representatives keep their geggies shut. Leave the infighting, lack of direction and party splits to the grown ups.

    147. Skooshcase says:

      And while we’re at it, what about the Chilcot Report (Inquiry)? How bloody convenient is it that it is not due to be released until 2016, 13 years – 13 years! – after the illegal clusterfuck of Iraq, 2003.

      So, any illegalities from that evil shambles will be exposed (yes, we know that those illegalities will be couched in Chilcot-speak so as not to be termed as actually having been ‘illegal’, so the term, “exposed”, is, in this instance, used with great dubiousness) after the questionable, to say the least, machinations by Cameron & co. to drag the UK into another war in 2015…! A farce. An utterly disgraceful farce! Shame on them all.

    148. Valerie says:

      http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA291TC20140310

      Read it and weep, for these children or collateral damage. It is child murder.

      I can’t believe the absolutely half witted reasons for bombing being spouted in the House.

      Credit must go to that rare Tory with abrain, Sir Edward Leigh.

    149. Andrew McLean says:

      Actually I am not letting you away with your hypocritical post, someone posted a you tube link to dead Syrian children today! dead because of airstrikes, I found that offensive bloody offensive, you I find mildly amusing, at best irrelevant at worst.

    150. Ken MacColl says:

      Apparently the Scottish (?) Labour MP is unanimous in his approach to this issue whereas most of Neil Findlay’s MSP colleagues are mute.
      Alastair Carmichael is reported to be trigger happy while some of his colleagues are divided -but is Alastair telling the truth? ….Just asking.

    151. DerekM says:

      Did all their twatter machines break down or something ?

      Usually you cant shut that lot up from dribbling pish.

      Shhhh dont mention the war you know the one we have been fighting in secret in Syria for years.

      As for hamboner all he wants is the legitimacy to his warmonger campaign that he never got last time,we dont have an army,navy or airforce to send in ,our nuke subs are useless,and our drones are already killing,so what do we have to offer that will make more damage than just now,not a lot.

      When we and the French carved up the middle east we really made a total arse of it.

      This isnt about who bombed who or is bombing or is going to bomb this is about who gets what after the bombing.

      Follow the money or you know that black useless stuff we have by the barrel load that is such a burden to us.

    152. galamcennalath says:

      DerekM says:

      “When we and the French carved up the middle east we really made a total arse of it.”

      Certainly did! However, it has to be said (not in defence but just to raise the issue) that the two Empires probably assumed they had a 1000 years or so of ruling ahead if them! They definitely didn’t look ahead to a post imperial time. In fact, the thought of post imperial never would have crossed their minds!

    153. heedtracker says:

      . In fact, the thought of post imperial never would have crossed their minds!

      Imperialists and colonialists never give a shit, when they do finally get kicked out. India and Pakistan are two more examples of the horror show that is imperialist UK. Mount Batten simply took drew a line on a British Empire map and left. The resultant civil war may have cost nearly a million civilian lives and of course we now have two nuclear powers in perpetual face off.

      The stench of Rule Britannia goes around the globe.

    154. Andrew McLean says:

      To anyone who feels offended by my post with the link to the American attack on France, I was pointing out the irony, to do so I used a cartoon character who was used by the cartoonist to highlight the stupidity
      Evidence here, if you find groundskeeper Willkie offensive don’t watch, he also discussed the Scottish referendum.

      Eat my shorts!

    155. Andrew McLean says:

      I do that with emails too, forget the attachment
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUjGf2Grrus

      Peace

    156. Hamish100 says:

      I notice the House of Commons permits Clapping in the chamber!

      Oops they haven’t? It’s only when you go to war?

      All those wishing to go to war should be given exemption to join with the Rebel forces ( well those ones that are on our side) and make up the 70000. After all they are so brave they wish to send others to war.

      We will now resolve Palestine and Israel dispute.

    157. Andy Murie says:

      there is a hashtag @JeremyCorbyn4P?

    158. Andy Murie says:

      @JeremyCorbyn4PM of course

    159. Sooz says:

      @ Bob Mack

      Here we have Scottish Labour politicians having to cling tenaciously to sitting on the fence,terrified to publicise their views in case it loses them more votes.

      On the nail.



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