That our city’s esteemed Liz Kendall chose to cast her bombing-lot in with the Tories was no surprise. Similarly, Keith Vaz’s decision to vote alongside the Tories, and many other warmongering Labour MPs, once demonstrated the vacuous nature of his careerist political convictions.
I say this because in an interview conducted in September, Mr Vaz revealed that he is “not in favour of bombing in Syria”; pointing out that “when you see the consequences [of bombing], they are frightening, they are terrifying” (September 16, Total Politics).
Vaz then seemed to keep fairly quiet about the issue: a silence that extended throughout Wednesday’s marathan debating session on bombing. That said, mid-way through this debate, Vaz suddenly felt moved to tweet: “I am considering changing my position on Syria following the FAC letter to the PM.”
But the Foreign Affairs Committee document that Vaz was referring to, was actually peppered fill of anti-bombing arguments, for example the ‘letter’ reported how a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations “told us that the airstrikes make the threat from ISIS worse because they ‘feed a sense of radicalisation’.”
The conclusions of this report were damming of bombing, noting that “the focus on the extension of airstrikes against ISIL in Syria is a distraction from the much bigger and more important task of finding a resolution to the conflict in Syria and thereby removing one of the main facilitators of ISIL’s rise.”
Importantly this suggestion meant that the FAC advised the Government to “use its diplomatic weight to exert pressure on the parties in the conflict, and their international sponsors.” The FAC letter even added, “many more of our witnesses called on the UK to lead a renewed diplomatic initiative rather than conduct airstrikes.”
Vaz’s brain evidently works in mysterious ways: what’s new!
But what is clear to the vast majority of Labour supporters, is that Vaz and Kendall’s decision to support the bombing of Syria was totally out of order as demonstrated by the 200 strong protest that took place in Leicester on the night of the parliamentary debate (December 3, Leicester Mercury).
This is why it is so important that Leicester’s deadly duo should, like all Labour MPs, be held democratically accountable via a reselection process. After-all, why shouldn’t all Labour members and constituents have the right to campaign for their constituency MPs to represent their views?
This letter was emailed to the Leicester Mercury on December 3. A shortened version of this article was published by the Mercury on December 5.
For a great article on Hilary Benn’s so-called great speech see this short article here: “Benn’s speech: demagogic and dishonest.”