Home Affairs Committee Chair Keith Vaz MP loves to court controversy. Famously, last month, Vaz placed himself firmly in the warmongers camp, opposing official Labour Party policy by backing the Tories much vaunted air-strikes in Syria.
Now this week, in a television interview given on Russia Today’s political show, ‘Going Underground,’ Vaz explains his change of mind about Trident, and how he now opposes the renewal of this pointless nuclear weapons system.
But Vaz is certainly no born-again peacenik, as the rest of the interview demonstrates. For example, when asked why he had supported the bombing of Syria, Vaz begins by talking about Yemen, and how, he most definitely supports the ongoing Saudi air-strikes. No mention by Vaz about the Saudi regimes systematic destruction of hospitals and schools, nor their indiscriminate use of cluster bombs.
Vaz seems happy to ignore the fact that the Saudi’s war on Yemen is taking place without a mandate from the United Nations, and as such is being carried out in violation of international law.
This is particularly ironic, because when Vaz moves smoothly from Yemen to Syria, he states that in the latter instance the Syrian air-strikes are legitimate as they are “backed by a United Nations resolution.” But to this day the United Nations supports neither the war in Yemen or Syria.
Regarding his change of mind on Trident, Vaz chided his interviewer saying that he “should not believe everything he reads on the internet”, but by the same token, Vaz would do well not to believe everything that the Conservative Party has to say about war.
David Cameron may well have cited UN Security Council resolution 2249 to pretend that the UN was fully supportive of the bombing of Syria, but this was a patent lie that should have been obvious to all Labour Party members, Vaz included.
Nevertheless, on the day that Vaz voted to back the bombing of Syria he tweeted, just prior to the vote, that he was “considering changing [his] mind on Syria,” which he soon did.
In changing his mind Vaz ignored the good advice of his Party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who, during the bombing debate, repeated the well-known argument saying:
“UN Security Council resolution 2249, passed after the Paris atrocities and cited in today’s Government motion, does not give clear and unambiguous authorisation for UK bombing in Syria. To do so, it would have had to be passed under chapter 7 of the UN charter, to which the Security Council could not agree.”
Now, returning to Vaz’s incoherent interview, after explaining how he was a keen supporter of Labour Party policy, and how Corbyn had persuaded him to change his mind on Trident, Vaz added that despite his recent agreement with Corbyn:
“I disagreed with him about [Syrian] air-strikes, because I think it is was important, when the United Nations takes a view, that we support the United Nations. Once you remove that, there is nothing left for world peace, you remove the only thing standing the way of world peace.”
That the RT interviewer did not burst into laughter at this craven hypocrisy is a testament to his journalistic professionalism, or perhaps, more likely, it is a indicator that the world is no longer shocked by politicians who talk utter nonsense in defence of war.
Letter emailed to the Leicester Mercury mailbox on January 17.
Interviewed on January 15, 2016 (a 7 minute interview beginning at 5 minutes into the video below)