Parliament did not assert its authority last night it showed itself to be weak, afraid and self indulgent

30 Aug 2013 at 13:22

There were no winners in yesterday’s vote, only losers. The Coalition, the Opposition, Parliament and most tragic of all, those innocents who will be murdered by the Assad regime.

I went into the Commons to watch the debate and read it all in Hansard this morning. On the terrace the general consensus was that Cameron was passionate and determined and that Miliband’s speech was weak.

There will be a lot of loose talk that Cameron’s authority has been dealt a mortal blow and much chatter that Parliament has been shown to assert its authority. Both propositions are wrong.

The whips must have known about the thirty potential Tory rebels. Each area whip would have taking soundings for the last few days. What was not factored in was the about turn of Miliband which came as a body blow to Number 10. Things are often fraught between a Prime Minister and his opposite number but now I suspect there will be a real and intense dislike between the two. The man will never be trusted again. And PMQs will became even more bloody.

If Number 10 has any sense it will put the kibosh on the ridiculous Labour spin that Miliband has bravely stood up to the war mongering USA.

Obama a war mongerer?

They must be mad.

It has poisoned their relationship with the Democrats and lost the only friend they had in Europe, President Hollande. Today the White House made a bitter attack on Miliband’s party politicking.

And the Miliband amendment was defeated. The weak are a long time in politics.

Cameron haters are thrilled that he has been humiliated. They are putting it about that he didn’t prepare the ground. That the recalling of Parliament was too rushed. Did they not read the Joint Intelligence Committee memo? Nor the Attorney General’s advice? It would have taken ten minutes to conclude that limited military action would be lawful and that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on at least fourteen occasions.

He has been pushing the boundaries to see what the world will let him get way with.

But what was so breathtakingly naive was the Miliband argument that we should pursue diplomatic options. Diplomacy with Assad? Involve Iran in peace talks? Ridiculous.

These guys are on another planet.

But what was so depressing was that the rebels were panicked by the opinion polls and their post bags. Rather than show that Parliament works it has shown it to be weak and afraid. Don’t they realise that they are representatives not delegates? They probably didn’t even think that they were going to defeat the government.

And what on earth did the ghastly Justine Greening think is she up to? Didn’t hear the division bells? Didn’t know when the vote was? She should be sacked for incompetence or gross disloyalty and Andrew Mitchell brought back.

The rebels are crowing that Parliament has shown its authority. Really? It has shown that it is weak, frightened and self indulgent. And they have washed their hands of the murder of over one hundred thousand man women and children.


I agree with Paddy Ashdown. I am utterly ashamed of what happened last night.

David Cameron at least had the courage to try and do the right thing. It is a tragedy he received so little support.

For the people of Syria.