Tuesday, 1 December 2015

We Must All Act, Now!
So he’s gone and done it. Once again, Britain is staring down the barrel of another illegal war. David Cameron has organised a House of Commons vote on the bombing of Syria for Wednesday and at this point, it’s a done deal.
It’s a done deal because Cameron made it quite clear that unless he had a clear majority, he would not bring a vote to the Commons for fear of “giving ISIL a propaganda coup”.
Or is it?
That’s up to us - you and me.
Many people say, writing to my MP is pointless. There is no point voting. There is no democracy, just vested interest and a monied elite.
But this is too easy. If we, as individuals, take this attitude, we are cowards.
The truth is that for a while at least, we still live in a nation based on the principle of consent, and through our silence, we give it. Every day.
The event which seems to have given Cameron the confidence to go ahead with the vote is the choice of Jeremy Corbyn to permit a free vote on the issue. Cameron knows that many within the Parliamentary Labour Party disagree with Corbyn’s stance on war in general, and Syria in particular. Some seem to be so cynical that they are willing to vote for bombing another sovereign nation state just to get the chance to damage Corbyn’s leadership.
Those within the Labour Party who expressed their pleasure that Corbyn had come to this decision did so using very troubling language. “This allows us to vote with our conscience on the matter” is the rhetoric threaded through every mainstream media article on the subject.
Yet we do not elect MPs to vote as they would like, and in any case how many MP’s have a conscience, in fact? I can’t think of any.
We elect MPs to represent us in Parliament. If they are not doing that, they are not doing their jobs. And if we do not tell them what our conscience says, we are not doing ours.
We have no right, as individuals, to complain about the state of the nation, corruption or the common purpose, if we are not willing to make sure that we do everything in our power to make sure those we elect do their jobs.
(Don’t tell me, by the way, that you didn’t elect them because you didn’t vote. You elected them exactly because you didn’t vote, and you elected them because you didn’t stand yourself and give people any alternative but to vote for them.)
The hashtag is #doyourjob. The other hashtag is #HeWhoIsSilent, because “he who is silent is taken to agree”.
Are we going to be silent today, of all days? Or are we, as individuals, going to take the few minutes to write to our MPs and demand from them that they do their job.
I will not be silent today. I am writing to Oliver Colvile today to tell him to stop worrying hedgehogs.
"You will, Mr Colvile, vote against bombing Syria because I, your constituent, require that you vote that way. This has nothing to do with your personal conscience or the party whip - you represent my conscience and that of every other individual in your constituency."
And if any MP says that they voted one way or the other because they were representing the views of their constituents, they better be able to back that up.
It is no longer acceptable for us as individuals to sit by and do nothing while MPs run roughshod over our will. The Syria vote is a done deal because of our inaction.

So act!

qui tacet consentire videtur

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