Friday, 30 August 2013

The Losing Side

I may be wrong - it happened once before - but I don't get all the politicking around David Cameron's so-called ‘surprise defeat' in the Commons yesterday. What I saw was a prolonged debate with plenty to think about, followed by a vote which was – if there was any surprise at all - much closer than I expected. The narrow result of 285-to-272 against the motion reflected a persuasive performance by David Cameron rather than, in my view, any support for Ed Miliband or his muddled message. If our Parliament truly reflected the mood in the country the outcome should have been more like two-to-one against.

Sure the doves are out, chanting victory and singing outside their tepees, ululating in joy and hugging the hell out of any tree in range, but nobody except the BBC is hugging Ed Miliband today. I expect he is waiting for his summons to Len McCluskey’s office to find out if he keeps his prefect badge for another term.

Yet today’s papers are full of views that this spells the end for Cameron. I really don’t see that. Why? He didn’t do what history suggests Tony Blair did and take the country into an illegal, unwinnable war on ‘sexed-up’ evidence. If anything, Cameron’s term in office may come to be remembered as the time that Britain finally gave up wanting to play world soldiers and got on with democratically rebuilding its own nation state. I only say ‘may’ because I believe there is still much to do.

There may be many reasons for Cameron to stand down as party leader, but I’m not convinced this was the decider. I’ve not been a great fan, but his performance yesterday was, I thought, impressive in huge contrast to the push-me-pull-you antics of Mr Ed. It is reported that some Labour MPs ended the day still unsure as to what Miliband’s position actually was.

So it seems we’re not going to war in Syria any time soon. That should be a decision to celebrate. It seems the much-vaunted but always abused ‘special relationship’ may be in doubt. Good. It seems like a victory, albeit a narrow one, for democracy; at least our version of it. And if democracy won on war, we might just have a chance of it winning in peace; it’s about time. Maybe now we can get on with deploying a bit of democracy at home and sort out our far more important relationship with Europe.

I wish you'd won.               I know. Loser!

Ed Miliband is today being bullishly myopic, claiming a victory and calling for Cameron to consider his position. Be that as it may, I know which of them looked like a leader yesterday and which looked like a bewildered youth way out of his depth. There definitely was a loser yesterday, but I don’t think it was David Cameron.


  1. Opposition politicians always call on their rivals to resign. It is number three in the top ten list of things a politician must do in parliament (number 1 being to toe the party line unless you think there's a better offer of power on the table, number 2 is not turn up to anything but the 'major' debates).

    So, Miliminor will be wetting himself because he can demand Cameron resigns. It doesn't make him either a more effective leader or a man in touch with anything but his instructions, but he will feel a whole lot more excited. Mrs Miliminor had better get out the chiffon babydoll nightie tonight...

    On Syria, here's the message from the British people. Stay out. In fact, stay out of any muslim country because we will lose to a rabble with nothing to lose and then we have to throw the doors open to thousands of helpers and their families who will fear for their lives if they stay in Wankistainia, or wherever.

    I am sorry the scum in those dusty places are killing their own kind. Tragedy, but that is the religion they follow. it's what they do, what they always have done. We have too many of them here already who want to carry on doing the same thing they always have, and while a few thousands more won't make much difference we would rather just let them get on with it.

    Once we understand these distant squabbles are just tribes being tribes, we can concentrate on our own issues.

  2. Dave did seem the more credible leader of the two, even though he was proposing a crock of shit. Ed looked totally out of his depth, and no wonder proposing an amendment that was all too similar to the initial motion. He even used the new age speak of a 'Road Map', from Common Purpose I suspect (which incidentally, is an organisation that would benefit greatly from an incoming Cruise missile)
    Funnily enough on my daily trawls today I came across an article that said some of the rebels had admitted that the CW attack was their fault, as they had mishandled some chemical rockets supplied to them by the Suadis. Well, its as credible and more convincing than anything the Government put forward to blame Assad. Give the kids big fireworks to play with and some buggers gonna get burnt. I have sent a link to this article to David Cameron and told him I will no longer call him Cast Iron Dave, but instead Dave the Bullet Dodger. Apologies to Guy Ritchie.
    As ever, Batsby, if Carlsberg made blogs... :-)Best Regards Gaius

  3. At last a commonsense take on the issue. Whichever politicians won and lost, the British parliamentary system won. For the moment.