I’m grateful to all the constituents who have written to me since the vote to approve in principle military action in Syria, in which I voted against.

An overwhelming majority of correspondents have approved of that decision, just as they have also condemned the use of chemical weapons. We all want action to end the violence and outrageous suffering in Syria.

General Lord Dannatt, a previous head of the British Army, described the vote as ‘victory for common sense’ and said, “I’m absolutely convinced the use of explosive ordinance into Damascus at the present moment will make the situation in that very difficult Syrian civil war worse.” He has written for the Telegraph, ‘There’s no military solution – yet’.

General Lord Dannatt is not alone amongst people who know something about war. In the course of the day, I headed up to the House of Lords in time to hear Lord Boyce’s scepticism, just before Lord Tebbit declared,

My Lords, I think we can be confident that we would all agree that the Government have got one thing absolutely right today: they put down a Motion on which there could not be a vote in this House. I think that was a very wise move.

It seems likely the Government would have lost a vote in the Lords too.

Finally, this morning’s BBC Today programme is running with the story that the United States plans much wider action than previously realised. For reasons I have given before, I am not surprised. There is talk of increasing support for particular rebel  groups and again I am not surprised. The foreign policy establishment will want to engineer particular outcomes. Given nationalism is one of the crucial problems, fueling it with Western military action seems to me likely to reinforce cycles of violence and revolution. Arab leadership is essential.

A lasting end to this carnage will require a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement. Diplomacy and humanitarian aid, especially to refugees, must continue and be reinforced.


  1. Dear Steve,

    I am relieved that as my representative in the House of Commons, you voted against military intervention in Syria.
    However, I am alarmed that non-UK missiles have been detected in the Mediterranean.
    I hope that you will continue to encourage and facilitate peace talks locally, nationally, and globally. I will personally be arranging viewings of a number of films- The Spirit of ’45, 5 Broken Cameras and Voice Over: Riots Reframed and holding open discussions on inter-generational relations, community organisation, social justice and peace, which I invite you and other local representatives to participate in.
    I have only the stories and experiences I have heard from people from Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya to support my protest, but as a mother, that is all I believe that I need to justify it. I cannot even bear to imagine raising children through conflict- let alone a child with severe and complex needs, such as autism.

    The following points summarize arguments against the threatened strikes on Syria:

    1. Our military support to the unruly bands of brigands, including terrorist organisations like Al-Qaeda and the Al-Nusra Front, will embolden them to commit more atrocities, destroy more of Syria’s infrastructure, create more chaos and lengthen the animosity.

    2. These brigands are no friends of the ‘West’ so they will not be willing stooges to our or Israel’s dictats.

    3. They are far more bloodthirsty and destructive than the Syrian Army which is trying to protect its people from external treachery.

    4. The rebels do not have the capacity, coordination, responsibility nor any mandate for improving the governance of Syria.

    5. Strikes are unlikely to stop the bloodshed as cruise missiles tend to kill people, and kill them indiscriminately.

    6. Strikes are unlikely to help those who need aid and shelter in Syria or neighbouring countries.

    7. Big power military intervention is likely to cause more people to flee and lose their homes to rebel factions.

    8. Military attacks on a sovereign state which has not threatened another country is an Act of Aggression and against international law (Treaty of Rome & UN Charter)

    9. Launching a war of aggression is indictable under the ICC Act (2001).

    10. People of the UK, according to a BBC Poll, generally have no appetite for another war, following the hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of injuries and deprivations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya caused by the US and her acolytes. Funding another war when so many cuts are having devastating affects on our most vulnerable will cause untold mayhem.

    11. Such attacks will fuel further aggression against the UK, USA and others involved, by terrorists upon which we have spent so much life and treasure trying to stop.

    12. Missiles will destroy infrastructure and items of economic potential, including legitimate defences, threatening the security of Syrian people.

    13. It is unlikely that the Syrian Army would use Chemical Weapons against its own people in a mixed area of loyalists and terrorists but much more likely a foreign agent with nothing to lose would do so.

    14. There is evidence that the attack on 21st August was committed by a rebel group, aided by external arms dealers. (This is backed by a false chemical attack plot planned by Britam (Defence Contractor) and Qatar in January with the intention of filming it with Russian logistics and personnel.

    Once again, I thank you for voting for common-sense, and continue to pray and work for solutions to end conflict and the conditions that cause division in communities both here, in the Middle East, and across the world.

    Yours sincerely

    • Do you have more details about your Point 14?

      It seems that there is universal agreement that there WAS a chemical weapons attack on the non-government held areas, but only assertions that there is a high probability that Assad et al were responsible. If there is EVIDENCE that these sort of activities have been carried out in the region by other parties intent on harm, then it would appear to reduce that probability.

  2. Learned a lot from this comment found in the Spectator:

    The same guys were sabre rattlilng against Egypt for taking on the same Muslim Brotherhood because the Egyptians, like the Syrians, know just how these people operate.
    The MB used gas on the Syrians, not Assad, knowing it would get fools like Obama & Cameron on their side. They have been proved correct.
    interesting that neither Blair nor Obama have cared a hoot about the MB slaughter of Copts in Egypt or of burning down churches and the MB obsession to wipe Israel off the map & kill Jews wherever they find them.
    Wallid Shoebat (a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood & PLO terrorist) became a Christian–the death penalty for Muslim apostates–and states clearly on his blog that the MB are behind this and gives evidence why. Other former Muslms like Tass Saadra (Arafat’s right-right hadn man who tried to assassinate Jordans’ King Hussein), Mark Gabriel (a former Cairo IMAM), Pastor JD Farag and Joseph Farah will tell you the same thing. Please Google these men, because the liberal-left controlled media won’t tell you about them or let you know what they teach.
    All of these men know how the MB operate. Gassing even their own people is not a problem for them. They have trained children to be suicide bombers for decades. Besides, they believe they’re sending their Muslim victims to paradise and infidesl to hell so it is a blessing either way for them..
    Obama & Cameron, like Prince Charles, need to have the Koran thumped very hard on their heads till some of what it actually preaches gets through their thick skulls. These three fools live in cloud cuckooland. They need to be woken up.
    Sadly, they are not alone. We have a media that is full of idiots as willfully ignorant as they.