Feeling rather proud of the Labour Party – it was today the conscience Britain seems to lack

Tom Winnifrith Monday 7 September 2015


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Okay my motives for handing over £3 to join Labour might not have been the purest. I have done the decent thing and voted for Comrade Corbyn but today I actually felt a real pride as Labour – notably Harriet Harman – took on this Government on the issue of immigrants and state sponsored executions.

Please do not think that I admire much of what Harman stands for and has stood for in the past. But today she spoke for the conscience that this nation seems to have forgotten it had, as a smug David Cameron announced that a British drone had executed two British born ISIL jihadists in Syria.

The House of Commons voted two years ago not to intervene militarily in Syria. I am sure that the two men killed were plotting bad acts and the world is no worse place for their demise.  But the State cannot go around without any mandate simply executing its own citizens. Harman asked some very valid questions of the Government on this matter and was booed down by smug Tory backbenchers.

It appears that David Cameron got clearance from the Attorney General for these executions. Just as a previous Attorney General cleared Tony Blair’s illegal war based on lies in Iraq.  Do you trust such a system? Are you sure that a future administration will not use these precedent to rather widen the net of which countries it bombs illegally or who it executes?  I am not so sure that I trust the political classes in this way and am delighted that the Labour Party is asking tough questions.

And I am afraid that Labour has also made the running on the migrant crises. It has advocated a policy with which you and I may or may not agree, that we should accept more migrants.  The Conservative Party has until this week advocated a policy of just doing nothing. That is no answer to anything.

I am not sure that Labour’s interventions today will win it any votes. But at least it shows that it has a conscience. Tory backbenchers who have spent all summer advocating a policy on the migrants of doing sweet FA and who today heckled anyone who dared question the right of the Executive to engaged in state sponsored executions without any prior Parliamentary approval may be winning tabloid approval. But they act without thought or conscience.

And before anyone says “would you house a migrant from Syria?” The answer is yes. Our Mayor here in Bristol, George Ferguson has said that he will take in a Syrian migrant. The Mrs and I have discussed it and we will be contacting the Mayor to say that we are happy to do the same.


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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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