It was good to see you in the office earlier in the week [I got leaflets from the office for the March North by-election (see http://thingselliottsays.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/leafleting-in-march-north.html)]. You recently wrote to me on the issue of Syria.
The Government motion to Parliament – which you can read on the House of Commons website - made clear that the UK would not militarily intervene in Syria without a second vote in the House of Commons, until the United Nations weapons inspectors had reported, and not before the United Nations security council had held further discussions.
I have reservations about the benefit of UK military action in Syria. However, no such commitment was made by this motion.
I supported the motion which clearly condemned the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, killing so many people on 21st August 2013.
Parliament voted to reject the Government motion, and the Prime Minister has made it clear that he will respect this decision.
Tony Blair misled Parliament in the run up to the Iraq War by falsely representing intelligence reports. That legacy shapes public opinion today on Syria.
The Prime Minister as a matter of personal conviction, believes Britain should intervene to protect the taboo regarding the use of chemical weapons. David Cameron deserves credit for listening to Parliament and public opinion, and responding to it.
I don't disagree with what Steve Braclay says and the way he voted last Thursday. Personally if I was an MP, like other anti-war Conservatives, I would have voted with the Government. Its pretty hard to vote against a Bill that says Assad is a nasty man and we're taking this to the UN. But as a debate, it was taken to be a vote to go to war in principle and because so it failed.
But the fact that Steve is dubious of intervening in Syria is quite telling for those who want another vote on going to war. Even with Ed Miliband's support I doubt such a motion would pass. Lots more Conservative MPs will vote against the Government and the majority of Labour still will.
Steve Barclay in da House.