Labour MPs to defy their leader – and the people who elected them

Why do we even bother?

Observer front page

In 2013 the public outcry against military intervention in Syria was so strong in the UK and the US that David Cameron and Barack Obama had to back down on their plans. People had seen the results of military campaigns in Iraq and Libya – innocent people killed, atrocities on all sides and bloody mayhem ensuing.

Cameron is likely to call for another vote for military action in Syria soon, and according to today’s Observer newspaper, at least 50 Labour MPs are set to defy the wishes of their elected leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and join a cross-party bid for military action.

The cross-party initiative is being led by Tory MP Andrew Mitchell and Labour MP Jo Cox, who have co-authored an article calling for an “ethical solution” (ethical bombing) in Syria. The article appears to be a rehash of one that Cox wrote for the Yorkshire Post in September.

One significant element is notably absent from the article on the front page of today’s Observer article.

The electorate.

The people who actually voted Labour, mostly because they were desperate for an alternative to Conservative rule.

I wasn’t one of them – I gave up on the idea that the Labour Party would bring any significant change from the Tory Party decades ago. And my faith in the concept of democracy is hanging by a thread.

Many people who feel as cynical as I do about the senseless wars that the UK and US have been involved in this century – whose real purpose seems to be plunder and corporate oil interests – have given up on democracy altogether and refuse to vote. They see voting as giving assent to the corrupt system we find ourselves governed by.

I can see their point. Maybe I’m foolish in thinking that we can somehow improve our democracy…

But for the time being I will keep trying.


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