Comrade Corbyn

Resurrection posted:

Comrade Corbyn has been wholeheartedly and rightly disowned by his own Parliamentary Party during the debate over the bombing of the Russian and Syrian chemical facility.

At the end of the night, Corbyn is irrelevant in the debate over Syria.  In this debate he is just one man and his opinion is barely more important that the 140 back benchers who spoke / asked question.  What he is though is a useful distraction for May who is the one who really should be being held to task...

When May should be being held to answer the question why she broke with recent convention and didn’t recall Parliament.

When May should be being held to explain exactly on what basis she says the strikes were legal under international law, despite the explanation she used (humanitarian reasons) being voted down by the UN in the past.

When May should be being held to justify the grounds on which it has been confirmed Assad was culpable.

May could present a convincing argument that despite dubious legality, strikes against Assad’s chemical weapons facilities was justified.  But she just relies on lies about there being no time to recall Parliament and relies on dubious legal opinions.

And everyone attacks Corbyn for his long standing principles and ignores May’s failings.

Eloise posted:
Resurrection posted:

Listen to the Labour Parry destroying Corbyn’s  treasonous utterances on the Syrian bombing in Parliament today 

You use that word a lot... I do not think it means what you think it means.

Nope, I meant what I said. I have yet to hear Corbyn say anything positive about his own country and he seems to specialise in expecting us to apologise for any and all of the world’s ailments, perceived or otherwise. He also seems willing to delegate all responsibilities for our own decision making to any dodgy institution especially the U.N. and Russia’s veto. 

Resurrection posted:
Eloise posted:
Resurrection posted:

Listen to the Labour Parry destroying Corbyn’s  treasonous utterances on the Syrian bombing in Parliament today 

You use that word a lot... I do not think it means what you think it means.

Nope, I meant what I said. 

No, he simply has a different opinion to you.

Eloise posted:
Resurrection posted:

Comrade Corbyn has been wholeheartedly and rightly disowned by his own Parliamentary Party during the debate over the bombing of the Russian and Syrian chemical facility.

At the end of the night, Corbyn is irrelevant in the debate over Syria.  In this debate he is just one man and his opinion is barely more important that the 140 back benchers who spoke / asked question.  What he is though is a useful distraction for May who is the one who really should be being held to task...

When May should be being held to answer the question why she broke with recent convention and didn’t recall Parliament.

When May should be being held to explain exactly on what basis she says the strikes were legal under international law, despite the explanation she used (humanitarian reasons) being voted down by the UN in the past.

When May should be being held to justify the grounds on which it has been confirmed Assad was culpable.

May could present a convincing argument that despite dubious legality, strikes against Assad’s chemical weapons facilities was justified.  But she just relies on lies about there being no time to recall Parliament and relies on dubious legal opinions.

And everyone attacks Corbyn for his long standing principles and ignores May’s failings.

You seem to be happy to quote U.N. decisions against striking Assad as some sort of moral victory when that decision was made by Russia, Assad's coconspirator in gassing innocent women and children, wielding its veto. 

The convention you allude to has only happened 4 times in Parliamentary history and was flouted many times by Labour in its own actions of recent times. This was made clear by a Labour MP in the debate this afternoon. 

You appear to assess everything on pure Party lines and are happy to disregard both morality and logic. There were a few of that ilk sitting very close to Corbyn, but only a few, and not one I would trust with my country ior life.

Resurrection posted:
You seem to be happy to quote U.N. decisions against striking Assad as some sort of moral victory when that decision was made by Russia, Assad's coconspirator in gassing innocent women and children, wielding its veto. 

Where did I “quote UN decisions against striking Assad”?  I assume you mean my third paragraph talking about international law.  several of May’s claims under the https://www.gov.uk/government/...nment-legal-position are wrong.  In Parag3 it states “The UK is permitted under international law, on an exceptional basis, to take measures in order to alleviate overwhelming humanitarian suffering”. This is wrong.  There are only two conditions under international law when force is legal: either in self defence or when sanctioned by Security Council.  So the government’s statement on the legality of strikes on Syria rely on western doctoring rather than UN sanctioned laws.  And it’s not just Russia who speak out against such a legal position being adopted but the majority of African, South American and Asian states.  

As for moral victory, I don’t see anyone acting morally - definitely not Assad, nor Russia NOR the West.  However I can’t “question” Russia or Assad, so apart from a general disgust of the whole situation there is little I have to say... my silence is not a passive approval of the situation there.  But as a result of “being civilised” (yes that’s deliberately put that way) I hold my / our own governement to a higher standard.

The convention you allude to has only happened 4 times in Parliamentary history and was flouted many times by Labour in its own actions of recent times. This was made clear by a Labour MP in the debate this afternoon. 

I assume you are referring to the point raised by Mike Gapes (a long term opponent of Corbyn)?  He raised Air Strikes in Iraq which were arguably to enforce UN Security Council resolutions; Sierra Leone in support of UNAMSIL and in Kosovo the attacks were as part of NATO.  All were arguably legal under international / UN law even if opposed by Russia and therefore voted down by security council.

And all different to the current situation. None directly with UN approval but different from unilaterally “punishing” a nation.

As for the constitutional convention.  As I say I agree May has the right to set that aside... however she should not be lying about the reason for setting it aside and suggesting there wasn’t time to recall Parliament is rather laughable as a reason when there was 7 days between the Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria and the U.K. / US / French response.

You appear to assess everything on pure Party lines and are happy to disregard both morality and logic. There were a few of that ilk sitting very close to Corbyn, but only a few, and not one I would trust with my country ior life.

Party lines?  You are accusing me of assessing everything on Party lines when you think everything Corbyn does is bad!  Yes my politics and philosophy is more closely aligned Corbyn than anyone, I’m a lot much centrally aligned politically.  I am somewhat of a pacifist, but also see that at times diplomacy falls down and that force may be needed ... but dropping bombs ... is that really effective in saving lives of the “innocents” in any conflict?

The irony is, (as I see it) those who claim everything is on party lines or left or right tend to want every decision to be black and white.  You can be critical of both the U.K. and the UKs enemies, the old adage may be the enemy or my enemy is my friend... but the old adage is wrong!  

Anyway I just don’t see anyone acting morally or logically.  Morally we “punish” the Use of Chemical Weapons that kill 75, but ignore or minimise the 1000s previously killed in Syria, the 10,000 in Yemen, the Rohingya in Myanmar and the gunning down of Palestinian demonstrators by the IDF (amongst others).  Our own allies (and our own army perhaps) poses stock piles of horrific weapons like cluster bombs, depleated uranium shells and refuse to sign the ban on land mines - that’s not to question the horrific nature of chemical weapons but “we” are not some moral high ground that hasn’t made questionable decisions and have questionable friends.

Doing nothing isn’t the answer, but I question if bombing is doing anything than making a big show of things.

As for logic... well i would question a lot of the “logic” we are being expected to swallow.

I guess what I don’t get about you on here is you appear intelligent and have the ability to question and debate, yet you appear to follow the government line unquestioningly on these matters.  

Pacifists always look for political or technical reasons as an excuse for NOT using military force no matter what the circumstances which annoys me.

Why don't they just say I am a pacifist, which is a stance I understand, and then get out of the way so the rest of us can have a proper debate about the rights and wrongs of intervention in relation to the particular scenario.

Ray

Eloise,

i have a very good friend who was at one time my boss. He is very intelligent and has had a successful career, more successful than my own. However, he has one big fault which is he overanalyses things. He analysed every minute detail of the house he had built ending up on a crazily steep hill, in a conservation area that entailed him having to jump through the hoops of the  planning officers, requiring a thatched roof and specialist wooden windows. In the end it does not even have a view as it is obscured by trees, but it fitted his specification exactly.

After analysing our department in infinite detail he decided despite my strong, instinctive protestations we needed a visit by Consultants before the board decided to do  it for us. Once insinuated they concluded we needed board level representation and my boss had hoped it would be him. Nah, the board were a bunch of snobs and my friend's jib was not cut the right way. They imposed a Director on us who was truly useless and he of course got fired.

However, the well insinuated Consultants got one of their own in to head up the Supply Chain and he convinced our deluded board that they needed a universal system for their European operations. This did not fit the business model and I vociferously and suicidally objected. I was low enough down the food chain and adequately protected not to get fired at that point but was definitely heading for the skids. The project ground on for about eighteen months before an even larger corporation bought us out and £30 million in f wasted money was swept under the carpet. What the idiotic supply chain guru had done was convince the board he could take millions out of the supply chain, but this money was rather like the stake money you need to play poker. If you have no stake money you have no game. He was deconstructing the business model, or, if you like, the balance sheet.

When  you analyse things to death you are not guaranteed to arrive at the correct conclusion. Have you ever thought, Eloise, that in some of your very detailed responses to myself and others that the simple conclusion arrived at quickly and concisely might be the right one despite a perceived lack of detail? 

thebigfredc posted:

Pacifists always look for political or technical reasons as an excuse for NOT using military force no matter what the circumstances which annoys me.

Why don't they just say I am a pacifist, which is a stance I understand, and then get out of the way so the rest of us can have a proper debate about the rights and wrongs of intervention in relation to the particular scenario.

Ray

Nice observation Ray. Let's say a burglar armed with a screwdriver comes into your house where you and your wife, both in your late'70s, are sleeping peacefully. You are rudely awoken and intimidated by the burglar and react relieving the burglar of his screwdriver and stab him once. He runs away, collapses in the street and dies. You get charged with murder because the armchair lawmakers and the pacifist, politically correct police feel you may have overreacted. 

The career criminal and his family of career criminals now decide to intimidate you by making a 'shrine' outside your house. The police stand and watch because 'their hands are tied'. You can no longer safely move back into your own house as you know that the career criminal's' career criminal family can continue intimidating yourself and your wife or make a first strike on you unfettered as the law will only kick in post facto. 

This is all easily rationalised and acceptable in the minds of the pacifist, or academic theorists, or the liberal lawmakers, or the politically correct police, or a CPS under Alison Saunders.

Resurrection posted:
thebigfredc posted:

Pacifists always look for political or technical reasons as an excuse for NOT using military force no matter what the circumstances which annoys me.

Why don't they just say I am a pacifist, which is a stance I understand, and then get out of the way so the rest of us can have a proper debate about the rights and wrongs of intervention in relation to the particular scenario.

Ray

Nice observation Ray. Let's say a burglar armed with a screwdriver comes into your house where you and your wife, both in your late'70s, are sleeping peacefully. You are rudely awoken and intimidated by the burglar and react relieving the burglar of his screwdriver and stab him once. He runs away, collapses in the street and dies. You get charged with murder because the armchair lawmakers and the pacifist, politically correct police feel you may have overreacted. 

The career criminal and his family of career criminals now decide to intimidate you by making a 'shrine' outside your house. The police stand and watch because 'their hands are tied'. You can no longer safely move back into your own house as you know that the career criminal's' career criminal family can continue intimidating yourself and your wife or make a first strike on you unfettered as the law will only kick in post facto. 

This is all easily rationalised and acceptable in the minds of the pacifist, or academic theorists, or the liberal lawmakers, or the politically correct police, or a CPS under Alison Saunders.

The above is a very well described example and I can think of a few past political situations which seem to fit the above analogy.

thebigfredc posted:

Why don't they just say I am a pacifist, which is a stance I understand, and then get out of the way so the rest of us can have a proper debate about the rights and wrongs of intervention in relation to the particular scenario.

What you are describing is a war mongerer.  Someone who looks for an excuse to bomb the enemy without regard for the consequence or a long term plan.  Whats even worse is that they often will cloud their decision in terms such as "taking this action with reluctance".  

What they really mean is we know we must do something, but we are too weak or "stupid" to actually have the ability to do something meaningful so we will just bomb them in an attempt to look strong.

You don't want a proper debate on the rights and wrongs of intervention.  The media especially are not interested in a debate - they are so focussed on undermining Corbyn that they are analysing HIS statements not the actions of the person who matters; the person who is leader of this country and makes the decisions - Theresa May.

Resurrection posted:

Nice observation Ray. Let's say a burglar armed with a screwdriver comes into your house where you and your wife, both in your late'70s, are sleeping peacefully. You are rudely awoken and intimidated by the burglar and react relieving the burglar of his screwdriver and stab him once. He runs away, collapses in the street and dies. You get charged with murder because the armchair lawmakers and the pacifist, politically correct police feel you may have overreacted. 

Only thats not quite what happened is it "Resurrection"?  

He was never charged with murder.  He was (rightly in my mind) interviewed and the police did there job in ensuring that what he told the police was what happened.  When it was clear that was the case no further action was taken.

Surely in the case of a death in whatever circumstances it's right that an investigation took place to ensure he HADN'T overreacted.

I would say the police and the law did its job.

Your "spin" on the story however was worthy of the Sun or the Mail.

The career criminal and his family of career criminals now decide to intimidate you by making a 'shrine' outside your house. The police stand and watch because 'their hands are tied'. You can no longer safely move back into your own house as you know that the career criminal's' career criminal family can continue intimidating yourself and your wife or make a first strike on you unfettered as the law will only kick in post facto. 

I'm not sure you or I know the truth of the level of threat to Richard Osborn-Brooks following the death.  IF there are real threats to Mr Osborn-Brooks I assure you the police will investigate them.  I imagine that his own conscience is bothering him and not returning to his home could well be about not wanting to be reminded of what happened.  Taking a life is not something most people do without consequence to themselves - however justified the taking of that life may be in self defence.

Its true that there have been flowers left *on a public path where the burglar actually died* and while I agree its distasteful, I find a lot of things done distasteful but that doesn't mean they should be stopped.

This is all easily rationalised and acceptable in the minds of the pacifist, or academic theorists, or the liberal lawmakers, or the politically correct police, or a CPS under Alison Saunders.

Its not "easily rationalised" ... its a complex debate about balance.

I'm not even sure why you are talking about "liberal lawmakers" or the "CPS under Alison Saunders" as the laws have recently been clarified on this matter to clarify that in the case where your home is burgled you CAN use force in defending yourself.  So long as (for example) you don't stab a burglar who is already incapacitated; the law is on your side.

As for the "politically correct police" ... what are you expecting them to do?

Romi posted:
Resurrection posted:
thebigfredc posted:

Pacifists always look for political or technical reasons as an excuse for NOT using military force no matter what the circumstances which annoys me.

Why don't they just say I am a pacifist, which is a stance I understand, and then get out of the way so the rest of us can have a proper debate about the rights and wrongs of intervention in relation to the particular scenario.

Ray

Nice observation Ray. Let's say a burglar armed with a screwdriver comes into your house where you and your wife, both in your late'70s, are sleeping peacefully. You are rudely awoken and intimidated by the burglar and react relieving the burglar of his screwdriver and stab him once. He runs away, collapses in the street and dies. You get charged with murder because the armchair lawmakers and the pacifist, politically correct police feel you may have overreacted. 

The career criminal and his family of career criminals now decide to intimidate you by making a 'shrine' outside your house. The police stand and watch because 'their hands are tied'. You can no longer safely move back into your own house as you know that the career criminal's' career criminal family can continue intimidating yourself and your wife or make a first strike on you unfettered as the law will only kick in post facto. 

This is all easily rationalised and acceptable in the minds of the pacifist, or academic theorists, or the liberal lawmakers, or the politically correct police, or a CPS under Alison Saunders.

The above is a very well described example and I can think of a few past political situations which seem to fit the above analogy.

3 more absolutely absurd and self-indulgent posts.

I more or less completely agree with the statement by Eloise in an earlier post, but would just insert one word:

"The irony is, (as I see it) those who claim everything is on party lines or left or right tend to want every decision to be black and white.  You can be critical of both the U.K. and the UKs enemies, the old adage may 'be the enemy of my enemy is my friend... but the old adage is sometimes wrong"!  

Things are rarely completely black and white. Those who think that they are, are often those on the extreme right or extreme left of politics. I should point out that I am by no means a Corbyn supporter, but I certainly do not class him to be in the 'extreme left' camp in this context on most matters. I do think that he made a tactical (not a moral) mistake in openly urging caution before attributing recent events to Russia and Putin. He was doing just that, and was not as some in a blatantly politically opportunist way like to assert,  voicing support for Putin or the current Russian regime.

I personally have little doubt that Putin and his followers were to blame for the events in Salsbury, and that Putin is one of the most dangerous and sinister actors on the world stage. However, I don't know enough about the actors on all sides in the Syria conflict to be equally confident in the case of events in Syria, and I certainly have concerns about May's decision to participate in the bombing of Syrian targets without consulting our parliament.          

Hmack posted:

I more or less completely agree with the statement by Eloise in an earlier post, but would just insert one word:

"The irony is, (as I see it) those who claim everything is on party lines or left or right tend to want every decision to be black and white.  You can be critical of both the U.K. and the UKs enemies, the old adage may 'be the enemy of my enemy is my friend... but the old adage is sometimes wrong"!  

I wouldn't disagree with the addition of the word "sometimes".

I don't think it was on here ... but somewhere I put it as (something along the lines of) "the enemy of my enemy is never truly my friend, but can sometimes be a convenient ally for a period of time when our ends coincide".

3 more absolutely absurd and self-indulgent posts.

I more or less completely agree with the statement by Eloise in an earlier post, but would just insert one word:

"The irony is, (as I see it) those who claim everything is on party lines or left or right tend to want every decision to be black and white.  You can be critical of both the U.K. and the UKs enemies, the old adage may 'be the enemy of my enemy is my friend... but the old adage is sometimes wrong"!  

Things are rarely completely black and white. Those who think that they are, are often those on the extreme right or extreme left of politics. I should point out that I am by no means a Corbyn supporter, but I certainly do not class him to be in the 'extreme left' camp in this context on most matters. I do think that he made a tactical (not a moral) mistake in openly urging caution before attributing recent events to Russia and Putin. He was doing just that, and was not as some in a blatantly politically opportunist way like to assert,  voicing support for Putin or the current Russian regime.

I cannot see how me or anyone else having an opinion is self indulgent or using a factual event as an analogy is absurd. All I have said is that over analysing situations and assuming that jaw jaw will always result in a positive conclusion is not necessarily borne out in reality. In the end if you are being bullied you have three choices: Enjoy the experience (unlikely), run away, or face up to the aggressor.

All choices have a  downside but the bully has complete control of the game until you decide which option to take. Going to endless extremes to deny Putin's culpability may satisfy some sensibilities but my curtailed analysis is that he and Assad are disgusting, amoral opportunists who have no scruples about gassing men, women and children for their own deviant ends.  

 

I heard the former Attorney General on R4 recently being questioned whether TM needed to consult with Parliament before carrying out air strikes on the Syrian regime.

He was of the opinion that it was not required as precedent had already been set under previous governments on many occasions such as protecting the Kurds in northern Iraq and the Kososvo conflict. In such instances the UK acts on 'humanitarian' grounds i.e. protecting the population of Syria from being gassed by their own government.

He also made the very good point that the military imperatives of needing to act quickly and not releasing too much information out regarding the nature of the operation may well preclude any meaningful debate from taking place anyway.

Ray

Well, I’m off out delivering election leaflets later today, and I’m sure I’ll get to hear what potential voters think of Corbyn, and what is actually important to them. It’s far more likely to be the bins or bobbies on the beat than Brexit or Syria, but we shall see. 

Resurrection posted:

I cannot see how me or anyone else having an opinion is self indulgent or using a factual event as an analogy is absurd.

But you didn't use a factual event as an analogy ... you SPUN a factual event to provide an analogy.

All I have said is that over analysing situations and assuming that jaw jaw will always result in a positive conclusion is not necessarily borne out in reality. In the end if you are being bullied you have three choices: Enjoy the experience (unlikely), run away, or face up to the aggressor.

But (in the case of Syria) the UK is not being bullied.  

You also have to stand up to the aggressor whatever they do, not just because they cross a line.

All choices have a  downside but the bully has complete control of the game until you decide which option to take. Going to endless extremes to deny Putin's culpability may satisfy some sensibilities but my curtailed analysis is that he and Assad are disgusting, amoral opportunists who have no scruples about gassing men, women and children for their own deviant ends.  

That may be your analysis of Salisbury and Syria (and you are quite probably correct) ... but its based on gut reaction not evidence.  No one is going to endless extremes to deny Putin's culpability.  If anything (and of course in my opinion) its the opposite in that limited evidence is being spun to PROVE Putin's culpability.  

Take Porton Down as you so love analogies ... they said...

Aitkenhead said: “We were able to identify it as novichok, to identify it was a military-grade nerve agent. We have not verified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific information to the government, who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions that they have come to.” 

... what was stated by Boris Johnson was

In an interview with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Mr Johnson was asked: “You argue that the source of this nerve agent – novichok – is Russia. How did you manage to find it out so quickly? Does Britain possess samples of this?”

Mr Johnson replied: "When I look at the evidence, the people from Porton Down, the laboratory… they were absolutely categorical, I mean, I asked the guy myself, I said, 'are you sure?' and he said 'there's no doubt.' And so, we have very little alternative but to take the action that we have taken."

Yes, there is likely other (intelligence) evidence which adds weight to the claim novichok coming from Russia ... but to say that "the people from Porton Down" said that is was Russian made is WRONG.  The government's claim that there is no plausible alternative is disingenuous too ... there are plausible alternatives; they just have dismissed them.  To say (as Corbyn did) that its likely that Russia is the likely source is what the evidence shows.  If you read what he says (as opposed to what has been spun), he has not objected to the governments claims or their response; he just has put further questions.

As for the end of your sentence ... "[Putin] and Assad are disgusting, amoral opportunists who have no scruples about gassing men, women and children for their own deviant ends" ... while I wouldn't use the same language, I do agree with your general sentiments.  My caution should not be mistaken for any sympathy towards Putin and/or Assad's actions.

However there are things you need to consider (IMO).  In taking this action, the West have (arguably) given Putin and Assad the moral high ground legally speaking.  As much as I dislike his policies and find his actions unconscionable, Assad is (legally) the legitimate leader of the legitimate governement and he has invited Putin, the legitimate leader of the legitimate governement of Russia, to “help” him regain control over a rebel element. Until Russia can be convinced to withdraw that support despite (alleged) chemical weapons attacks Assad will continue to prosecute “his people” as he sees fit.

The U.K., US and France have solved nothing and by their actions may well have extended the war to the detriment of the innocents and civilians.  Unless you are proposing forced regime change, then any military force is of limited use.

thebigfredc posted:

I heard the former Attorney General on R4 recently being questioned whether TM needed to consult with Parliament before carrying out air strikes on the Syrian regime.

He was of the opinion that it was not required as precedent had already been set under previous governments on many occasions such as protecting the Kurds in northern Iraq and the Kososvo conflict. In such instances the UK acts on 'humanitarian' grounds i.e. protecting the population of Syria from being gassed by their own government.

Is it not true though that those two incidences followed resolutions from the UN security council so it can be argued that the military response in those cases was justified to enforce the UN resolutions?

As for comments from former Attorney General ... was this the same Attorney General who set out the case why invading Iraq was legal?

He also made the very good point that the military imperatives of needing to act quickly and not releasing too much information out regarding the nature of the operation may well preclude any meaningful debate from taking place anyway.

In any case, time was not an issue here.  There was plenty of time between the attack on the 7th and the West's response on the 14th to recall parliament and hold a debate.  If May wants to justify bypassing parliament then fine (she is correct that parliament didn't legally need to be consulted), but don't lie about the reasons for bypassing parliament.

It strikes me in both these replies, despite what you both may claim, you are seeing things in black and white but the world (especially internationally) doesn't work that way.  Every action has consequences and you cannot ignore those consequences.  It may be that by bombing Assad now you are sending a message that to use chemical weapons is a red line ... but are you not also sending the message that every humanitarian act up to that point is acceptable.  Are you not saying that we in the west don't care if you starve a population, if you use rape as a tool of oppression and 

Hungryhalibut posted:

Well, I’m off out delivering election leaflets later today, and I’m sure I’ll get to hear what potential voters think of Corbyn, and what is actually important to them. It’s far more likely to be the bins or bobbies on the beat than Brexit or Syria, but we shall see. 

In fairness, they are local elections so those are the issues that councillors have some control over.  I find it a bit uncomfortable when people vote in local elections on issues that are proper to national government. Anyway, looks like you have some nice weather for you leaflet deliveries, HH.  

Resurrection posted:

I cannot see how me or anyone else having an opinion is self indulgent or using a factual event as an analogy is absurd. All I have said is that over analysing situations and assuming that jaw jaw will always result in a positive conclusion is not necessarily borne out in reality. In the end if you are being bullied you have three choices: Enjoy the experience (unlikely), run away, or face up to the aggressor.

All choices have a  downside but the bully has complete control of the game until you decide which option to take. Going to endless extremes to deny Putin's culpability may satisfy some sensibilities but my curtailed analysis is that he and Assad are disgusting, amoral opportunists who have no scruples about gassing men, women and children for their own deviant ends.  

 

I think your analogy of the bully illustrates nicely the absurdity of our sending a few missiles into Syria.

The 'bully' (I'm taking that to be Assad) hasn't behaved badly towards us, but to others.  HMG thinks we can't stand by and watch that behaviour and do nothing so we say to the bully:

'look, I'm going to hit you. I'm not going to hit you hard because I don't really want it to hurt and I'm going to tell you when and where I'm going to hit you so that you can brace yourself. That way, I shouldn't do any unintended damage. So please stop behaving badly to others, or at least if you are going to continue to behave badly please only use normal bad behaviour  [ie conventional weapons].'

Now what for sort of self-respecting bully is going to take heed of that?

oise posted:
Resurrection posted:

I cannot see how me or anyone else having an opinion is self indulgent or using a factual event as an analogy is absurd.

But you didn't use a factual event as an analogy ... you SPUN a factual event to provide an analogy.

All I have said is that over analysing situations and assuming that jaw jaw will always result in a positive conclusion is not necessarily borne out in reality. In the end if you are being bullied you have three choices: Enjoy the experience (unlikely), run away, or face up to the aggressor.

But (in the case of Syria) the UK is not being bullied.  

You also have to stand up to the aggressor whatever they do, not just because they cross a line.

All choices have a  downside but the bully has complete control of the game until you decide which option to take. Going to endless extremes to deny Putin's culpability may satisfy some sensibilities but my curtailed analysis is that he and Assad are disgusting, amoral opportunists who have no scruples about gassing men, women and children for their own deviant ends.  

That may be your analysis of Salisbury and Syria (and you are quite probably correct) ... but its based on gut reaction not evidence.  No one is going to endless extremes to deny Putin's culpability.  If anything (and of course in my opinion) its the opposite in that limited evidence is being spun to PROVE Putin's culpability.  

Take Porton Down as you so love analogies ... they said...

Aitkenhead said: “We were able to identify it as novichok, to identify it was a military-grade nerve agent. We have not verified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific information to the government, who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions that they have come to.” 

... what was stated by Boris Johnson was

In an interview with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Mr Johnson was asked: “You argue that the source of this nerve agent – novichok – is Russia. How did you manage to find it out so quickly? Does Britain possess samples of this?”

Mr Johnson replied: "When I look at the evidence, the people from Porton Down, the laboratory… they were absolutely categorical, I mean, I asked the guy myself, I said, 'are you sure?' and he said 'there's no doubt.' And so, we have very little alternative but to take the action that we have taken."

Yes, there is likely other (intelligence) evidence which adds weight to the claim novichok coming from Russia ... but to say that "the people from Porton Down" said that is was Russian made is WRONG.  The government's claim that there is no plausible alternative is disingenuous too ... there are plausible alternatives; they just have dismissed them.  To say (as Corbyn did) that its likely that Russia is the likely source is what the evidence shows.  If you read what he says (as opposed to what has been spun), he has not objected to the governments claims or their response; he just has put further questions.

As for the end of your sentence ... "[Putin] and Assad are disgusting, amoral opportunists who have no scruples about gassing men, women and children for their own deviant ends" ... while I wouldn't use the same language, I do agree with your general sentiments.  My caution should not be mistaken for any sympathy towards Putin and/or Assad's actions.

However there are things you need to consider (IMO).  In taking this action, the West have (arguably) given Putin and Assad the moral high ground legally speaking.  As much as I dislike his policies and find his actions unconscionable, Assad is (legally) the legitimate leader of the legitimate governement and he has invited Putin, the legitimate leader of the legitimate governement of Russia, to “help” him regain control over a rebel element. Until Russia can be convinced to withdraw that support despite (alleged) chemical weapons attacks Assad will continue to prosecute “his people” as he sees fit.

The U.K., US and France have solved nothing and by their actions may well have extended the war to the detriment of the innocents and civilians.  Unless you are proposing forced regime change, then any military force is of limited use.

thebigfredc posted:

I heard the former Attorney General on R4 recently being questioned whether TM needed to consult with Parliament before carrying out air strikes on the Syrian regime.

He was of the opinion that it was not required as precedent had already been set under previous governments on many occasions such as protecting the Kurds in northern Iraq and the Kososvo conflict. In such instances the UK acts on 'humanitarian' grounds i.e. protecting the population of Syria from being gassed by their own government.

Is it not true though that those two incidences followed resolutions from the UN security council so it can be argued that the military response in those cases was justified to enforce the UN resolutions?

As for comments from former Attorney General ... was this the same Attorney General who set out the case why invading Iraq was legal?

He also made the very good point that the military imperatives of needing to act quickly and not releasing too much information out regarding the nature of the operation may well preclude any meaningful debate from taking place anyway.

In any case, time was not an issue here.  There was plenty of time between the attack on the 7th and the West's response on the 14th to recall parliament and hold a debate.  If May wants to justify bypassing parliament then fine (she is correct that parliament didn't legally need to be consulted), but don't lie about the reasons for bypassing parliament.

It strikes me in both these replies, despite what you both may claim, you are seeing things in black and white but the world (especially internationally) doesn't work that way.  Every action has consequences and you cannot ignore those consequences.  It may be that by bombing Assad now you are sending a message that to use chemical weapons is a red line ... but are you not also sending the message that every humanitarian act up to that point is acceptable.  Are you not saying that we in the west don't care if you starve a population, if you use rape as a tool of oppression and 

I get the impression Eloise you have had a comfortable life, please tell me if I am wrong.  All the clever arguments in the world can be theoratically thought out, but if one actual experiences certain regimes, conditions and understandings, then one owns opinion is formed more in a more practical way.

Well I guess I have a relatively comfortable life, too, but I'll have a go at analysing the situation we face in Syria.

It has been at civil war for years. Assad and his regime have and continue to behave in ways that could amount to war crimes.  But he knows that if loses he faces death (like Saddam and Gaddafi) so no matter what he's going to carry on. And he is winning.  

We in the West know only too well that taking down a dictator in the middle east can actually make the whole situation worse (Iraq, Libya) and see the people of that country suffer even more than they did under the former despotic regimes.

However unlike Iraq and Libya, Assad has some powerful allies e.g. Russia and Iran.  The West knows that if they really wanted to remove Assad (and I don't think they really do because of the likely internal carnage that would follow), they risk conflict in the region with Assad's allies. They are not going to risk that. And that's to say nothing about the complications involving Turkey and the Kurds. 

So we watch and wring our hands and when Syrian civilians are killed with chemicals rather than bombs and bullets, we make a weak gesture of intervention which we signal in advance because we don't want things to escalate. 

I see only two ways forward which will lead to some relief for Syria and its people. First, await Assad's ultimate victory and accept the killings that will continue until that point. Alternatively, use diplomatic pressure on Assad's allies to pursue a political compromise in the region which involves stopping or much reducing the killing. This, of course, means accepting Assad.  

As far as I can see Corbyn is arguing for second of these. It might be distasteful. It might rather expose the impotence of the West in the situation. I for one think it the only practical way forward.  But, hey, why not label Corbyn as anti-British, a Russian stooge etc etc. After all, that's a lot easier than confronting the reality.    

Romi posted:

I get the impression Eloise you have had a comfortable life, please tell me if I am wrong.  All the clever arguments in the world can be theoratically thought out, but if one actual experiences certain regimes, conditions and understandings, then one owns opinion is formed more in a more practical way.

Well “comfortable life” is a relative term...

I am fortunate to be born in Britain, my upbringing was such my parents (one was a primary school teacher the other fitted clerical work around raising me and my sister) were able to provide to our needs, but there was never a flood of luxuries.  I was educated through the state school system, working hard to get a place at a red brick university studying engineering.  My interest in politics developed later.

I have experienced bullying and abuse in my life as a result of (what maybe called) life choices, but compared to less accepting countries I have been able to make the choice to live as I desire.  I’ve been the victim of (mildly) violent burglary twice.  So yes I’ve faced down bullies and deal with threats.

So compared with (say) the average Syrian ... yes very comfortable.  Compared with (say) Jacob Rees-Mogg or Boris Johnson not comfortable.

What any of this has to do with my views on the legal and moral position on air strikes on Syria I’ve no idea...

It is difficult to disagree with the summary of the terrible civil war in Syria by MDS.

The western political leaders know they have no chance of effecting large-scale changes.

But we do have an opportunity to intervene in a small way on humanitarian grounds over the use of chemical weapons and I think it is reasonable to do so.

Ray

I don’t know why anybody’s getting upset by the missile strikes on Syria, apart from the fact it’s embarrassing that the UK prime minister suggests it was a powerful deterent. Most of the country’s been raised to the ground during the past 7 years, I doubt the destruction of what was probably a couple of disused farm buildings is going to frighten anybody.

The buildings destroyed where of no importance to the Syrians, if they where, the Russians wouldn’t have given permission to the USA/UK/France to destroy them.

 

Tony2011 posted:

Meanwhile, during passionate and  animated debate in the HoC, shadow home secretary shows particular interest in her leaders engagement in PMQs.

Perhaps she was finding out how Albert Thompson's cancer treatment was going ... oh yes thats right ... its not happening YET despite what Theresa May said!

Or is giving parliament wrong information now acceptable behaviour?

A couple of points on this:

TM is rightly embarrassed by the Windrush cock-up and has said she wants to "dispel any impression that my government is in some sense clamping down on Commonwealth citizens, particularly those from the Caribbean who have built a life here" and that '...those who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973 and lived here permanently without significant periods of time away in the last 30 years have the right to remain in the UK.' So Albert Thompson should get the treatment he needs and deserves shortly.

Clamping down on health tourism is something the Government should aspire to, albeit badly administered in this case. There was a TV programme regarding actual cases in one of the London hospitals last year and it clearly showed foreign nationals taking advantage of our generosity and the NHS Doctor's obligations under the Hippocratic oath, with unpaid bills reaching six figures in some cases. 

Ray

 

 

 

thebigfredc posted:

So Albert Thompson should get the treatment he needs and deserves shortly.

She's HAD 5 weeks!!!

She has no excuses - the "crisis" of those from the Windrush generation is a crisis of HER making.  She was Home Secretary when it was decided the protections for commonwealth citizens which existed in the 1999 Immigration Act was no longer needed.

It was under her tenure as Home Secretary which saw the leeway that immigration officers had was eroded so that the situation went from a benefit of doubt / balance of probability decision making process to a having to prove absolutely the right to remain in UK.

You said "TM is rightly embarrassed by the Windrush cock-up" ... but she has sat on it for a couple of months and it was only when it was being raised in The Sun and The Daily Mail that things started happening.  One might suspect Paul Dacre and Tony Gallagher are the ones in charge of government policy here.

Eloise posted:
thebigfredc posted:

So Albert Thompson should get the treatment he needs and deserves shortly.

She's HAD 5 weeks!!!

You said "TM is rightly embarrassed by the Windrush cock-up" ... but she has sat on it for a couple of months and it was only when it was being raised in The Sun and The Daily Mail that things started happening.  One might suspect Paul Dacre and Tony Gallagher are the ones in charge of government policy here.

+1 from me, Eloise - what seems apparent is that TM's apology was elicited in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting the following day - in other words, she decided that she could not deal with the blowback from the public furore over this issue of immigration from the Commonwealth, by trying to defend the indefensible. 

What is even more egregious is that Amber Rudd is picking up the flak for decisions made whilst TM was in charge of the Home Office, when the policies she formented quite deliberately created a hostile climate for immigration. It is clear that basic morality went out of the window at that time, so TM should be embarrassed, indeed mortified - I wonder what her karma will be...

thebigfredc posted:

A couple of points on this:

TM is rightly embarrassed by the Windrush cock-up and has said she wants to "dispel any impression that my government is in some sense clamping down on Commonwealth citizens, particularly those from the Caribbean who have built a life here" and that '...those who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973 and lived here permanently without significant periods of time away in the last 30 years have the right to remain in the UK.' So Albert Thompson should get the treatment he needs and deserves shortly.

Clamping down on health tourism is something the Government should aspire to, albeit badly administered in this case. There was a TV programme regarding actual cases in one of the London hospitals last year and it clearly showed foreign nationals taking advantage of our generosity and the NHS Doctor's obligations under the Hippocratic oath, with unpaid bills reaching six figures in some cases. 

Ray

 

 

 

May was right to apologise for the idiotic behaviour of the Border Force. However, Ray is 100% correct about health tourism. It did have to happen and it happened this morning to my wife. She has had an ear infection for a few weeks and decided that it was time to see the doctor, so she phoned the surgery first thing as that is when they release appointments for that day. She was told 5 minutes after opening hours that there were no appointments available and no-one could see her.

They suggested that a doctor might be able to phone her later in the day but as he would not be able to see in her ear she was not impressed. She was told to go to a walk in clinic and see a doctor she would not know and ultimately accepted that this was the only solution. The surgery did say that if there was a cancellation they would phone her back. Anyway, she went to the walk in clinic where she was seen by a nurse, not a doctor, and while she was away the surgery phoned to say that they had found her an appointment. Hopeless!

May has apologised for the Windrush people buy anyone without a legitimate reason to be in this country should be deported and if they wish to use NHS resources it should be made clear that payment must be made. Try getting free healthcare anywhere else in the world.

Eloise posted:
Tony2011 posted:

Meanwhile, during passionate and  animated debate in the HoC, shadow home secretary shows particular interest in her leaders engagement in PMQs.

Perhaps she was finding out how Albert Thompson's cancer treatment was going ... oh yes thats right ... its not happening YET despite what Theresa May said!

Or is giving parliament wrong information now acceptable behaviour?

Give it a rest Eloise. As if Albert Thomson is the only victim of the NHS or any other government office. May apologised for events that started when Labour decided to destroy Windrush documents in 2009. The complications of a multicultural society with no proper id system is bound to cause issues. Don't want id cards then prove your UK entitlement is some other way, but prove it you should, or face consequences. This, of course, would apply to all.

Resurrection posted:

Give it a rest Eloise. As if Albert Thomson is the only victim of the NHS or any other government office. May apologised for events that started when Labour decided to destroy Windrush documents in 2009. The complications of a multicultural society with no proper id system is bound to cause issues. Don't want id cards then prove your UK entitlement is some other way, but prove it you should, or face consequences. This, of course, would apply to all.

Serious ... can you prove you've lived and worked in the UK all your life?  (Yes I know you said that you worked in EU for a time ... I'm asking hypothetically)

Yes Albert Thompson is one person ... so how many more people face similar situation?

OnIy wasn't "Labour decided to destroy Windrush documentation in 2009" ... it might have been a Border Force decision taken while Labour was in power, but the actual destruction took place in October 2010 after Conservatives took power.

(PS. I've never been really against ID cards ... but anyway weren't they a Labour scheme that the Tories dropped?)

Resurrection posted:

Ray is 100% correct about health tourism. It did have to happen and it happened this morning to my wife.

Give it a rest Resurrection ... your wife's story has nothing to do with health tourism or immigration generally.  Its a rant at best! 

Eloise posted:
Resurrection posted:

Give it a rest Eloise. As if Albert Thomson is the only victim of the NHS or any other government office. May apologised for events that started when Labour decided to destroy Windrush documents in 2009. The complications of a multicultural society with no proper id system is bound to cause issues. Don't want id cards then prove your UK entitlement is some other way, but prove it you should, or face consequences. This, of course, would apply to all.

Serious ... can you prove you've lived and worked in the UK all your life?  (Yes I know you said that you worked in EU for a time ... I'm asking hypothetically)

Yes Albert Thompson is one person ... so how many more people face similar situation?

OnIy wasn't "Labour decided to destroy Windrush documentation in 2009" ... it might have been a Border Force decision taken while Labour was in power, but the actual destruction took place in October 2010 after Conservatives took power.

(PS. I've never been really against ID cards ... but anyway weren't they a Labour scheme that the Tories dropped?)

Resurrection posted:

Ray is 100% correct about health tourism. It did have to happen and it happened this morning to my wife.

Give it a rest Resurrection ... your wife's story has nothing to do with health tourism or immigration generally.  Its a rant at best! 

Ha! Ha! I was born in India, but my birth was registered with the British Consulate in Madras. I worked for five years in Belgium way back in the 80s and when it came to claiming a pension I contacted the Belgian Pension authorities and you would be amazed at the information they had on me. Every day of work was registered as was all of my working life registered here in the UK so don't give me any more Socialist BS about innocent people having no footprint in a country for 30 or 40 years - not unless they are illegals.

Resurrection posted:

Ha! Ha! I was born in India, but my birth was registered with the British Consulate in Madras. I worked for five years in Belgium way back in the 80s and when it came to claiming a pension I contacted the Belgian Pension authorities and you would be amazed at the information they had on me. Every day of work was registered as was all of my working life registered here in the UK so don't give me any more Socialist BS about innocent people having no footprint in a country for 30 or 40 years - not unless they are illegals.

Then you are ignoring the problem.  UK Home Office will NOT look up tax records for example.  You have to provide information to them in the form of pay slips and P60s, bank statements, etc.  You were fortunate the Belgium authorities supplied the information ... but in the UK this is not happening.

As I say ... could YOU (independent of the government) provide evidence of each year you lived in a country?  Could you provide FOUR?  Not just your working life, but all through school.  For over 50 years?

I doubt many people born in the UK could provide such proof.

Its you that is talking BS over this.

(I didn't know you were born in India.  Born to British Parents and therefore a British Citizen since birth?)

I’m continually confused about protesting or shouting at the Government or Corbyn in respect of overseas conflicts or military build up and provocations,, cyber attack’s etc.Yet I see little protest against Syria for example. Or Iran. Or The Saudis. Or China. Or N. Korea.

Or The Russians on just about any subject you care to mention at the moment. Where are the mass demonstrations and placards outside Russian embassies around the world. Mind, having said that I might go dark for a little while now. And wear gloves.

JamieWednesday posted:

I’m continually confused about protesting or shouting at the Government or Corbyn in respect of overseas conflicts or military build up and provocations,, cyber attack’s etc.Yet I see little protest against Syria for example. Or Iran. Or The Saudis. Or China. Or N. Korea.

Or The Russians on just about any subject you care to mention at the moment. Where are the mass demonstrations and placards outside Russian embassies around the world. Mind, having said that I might go dark for a little while now. And wear gloves.

We protest against our government because they are our government.  By protesting there is a slim possibility that we may alter their mind even just a little.  Also the UK is supposed to be a democracy and a civilised nation so registering your disapproval is right and proper.

As for protests against Russia - its from Nov 2016 but there were hundreds of mannequins outside Russian embassy as part of protest into their actions in Syria.

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