Results of ISIL survey
There will be a vote later today on the following motion. I am currently in Birmingham, but will soon catch a train to London in order to vote on the motion. I opposed military action against Assad and opposed the 2003 attack on Iraq.
The wonders of modern technology enabled me late last night to send out a survey (including the motion) to those constituents of mine who subscribe to my electronic newsletter. For some reason those with hotmail accounts were blocked, but many others did get the newsletter and a lot have responded. I will put an analysis of the responses later.
Condemns the barbaric acts of ISIL against the peoples of
Iraq including the Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Christians and Yazidi and the
humanitarian crisis this is causing;
Recognizes the clear threat ISIL pose to the territorial
integrity of Iraq and the request from the Government of Iraq for military
support from the international community and the specific request to the UK
Government for such support;
Further recognizes the threat ISIL poses to wider
international security and the UK directly through its sponsorship of terrorist
attacks and its murder of a British hostage;
Acknowledges the broad coalition contributing to military
support of the Government of Iraq, including countries throughout the Middle
Further acknowledges the request of the Government of Iraq
for international support to defend itself against the threat ISIL poses to Iraq
and its citizens, and the clear legal basis that this provides for action in
Notes that this motion does not endorse UK air strikes in
Syria as part of this campaign, and any proposal to do so would be subject to a
separate vote in Parliament;
Accordingly supports Her Majesty’s Government, working with
allies, in supporting the Government of Iraq in protecting civilians and
restoring its territorial integrity, including the use of UK air strikes to
support Iraqi, including Kurdish, security forces’ efforts against ISIL in
Notes that Her Majesty’s Government will not deploy UK troops
in ground combat operations;
Offers its wholehearted support to the men and women of Her
Majesty’s armed forces.
The analysis of the responses follows:
Do you support the motion put forward by the UK government? 84% yes, 16% no
Should the UK support a Multinational force against ISIL in Iraq? 89% yes, 11% no
Should the UK support a Multinational force against ISIL in Syria? 80% yes, 18% no
Do you oppose working with Assad (the dictator of Syria responsible for large numbers of deaths in Syria)? 71% yes, 27% no
Do you agree that we should not aim to occupy anywhere? 91%, 5%
Do you agree we should work with groups on the ground such as the Arab Sunni's who oppose ISIL, the Kurds, Yazidies and Shi'a who all oppose ISIL anyway and not bring in British troops on the ground? 89% 10%
(the missing numbers in percentage terms are those people who did not answer the question, one could take that as being "don't know")
It is clear from this that my constituents are substantially in support of the government's motion. As is well known I do not always vote with the government. The people I am accountable to are the voters of yardley not the party whips. However, on this occasion my the local voters are aligned with the government's position.
Hence I am expecting to vote with the government on this issue.
International law is, of course, key in all of this. My view is that ISIL operate as a gangster state in many ways similar to North Korea. Their persecution of other groups and the violent way in which they brook not even the slightest challenge and treat captives as slaves means that they are one of the worst organisations on the planet.
From the perspective of international law the way in which they capture UK citizens (including those who are only around because of being involved in humanitarian relief) and murder them is clearly an act of war against the UK. The UK, therefore, has the right to take proportionate action against them.
Additionally if the Iraqi government ask for assistance then international law does permit acting with them.
I do not think we should work with Assad or aim for any form of occupation. Our efforts should be in support of the people who have been living in the Middle East.