Last nights Government defeat in Parliament over intervention in Syria was a significant moment.
On one side is the argument that;
It has stained the government for trying to pass such a motion in the first place.
Can we really continue to be governed by a coalition who cannot pass such a simple statement through the house or a Prime minister who is so naïve that he would attempt to do so in the first place without absolute 100% knowledge that such a thing would pass.
We are stained by an opposition who it now seems are trying to score political points over the entire thing.
This failure is likely to send two messages.
It shows the USA that we cannot be relied upon. This motion is likely to put severe pressure on Obama to go to congress where he is likely to suffer the same fate with the Republicans keen to score any political points they can.
Second, it is giving a green light to Assad to continue using his chemical weapons as he will soon be clear there is nothing the west can do against him.
The UK will no be in permanent decline because we are not willing to ‘do the right thing’, welcome to isolationism.
On the other hand;
Democracy and the primacy of Parliament has been restored, the country and its elected representatives were heard by the executive. David Cameron deserves much credit for following through on promises made at the election and in the Coalition Agreement to allow Parliament a say on such matters.
This pause may well send a message to the Middle East that your problems are yours to sort out and the West has become wary of intervening in conflicts where both sides hate us.
UK public opinion has placed the UK’s national interest above that of other nations and decided that it does not want to fight Al Qaida in one country and aid them (however indirectly) another.
Any strain on US-UK relationships will be short lived and let’s not forget, the UK is an independent nation that has enjoyed little support from the US regarding the Falkland Islands or Gibraltar. Relationships are a two way deal.
The UK has now cast off the pretension that it needs to be involved in every third world and Middle East conflict, welcome to a more realistic foreign policy
This is a joint post between TD and Martin