Green Light to Assad From the UK

August 30, 2013

While the will of Parliament and democracy has prevailed the decision taken last night is totally and utterly wrong. How this country can sit idly by and give Assad’s regime the green light to use more chemical weapons against innocent people is beyond comprehension. I hope the US and other nations now do the right thing and give the appropriate response to the Syrian regime’s acts of genocide.

I’ll do a detailed post later as I am absolutely livid at the moment. However, I really do hope Ed Miliband never ever gets close to becoming leader, or allowed to take any decision which affects this country. No doubt his general election manifesto will now include the UK giving up her seat at the UN Security Council because if his view is that we shouldn’t get involved when chemical weapons have been used then there will be no circumstances when he will believe the UK military should get involved.

Syria Debate on Thursday

August 27, 2013

The Prime Minister has just tweeted:  

“Speaker agrees my request to recall Parliament on Thurs. There’ll be a clear Govt motion & vote on UK response to chemical weapons attacks”

A few days I posted that if chemical weapon use by the Syrian regime was established then some form of intervention would be inevitable. The momentum for direct action is now building and some form of military action by the West I suspect is now only a matter of time.

Intervention in Syria?

August 21, 2013

If it is confirmed that chemical weapons have been used today in an attack by the Syrian government then this represents a serious escalation in this conflict and will most likely mean that there will be some form of intervention by a coalition of countries whether a UN mandate is secured or not. Bearing in mind that the war in Iraq was entered into on the premise, which turned out to be false that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction he was preparing to use then the actual use of chemical weapons by a dictatorial regime in the same region will be impossible to ignore. 

With the continued unrest in Egypt and in other neighbouring countries, the Middle East has become in recent months an extremely volatile region.  


August 14, 2013

A military led government will apply military solutions to its problems and it should come as no surprise that this morning Egyptian security forces have started to use extreme force to clear supporters of former President Morsi camped at two sites in Cairo.

The obvious and first lesson the West should learn from this whole sorry saga is that elections do not always equate to a satisfactory or friendly democratic government and Western leaders should not get giddy when elections take place and think a western style liberal democracy will be installed the day after the election.

Secondly if the West supports elections (held fairly of course) and democratically elected governments in places where dictators/military ruled then it must be prepared for the outcome that governments which it does not particularly like or agree with will get elected! And even in this scenario the west should support the process by which the government was elected even if not the actual government. Otherwise you end up with the situation in Egypt where an obvious military coup wasn’t described as such and the west now finds itself in limbo between the proverbial rock and a hard place where it didn’t condemn outright military intervention and the ousting of an elected president and now has to look on as civilians are dealt violently by security forces and the country begins its descent into violent civil unrest.

The stance of the west in Egypt will also be viewed by various parties elsewhere in the Middle East who will no doubt conclude that coming to power through the ballot box is no guarantee of acceptance or legitimacy in government by the West and conclude that they should use means other than the ballot box to come to power.

Ethnic Minority Votes

August 12, 2013

The Guardian today has news that that in 168 marginal seats, the ethnic minority vote is bigger than the majority of the sitting MP, which obviously means that the ethnic minority vote could be key in determining which party leader enters Downing Street after the next general election. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who has campaigned in seats in areas such as West Yorkshire, Lancashire, the Midlands and London though what is not mentioned and is also of crucial importance is that turnout among minority voters also tends to be higher than the indigenous population which ensures this vote is very influential.

What is a surprise however, is how very little has changed in terms of targeting the ethnic minority vote with reliance among all parties still on so called community leaders and elders to ‘deliver’ the vote. Promises of hundreds of vote being guaranteed if certain individuals are on board is simply nonsense and their influence greatly exaggerated. This often results in candidates being selected especially in local elections who may be well known in the community but often lack the required skills to competently fulfil their role when elected as councillors and often have a very poor grasp of the English language.

We still see politicians stand outside Mosques greeting worshippers as that is what someone has told them to do and which somehow will translate into votes. While these methods may have (minimally) held true many years ago it no longer is the case now. The internet and social media means that communicating directly with people from the ethnic minorities like with everyone else is so easy and has to be the way forward especially with those born in this country who are all social media savvy. Elsewhere candidates going to people’s homes and discussing issues has considerably more impact than any other method.

While there are issues specific to these communities such as relating to cohesion, terrorist ideology etc the economy, education and the NHS will like all other communities rank as the priorities when ethnic minorities cast their vote. A Party that consistently gets its message across in these areas will stand a far better chance of success. The days for example of sending Eid cards or messages at the start of Ramadan in the belief that this shows ‘understanding’ of the community have long gone and the sooner this is understood the better.