As a children’s author, I try to keep this blog book-related, so posts like this are rare. But there is a time for everything under the sun…
Feeling hoarse today after the protest in Parliament Square last night. Very good attendance. All ages, all colours. Speeches by Caroline Lucas and several MPs. The language David Cameron used recently (calling such people ‘terrorist sympathizers’) is a shameful slur. All of the people who spoke last night condemned IS in the strongest terms. But they believe that launching airstrikes in this case would be wrong and counterproductive. Another protest planned for tomorrow.
Here is the text of one of the letters I have sent to my Member of Parliament. Jane Ellison is MP for Battersea.
Dear Mrs Ellison,
I live on Battersea High Street and am deeply impressed by the work you have done as Public Health Minister as well as MP for Battersea.
May I urge you to join your Conservative colleagues John Baron MP, David Davis MP and others, in voting against the government this evening on the question of Syria airstrikes.
David Cameron’s case for airstrikes is by no means compelling. Particularly questionable is his claim of 70,000 ‘moderate’ troops ready to back the UK. Even if they existed, would they be organized and united enough to hold and administer territory?
Peter Ford, former British ambassador to Damascus, has described Cameron’s case for airstrikes as ‘reckless’. He thinks it will fuel the rise of jihadism in the UK.
No bomb is smart enough to avoid incidents such as the deadly October air strike on an MSF hospital in Afghanistan that killed 30 people, which the US now admits was a "tragic mistake" due to "human error."
I joined the protest march in Parliament Square last night, and will continue to campaign on this matter, even after tonight’s vote.
I am sure you will do what you believe is right, whip or no whip.