I was going to do one of my December topics today (if you want to suggest one, go here
), but they are currently debating in the House of Commons whether or not to call airstrikes on Syria, and I am not in the mood.
I understand that this is democracy in action. I understand that there are other points of view. But I don't understand how people can be so blind to the suffering of others. This isn't Call of Duty, this isn't a video game. There will be other people on the end of those missiles; people with lives and loves and families. With hopes and fears, who want to be doctors, lawyers, teachers. Who want to live in a peaceful world where their "allies" don't bomb them because they happen to come from the same country as people who want to do harm.
My dad always said that my grandma - when she got annoyed with something people were doing, or the government was doing, or anything like that - would sometimes say "what this country needs is a good war!" And I understand what she meant. We are so comfortable, we've forgotten what it's like to live in fear, what it's like to pull together for a common goal, what it's like to be a victim. Collectively, we are used to shifting the problem. The last war fought on British soil ended in 1945. So few people are still alive who remember what it was like.
I've been on twitter, half following the #SyriaVote hashtag. It's just full of people opposed to the airstrikes, which makes a nice change from hashtags you think will be full of people who think the same as you and turn out to think Donald Trump would be great for America. But anyway, in one of those tweets I found this:
Tony Benn was a legendary Labour MP who died a couple of years ago. He was liberal, anti-war and very articulate. He had four kids and one is Hilary Benn, Labour MP. Hilary Benn will be closing the debate tonight, just before they go to vote.
Hilary Benn supports airstrikes on Syria.