As MPs assemble in Westminster to the apparent fury of Nigel Farage who would have no role in such a discussion in any case we all need to call for holistic thinking from our elected representatives. The decisions they will be faced with are ones few of us would wish to make, yet our lives are implicated in the outcome of the debate and vote just as much as theirs will be. Indeed some UK citizens may pay a very high price for decisions that are taken with relative ease by some of our MPs. As the Telegraph reported a few days go, there are many questions about the source of funding for IS and the other networks of the fighters which todays decisions will impact. However the risk is that the debate today will all but ignore the source of funds and weapons which are in use in Syria and Iraq, let alone how to address what motivates the men and women who are committing atrocities supposedly in the name of Islam.
It is telling how quickly our Parliament can assemble to deal with a decision to send armaments into a foreign land where atrocities are being committed. That these atrocities are being committed by fighters who are possibly being funded by the nation intended to hold the World cup in 2022 and who are one of our economic ‘allies’. Yet this same Parliament has demonstrated since 1912 an inability to deal with Local Votes for Local Decisions (my take on English devolution) in a manner that gains the same level of support from across the parties. They have done very little to reform the second chamber in 100 years, despite many hours spent discussing such matters.
Writing personally, as appalling as the stories are from Iraq and Syria, I feel deeply uncomfortable about the idea of using bombs to deal with people who may easily become the Martyrs of the next campaign which future MPs will assemble to debate. My discomfort would be lowered if as well as debating action 1000s of miles away, our MPs were also willing to consider how to remove the cause of the symptoms this action appears focused on. This will depend on a level of integrity that has so far not emerged in any of the public pronouncements by the Government. We need Parliamentarians who understand that an institution which takes 100 years to make decisions about its own structure is being dishonest about its priorities or is entirely ineffective in its ways of operating. Before they take many more decisions about changing the landscape in a foreign land, they should get their own houses in order.