Immigration and the Syrian problem

Yesterday the Commons completed its work on the new Immigration Bill. This Bill amongst other matters makes provision for the faster removal of illegal migrants from the UK. It strengthens the provisions against rogue landlords who rent out property to illegal migrants. It also makes clear to the courts and others that anyone who claims asylum and is refused needs to leave the country promptly.

One of the main points I have made in public and private to the government concerning Syria and terrorism is the need for stronger and more effective border checks and controls on potential terrorist seeking entry or seeking to return to our country after undergoing training in violence and radical extremism. The events in Paris have made many people ask are we safe enough? What more can be done to secure our borders and find the terrorists within our own society before they do us harm?

The government assures me the extra money,staff and intelligence they plan will be used to good effect. The aim must be to have better intelligence about those who do go to extremist training grounds or who go off to fight in Middle East civil wars, and to make sure they cannot come back here to harm us. If we and our allies are prepared to kill them by aerial bombardment in Iraq and Syria we must be prepared to take strong peaceful enforcement against them if they seek to enter our country. The border force needs to question and if necessary detain whilst making further enquiries those who arouse suspicions.

The government has now published its motion on the action they wish to take in Syria. It is very circumscribed, following the strong opposition in Parliament to a US/UK led war along the lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. The motion rules out troops on the ground in combat operations. It “acknowledges the importance of seeking to avoid civilian casualties”. The government will be under further pressure today to spell out the nature of the land forces available locally to undertake effective operations against ISIL, and to say how it can gather intelligence, locate targets and put sufficient pressure on ISIL.

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112 Comments

  1. Livelogic
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Without troops on the ground they will surely do nothing but great harm. The idea that they can avoid civilian casualties in the bombing is clearly drivel. Terrorism from various Islamic groups both home grown and overseas will be incubated. Cameron is indeed heir to Blair in his warmongering, the EU and his left wing economics. He has learned nothing from the past errors, will he perhaps become a peace envoy?

    I wonder if he will later convert to Catholicim so at least he can repent at leasure.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Despite all efforts within the technology of the time innocent people were hurt in the allied bombing campaigns over occupied countries during the Second World War. On your argument the RAF and USAAF should not have bombed anything anywhere in France until after D-Day and then the bombing should always have been restricted to those areas which had already been liberated by ground troops. Bombing to destroy U-boat bases, and to disable factories supplying the German war machine, and to interdict rail and road movements of enemy troops and supplies, all those actions potentially – sometimes almost certainly – involved casualties among the French population and therefore they should not have been undertaken. You must realise that unless you have overwhelming ground forces, and are prepared to take even heavier casualties, then you cannot fight a war like that and hope to win. I’m not talking about the area bombing of civilian areas here – the RAF had no other choice with the navigational equipment available early in the war, when it was found that with night bombing most of their bombs were falling literally miles away from the intended targets and they had little hope of deliberately hitting anything smaller than a large town with any reliability – but precision bombing using the most modern aircraft and ordinance.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense, some times the risk of civilian casualties is unavoidable, but the risk is worth it – not here.

        It is quite clear that most Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with ISIS. Bombing Belgium or the outskirts of Paris would make rather more sense.

        Cameron is just incubating terrorism and will cause far more harm than good, just as he did in Libya.

        His attack on sensible opponents of the counter productive bombing as “terrorist sympathisers” was an outrage. The man is deluded and totally pathetic.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        Cameron has put forward nothing that even approaches a sensible strategy.

        He says “either support bombing (degrade as Cameron euphemistically calls it) or sit back and wait for them to attack us”. What sort of argument is that from Cameron? The man is just pathetic.

        Most Islamic terrorist attacks have nothing whatsoever to do this ISIL. Cameron is clearly going to incubate attacks on the UK, while achieving nothing in Syria.

        To call people “terrorist sympathisers” for pointing out the stupidity of Cameron’s plan was outrageous. Cameron is a terrorist incubator without a coherent plant.

        Hillary Benn is moronic emotion over brain every time, he makes even his father look sensible.

    • Graham
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      He is a cardboard statesman indeed

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      No doubt Cameron hopes that if he gets the vote through today ,he will just about make the cut for Obama’s Christmas card list.I see the US is going to send more troops to Iraq despite the Iraqi PM saying he doesn’t want them and the Iranian backed Shia militia there saying they will target them as “occupiers”.Those who think that what is going on is just about Syria (or even Iraq) are deluding themselves.

    • APL
      Posted December 3, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic: “Terrorism from various Islamic groups both home grown and overseas will be incubated.”

      It is being incubated, but the incubator isn’t Western civilization. The sooner the West stops apologizing for existing, the better for all of us.

  2. Cheshire Girl
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I would point out that people were asking ‘are we safe enough’ long before the attacks in Paris. They were asking that after the attacks on the bus and tubes a few years ago in London. There has also been widespread concern about those who went out to Syria and then were allowed back into this country. This has been going on for a long while and is not a new thing.
    We are now assured that things will change. Well, we shall see.

  3. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Yes I have it all before, we are going to do this, we are going to do that. However after committing acts of robbery, rape and murder we still have the unblockable defences of the human rights lawyer. He cannot be sent back because its “too dangerous for him back home” or “he has a right to a family life in the UK.”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Parliament is sovereign, the supreme legal authority for the UK, and if human rights lawyers are finding ways to abuse the present law to frustrate the will of Parliament then Parliament should change the law. Note that it is the will of Parliament which counts here, not the will of government ministers who may be tempted to seek short cuts which are inconsistent with the expressed will of Parliament and which are then overturned by the courts. It all comes down to Parliament, and as the Commons is the dominant chamber of Parliament that means that it all comes down to the people we elect as our representatives. If a judge persists in blatantly defying the clearly expressed will of Parliament then Parliament can and should remove him; at present that would require consent from the unelected legislators-for-life in the Lords, but that law could also be changed to make it a decision which rested entirely with MPs.

  4. matthu
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    The decision on whether to allow bombing in Syria or not has more to do with whether we are seen to be standing shoulder to shoulder with “our closest and most important military allies, France and the United States” than with any efficacy or righteousness of the military action we are proposing to take.

    I am further appalled that Cameron is not prepared to concede a 2-day debate, as if he knows that his arguments and lack of planning may be shown up for how little they are worth.

    We are now in a situation where, even before we have had time to receive and digest the recommendations of the Chilcot report, we are destined to repeat many of the same mistakes.

    Only this time they won’t be construed as mistakes.

    • Bob
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Mr Cameron said he will not serve another term as PM, so perhaps he sees himself as the heir for the job of Middle East Peace Envoy?

  5. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    “It “acknowledges the importance of seeking to avoid civilian casualties”. ” Has Dave not seen the photos of the cages of Yazidi women that ISIS keep of the roofs of their buildings? Is he so naive to think ISIS is not going to go into battle without protecting themselves with human shields? This is going to be a long war. JR for his own good, if see Dave, remind him does he want the same reputation as Blair? Does he have the same pyschological make up to try and live with it? etc ed

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      JR how is it a secret that Dave inherited a load of money from his father and Blair has (been financially successful ed)?

      Its not a secret and is well known. I delete anything which could be construed as an unfair allegation, or personal matters which are not relevant to the issue.

  6. Ray
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    How will you vote?

    Previously you were sceptical of these air strikes. ‘Does Syria need more bombs?’
    Now you seem to be more positive about them…

  7. Richard1
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I can’t see the logic of the Labour position under which its OK for the UK to be bombing in Iraq but if the terrorists targeted hop over the border to Syria it’s not OK. If it’s right and sensible to bomb Islamic State in Iraq it’s right to do it in Syria. That doesn’t mean it will be effective, and it’s clear there needs to be ground intelligence to have useful targettimg, as pointed out by David Davis. I think Parliament should authorise the Government to order bombing, but require regular updates as to its progress as and when missions are carried out.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      I agree that it is potentially illogical to attack Islamic State in Iraq but not in Syria, and it seems to me that if the Commons rejects the government motion then the RAF would have to bow out of Iraq as well. The motion actually refers to the UN Security Council resolution which calls upon member states to eradicate the safe haven that Islamic State has established “over significant parts of Iraq and Syria”, if MPs don’t want to authorise action with respect to the parts in Syria then it has to be asked whether they support the present action with respect to the parts in Iraq.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 2, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Yes this is why Corbyns position has no basis in logic

    • Scottspeig
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      The logical argument is quite straight-forward.

      We are asked to bomb in Iraq by the government of Iraq and is partly a mess of our own making. Syria is another issue altogether and imo should be dealt with by the Arab nations and/or the UN. Unless it is Arab led or UN led we should not be involved.

      Let’s also note that each missile costs money and that we are still spending more than we earn and that our added military might will not repeat will not make one iota of difference in the overall campaign but will make a retaliatory response from ISIS more likely.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      I agree with your point Richard
      This and Yvette Cooper’s point about helping France is why I support the Government on this issue.

    • forthurst
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      “I can’t see the logic of the Labour position under which its OK for the UK to be bombing in Iraq but if the terrorists targeted hop over the border to Syria it’s not OK.”

      We are in Iraq at the inivitation of the Iraqi government. The purpose of attacking Daesh positions from the air is to prepare for a ground attack by the Iraqi army which, presumably, provides co-ordinates. None of this is true in the case of Syria unless we are expected to believe that there is an army of 70,000 ‘moderates’ fighting Daesh independently of the Syrian army, a propostion that Robert Fisk has dissected in the Independent, “It was whimsy – ridiculous, comic, grotesque, ludicrous.” He further went on, ” At one point last week, one of Cameron’s satraps was even referring to this phantom army as “ground troops”. I doubt if there are 700 active “moderate” foot soldiers in Syria – and I am being very generous, for the figure may be nearer 70 – let alone 70,000.” Robert Fisk has the advantage over these clownish politicians, living in the region and speaking their language as he does.

      The Syrian army assisted by Iran and Russia consists of patriotic Shi’ites, Sunni and Christians who wish to rid their country of all terrorists however ‘moderate’, whereas CMD is far more concerned to remove Assad from power that to bring peace to Syria, without which, Europe and the UK will be beset constantly by refugees and radicalised and militarily trained jihadis. CMD is not a patriot and he does not serve the interests of the English people.

    • John C.
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      The logical position for non-bombers is to demand that air strikes in Iraq cease immediately.
      You cannot logically support attacking in Iraq, and not attacking the same enemy in Syria.

    • Bob
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      ” its OK for the UK to be bombing in Iraq but if the terrorists targeted hop over the border to Syria it’s not OK.”

      What happens once you hop over the border, where do you stop? #missioncreep

  8. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Air strikes by themselves against a dug in opposition are a waste of time and money. Targeted drone strikes on supply and oil delivery lines would be more productive.

    Saudi, Iranian, Iraqi, Qatari and Kuwaiti troops on the ground would be much more effective. These countries have more money than us but if we really wish to project the power that comes from sitting on the security council we could provide air cover for their advance.

    Ken Livingstone was wrong in his assertion that intervention in Iraq caused the London bombings as these emasculated, disaffected, deluded young men would have found another reason to make people pay for their own failures. More of the same are already among us and we are already a daesh target so we should hurry up and cajole the Arabs to get their boots on the ground.

  9. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    An Australian points immigration system would prevent many potential foreign terrorists entering the country.

    How we prevent those with British passports leaving, being trained and coming back is more problematic but can only be achieved through intelligence provided by the Muslim community and mosque network. They have a huge part to play.

    • Graham
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t place any reliance on that if I was you

  10. Ian wragg
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    What’s the point of an immigration bill which will be undermined by Gideon and the business department. I see Theresa May has woken up to what we all knew that growth is underpinned by mass immigration.
    Not really any growth just a displacement of the indigenous population.
    As Farage will keep reminding us the Tories are in favour of mass immigration and in 2020 I think it’s safe to say you will be history.
    That’s if you last that long.

    • John C.
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      It seems odd that past periods in which we had genuine growth and prosperity, and to be frank there weren’t many of them, were not fuelled by mass importation of people, many unemployed or just dependants, and the majority not earning much beyond the tax credit area.
      What strange times we live in.

  11. Richard1
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Correction Ms Abbott said Mao “did more good than harm”!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Perhaps Cambridge history is as a poor an education as Oxford PPE seems to be, or perhaps she just did not cover that period?

      • Richard1
        Posted December 2, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Diane Abbott is an intelligent and well educated woman. I am sure she well knows what horrors people endured in China under Mao. What is concerning is a politician in a democracy like ours offering excuses and justification for such regimes because they were left wing.

        • Mitchel
          Posted December 3, 2015 at 10:26 am | Permalink

          She’s hardly the only one.Since the emergence of the Soviet Union in the 1920s the hard left in this country has known-but has refused to acknowledge-that their socialist utopia can only be brought about-and maintained-by totalitarian means;to them the many tens on millions killed in the process of the failed experiments todate either deserved it or are just collateral damage.

        • Katie
          Posted December 3, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          We seem to have successfully removed all trace of humanity in this debate. It’s time we get it back.

          Let’s not blame the political left for a ‘strange sense of morality’ or for ‘sympathising with terrorists’ or whatever the case may be.

          We are all human beings.

          The only way to overcome this crisis is to foster the humanity and compassion in people. That is not to say that everyone is ‘good’. But what is important is that enough of us are.

          Support acts of kindness and condemn acts of violence.

          Nicolas Henin, French reporter held captive by ISIS explains how.

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/nicolas-henin-the-man-who-was-held-captive-by-isis-for-10-months-says-how-they-can-be-defeated-a6757336.html

          Don’t bomb Syria.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      An earlier post to which this was a correction has not made it, perhaps there were intemperate phrases which did not pass muster. I was asking why there are such objections from Mr Corbyn and his supporters to Mr Cameron’s alleged remarks as to their past attitude to terrorism, in view of numerous comments made by Messrs Corbyn, McDonnell and others in relation to terrorist groups and actions in the past.

  12. Antisthenes
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    The current EU/Merkel immigration policy is dangerous especially at this time when European and Western armed forces have been or currently are involved in conflict in many of the countries they are fleeing from. Many immigrants must be feeling considerable resentment which will only grow when they realise that most of them will end up with the least share of economic activity.

    We have seen that radicalisation is being facilitated by this fact for those who already have been here for sometime. As many of the current wave of immigrants are young men they are a group that has the most potential to be disaffected and cause us serious problems. Coupled with which there cannot be any doubt that terrorist organisations are using the opportunity to place their members into our communities.

    I fear that the future holds considerable uncertainty for us and our actions and policies thus far in dealing with the migrant invasion is doing nothing to lessen that. Unless we accept that our future security and well being is being compromised by allowing so many to come to Europe and stay here and take the appropriate action then I believe the future is going to be bleak.

  13. JJE
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Keep up the good work on this. It is unfortunately obvious that no one in the government has a proper plan that has any credibility. There are no moderate fighting forces in Syria.

  14. MickN
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I have never understood why we have gone to great lengths to stop people going to Syria. We should be laying on planes to take them there and coaches to the airport. The necessary resources should then be provided to make sure they never get back into the UK

    • waramess
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. Why is it taking so long for the politicians to reach the same conclusion?

    • Scottspeig
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Indeed – Why not have a sign-up area where once you have foreign nationality (pre-requisite for leaving) your British nationality is revoked. This could be used for any foreign war for any side. You can then apply to have British nationality reinstated (at her majesty’s pleasure)

      Issue with this is that we would need to recognise ISIS as a state and would need a diplomat from their end to sign it all off.

  15. Mike Stallard
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Two questions:
    1. The IS people are very clever at modern technology. If they leave Syria for, say, Jordan, their passport (false?) won’t be stamped by IS. They can re enter their home country (Britain) from Jordan. How can that be controlled?
    2. When the Turks enter the Schengen area, a lot of them will pretend to be Europeans – I find it is usually Slovaks with Romanians, but I have met a couple of “Poles” who couldn’t even say Dzien Dobre. We will, as Europeans (not in the Schengen area yet) have Syria, Iraq and IS on our borders.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Mike have a look through the “Washington Post” website. Inside you will find an interesting story filed from Vienna by one of their Arabic speaking Middle East correspondents. He states that he came across a lot of “Syrian” refugees who were blatently bogus, because they did not speak arabic with a Syrian accent. The frightening thing for us is one of them is a convicted Algerian murderer. At the moment he is somewhere on the run in Western Europe. Dave needs to stop this BS about all refugees will be “screened”. Has he got a hotline to Assad where the Home Office can ask for the applicant’s health and criminal records to be faxed across. As far as I can see it Britain being treated the same as Americans were when Castro emptied his prisons and mental hospitals during the Mariel boat lift.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    The leading comment in The Daily Mail today is that the Chancellor’s big plan is to immigrate our economy out of this fix. More and more mass immigration. A low wage/high house price formula – the only trick your party knows. (God knows what will happen when the next economic downturn arrives.

    Promises of extra security are pure tokenism.

    Bombing Syria serves no purpose (indeed, is dangerous) having let the barbarians through the city gates already. The ony purpose it may serve is to make the Prime Minister look Prime Ministerial.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      When the inevitable atrocity does follow airstrikes with terrorists chanting “Alluha akbar ! This is for Syria !!!” It will be a difficult one for the PM to shake. Not that such a risk should prevent us from becoming war-like.

      No. The questioner should ask why we are not war-like enough.

      Why are we not on a war footing with proper border checks, properly armed and deployed police and internment of suspects ?

      • John C.
        Posted December 2, 2015 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Because it’s a phoney war as in 1939, with occasional bombing raids and no attempt to invade the enemy. Even then, though, there was internment of enemy aliens and intense scrutiny of potential spies or supporters of the enemy.

    • bigneil
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      I wonder if the govt deliberately let them in, just so they can “foil another terrorist “.

  17. Ken Moore
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    The government needs immigration to stay high to keep the ratio of debt to GDP low – it’s all in the OBR’s report. With this many people coming in it makes it nearly impossible to check everyone properly.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3341170/Migration-DOUBLE-Cameron-s-tens-thousands-target-tackle-deficit-amid-claims-PM-given-borders.html

    • Bob
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      @Mr Redwood
      Do you think that David Cameron was sincere about his “no ifs, no buts” promise?
      Or was it a cynical ploy to retain votes that may have resulted in a ukip breakthrough?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 3, 2015 at 3:12 am | Permalink

        Or indeed his cast iron promise, or his £1M IHT each threshold promise or his I am a low tax Conservative at heart promise, or his vote blue get green? He just reads out the lines and says anything that he thinks will help politically at the time. Rather like a dodgy second hand car dealer. He forgets what he has said almost before the sound had faded. He is a professional politician.

        Just read his appalling speech and absurd statements encouraging this bombing.

  18. Bert Young
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    We are still constrained by ECHR when dealing with illegal immigrants . Once in this country an “illegal” is automatically allowed to remain with benefits thrown in . No-one should be allowed any rights whatsoever and immediately “exported”. Theresa May has the right approach to this problem and should be supported in her attempts to make wrongs right .

    It is right to beef up our intelligence gathering to defeat extremism in its tracks ; there may be some lack of personal freedom involved – but it is a small price to pay for security .

    When MPs vote today on attacking Syria , they must consider the long term aspects of their decisions ; giving ISIL a smack on the nose may well be a justified response considering the recent atrocities ( were they ordered by ISIL ?) , however , many more innocent lives will be lost and the extremist problem may simply be shifted elsewhere . I am certain that a combined assault on ISIL will degrade its present military capability and kill off many perpetrators ; it will also develop the divide that exists between Muslim and Christian communities and therein lies the rub !.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 3, 2015 at 3:15 am | Permalink

      Indeed it is rule by lawyers rather than democracy. If they deem a law is against the absurdly stretched “human rights” the judges just rewrite the law as they see fit.

  19. APL
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    JR: “It strengthens the provisions against rogue landlords who rent out property to illegal migrants”

    What provision is there against a rogue government that indiscriminately throws open the borders of this country to all and sundry?

    For a government to qualify as a government it must control its borders, if it refused to do so, or abrogates that control to a third party, then as far as I am concerned, it can just as easily be called a rogue government.

    What should we do about our rogue government.

    As an aside. Do you support bombing Syria or are you, as the increasingly eccentric leader of your party suggests, a terrorist sympathizer?

    • JoeSoap
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Indeed
      If the government can’t control it’s borders why on earth can it demand us to control ours?

      • APL
        Posted December 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        JoeSoap: “why on earth can it demand us to control ours?”

        Especially so, since it would be impossible to rent out property to ‘illegal migrants’ is the government did its job.

        So we have another law on the statute book which interferes in the normal freely entered contracts, but its real reason is to cover up failure of the government itself.

  20. JJE
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Good article in the Telegraph today by Adam Holloway MP on this subject.

  21. APL
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    JR: “rogue government”

    Talking of which, what are you going to do about Erdoğan? Nothing Turkey has done suggests they are following the interests of the West. Why is it necessary to channel insurgents into the heart of Europe, when due to consideration of language and culture they would be much more likely to feel at home in Turkey.

    He has also tried to provoke a confrontation with the nominally Christian factions of Russia and NATO. Turkey under Erdoğan is not our ally.

  22. a-tracy
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I’d prefer to keep out of this Syria situation, surely Russia and France are big enough to cope with this as we were left to cope alone once military action had been decided against Iraq and Afganistan. If the Germans are committing troops too it seems satisfactory to watch them step up for a change, where are the Spanish, the Italians, the other large nations of Europe before we’re involved, do they pay us a contribution for sorting out the EU problems on their behalf?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 3, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      I understand Germany is committing troops. Where to? I thought I heard Fallon on the TV this morning saying that there will be no Western troops on the ground as Iraq is not happy with this? Can anyone clarify please?

  23. Old Albion
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    If Camerons intention is to destroy ISIL by bombing? He will need to start bombing several London boroughs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Not just London much of the UK, France, Belgium ……… still I am sure when they drop the bombs on these areas, from great height, they will avoid civilian casualties.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      I believe that technically all London boroughs are still parts of the UK and subject to the law of the land. Yes, I know it may not always seem like that, and that a previous
      Home Secretary was famously told that he had no right to enter a Muslim area, but all of that stems from the unspeakable stupidity of the people we elect as MPs.

  24. agricola
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    The question of illegal immigrants has long been avoided because of the perceived bad publicity it might attract in the Guardianista press and at the BBC. Government does not have the bottle to attack the problem. Even when they make gestures there are a whole phalanx of lawyers waiting to make a killing through legal aid.

    The central paragraphs of the effect of more money and people to MI5/MI6 overlooks the reality that training takes time. It is not a tap you can turn on for instant effect. I am unequivocal on ISIL supporters returning from places such as Syria. They should not be allowed back into the country, period. The only excuse I can think of for allowing a return is to drain them of intelligence prior to sending them back.

    Thinking of your last paragraph I would be very surprised if special forces were not already on the ground in Syria ready to designate targets for our aircraft.

  25. agricola
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Continuing the theme of bombing ISIL in Syria, I hope your government understand that this can only be an opening move. At some point boots on the ground will be necessary. Leaving it to local forces is not an option, they would have finished ISIL long ago were they of any use.

    Having eliminated ISIL there is then the question of military and political control within Syria for which Russia, USA, France and the UK need a detailed plan. Could be just like old times in Germany. The future of Assad is important. I equate his future position with that of the Emperor of Japan after WW2. Whatever the detail, all four participants need to be singing from the same hymn sheet, and the timescale could be at least a decade.

  26. Lifelogic
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Rod Liddle surely has it right in the Spectator when he says the French might as well bomb Belgium.

    http://new.spectator.co.uk/2015/11/why-dont-the-french-bomb-belgium/

    There was no Isis involvement in 9/11, or the London bombings, or the Charlie Hebdo attacks — or any other of the multifarious acts of murder and mayhem perpetrated by Islamists from Kenya to Nigeria to Mali to Israel to Spain to Denmark to oh . . . countless other venues…….

    We must grasp that the proportion of Muslims worldwide who hold this ‘perverted’ view is far, far, higher than Mrs May or the BBC would like you to think. Some 27 per cent of British Muslims, for example, expressed sympathy with the Charlie Hebdo murderers…..

    With the exception of a rather fine piece by John Sweeney on Panorama, the BBC’s coverage throughout was appalling in its cringeing, politically correct, liberal bias.

    It certainly was as indeed it almost always is.

  27. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Faster removal – next day, next week, next year?
    As a contrast lets have some mass deportations.

    How about giving LL’s the right to turn people away on suspicion? Trouble is our pc PCs will be round in a flash to arrest them for racism.

    Why does TM allow anyone who has been to Syria or anywhere else round there back in? Same story, must not offend anyone must we, even our sworn enemies

    ‘acknowledge…….civilian casualties’ how many of our planes will come back with a full load because they might have hurt some bloke on a bike, probably a very doubtful civilian anyway. There aren’t many ‘civilians’, you’re living in the past. We are not fighting that kind of war.

    Pathetically weak as usual.

    • APL
      Posted December 3, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Prangwizard: “Same story, must not offend anyone must we, even our sworn enemies”

      It’s time we got rid of this bunch of lilly livered waste of space political class. Let’s send them en mass to negotiate with ISIS ‘man o man’.

      We probably won’t need to pay the plane fare back.

  28. Know-Dice
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    A question that I haven’t heard being asked is – what would be the situation today if the vote had gone the other way in 2013?

    Would Assad be out and the whole of Syria be run by the “bad” rebels (ISIL)?

    Or would our support for the “good” rebels (whoever they happen to be today) have paid off?

    I don’t think voting to allow bombing in Syria today will help shorten the war or shift the balance in favour of the “allies”. It certainly will not make the streets of the UK any safer.

    I think we should accept that Assad is going to be in power for a while and try and get the Russians to concentrate on removing ISIL rather than the myriad of other rebels.

  29. Atlas
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    It’s a tricky call for you John.

    Existing air actions in Iraq do not seem to be removing IS from that country – so why should more, indeed what is numericallyonly ‘a little more’, in Syria do the trick?

  30. Kenneth
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Sorry for being dumb but why is Isil a threat to the UK?

  31. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    The judges will not allow faster removal of illegal immigrants so why bother legislating on it ?

  32. brigham
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    When we bomb, every isil killed is one less killer to bomb us. If it makes a few more pro isil fighters, just bomb more of them until there are no more. I lived through WW2, then we demanded unconditional surrender. Do the same now.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Except the Nazis were by and large in Germany then, not spread around half the world.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 3, 2015 at 12:47 am | Permalink

      Brigham – The equivalent to WW2 would be this:

      – On declaring war with the Nazis we allow any German who wanted to to come here unchecked. Even those trained in commando and guerilla tactics would be allowed to slip through our borders.

      – We would create laws so that moderate Germans could not be criticised or mocked without fear of arrest. The Nazis who had settled here would be able to go about their oppressive business, against Jews etc ed

      Why are ISIS a threat in Britain ? Well they aren’t, but ISIB most certainly is.

      I understand fully what Hillary Benn was saying but there is great dishonesty by omission in his address. When stating that he wishes to protect Britain he (and many others including the PM) are lying.

      When the atrocities come – as they will regardless of our action in Syria (though I suspect sooner as a result) – our politicians and judiciary are the ones to blame.

      Uncontrolled immigration is now economic policy. The alternative to ISIB is economic collapse, it would seem.

  33. English Pensioner
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    How are those that we are going to accept from the refugee camps going to be checked? In the camps or here? How are we going to know they are who they say they are, as surely any terrorist amongst them would take the trouble to get a ‘clean’ passport. If we find when they get here that they are getting involved in terrorism, what do we do; send them back, or is this banned by our human rights laws?
    There are far too many unanswered questions at the moment.

  34. yosarion
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    When Anthony Charles Linton Blair walked out of of Belfast City Hall to announce to the World the War! is over, just what message did he think he was sending to the World . All you will do by going in is to alienate another generation with pop up terrorists coming to a town near you.
    I Know this much, he pissed of two generations of squadies that had fought with their hands tied behind their backs, only to see their comrades end up in court.

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    JR, why are many of our politicians so squeamish about trying people for treason?

    I know it’s an old, some might say primitive, concept, but the deal is simple: A citizen is entitled to the protection of the state, in return the state is entitled to his loyalty.

    (If the state is a democracy, then it could be said that each citizen is entitled to protection from all of his fellow citizens both directly and through the state apparatus, while they are all entitled to his loyalty to them both directly and through the state.)

    The authorities don’t exactly rush to try people for treason in the way that they used to – these days you can openly campaign for the legal and peaceful abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic without being charged with treason – but why have so many politicians decided that the very offence of treason is outdated?

    Is it because they have decided that the idea of loyalty to your country is outdated?

  36. Ian Heath
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I am disappointed. You seem to be backing down on opposing bombing Syria. I didn’t think you are one to bow to the Whip. You have argued very cogently that bombing can only do harm without land forces engaged and a political process in progress. All this is doing is showing solidarity with France in their foolhardy gesture and you know it. We should be smarter than this. We should be following the money and their supply chain and hitting them where it hurts – not innocent captive civilians. I expect you to man up and vote against. I have always thought you a man of high principle.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      We shall see!

  37. MikeP
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    @MickN “I have never understood why we have gone to great lengths to stop people going to Syria”
    Not only that but our police and border forces were criticised for allowing them to go, unbelievable!

  38. Original Richard
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    With regard to the bombing of Syria I do not think our bombs will make any difference to the degrading of ISIS or make our country more or less safe from ISIS and other Muslim extremists. These extremists wish to attack us to destroy our civilisation and culture and replace it with their Sharia/Qur’an based version whatever we may or may not be doing in the Middle East.

    It is ironic to think that Mr. Cameron’s first attempt to bomb Syria was to bomb Mr. Assad and help his enemies. Now Mr. Cameron says he wants to bomb one of Mr. Assad’s many enemies, ISIS, although we cannot be certain who Mr. Cameron will be ordering the RAF to bomb in Syria as regime change still seems to be first on the agenda.

    Before we start bombing Syria we should first have attempt to sort out why the ISIS oil supplies were not already bombed by the US and whose side Turkey is on since it appears that Turkey is supplying arms to ISIS and buying their oil.

    Rather than fast tracking Turkey, a country of 75m Muslims, into the EU we should refuse to pay their blackmail/Danegeld to hold back the migrants and instead control our EU borders to stop the flow as Australia has managed to do. Since these are economic migrants this flow will not be halted by peace breaking out in the ME, however unlikely this is.

    I do not believe the government is yet serious on preventing terrorist attacks in the UK as I have yet to see the expulsion of any foreigners who are seen as potentially dangerous extremists or those who commit serious crimes such as rape and murder.

    With regard to the return to the UK of either British residents or nationals who have fought with groups such as ISIS, why, if we are considered to be “at war” with ISIS, are these people not locked up in a POW camp until the “war” ends ?

    Our country is put further at risk by the government’s wish to continue with very high levels of immigration as a means to reduce the debt/GDP ratio.

  39. NickW
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Having read the Motion which it is proposed to put before Parliament regarding military action in Syria, I find myself agreeing with all of it;

    With the exception of the bombing campaign itself, which is actually a small part of the motion.

    The question to ask is this; “Is the bombing campaign against ISIL being impeded by a lack of aircraft and resources?” The answer is NO.

    Given the involvement of the French, the Russians, the Americans, the Germans, the Turks, Assads’s forces, the Kurds, the Free Syian Army, Hezbollah, and Iran, I do not think that British intervention will do anything other than add more confusion and danger to an already confused and dangerous situation.

    All the participants have their own agenda, and many of those agendas are mutually incompatible. Particularly dangerous is the U.S determination to oppose everything that Russia does at every opportunity.

    Given the complete destruction of civilisation by the overthrow of Governments in Iraq and Libya, the Russian solution of basing the resolution of the Syrian problem on the initial retention of Assad appears to be the only one that stands any chance of achieving a successful outcome.

    My conclusion is that if the final motion before Parliament insists on military action, (in conjunction with all the other sensible and pragmatic measures detailed in the Motion that was published), then Parliament should oppose that motion. The dangers inherent in adding our token contribution to the unco-ordinated miltary forces pursuing different agendas in the skies over Syria is far too great. We run the risk of precipitating global conflict.

    There will be no dishonour for those MP’s who oppose military action, and any vitrifaction of those who do will be an outstanding disgrace.

  40. Tad Davison
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    The Prime Minister has just said and continues to say ‘our security shouldn’t be out-sourced to others’.

    Presumably he means Russia. Strange, because we were all too willing to depend upon ‘others’ for our security during World war Two.

    I was under the impression Russia are our allies in the fight against IS. Doesn’t their massive efforts eclipse those of the west thus far, and haven’t they already done more to defeat IS in Syria than any other country?

    Where Russia is taking up the slack and doing the work that should have already been done by those already bombing in Syria, especially against an enemy like IS, it is to be welcomed.

    I think this shows Cameron’s true intentions, and Russia is his real long-term target at the behest of the expansionist Neo-cons in the United States. He’ll do anything, and miss no opportunity to discredit Russia, or to lessen and minimalize the good work they continue to do.

    That large fleet of road tankers could have been taken out long ago, and thus starve that scumbag sect of its funds. It wasn’t, and that is very telling of the whole intricate web of deceit that exists in the region.

    My most earnest wish is that people take the trouble to read up on it, and not rely purely on domestic news sources for they are missing the bigger picture. They might then learn that those whom we presently consider our allies are no such thing, but those we distance ourselves from, could well be our friends and brothers in arms.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  41. ian
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Finally had your orders on how to vote .

  42. The prangwizard
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I forced myself to watch Comrade Corbyn’s speech in HoC today on the motion about air strikes in Syria. It was excruciating, but indicative of his personality and his politics.
    There is only one view, there is only one opinion, and when he is speaking there are to be no interruptions.

    He was not taking part in a debate, he was acting out his view of the future and addressing what he hopes one day will be his version of the Supreme Soviet. Those in the chamber will be delegates in his one party state. They will be required to listen, they will be required to agree.

    Today we saw the future of the UK if Corbyn is allowed to remain, if he is tolerated by his party and MPs, as he may be and by others who think he is just a harmless buffoon.

    He has said he wants a new kind of politics. Don’t be fooled that it is to be something benign, it is to be entirely the opposite.

  43. graham1946
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Not having been in the forces, I am only an armchair general (like too many MP’s) and don’t understand the intricacies of battle, but there is one question which puzzles me and if anyone can help I’d be grateful. Cameron says there are 70,000 troops of various kind in Syria ready to be the ‘boots on the ground’ that we are not going to supply, but without which bombing will not be successful, but surely if we are going to just keep bombing, if they have any sense, they will keep well out of Raqqa or anywhere ISIS is? How are these ‘boots on the ground’ going to do their bit if they are not commanded by us in sequence with the bombing.? In my mind, even if they exist, they won’t.

    There will be untold innocent casualties as there are undoubtedly already are but not reported by our media. This is where the danger lies in recruiting terrorists. The Yanks are poor gunners and bombers at the best of times (how many wedding parties have they blown up, or lately, even an operational hospital?) My old dad used to say that during WW2 ‘when the British fired, the Germans ducked, when the Germans fired, the British ducked and when the Yanks fired everyone ducked’

    This all looks like nonsense to me and seems to be just Cameron wanting to do a Blair and go to war to suck up to the USA. It will not end well.

  44. oldtimer
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Mr Cameron`s remarks (to Conservative MPs) about those who vote against military action were ill-judged and wholly inappropriate. There are logical reasons to vote against. On the other hand there are logical reasons to vote in favour. It seems to me to be a matter of judgement between the perceived effectiveness of such military action (probably quite small) and the perceived impact of not taking such action (domestically if there is another terror attack on the UK mainland with loss of life – and internationally consequent upon the UK refusing calls by others to extend its involvement). If I was an MP I probably would vote for action but push hard of the government to pursue the parallel political/diplomatic strand to end the civil war in Syria and to seek a new political settlement – recognising that is probably at least a five year undertaking.

  45. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    One feels disappointed even betrayed when today is heard so many extremely very intelligent and genuinely accomplished Ex -Ministers of various parties speak in the House making for bombing of Syria based on what they are bound to know are illogical arguments.
    They are content to base their conclusion , for example, on “supporting our allies” and ” we will not be escalating the nature of the conflict, merely following the enemy ISIS from Iraq where we bomb ….into Syria where we do not. ”

    As my maths teacher used to say to boys who said they did so-and-so because their pall johnnie did it so they did it: ” If johnnie were to jump under a bus would you also jump under a bus?” Eleven year olds were clever enough to see the illogicality of such a position. Ex-Ministers cannot, or rather, pretend they cannot..

    If a nation’s military were to disregard borders of another country and send their bombers into another country because their enemy had retreated illegally into that territory then where would the world be?. How many countries can ISIS penetrate and be followed and bombed by the RAF? Many. But it would result in world war as those countries shot down RAF planes, all eight of them. And send bombers and attack aircraft to pound the House of Commons.
    A foreign policy of bombing people based on the votes of con-artists in the House Commons who continue to act physically like undisciplined children is likely to lead to doom.

  46. Chris
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Thought provoking article by John Hulsman on City am website re Cameron’s case for war is built on sand. I find myself agreeing with all he writes. As I have posted before on this site, Cameron apparently lacks the wisdom and experience to appreciate the complexities of the situation in Syria. Perhaps one of the best indicators of his ignorance is his statement with regard to the 70,000 moderate opposition forces waiting to aid us. Apparently this claim was not even questioned/discussed in Cabinet. The basis of Cameron’s case for war is, to me, farcical, if it weren’t so deadly serious a situation.

  47. Chris
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that a new YouGov poll indicates that less than 50% of voters approve of airstrikes on ISIS (reported in Daily Mail). I had always been very sceptical of, and concerned by, Philip Hammond’s very recent claim that the general public was very much behind Cameron’s policy using that as another justification for going ahead with the bombing. Any hope that this government will listen to the electorate? It really does not seem to have learnt the many lessons from Iraq, some of which are highly pertinent to the current debate.

  48. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Annoyingly, some MPs and all political party leaders are having a 6th Form English lesson phoney debate on whether this week, they call “the nasty enemy ” Daesh, ISIS, ISIL, Islamic Extremists, Islamicists, Muslim Extremists, Taliban , Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, Et al.

    I’m not in favour of corporeal punishment. Hurt people hurt . Better to give them 100 lines ” I shall behave “and send them home with a letter to their single parents.

    Our Intelligence Services have now been brought into perhaps unwarranted disrepute. What could have possessed them to confide any serious, important and vital information to MPs? They must have seen their performances on TV. They must know, surely, their mental ages?!! Have they not seen some of them jumping up and down at the back at times, flapping their bended arms and making chicken noises to their equally childish counterparts across the House? And they , the Intelligence Services, allow them ANY information and decision making???

    Why do our Intelligence Services hate you JR? You would be one of the few MPs left in the House minus the cross-party Parliamentary St Trinians. You also are able to fathom the meaning of books with words in them.

  49. Dennis
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Cameron in the present commons debate was asked why Saudi Arabia and Turkey were not attacking ISIL. His non answer was that they are asking the UK to get bombing!! Perhaps they want that ‘cos they are not wanting to get involved themselves. No one commented on this absurd response.

    If several armies equipped with helicopters, aircraft, bombers, radar, bullet proof vests, helmets, latest guns, night vision optics, jeeps, drones, unlimited supply of ammo and financing and all kinds of electronic stuff cannot defeat a motley crew of floppy dressed, broken plastic sandal wearing fighters without any of the sophisticated equipment those opposing armies have then what hope in Syria?

  50. Ken Moore
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Please please Dr Redwood do not vote to bomb Syria. You cannot bomb an ideology into submission – why is that such a difficult concept for Mr Cameron to grasp.

    I heard his speach today and it is obvious this is all about Cameron’s vanity and his need to posture on the world stage. His claim of 70,000 ‘moderate’ fighters being ready in Syria is another Blair WMD moment.
    According to Cameron, those against the bombing are ‘terrorist sympathisers’.
    Has he finally lost the plot completely ?. …maybe Mr Cameron should take a little rest.

  51. ian
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    As Germany leader will soon want you to take in 30,000 refugees on top of the 20,000 you have said you would, which british people are you going to make homeless to make WAY FOR THEM.
    How can you bomb isil when they are dug in underground.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Ian, Just what many of are wondering. How many British people haven’t got habitable homes and will have to wait even longer now? Scotland has a housing crisis – or that’s what we are led to believe but they have managed to find homes for the refugees that have come in. 12 families have been housed on the Isle of Bute. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. There is not much employment there and the weather is crap most of the time. Can’t really see that it was the best choice and nobody mentions the benefits we will have to pay out on top of free rent etc.

      On the One Show now they are highlighting how many people send money home to their families in the country of their origin. I wouldn’t mind so much but many don’t seem to have well paid jobs so I suspect they will be claiming benefits and tax credits which then get sent out of the country . I sometimes feel we are supporting the rest of the world. If this was added to the foreign aid bill then it would amount to so much more than we know of now.

  52. Margaret
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Troops on the ground and Syrian politics are non of our business, Threats and indiscriminate western bombings are a matter of defence .Defence should be our motive , not re organisation of territory which is not ours. Precise air strikes on ISIL headquarters is the only true war which is just.

  53. Donna
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    No “British” citizen who goes to fight in Syria should be allowed to return to the UK. Their citizenship should be revoked and their passports cancelled.

    Cameron has reportedly allowed 450 of these dangerous individuals to return to the UK where they are free to go about their business – whether it’s harmless or planning a terrorist atrocity.

    It’s absolute madness.

  54. fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I am exasperated with the whole refugee crisis. We see mostly young fit men coming across and they seem to be quite aggressive. Not the way most genuine refugees would act. I am also really incensed as my local community council, who is now in charge of the ‘community benefit’ received from wind farm developers (we have rather a lot around us) is thinking of using it to buy houses locally and develop them for refugees!! This is money paid for by all energy users in the whole of the UK and our council is now considering spending it on refugees instead of the local community who have to put up with lower house values and noise and visual effects. Scotland is using wind farms to fund their community projects and nothing more.

    I am concerned about the bombing of Syria particularly when there are so many different factions on the ground and it will be difficult to separate civilians from ISIS. I rather think it is a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

  55. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    There was a recently televised Parliamentary Committee with the Rt Hon Mr Fallon MP Secretary of State for Defence and, senior members of the Armed forces present.
    In Syria:
    There are Free Syrian Army total 70,000.
    There are Assad soldiers total 200,000
    There are Kurd forces total ????????
    There are Iranian soldiers total 10,000
    Plus the fire power of 10 Airforces Bombs Gallore

    Pitted against 20,000-30,000 ISIL terrorists which means they are out numbered by much more than 10 to 1 with no air cover.

    If Winston Churchill were alive today and Prime Minister there can be little doubt Mr Fallon would have been sacked on the spot at the televised meeting of the Committee and the senior armed forces personnel their epaulets and other readily movable parts of their disgracefully unkempt Queens uniforms thrown to the ground with contempt and every man jack of them forcibly retired without pension.
    He would not have tolerated such contemptible and utter failure.

  56. Graham
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Change of topic but relevant.

    Just heard on France24 that a least 3 mosques have been raided and closed because of what they found . In the spirit of unity with our best allies I look forward to it happening here any time now.

    Thought I would post it here because it’s unlikely to appear in our own news outlets.

  57. Maureen Turner
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday evening we heard Lord Dannatt repeat what he has said many times before that to defeat ISIL will take boots on the ground and the PMs answer to this is he can muster 70,ooo troops from within Syria. This now appears highly unlikely as those that make up the two main tribes Sunni and Shia from which he anticipates the 70,000 will come have sectarian/tribal divisions within them and in any case they are some 200 miles away from the main IS target base. I understand the formation of this regional army has today been downgraded to merely a possibility, being dependent on the removal of Assad.

    Russia and France, including to a lesser degree the UK, have been bombing IS for months so why should we expect our contribution of a few Tornados will make much difference. The only difference will be our PM who will no doubt see himself as one of the big boys on the world stage.

    The first responsibility of any PM is defence of the realm so we can only hope Mr. Cameron is equally committed to seeking out those who wish us harm now embedded in the UK as he appears to be in scouring the deserts of Syria to eliminate this death cult. The new Immigration Bill Mr. JR refers to makes no mention of tighter border controls which is hardly reassuring.

    I’m no pacifist – just yearn for a Churchill or Thatcher – someone who thinks of the consequences of their actions before they jump further into the mire.

    • Chris
      Posted December 3, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Well said, MT. I fear that David Cameron has little in depth understanding of the complexities of the makeup of the different factions, and, worryingly, I believe that he is still intent on replacing Assad as soon as possible, encouraged maybe by MPs who have appeared in the past to have neocons sympathies, such as Liam Fox and Michael Gove? Regime change should not be on the menu. Fascinating interview with Professor Paul Rogers last night on a certain television channel, which is not the BBC/Sky. His publications include “Why we are losing the war on terror”.

  58. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    In 2008, in America, when I blessed them with my presence, quite a few Americans were reluctant to even visit France. Why? Because, rightly or wrongly, they felt from stories from friends who had visited France as tourists that they were made unwelcome by the French people ( no not immigrants but French ). This took the form of shouting anti-American insults at them to spitting and to physical attack.

    When I visited the Theatre in Minsk, Belarus some time ago, I was insulted by a young German tourist though being made exquisitely welcome by Russians and Belarussians. He took me for an American. He histrionically said in English: I’m American. I am great. I’m better than everyone.” . He blushed when I informed him alongside a most beautiful Belorussian friend that despite my undoubted arrogance I was in fact British and both the people of Belorussia and Britain stalled Germany’s war effort in a most comradely way.

    The point: in a vote bombing Syria, allegiances change in both Syria and elsewhere. We should beware of explosive diplomacy. One day we may need the enemy of yesterday for a friend of today.

  59. Chris
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    One of the most important and superbly delivered speeches today on the Syria, Turkey, immigration and terrorism problem was by Nigel Farage in the European Parliament (links on youtube and the Party website).
    Five minutes of excellent analysis and comment. He really put to shame many of our politicians in the House of Commons today who simply do not seem to have the intelligence to identify the real problems nor the courage to acknowledge them, nor the abilities to deliver first rate oratories. Although I am pleased that David Davis spoke out against the bombing, I watched him with dismay. He seemed to be dithering and disorganised in what he wanted to say. On the other side of the argument, there seemed to be such a gung-ho atmosphere amongst those determined to bomb ISIS in Syria, with scenes reminiscent of how Blair apparently seduced so many MPs into following him into an ill conceived mission based on an apparent lie and one guaranteed to fail ultimately as no thought had been given to planning the aftermath. The 70,000 claim resonated like the WMD in 40 minutes claim in its sloppiness/untruthfulness. Apparently no one questioned Cameron in Cabinet about this claim, which is of grave concern. Does he not understand the complexity of the makeup of all the different groups fighting in Syria and what their real agendas are? Apparently not.

  60. Chris
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, do you have any further information on this D Mail report on the apparent claim by Viktor Orban concerning the EU and Syrian refugees?
    “Hungary’s prime minister today claimed a secret pact led by Germany to bring up to 500,000 Syrians from Turkey directly into the EU would soon be unveiled.
    Claiming there will be ‘huge pressure’ on countries like Hungary and others to take part, Orban said: ‘This secret agreement exists and we will be confronted by it in the coming days.’
    Orban added that a similar idea was rejected recently by European national leaders but that ‘the cat will be out of the bag’ and the scheme will be announced in Berlin as soon as this week.
    He says the plan includes forcing all EU countries to take in some migrants, even if they are opposed to mandatory quotas.

  61. yosarion
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Just make sure you are prepared to do at home what you are prepared to do abroad.

  62. Ken Moore
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    What a sad spectacle – the many Mp’s that gulped down Hilary Benn’s emotionally charged but factually questionable speech should have a re-think. A reminder why applause in the house of commons is considered poor form. Yuk turn it in please it’s the house of commons not X factor. I’m grateful that our kind host kept a level head and elected not to join in the adulation of St Benn.

    Chillingly it reminded me of the time the house applauded Tony Blair – perhaps the Mp’s were really applauding themselves for their own Blairite moral superiority.

    I suppose those that clapped this Winston Churchil never considered that those he wants to assist – the so called ‘moderates’ would like to wipe us from the face of the earth. But such notions would spoil his child like naïve view of the world.

  63. David
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Illegal immigrants in the past became legal by virtue of staying here long enough. The Government must make it clear that this will not work in future or illegals will still be able to stay here.

  64. Chris
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    The list of the seven Conservative MPs who voted against air strikes on ISIS in Syria from the Conservative Home website this morning:

    http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2015/12/the-list-of-the-seven-conservative-mps-who-voted-against-air-strikes-on-isis-in-syria.html

    Expectations of the number of possible Tory rebels ran somewhere between ten and fifteen, so Government whips will be pleased that in the end they trimmed the number down to seven (with seven abstentions).

    Here is the list of all seven who voted against the motion:

    John Baron (Basildon and Billericay)

    David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden)

    Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey)

    Philip Hollobone (Kettering)

    Julian Lewis (New Forest East)

    Stephen McPartland (Stevenage)

    Andrew Tyrie (Chichester

  65. stred
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I caught part of a debate a few days ago, when the MP for Christchurch- Chistopher ?- was putting forward a sensible amendment to the bill which made the arrival into the UK illegally an offence and required immigrants to obtain an ID card. Naturally this was ignored.

    He said that when the police find an illegal in a labye or service station, having jumped off a lorry, they just tell the person to contact the Home Office and drive off. Is there anything in the new bill which will prevent this amazing laziness from continuing? The illegal may have been sent by our newest enemy and would be unlikely to contact Mrs May in any case.

    Re the accusations of Turkish deals with ISOIL, Wiki lists Mr Erdogan’s merit awards at the end. He was given European of the Year, then the Faisal award for Services to Islam, and one from Georgia- The Golden Fleece award, for- it doesn’t say.

  66. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    After the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, I don’t see why we need another one.

  67. Margaret
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Just listening to Question Time Saajid Nawaz seemed to be the only informed one( perhaps except for( Nicki) on the panel. There were some crazy notions of Arab countries complying to our wishes and thinking that we could educate them and tell them not to sell arms. How pompous! There were silly comments that the military thought air strikes was the solution and not simply a part of defence in an attempt to weaken Isis , there were supposed pacifists who reckoned that sending our men as ground troops to be slaughtered would solve the problem. The Turks are doing their bit on the ground to get rid of Isis. These air strikes are not a one off tactic to stop the terrorists and specific targets e.g. oil fields etc are not civilians.

  68. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    The Prime Minister has stated in the Commons, at least twice, that we already have powers to turn away anyone that we have reason to believe may be a terrorist.

    Let us suppose that we intercept at our border someone with a German passport whom we suspect of being a terrorist. Just to enlighten me, tell me what happens next. Can we put that person on the next plane to Germany, having notified the German authorities? A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will do.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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