(Written shortly after the vote for the UK to join the war in Syria)
There are a lot of outraged people on my social media feed right now, and I echo most of their sentiments. There's not much really for me to add.
However, there is one point I feel should be acknowledged, whether you agree with the decision for the UK to go to war, or not.
I was recently called for jury service. Of course I cannot discuss the case I served as juror on, but suffice to say it was a complicated issue with conflicting evidence. It was a heavy responsibility that lay on our shoulders simply to determine ONE person's guilt or innocence, and a very sombre affair. The idea for any of us we might "get it wrong" was a simply appalling notion that didn't bear thinking about, and we were consequently only too keen to hear what each person had to say.
There were no school-yard bully tactics. No factions, no pressuring to agree with any given opinion, no insults or belittling of those who thought differently: we actively wanted to hear if anyone had a perspective that might shed new light on the general consensus. There were no financial or political benefits for us, deciding one way or the other.
More to the point, each one of us present was only too aware of the seriousness/moral implications of WHY we were there. There was no party atmosphere. There was no whooping and no clapping, no matey pats on the back for having delivered a rousing, well rehearsed speech. No raucous, inappropriate cheering more suited to a Sixth Form common room. And more than anything else, there was NO JOY WHATSOEVER in the verdict we were required to make, either way.
The way the majority of MPs behaved in the House of Commons today whilst debating action as serious and as consequential as war, was nothing short of monstrous.
It is not a game show, or a sporting event.
The sheer fact the same institution that belittled the SNP for applauding their colleagues upon maiden speeches can now so hypocritically and emphatically behave like a bunch of gleeful and overexcited adolescents when faced with the proposition of something as awful as indiscriminate murder and destruction, is quite simply beyond me. You'd think they'd won the lottery.
These people should not be leading our nation. Not at all.