parliament_syria.jpgClive voted against UK airstrikes in Syria.  He explained “Voting to take military action is one of the hardest decisions that an MP has to make and there is no doubt that the so-called Islamic State – or Daesh as I prefer to refer to them – is a despicable terrorist organisation that is not interested in any negotiated settlement.  Their sole reason for existing is to provoke conflict with counties like our own and to destroy everything that we value.   The question we had to answer on Tuesday was: would the Prime Minster’s proposals be effective in reducing that threat?

Clive spoke in the debate and expressed his scepticism over the Prime Minister’s claim that there were 70,000 “moderate” Syrian ground troops on the ground ready to attack Daesh’s forces supported by allied airstrikes.  No reliable source outside of government circles agrees with that assessment.  People from all sides of this debate agree that Daesh cannot be defeated by a bombing campaign alone. Without ground forces everyone seems to accept that the bombing will have little impact on Daesh and instead of pushing the organisation back it could make matters worse.

Clive also highlighted the need for the fairer treatment of the Sunni minority in Iraq which has been one of the key driving forces leading to the rise of Daesh.  Dealing with this issue is more crucial than any bombs, but it received little attention in the recent debate.

Speaking after the vote, Clive said: “Like everyone who took part in the debate, I want to defeat the terrorists.  However, I do not believe the strategy outlined by the Government will achieve this and so I could not support them.  In some ways I hope I am wrong and that events show the government’s strategy to be the right one.  However, I fear that this is not going to be the outcome and that we risk gradually getting drawn further into the conflict.”

For a more detailed explanation of why Clive voted against the motion please see here.

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