Sunday, 8 November 2015

"Septics are Whining" says Chief of Defence Staff

"The Septics are whining" said General Sir Nicholas Houghton, Chief of the Defence Staff (paraphrased), speaking about the UK restricting anti-ISIS air strikes to Iraq. "Frankly, they need some moral support for their strictly illegal activity in Syria, and we have been under considerable pressure to oblige" The General said. "We will make bugger all difference with just three aircraft in theatre that only find a target once every twenty sorties, but there you are. The Septics want to tell the world they're not on their own"

The General's intervention comes after Defence Secretary Fallon had his arm twisted behind his back by the US Ambassador to secure a Commons vote on hostilities in Syria, despite MPs being aware that the UK's involvement will make absolutely no practical difference in damage to ISIS but will increase the risk to British citizens and trade across the world. MPs also suspect that US aims have more to do with unseating Assad than with destroying ISIS. 
This is taking on all the characteristics of a concerted pro-war weekend push by the government; A legal opinion piece by top lawyer Tory stooge Charles Moore in the Speccie says it's fine to ignore international law and kill people in countries to which you haven't been invited. Glad you've cleared that up, Charles.


Budgie said...

A very amusing take on our powerlessness, Raedwald. It illustrates well that, only 6 months in, the Conservatives are taking leave of what little sense they had. At this rate, in terms of cuckoo land habitation, there will be no practical difference between Jez n' Dave by 2020.

However if you believe that ISIS will think one whit differently about us "British citizens" because we are not bombing ISIS in Syria, then I would tentatively opine that you are a tad mistaken.

Umbongo said...

Moore's argument, which is neither anti- nor pro-war, is that the constitutional position in the UK is that the government is elected by and is responsible to the UK electorate as represented in Parliament. Furthermore, the law created and legitimised by that body is ruled on by a national supreme court. Given this, in Moore's words, "it is positively bad for ministers to follow international law and treaties if they conflict with their constitutional duties in the country which they govern."

In the practice of international "law", there is no equivalent electorate nor elected legislators nor a global supreme court. FFS this is one of the few genuinely conservative actions by the present faux-Conservative administration - and you're moaning about it.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought. We were not invited to kill Germans in WW2, but we did. I suppose that all you wingers think that we should not have declared war on Germany in 1939, but should have just let the National Socialists get on with killing anyone that they did not like.

Raedwald said...

Anon 15.21 - you're a fool. We were at war with Germany precisely because we were acting in accordance with an international treaty obligation. And go and learn how to spell Whingers.


Umbongo - I take Moore's point that our government is solely and unequivocally responsible only to the UK electorate, and not to any international bodies. Absolutely correct. I wouldn't have it otherwise. To this extent the change in the oath is absolutely right.

However, when Parliament decides, and the Sovereign puts into law, our solemn agreement to international treaties such as the Geneva Convention then the government has the same domestic duty - they must stand by their treaty obligations, and be responsible to Parliament and the electorate for so doing. If they breach such agreements it will be the UK that decides how to dispose of them - including a decision to outsource such disposal to bodies such as the International Criminal Court. It is NOT the ICC exercising independent jurisdiction in the UK but the UK subcontracting to the ICC some given judicial processes in certain circumstances. Moore does not appear to understand this vital point.