UK politics April 2018


I’m quite enjoying the current foreign policy cycle.

event happens

May: We must take action now!!!
Corbyn: Shouldn’t we act with a bit of caution and be sure we’ve got our facts straight first:
Media, Tories and Centrists: RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!

several days pass

May: As I’ve been saying all along, we must be careful to make sure we are sure before we act.
Media, Tories and Centrists: swoon
Corbyn: :man_shrugging:


I think media commentators should only be allowed to comment on foreign policy matters under licence, with only a handful of said licences given out each year to commentators who meet strict criteria of ‘knowing what they’re talking about’.

Rolling Descent into Fascism Thread [chat away]

wHy dO yUo hAtE fReE sPeEcH gEoFf ?


I think if we’re going down that road we should do the job properly. No commentary on foreign affairs. Or anything else. Everyone should just shut their stupid cakeholes up.


including us?


Especially us.


would be great if we could all move past sarcasm but I guess it’s a defence mechanism for people when they are upset


honest, non-judgemental poll: who thinks intervening in Syria would be the appropriate response to the chemical attack?

  • Yes to armed intervention
  • No to armed intervention
  • Unsure

0 voters

again, this is not teeing any pro-interventionists up for a savaging. I’m just curious to see who might support it and what your reasons might be.

edit: have left it anonymous because I only want potential pro-interventionists to post their reasons why if they feel comfortable doing so, obviously this is a pretty emotive issue.


I think there are strong humanitarian arguments for intervening in Syria but there are no arguments whatsoever in favour of a Trump, May, Macron military engagement with Assad & Putin


I agree. That’d be BRILLIANT.



:kissing_heart: x


IF there’s very clear/limited objectives (e.g. we have identifed 3 facilities that we aim to disable/flatten), and a blank cheque book to handle any fall out, then I can see an argument in favour. If it’s going to be another motion on the line of Davey Cam’s one a few years back or treated as a proxy war with Russia as some MPs/commentators seem to want, then we absolutely shouldn’t be getting involved…

Also, “we did nothing a few years ago, and look at Syria now” is absolutely NOT an argument for intervening. If it’s the best argument you can make in favour of your position, then your position is fatally flawed.


Not even mentioning Israel, Iran & Turkey here :confused:

What a clusterfuck


This is an interesting POV.

I would be more amenable to the interventionist argument provided we disengaged from the Yemen front first and foremost. It makes me feel very dirty knowing we’re playing such a strategically important role in what’s going on there, and talking up crimes against humanity when we’re helping create plenty of them ourselves is just…ugh.


Aye. I don’t like the idea of using military force in general and think it should generally be treated as a last resort as opposed to an early option.

If we have the ability to beyond any doubt identify a terrorist, a chemical weapons facility or something similar that is posing a threat to civilians and diplomatic solutions haven’t worked, then I can see a moral argument for acting IF we can forensically take it out with more or less no risk of collateral damage. (It’s something where I’d actually prefer special forces on the ground over dropping bombs in many cases as you have the opportunity to visually ID things first and abort if you find out your drone imagery didn’t tell the whole picture)

May and her colleagues want to get to a place where Syrian refugees feel safe going back to their home country (maybe not for the same reasons as me, but that’s not relevant here). Great. Have they considered whether the act of dropping more bombs on Assad’s territory is likely to do that or not? When this was first mooted last week had a list of strategic targets already been worked up, the implications of taking them out considered and so on? Given the haste with which politicians were speaking, I doubt it. By now, there’s probably a more considered plan being formed, which may go some way to explaining why everyone’s rolling back from their gung-ho positions.

Where I have big problems with our approach as a nation since I became aware of these things is that the UK never seems prepared to concern ourselves with consequences; in my adulthood, we’ve left gaping power vacuums in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan amongst other places and it’s almost always ended up making things even worse for the people who live there than they were before we got involved. In the meantime, we’ve not get involved over ethnic cleansing in India, Pakistan, Burma, South Sudan and the Central African Republic over the last decade where huge human rights violations have been taking place and very similar arguments for intervening hold up. And that’s without even thinking about how North Korea treats it’s own citizens, the West Bank, Zimbabwe and many other places in the world where interventionism could theoretically be justified.

Making the decision to act is easy. Working out how to act in a considered way that actually improves the overall situation not just in Syria but in geo-politics as well is the actual problem though, not simply whether we should do something.


Don’t forget Libya too.

Still amazes me how there’s been something of an omerta in the press over this:


Because talking about it would be admitting they and the government fucked up big time. Better to just call Corbyn a terrorist-lover who’ll get us all blown up.


It’s actually worse than this in my opinion. In each of these cases the UK has involved itself in a conflict where it was never going to have any influence over whether or not a power vacuum was going to be left, and where this was known beforehand. The Iraq postwar clusterfuck started with one US ideologue in Rumsfeld, determined to pursue the inherently flawed de-Ba’athification strategy from the off, and there was nothing any UK politician or military commander could do about it. It actually took what basically amounted to a US army mutiny to even start to turn it around.


Can we do a NI/DUP buyout type deal?

£1 bn / 1.8 m population = £555 each.

Syria 2016 pop = 18.4 m = £10.2 trillion.

But Syrian 2007 GDP per capita = $2k. Whereas UK 2016 GDP per capita = $40k. 20 times as much.

So dividing that £10.2 trillion by 20 comes out as a few pennies over £500 bn.

That’s nothing. Just yer basic deposit on a new savings account.

Or change lost down the back of the sofa.

World peace is starting to look pretty cheap.


so let me get this straight…

the west has spent three days signposting our intention to bomb syria, and russia has used this three days to shift manpower and equipment to cooler/more strategically sound areas. it’s pretty much a given that if there are chemical weapon factories they’ve been cleaned out by now, the area where the saa apparently dropped the chlorine has been retaken, and there’s still yet to be a proper investigation into what actually happened.

so we’re basically having intense all-night cabinet meetings and international summits to try and decide which empty warehouses and deserted airfields we intend to bang half a billion quids worth of missiles into.

i mean…this is actually an adam curtis documentary innit.