Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham) (Con)
My constituents’ instinct is also against any direct UK military action. Like, I am sure, all my colleagues throughout the House, I have received not just form e-mails sent by some lobbying organisation but individually composed e-mails showing the strength of feeling and fear that lie in the British population. Having said that, and despite feeling strongly that my constituents’ instincts and my own should be followed, what I have seen on the television and experienced through reports of what has gone on in Syria has struck at the very fabric of my being. However, I am unclear about our response and our objectives. What are punitive strikes? Will they send a message to Assad to use it or lose it when it comes to chemical weapons? What will be the reactions of other countries? What are the capabilities of the people who may be deployed in support of Syria? There are still many questions that need to be answered.
Subject: Please do what you can to prevent escalation in Syria
Dear Cat Smith MP,
You are my MP as I live at <my home address>.
Please do all you can to prevent the government escalating the situation in Syria.
The news this morning suggests the Prime Minister intends to carry out a military response to an alleged chemical attack which has not yet even been investigated.
- After the recent embarrassment to Britain over the poisoning of the Russian agent and his daughter, I would have hoped the government would be more circumspect over this event.
- The Syrian conflict is already a proxy war, where external agents are major players. The intervention by us now when the Syrian government appears to be winning is classic proxy war participant behaviour to attack the leading side to prolong the war. Even if this is not the case, it is how it is interpreted, and puts Britain in a very bad light.
- A weak government is often perceived as being keen to go to war as a way to bolster support. Although that is a government fault, it reflects badly on us as a country reinforcing the impression that killing people overseas gets popular support from the British people.
- Following the USA’s knee-jerk reaction an to international incident always makes Britain look weak, rather than making a powerful statement as claimed.
- Following Donald Trump’s Twittered reaction to anything makes us look utterly ridiculous.
- War should always be the last resort in diplomacy, not the first.
- The poisoning, tit-for-tat diplomat expulsions, the misinformation over international events and accusations of false-flag actions are all very similar to activities in the Cold War. A military response at this time feels to me, as someone who remembers the tail end of the Cold War, a very dangerous escalation. The world still has nuclear weapons, I should dread for more generations to grow up under the fear of nuclear super-powers in a perpetual stand-off like that under which I grew up. It is crushing to ambition and hope for the future to know your life can be snuffed out by the whim of one’s own government or by an error in the nuclear command control. Please don’t let this government slide us back into the previous century.
I expect better arguments for not carrying out this strike will become apparent through the day.
As my elected representative, should the government bother to ask your opinion, please do all you can to communicate the foolishness of a violent escalation to the situation in Syria.