This week Labour MPs are likely to have to cast what will be one of the most important parliamentary votes of their career when the Prime Minister brings his proposal for Britain to join the bombing of Syria to the Commons.
It will be vital for two reasons. The first and most important is that Labour once again risks being tarred as a party of illegal and irrational war.
The 2003 vote to invade Iraq has haunted Labour ever since – losing millions of votes that have yet to be regained and causing around half the party’s membership to resign. Nothing in Labour’s history has traumatised it quite so much perhaps.
Now again Labour is being asked to support a war that lacks clear United Nations sanction – or a coherent purpose.
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