Some of you may have noticed that yesterday (Tuesday) was December 1, the first day of Advent and therefore the start of the Season of Goodwill, here in the UK.
It has been marked by a series of increasingly bitter exchanges between those of us who are pro- or anti- the plan to launch air strikes to bomb people in Syria, and topped off by a staggeringly offensive comment by the UK’s own prime minister.
So it’s all going swimmingly. Joy to the World, eh?
Cameron’s foot-in-mouth moment was made in an attempt to persuade fellow Conservative MPs to vote for his war in Syria. The BBC‘s version of the story states:
David Cameron has urged Tory MPs to take a stand on fighting terror on the eve of a vote in Parliament on authorising UK airstrikes in Syria.
The prime minister called on them not to “sit on their hands” and side with Jeremy Corbyn and others he labelled “a bunch of terrorist sympathisers”.
This is, of course, an act of defamation.
Claiming that his political opponents, including not only Jeremy Corbyn (who is named) but also any other MPs who agree with the Labour leader, agree with the unlawful use or threat of violence to intimidate or coerce, usually for political or ideological reasons, certainly seems to be defamation as This Writer learned it!
Does the comment seem intended to expose Mr Corbyn and the others to hatred, ridicule or contempt? Yes.
May it cause them to be shunned and avoided? Yes.
Does it seem intended to lower them in the estimation of right-thinking people generally? Yes.
And does it disparage him in his office, trade, calling or profession? Certainly.
(Note that This Blog’s reporting of it is not an act of defamation as it expressly states that there is no reason to believe Mr Corbyn and the others who have been tarnished by Cameron’s words should be described in that manner.)
Anybody who opposes Cameron’s will at the vote – and it seems likely that many more will do so than had intended it, prior to his outburst – will be able to sue him for trying to bring them into disrepute. Some may consider it reason enough to vote ‘No’.
Needless to say, the social media has been having huge sport with this.
For example, Jill Segger tweeted: “Are British Quakers “terrorist sympathisers”, David Cameron? If not, why are MPs with a conscientious objection to airstrikes so called?”
Nick Pettigrew added: “‘Terrorist sympathisers’. Ballsy talk from a bloke recently seen bowing to the Saudi royal family.”
Several people have contacted the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, demanding that Cameron be made to retract his comment and apologise.
Why did Cameron do it?
Long-term readers will be aware that This Blog often compares the behaviour of the current Conservative Party with that of the Nazis who governed Germany between 1933 and 1945. With that in mind, take a look at this:
Does that clarify matters?
He’s on a hiding to nothing though – according to a new poll he has just insulted more than half the population of the UK:
In related news, the Commons Foreign Affairs select committee has decided that Cameron has failed to address its concerns over air strikes. Those who voted for the motion include Tory John Baron, who intends to vote against air strikes, and his colleague Andrew Rosindell – also a Conservative.
Mr Baron has tabled a cross-party amendment to the motion ratifying air-strikes, with co-signatories including the SNP’s Angus Robertson, Labour’s Graham Allen, Plaid Cymru’s Hywel Williams, the SDLP’s Alasdair McDonnell, Green MP Caroline Lucas – and 104 others, according to Labour MP John Mann.
The wording states that the House of Commons, “while welcoming the renewed impetus towards peace and reconstruction in Syria, and the government’s recognition that a comprehensive strategy against Daesh is required, does not believe that the case for the UK’s participation in the ongoing air campaign in Syria by 10 countries has been established under current circumstances, and consequently declines to authorise military action in Syria”.
Eoin Clarke tweeted: “Since we started bombing ISIS 481 days ago, recruitment to ISIS’s terrorist army has grown by 1400%. I [am] less than convinced bombing’s working.”
Dr Clarke also tweeted an image showing 10 reasons he believes bombing is not reasonable:
MPs will debate Cameron’s plan – to bomb Syria – for 10 and a half hours, starting at 11.30am today (Wednesday, December 2), with a vote immediately afterwards.
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You do realise that the poll you quote was carried out by YouGov, who you normally discount
So it is. Well, taking that organisation’s huge Tory slant into consideration, it seems fair to suggest that opposition to air strikes is probably much higher than stated, then.
Very much so!
The poll you quote may show 48% in favour of bombing, but only shows 31% against. The figure of 48% is within the margin of error to be over 50% due to polling methods.
Clutching at straws.
As I have always said, the real terrorists are our own beloved government. CaMoron the pig fornicator is a soulless coward. The Torys are a real cancer that needs cutting from the world. I would believe a compassionate honourable man than a hypocritical bag of diarrhea who even uses his dead child for political gain that makes his own wife wince. SCUMBAG.
A Thought : If all those who descended on parliament to protest this at the start of this parliament had turned up to vote – Cameron would probably NOT have had the parliamentary majority to push this through and would have had to consider his position. They may have a workable majority – many though didn’t vote for what he’s doing.
I think it is more likely that those who descended on Parliament DID vote; those who wouldn’t have bothered to vote wouldn’t have bothered to turn up.
why is camoron so keen to go to war? it will go tits up, waste billions and hopefully oust this sordid government and the con party for good.
It is worth remembering that we are at war already. The Commons voted earlier in the year to bomb ISIL in Iraq. This vote is to extend the bombing in Syria and NOT to vote for war as that was previously agreed.
INTO Syria – unless you know something the rest of us don’t?
It will be interesting to see if Cameron (and other senior cabinet members) stay for the debate, or just turn up to vote at 10pm
Stop the War Coalition have a good letter to send to your MP and then very easy to forward to friend emails if you don’t use twitter etc.
Get on the phone and ring your MP.
There’s a very good article on 21st century wire about the legality of bombing Syria – it isn’t legal. We’re going to be stuck with another Iraq quagmire if we don’t stop this now!
Please do all you can!
Thanks, Mike and everyone!
Hormone imbalance must his time of the month, bitching off again.
Advent is not tied to December. Yesterday was actually the 3rd day of Advent this year, as advent starts on the 4th Sunday before Christmas.
You learn something new every day – although actually this is probably something I have forgotten, having been brought up in a Christian family.
I was basing my reasoning on something very familiar – the Advent calendar, which only features the dates in December leading up to Christmas.
In any case, I also referred to the Festive Season, and the Season of Goodwill, as an intentional catch-all for people who aren’t religious or follow different faiths.
Cameron will try anything to get his war. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2 “coincidental” bomb alerts on the day before the vote were sourced by the imbecile himself. I don’t feel that should be classed as a defamatory statement either since he has just called me a terrorist.
An intriguing thought has just wandered across my mind and it is this.
Does ” parliamentary privilege ” extend to beyond the confines of the Houses of Parliament, or is it confined to just the chamber of the House of Commons?
Grounds of the Palace of Westminster – and even then, only for statements or acts occurring as part of a proceeding in Parliament. And only in regard to civil matters. There is no immunity from criminal proceedings at all.
So, for example, Cameron’s comment about “terrorist sympathisers” is actionable in my opinion because it was not said as part of his duties as a member of Parliament. He uttered it in his capacity as a member of the Conservative Party.
That is interesting, although can you ever see the ‘Boy David’ ever having to answer for anything he says or does? The way that he conducts himself ( and most of the other members of that particular clique ) reminds me most strongly of the Whips in the Lindsay Anderson film
” If…. . ( ellipsis followed by a period, in case you wondering about all the dots… .
So,those opposed to bombing Syria are ‘”terrorist sympathisers”? Can Cameron have thought this slur up all on his own? Or do I detect the finger prints of Lynton Crosby all over it?
Interesting how many of the original and infamous Bullingdon Club are now in the government in senior positions: Cameron, Osborne and Johnson. How many other members of that gang will inflict themselves on us? Perhaps they already do.