Friday 30 August 2013

Just how significant was yesterday's vote?

Just how significant was yesterday's House of Commons vote to prevent Britain going to war against Syria? Just have a look at this cutting from the front page of the Norwich Mercury of the 2 March 1782:

In case you are wondering about the connection, that vote was the last time to the House of Commons reigned in a government hell-bent on war. Back then it was the Tory, Lord North, who wanted to keep fighting the American colonists and that vote meant that the Commons was no longer prepared to continue the fight.

Yesterday, over 230 years later, the House of Commons reigned in another Tory, David Cameron, who wanted to sent the young men of Britain off to die in yet another of the imperial adventures that have so plagued the twenty-first century up to now.

That is how significant it all is. The Commons took control of the executive and made it toe the line and that has not happened on a matter of war for more than two centuries.

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