Freddy Gray

Don’t be daft - last night’s vote was nothing to be ashamed of

Don't be daft - last night's vote was nothing to be ashamed of
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Are you ashamed of your country and depressed following last night's vote against intervening in Syria?  David Aaronovitch  the journalist is.

— David Aaronovitch (@DAaronovitch) August 29, 2013

Tim Shipman of the Daily Mail is.

— Tim Shipman (Mail) (@ShippersUnbound) August 30, 2013

So is Sarah Vine, the columnist, as well as, apparently, her husband Michael Gove.

Paddy Ashdown says that Great Britain is plunging towards 'isolationism'. Even our own Toby Young says 'that the message sent out by the mother of parliaments last night to tyrants across the world was: "Do whatever you like. Gas your own citizens. Murder innocent children. Commit genocide. We won't lift a finger to stop you."'

Anyone else feel there's more than a touch of hyperbole here? A bit of straining for effect? A little Twitter hyperventilation?

Yes, the killing of innocents shames us, as a species. We must all denounce it and do what we can to stop it. Given. But last night was not some sort of thumbs-up for global terror. It was not Britain 'turning its back on the world.' It was a narrow defeat of a government motion that was rushed and unclear in purpose. It was the legislature telling the executive to slow down, look more closely at the evidence, and think before beginning hostilities. In other words, it was democracy. That's nothing to be ashamed of. As Tim Stanley suggests, maybe, for once, we should be proud.

But it's funny how these patriots suddenly prefer France. And funny how the supporters of global democratic revolution sulk when their country's democracy doesn't do what they want.  If these people are really so desperate to stop Assad, they can always do what some young British Muslims have done -- go and join the fight.