Why does it matter how Cameron will vote on Syria?

It is Syrians we should be worrying about, not David Cameron.

It is Syrians we should be worrying about, not David Cameron.

There’s something odd about a lot of the comments from people on the left or centre-left about whether Britain should extend its military action against ISIL from Iraq to Syria.

It’s the frequent reference to “David Cameron”. The plans are “David Cameron’s plans”, voting for that extension of air strikes is “voting with David Cameron” and if the plans are supported by Parliament it’ll be “a victory for David Cameron”.

So what?

There are plenty of powerful arguments for and against extending the airstrikes (and those who express utter certainty, rather than making it a judgement of probabilities, are truly to be looked on in awe for their brilliance*).

What’s at stake, either way, are the lives of millions of people. Getting the decision right for them is what matters.

So what if that means in the end agreeing with a Conservative, a Ukiper or even a Communist?

What matters are the millions of innocent people and making the best judgement about what will work out best for them.

Obsessing about mentioning David Cameron is the very worst sort of myopic tribalism, viewing politics as an arid game of ‘hate the Tories and oppose anything they want’ even in the face of such a consequence-laden decision as Syria.


* Or for having such a gap between their certainty and knowledge, of course.

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