Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to begin by noting that the decision whether to commit our nation to war is one of the most grave that any Member of this House can take. I know this better than most, because I have voted in favour of about six or seven wars myself in the past fifteen years.
[LAUGHTER; SHOUTS OF "EIGHT"; "NO, NINE"]
I do not wish to make light of our rampant promiscuity in aggressive warfare, but seriously, are we getting Nectar Points for all these wars, or what? I must surely be due a free Tassimo machine by now, at least.
I am sure that each of us has agonised long and hard over the decision of whether to betray our allies and submit in craven terror to fascists by voting against this motion, or to stand manly, strong and erect by voting in favour of it.
Yesterday, I set out five key questions on our proposed military action that the Prime Minister must at least attempt to answer before he would have my backing. Having listened to his vague, hand-waving responses, I am now convinced that he has thought fairly hard about our military strategy. I believe that he has now presented this House with a sort-of convincing case for war. That being so, I intend to vote as I had always intended to do in the first place.
Additionally, I am now quite convinced that, should this military action end badly, I will be able to avoid criticism by laying all of the blame for it upon him personally.
Nobody can doubt the seriousness of the threat that we face. Every day, each of us faces the very real possibility that domestic extremists will be very rude to us on social media.
Also, our enemies have murdered or enslaved tens of thousands of innocent civilians, and they threaten this nation with terrorist attacks on an unimaginable scale. It is barbarity and cruelty beyond description, a medieval savagery that can only belong in the Dark Ages, a few hundred miles south, with our close friends and business partners in Saudi Arabia.
Our allies have called for our aid. Are we to abandon them in their hour of need, simply because they are not actually in need, or because they have enormous military capabilities that far outstrip our own? Are we to stand aside simply because they are quite capable of fucking up this entire operation all of their own accord, without any assistance at all from Great Britain?
I have heard much of the risk, of the danger of repeating the mistakes of the past. I can assure this House that I stay up reasonably late at night worrying about the mayhem and destruction that our previous military actions have inadvertently caused through absolutely no fault of our own.
I have given great consideration to the possibilty that this action may cause as much chaos and disorder as in Iraq or Libya, and I have concluded, fuck it. What is the worst that can happen?
We have heard much of the cost of taking action but I would remind you that inaction has costs too. If we were to shrink from this challenge, the American government would surely stop pretending to care what we think about anything. Also, the French would be somewhat more dismissive and condescending towards us than they currently are. I am sure that you are just as concerned about the good opinion of the French government as I am.
The United Nations has called upon us to do something. It is asking us to act. I say that we must uphold the settled will of the UN when it is politically expedient to do so, just as aggressively as we have previously dicked it off when it asked us to please calm down and think about things for a minute.
I say that this threat is now so urgent that there is no time to think about anything. It is now time for action. We must stop thinking immediately.
I do not pretend that this will be a simple matter. I am however pretending that it is simple enough to commit ourselves
to an open-ended war on the other side of the planet, on the basis that
if we don't, people might think that we are all a bunch of big jessies who
can't even handle a bit of bombing.
[SCREECHES; ROARS; CRIES OF "NEVER"]
Our enemies hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt. They hold our democracy in contempt. They keep saying that they want a massive war of all of us versus all of them and I believe that it would be rather rude not to give them one.
I am an internationalist, in the grand tradition of my party.
Internationalism means that we will not walk by on the other side of the
road while our fellow man is brutalised. It means that we
will cross the road and shoot everything we see until our pistols go
click, and then blame any and all accidental deaths upon somebody else.
We must heed the lessons of history, or at least some of them. Perhaps we could skip a few of the more recent lessons of history, and on military history in this part of the world in particular, but we must definitely heed the redacted, heavily-edited lesson of history.
The lesson is this - the enemy that we face is fascism, a barbarity from a bygone age. Fascism must be defeated wherever it arises. This House stood resolute against Hitler and Mussolini. We are all now Churchill in the International Brigades, getting shot through the throat while facing down Franco at El-Alamein. Our balls are truly massive.
That is why I ask my colleagues to vote for the motion tonight.