This week was an example of how an MP’s work can differ from one day to the next.
On Tuesday it was announced that Parliament was to be recalled on Thursday and so I had some unexpected packing to do. In the meantime there was still Wednesday to deal with.
On Wednesday I visited a number of organisations that are doing great work with young people – Northorpe Croft in Mirfield, the Stanley Training Project in Dewsbury and Richard Alan Engineering.
From providing a safe home, through training to awarding apprenticeships they were great examples of the organisations that do so much.
(Another example is the Sea Cadets. It was great to meet them at Mirfield Show but they need more adult helpers and are always looking for new members. If you are interested please email Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org).
After the visits it was a ‘Meet your MP’ evening, this time at Lepton. All of these were the type of events that MPs should be involved in and which are important constituency events. I always really enjoy them.
Thursday’s was a somewhat different task.
Back in Westminster the decision was whether or not to support military action against Syria.
Any action would be with cruise missiles and so British lives were unlikely to be at risk. But many Syrian soldiers on the receiving end – people I will never meet, perhaps with families of their own – will die.
The reason for the recall is because the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on its own people.
Many hundreds have died horribly including women and many children. The background to this is that there is civil war in Syria and things are at something of a stalemate.
It is the Syrians’ civil war, not ours, and they will resolve it. I am sure that there are good and bad individuals on both sides.
However the use of chemical weapons on civilians, including children, goes beyond civil war and is just wrong. The action contemplated by our government is nothing to do with the civil war and is a response to the mass murder that was caused by the use of nerve gas.
Hopefully the Syrian government will realise that if it uses chemical weapons on civilians its military will be attacked by the UK and the USA.
In a finely-balanced civil war this could tip the balance and so should act as a deterrent. I support the policy. No child should die in the street paralysed by nerve agents if we can prevent it.
As ever, I welcome your views on this issue.