It’s a bit like one of those End Times movies; the end of civilisation as we know it.
The ever expanding Islamic State - sorry, the so-called Islamic State, then the ebola. The two-pronged, pincer-like assault on civilisation that is rapidly closing in.
Stockpile the groceries, get yourself a shotgun. Man the barricades. If the ebola don’t get you, the Islamists will.
Of course I blame Israel. Menzies Campbell does, anyhow. I think that’s what he was telling Andrew Neil on the politics show.
However, the Liberal Democrats were otherwise engaged with their emergency debate on the Middle East.
The Israel Palestine situation is an overriding emergency for the Lib Dems. They must pass an “emergency motion” straight away. Not just any emergency motion; a holistic one. One that is full of holes.
(Incidentally, the more hysterical Nick Clegg becomes, the more he uses the word ‘create’, pronouncing it ‘crate.’ The Lib Dems have crated almost everything. They must be thinking of moving out.)
“The Liberal Democrats have moved on to the final item on the agenda, which begins with a discussion on the latest situation in the Middle East. Opening, Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood criticises what he says are "illegal" Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the country's "disproportionate" response to rocket attacks from Gaza. Mr Horwood explains that the motion before conference encourages a "united European stance that recognises Palestinian statehood".
An emergency motion on peace in the Middle East with an holistic approach. Bring on the emergency services! The Lib Dems are passing a motion!
The ineffectual nature of this exercise brings to mind a video that has gawn viral, according to the Telegraph. I bring it to you with trepidation because I suspect viewing it is somehow unwholesome, and maybe putting it out there for the likes of you and me to gawk at is exploitative and a bit wrong, but it is very funny, and the ineffectualness of one little madam’s frustration and the histrionic delivery just reminds me of the Lib Dems’ emergency motion on the Middle East, holistic approach and all.
“Be vury curfull noye”
The accent could smite asunder any holistic approach to the so-called Islamic State, if not the approach by the Islamic State itself.
Do listen curfully to the speech by Martin Horwood MP. Cheltenham, which is so devoid of understanding, so ill-informed, so superficial, so wrong-headed that the thought of the Lib Dems influencing ‘policy’ beggars belief. What does he know about the Middle East, one wonders. Has he holistically entrusted his education and information to the BBC in its entirety? He starts in typical BBC. ‘The Lib Dems are even handed about Israel Palestine.‘ ‘We support a two state solution where two nations respect each other’s right to exist” . The ‘some of my best friend are Jews’ opening gambit, which precedes the nitty gritty.
“We remember and will always remember the terrible holocaust and catastrophe which cast dark clouds over everything that is ever done and said about this conflict. We understand that even a few careless words can stoke the fires of antisemitism........ and Islamophobia, and Liberal Democrats will always stand against prejudice and intolerance, not just abroad, but in our own communities.
So with one hand we’re given ‘antisemitism’ while the other takes it back with “Islamophobia’. Surprise.
“But conference - if we are right to tell the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki that it is not enough to be elected, but you also have to pursue the path of peace and inclusion and tolerance, then it is right to send the same message to the government of.......
Is he about to mention Hamas here?)
............... Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel!”
Burst of applause. I almost thought, just for a nano second, he was going to say Hamas. Back in the room.
“It is not acceptable to continually undermine the peace process through illegal settlement building. It is not acceptable to give settlers on Palestinian land legal rights that you don’t then give to their Palestinian neighbours.”
This is pure super-nanny.
“It is acceptable to defend yourself against terrorism as we did against the IRA, but it is not acceptable to unleash a wholly disproportionate attack in response that has devastated communities in Gaza and killed thousands of civilians.
“And if we tell the Palestinian people and indeed Arab people across the region that the path of rockets and bombs and massacres is wrong, then we should reward and support the painstaking diplomatic and political path to peaceful change being pursued by the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Good grief! You only have to scratch the surface to see that Mahmoud Abbas is a devious and duplicitous individual who speaks with forked tongue and has long-ago out-lived his elected credentials. Does Martin Horwood know anything?
“Conference, this motion in very guarded language encourages a united European stance that recognises Palestinian statehood.
“Now cleverer speakers than me will probably point out the apparent contradiction of asking for recognition on the basis of negotiated borders that have not yet been successfully negotiated, but conference, we have done that before, more than once on the 28th of April 1950 we did it for the state of Israel.”
“Liberal democrats. Please pass this motion: The voices of pluralism and tolerance and democracy can be difficult to find at times like these, when war and intolerance and extremism seem to be rampant. Those voices may be hard to find, but they are there and they need to know that if they have the courage to stand up for democracy and tolerance and freedom then we will have the courage to support them and add our voice to theirs. thank you.”
We already know the Lib Dems will vote for the motion. It was a foregone conclusion, but nevertheless someone had the audacity to oppose it.
Here’s John Allen( Oxford West and Abingdon) who wishes to speak against the motion.
“Conference. Policy on the Middle East has gone from ignorance, through stupidity to hypocrisy. First ignorance: A few years ago we passed a motion whose only proposal, outside the usual platitudes, was to make that dictator’s club, the Arab League, the fifth member of the quartet on the Middle East. This was like asking Vladimir Putin to help us adjudicate on the Ukraine. And weren’t they so effective in Syria?
My God. What is going on? Is this man really a Lib Dem? I think ‘conference’ is wondering the same thing.
“Then stupidity: when we had a motion welcoming the Arab Spring, all that had actually happened at that time was a number of demonstrations, riots and a military coup, and in the same motion we supported bombing a Libya that had given up weapons of mass destruction, and opposing bombing Iraq when we thought they still had ‘em. Now the ‘spring’ has predictably resulted in Islamist dictatorships, another Egyptian military coup with thousands dead.; and hasn’t Libya turned out well?
Hypocrisy: Earlier this year parliamentarians ranted, as this motion does, about the disproportionate response when Israel defended itself against murder and the continuous rain of missiles from genocidal Islamofascists using their own population as human shields, Hamas. “The obvious question of course is ‘what would we have done?’ Well now we know. After a few hostage murders, but no missiles fired at the UK we are now bombing genocidal Islamofascists using their own population as human shields. ISIS. Except, as far as I Know, we are not sending them warnings, we are not ‘door knocking’ or proposing to have any troops, let alone civilians, in harm’s way, So presumably we are even more disproportionate.“Of course there is no obligation on our side to have people killed just to satisfy the deliberate misreading of the concept of proportionality. The final stage of this party’s defence of their Middle East policy is indicated by the title of this motion. “A holistic approach” as if multiple ancient historic problems, many of them not related, can be sorted out by a bit of quack alternative therapy.
Tapping - or perhaps a solitary clap
“We don’t have any original ideas about Iraq or Syria - fair enough - but all of a sudden we’ve got the magic solution to Israel Palestine.Let’s get the EU to recognise a Palestine state. Problem solved. Just like a hundred years ago the good Europeans, Sykes and Picot imposed states and borders without local agreement, and that brought peace didn’t it.“ Asking Palestinians to break their commitment under the Oslo accords, to have the final settlement negotiated (and these are the Oslo accords which set up the Palestinian Authority in the first place) removes any incentive for Abbas to negotiate as agreed. Why should he? He would look stupid if he did.”
“Can you bring your remarks to a close?” interjected the chair
“Creating a state without agreeing borders is asking for further fighting and trouble, as of course has already happened. Churchill famously said “Jaw jaw is better than war war.” In the Middle East.....”
Oh dear. they’ve turned off the mike.
Next up normal service is resumed. Layla Moran a chirpy British Palestinian Christian comes to the podium.
You’ll choke yourself, so you will.