Of course the issue that has dominated in the last week has been our country’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis. As a country we have a long and proud history of taking in refugees in times of crisis but over the last few months we have stood by whilst an estimated 4 million Syrians have left their country. It has taken the image of a drowned child on the front pages for there finally to be some impetus to deal with the crisis. The Government’s response (however belated and partial it may seem) has been as a result of unprecedented pressure from the public, the media and other countries but I cant help thinking that this is an issue that we will have to return to year after year as there is no easy solution to resolve it but offering help to those in the most immediate need is a start.
Some will say that the only way to end the crisis is for there to be military intervention and the Government announcement on aid may well have sped up the possibility of that resurfacing. However, it would seem that some force is already being used with the statement by the Prime Minister that the UK Government’s drone strike on a British Isis fighter in Syria. This is thought to have been the first to have been conducted by British forces as a targeted assassination and was done without Parliamentary approval. We are told that this was done in self defence and that the Government had no other option but to act to stop terrorist attacks in this country. We will probably never know the detail of this and whether the Prime Minister was right to act as he did but it seems we are moving towards greater military intervention now.
On the first day back in Parliament we had a number of votes on the European Union Referendum. The most important one which resulted in a Government defeat saw Tory rebels and Labour vote to oppose changes to the rules that restrict government campaigning before an election. The concern many had was that the Government would abuse its position and use the machinery of Government to promote positive stories about the EU. This is a very important decision for the country and the outcome cannot be tainted by accusations of fixing by one side or the other. We shall all have to live with the result and the consequences of it so it is in everyone’s interests that there is as level a playing field as possible.