Coffee House

The Commons is finally talking about Iraq. Will anyone notice?

18 June 2014

PMQs last week took place just hours after Mosul had fallen to ISIS. But despite this, not a single MP asked Cameron what the government’s position on the situation in Iraq was.

Today, though, Ed Miliband devoted all six questions to the topic. There was much consensus between Cameron and Miliband but one doubts that the governments in either Baghdad or Tehran will take much notice of what was said in the Chamber. Indeed, the Commons seemed oddly passive about the exchanges as if everyone was aware of the limits to Britain’s ability to influence the situation.


One thing that remains striking is Cameron’s conviction that a terrorist enclave in Iraq would be a direct threat to Britain. He warned the Commons that elements in ISIS are ‘planning to attack us here at home in the United Kingdom’. It remains to be seen if this analysis is based on hard intelligence or simply an analysis of ISIS’s motivations.

The political excitement of the session came when Ben Bradshaw mockingly asked the Prime Minister how his campaign to stop Jean-Claude Juncker from becoming president of the European Commission was going. A fired up Cameron replied that this was a matter of principle and that he would fight it to the end. He also implied that fellow EU leaders needed to have the courage to follow through in public on their private doubts about Juncker.

The conventional wisdom at the moment is that Juncker will get the Commission presidency. I am not quite so sure of that, though, Britain is not the only country with doubts about him and if there is a vote, some of these other countries might well be flushed out. ​

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  • Frank

    Cameron trying to fire up a sense that we are in danger from an ISIS enclave in Iraq and only he can save us! Meanwhile he sells us down the river to China and EDF.

  • Curnonsky

    There is nothing to discuss. Britain has effectively abandoned military action as an instrument of state policy: the military is now reduced to humanitarian missions, the very occasional commando raid against non-state actors, and of course it is the object of the effusive sham-patriotic declarations by the political class. But all agree: no more use of force, ever, less we end up hated the way Blair is.

    • telemachus

      I am unsure we need the armed forces at all
      Except perhaps as a National Guard to rescue future Somerset Folk from the floods

  • anyfool

    Could anyone in a governing parliament around the world be as so ineffectual as these two twits.
    Cameron should announce that when so called British jihadis return to this country they will be arrested and sent to Iraq, Syria and anywhere they committed offences, no appeals, straight back on the plane to Baghdad would do more for Iraq than all the pious nonsense these two fools generate.

    • Colonel Mustard

      That’ll be the day. More likely to get taxpayer funded counselling and a council house.

      • anyfool

        I am afraid your solution is the one that will be used, probably with an invitation to go on a lecture circuit, telling the witless of how murdering people is invigorating to the mind of poor immigrants, who have been left behind because of government policies.

        • telemachus

          They are misguided human beings in need of education
          Compassion please

          • Alexsandr

            they can have an education in Baghdad then.

            • telemachus

              I said compassion
              These are impressionable kids whose heads were turned
              We should turn them back

              • John Dalton

                “Impressionable kids whose heads were turned”. You’re pathetic.

                • telemachus

                  I am very sure you with your powers of persuasion could turn them back

                • Sapporo

                  Yes, what they need is more left-wing rhetoric, appeasement and political correctness because it has been so successful!

  • Mynydd

    Juncker what Juncker another failure but Mr Cameron, he can twist and spin all he likes but a failure is a failure.

    • dado_trunking

      Only a Sith deals in absolutes.
      You have moved to the dark side and don’t even know it.

    • DWWolds

      And Milliminor is a huge success is he?

      • Alexsandr

        yes. he has managed to make himself less popular than Clegg. thats quite an achievement.

  • dado_trunking

    I am not worried, me.
    As a member of Generation X (that’s a Douglas Coupland reference), I have read ‘Wonder Woman vs. Isis’ and know how it all ends.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …will your endless string of sockpuppets ever end, lad?

  • Ricky Strong

    Islam, Islam, Islam, Islam…..

    Every day of every month of every year it’s always Islam.

    But of course this has nothing to do with islam because Islam is the most peaceful religion on the planet. so peaceful in fact it has even provoked Buddhists to violence. I noticed the demonstrations from the British Muslim community the other day who were concerned about the mass slaughter of their brothers and sisters……

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Maybe the MilliCams can meet with the British Mu$l!ms and explain that the ‘slaughter’ is nothing to do with !$lam and more to do with the housing benefit regime and lack of JobCentre Pluses in Tikrit.

    • telemachus

      “even provoked Buddhists to violence”
      You see the stupidity of your logic
      Muslims are persecuted in Burma
      Just as Catholics were persecuted in the North of Ireland

      • Frank

        Yes indeed, the prots used to behead catholics at the drop of a hat all over Northern Ireland.

        • telemachus

          And not just Protestants on Catholics

          Remember 1641

          “…..the actual number of deaths to be 12,000 out of a total Protestant population in Ulster at the time of 40,000, a massacre … slaughter of the defenceless.”

      • Sapporo

        Muslims are always ‘persecuted’ aren’t they? The Burmese State is secular. There is inter-ethnic and religious conflict in the East and the Muslim groups have been trying to form a separate state for decades. Burma has many religions and ethnicities, but guess which ones are regularly involved in violence?

  • John Dalton

    What a lot of hot air these blustering fools produce.

    How many sc*mbags living in the UK are going over to the Middle East to fight their twisted h*ly war? Why aren’t our spineless cowardly politicians doing something about that? Rather than posturing and swanning around with celebrities?

    This country is going to reach boiling point soon – especially if the aforementioned sc*mbags return to the UK unmolested to further spread their poisonous ideology. Will our politicians continue to bury their heads in the sand and make excuses? Or will they sit there mouthing platitudes about diversity until the next terrorist atrocity causes loss of lives of the people they are paid to protect?

    Protect your own FIRST!

    • telemachus

      Yes JD
      What do you propose
      I distinctly heard Cameron tell us he was setting the security forces and police on to the problem of our citizens going over there
      A surprise really
      I do not remember Baldwin trying to stop our citizens going to Spain in the mid 30’s
      That was a directly analogous situation
      The hot air and posturing here is only an issue for those with a racial and Islamophobic agenda

      • Alexsandr

        let them go. just dont let them come back. If you go to fight a war in a foreign country while not in the british armed forces, then consider your British citizenship null and void. They cant fly back on a cancelled passport.

        • telemachus

          Is that what you would have said to the white, largely protestant Christian International Brigade in the 1930’s?

          • Alexsandr

            they were not joining people who eat peoples entrails.

            • telemachus

              “And what made the war even more shocking to my mind was the fact that it had seen one Spaniard turn against another, families literally split in two and generations of friends turn in on one another. Here there was not the kind of national solidarity which comes of an entire nation being invaded by an external aggressor, but a country made cannibal, turning in on itself.”

      • Pier66

        I do not remember Baldwin trying to stop our citizens going to Spain in the mid 30’s, yes, but now we should trying to stop our people going to spain bring our pounds in that kind of county..better go in our
        wonderful eg Scotland, or Devon, Kent, or you can choose Italy nice country nice people good food…

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