Jeremy Corbyn will respect the views of his party members by declaring Labour party policy is opposed to airstrikes in Syria. In keeping with his inclusive agenda, however, he will allow MPs afree vote on the issue in parliament.

The decision to make the official position of the Labour party an anti-bombing one is based on a poll the party initiated last week. Labour members were emailed and asked their views about the potential airstrikes. The poll attracted almost 110,000 replies, with around 75% opposed to bombing Syria.

Canvassing members on this important issue, and more to the point, listening to their responses, make for a refreshing change to the way political decision-making is usually done in the UK. It is also desperately needed after the rampant disrespect Tony Blair showed for the public and for parliament, when he ignored one million people marching on the streets in opposition to the Iraq war.

And it is, after all, citizens who will suffer the consequences of military action. Members of the public will be the people who fall victim to retaliatory attacks, if they take place. The public will also be the ones asked to bear more cuts to services, when too much money has been blown on bombs.

The free vote that has been given to Labour MPs regarding these airstrikes should then take the views of their citizens into consideration. As representatives of their constituents, and in particular their party members, their consciences should be firmly aligned to the wishes of those who elected them. It seems this message is already hitting home with some MPs. According to an article in The Guardian, a senior Labour source said:

Labour MPs seemed to have become more wary of backing military action over the weekend for fear of “marking their card” and getting singled out as targets for possible de-selection by activists.

Note the choice of words here. ‘Activists’ are those MPs fear, meaning citizens who are active in the political sphere. Jeremy Corbyn was elected on a huge mandate largely due to the fact he encouraged ‘active’ engagement in politics by the public. As The Canary recently highlighted, this has resulted in Corbyn being voted the most popular political leader in the UK in Ipsos-MORI’s latest poll. MPs would do well to learn from his example, but as Corbyn recently said himself:

I feel there are some people who haven’t quite got used to the idea the party is in a different place.

The Labour party are also demanding a delay on the vote for airstrikes in Syria, and a two-day debate on the issue, to give time for their concerns about David Cameron’s proposals to be addressed. Clarification has been requested about how strikes would actually strengthen Britain’s security, who exactly Cameron is suggesting would take control of Daesh’s territory once freed from their control, and how the bombing would contribute to a political settlement in Syria.

In fact, Corbyn has consistently advocated for a political and diplomatic settlement for the situation in Syria. This would include a negotiated arrangement for governance in Syria, which is currently being debated by a coalition of world powers. It would also require seeking to sever the supply line of money and arms to Daesh, in which Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar have alreadybeen implicated.

Most importantly, the consequences of Britain joining the coalition of nations making airstrikes – already involving eight countries – on Syrian civilians need to be seriously considered. As Corbynexplains here:

One war doesn’t necessarily bring about peace, it often can bring yet more conflict, more mayhem and more loss.

It seems the Syrian people agree. The Observer recently published opinions on the possible UK airstrikes from Syrians, and one woman from Raqqa – one of the places Cameron wants to target– had an unequivocal message to send:

Absolutely no, please tell the British parliament

Surely it is incumbent on the UK to listen to the people whom we insist we are trying to save, just as it is on MPs to heed the views of their constituents. After 14 years of the ‘war on terror’, attacks have escalated by 6,500% and much of the Middle East lies in ruins. We should explore avenues that do not go through the barrel of a gun, and applaud the anti-bombing stance Labour have taken. After all, in a democracy, it is what their citizens have asked for.

Hundreds of thousands of Brts to be barred from voting in the referendum

Hundreds of thousands of Brits to be barred from voting in the referendum

The rules say that British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years may not vote.

In 2015, the Conservative Party promised to scrap this rule. “We will remove this cap and extend it to a full right as a British citizen to vote in British elections for life.”

And British citizens living abroad have more to lose than anyone if we leave the EU. While someone born in Gibraltar who has never visited the UK can vote, someone who was born and bred in the UK but has lived in Spain for 15 years and one day cannot…

Over one million Britons live in Spain alone. They have bought houses, their children go to school, and they look forward to friends and family visiting.

Their lives could be completely turned around if we vote to leave.

Their work and their children’s wellbeing depends on EU benefits such as reciprocal health care, free schools and equal ownership rights. They should at least have a say in what happens to our future

The Leave campaign want them excluded, because people who are benefitting from the EU tend to be in favour of it (unsurprisingly).

You can help

There are three things to do:

Write to your MP.

Find your constituency MP and how to get in contact with them through

Tell your MP in your own words why you think it’s unjust to exclude over a million British citizens from voting.

Sign the new No10 petition

All petitions have to start with the first signature. The numbers might be small today, but where might they be in a few weeks’ time?

Sign the petition

Share this on Social Media

There are a lot of people in the UK today who haven’t heard about the effect Brexit might have on our country and the British people. Seeing this video on social media might change their mind, or might not, but at least they can make an informed opinion.


The tube strike isn’t a laughing matter to London commuters attempting to get home tonight but a jovial Prince William managed to make light of the industrial action whilst at Wimbledon today as he pretended to make a dash for the underground station when an announcement came over the loud speaker on Centre Court

The tube strike isn’t a laughing matter to London commuters attempting to get home tonight but a jovial Prince William managed to make light of the industrial action whilst at Wimbledon today as he pretended to make a dash for the underground station when an announcement came over the loud speaker on Centre Court

One had best be off! Prince William raises a giggle on Centre Court as he pretends to run for the underground as the tube strike is announced at Wimbledon

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on Centre Court today to see Murray win against Vasek Pospisil
  • Visit comes a week after the Duchess of Cornwall was seen watching the tennis with Carole Middleton
  • Also there to cheer on Murray in his quarter final match was glamorous Mrs Murray, 27-year-old Kim Sears 
  • The royals had company in the shape of an elegantly dressed Zara Tindall and her husband Mike 
  • David Beckham, his son Romeo and Bear Grylls were among the famous names on Centre Court
  • Also there was a glamorous Sophie Wessex and Prince Albert of Monaco – both sitting in the Royal Box 
  • Meanwhile, actor Bradley Cooper was spotted sitting next to Mirka Federer during Roger’s match on Court One 
  • London Underground workers are staging 24 hour strike in dispute over pay and introduction of new night services