All day I had been reading the pundits in the national press and listening to the BBC. No one expected the government to lose the vote. Least of all the government.
My view is that is one of the most significant votes in our recent history.
This perhaps – hopefully – is the moment when we stop believing we are a world power. At long last we, or at least our parliament, believe that we cannot bomb our way to peace. This could be the point where we believe our best interests, and those of the world, lie in using our financial and political resources to promote a world that works without war.
If only such an informed debate had taken place over Iraq. But then, yesterday’s debate could not have happened without our disastrous intervention in that country. Around 65 people died in Iraq two days ago. This death toll is not that unusual. But nobody much notices anymore and these deaths are rarely reported. We didn’t create peace in Iraq – yet the stated objectives of military actions the world over is to establish peace.
Last night’s Commons vote was an urge to find peaceful solutions in the face of violence and destruction. But, regrettably, it won’t change the world.
Already, the American press is reporting that Obama will go it alone with military action. That’s wrong. America is not the world’s policeman. Neither are we.
It’s time to stop thinking that bombing works. Killing innocents in an attempt to punish the guilty has not made the world a better place.
We should lead by example. It’s time to give peace a chance.
* Andy Boddington is a Lib Dem living in Shropshire, and a former editor for Lib Dem Voice