May was right to act de­ci­sively on Syria

Yorkshire Post - - OPINION -

THE PRIME Min­is­ter has been fac­ing pro­longed and an­gry crit­i­cism for not in­volv­ing Par­lia­ment in the de­ci­sion for the UK to join the USA and France in air at­tacks on Syria, fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent As­sad’s al­leged il­le­gal use of chem­i­cal war­fare on his own peo­ple as the vi­cious civil war rages on.

But the Prime Min­is­ter found her­self caught be­tween a rock and a hard place. On the face of it, it seems that to by­pass Par­lia­ment in reach­ing such a mo­men­tous de­ci­sion was at odds with all the tenets of democ­racy.

But what was she to do? The oper­a­tion needed to be car­ried out quickly, to en­sure the Syr­ian regime had as lit­tle time as pos­si­ble to pre­pare to com­bat this on­slaught from the West.

The de­lay that would have oc­curred if Par­lia­men­tary ap­proval (or oth­er­wise) had to be sought could have en­dan­gered the whole oper­a­tion, and also, if Par­lia­ment had said no, it would have given Rus­sia an op­por­tu­nity to claim a split in the West on this is­sue. Par­lia­ment was still in the Easter re­cess, so a re­assem­bly would have de­layed mat­ters even fur­ther.

Worse still, with a num­ber of Tory MPs as an­gry as most Labour MPs about the de­ci­sion to by­pass Par­lia­ment, the vote could eas­ily have been lost. And that could have fur­ther, and pos­si­bly fa­tally, weak­ened Mrs May’s al­ready dwin­dling au­thor­ity as Tory leader.

So all in all, it seemed the right thing to go ahead as she did, to en­sure Pres­i­dent As­sad was aware that the West de­tested his con­duct of this war. And he has been warned, too, that if there is a fur­ther breach, the USA is ‘locked and loaded’ to mount an­other at­tack.

The Prime Min­is­ter has struck the right note by say­ing this is not about regime change or in­ter­fer­ing in a for­eign civil war. It was sim­ply a very dire warn­ing to As­sad that he had bet­ter not do it again – or else.

IT COMES as a re­lief to hear the stopand-search pol­icy, which fell into de­cline be­cause of ac­cu­sa­tions of racism, is to be stepped up again.

Pro­test­ers had com­plained that a dis­pro­por­tion­ate num­ber of black peo­ple were be­ing stopped and searched, which made it dif­fi­cult for the po­lice to stop and search eth­nic mi­nori­ties with­out hav­ing charges of racism hurled at them.

How­ever, it is now ap­par­ent that a large pro­por­tion of the gun and knife crimes dis­fig­ur­ing the streets of Lon­don and else­where over re­cent months have in­volved black-on-black gang war­fare.

It may be an un­com­fort­able fact for some peo­ple to ac­cept this, but it is nev­er­the­less true.

So the po­lice should have no in­hi­bi­tions about whom they chal­lenge in this way. They should go for the peo­ple they con­sider most likely to be car­ry­ing firearms or knives, ir­re­spec­tive of any other con­sid­er­a­tion.

THE DIRE fi­nan­cial straits in which the Na­tional Health Ser­vice finds it­self can only be wors­ened by the fail­ure – or re­fusal – of for­eign­ers who have re­ceived NHS treat­ment to pay up.

At present, the NHS is owed a colos­sal £150m by tourists from over­seas, who have not paid a penny.

It is a scan­dal which is hard to re­solve, and at­tempts by hos­pi­tals to re­coup some of the money have pro­duced only a tiny frac­tion of what is owed.

Per­haps some ar­range­ments could be made to stop back­slid­ers from leav­ing the coun­try un­til they have paid up.

It is wrong that the NHS should have to act as debt col­lec­tors, so a way must be found to en­sure that those self­ish peo­ple should some­how be com­pelled to pay up for a ser­vice to which they have not con­trib­uted so much as a brass far­thing.

KEN LIV­ING­STONE, Labour’s for­mer Mayor of Lon­don, has “with a heavy heart”, he says, de­clined an in­vi­ta­tion to take part in the TV re­al­ity show,

Liv­ing­stone has ad­mit­ted that they were of­fer­ing him a huge fee, just at a time when, he claimed, he was run­ning out of money.

But he felt he had to heed the protests of his chil­dren, who did not want to see him naked on the tele­vi­sion screen.

The Liv­ing­stone brood have done the na­tion a ser­vice – I don’t think any­one would wish to see Mr Liv­ing­stone in the buff.

Though there is, of course, the off but­ton...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.