He's not the messiah, he's a very....

There are many highlights from the bombing debate earlier this week, and Hilary Benn's so-called summing up for the opposition was not one of them.

  1. I watched the last three hours of the debate, and the following day, the press, or at least the press I follow, have been boosting their champions, in particular those of the Labour pro-bombing supporters in the hope that they will damage either Jeremy Corbyn or the Labour Party or both. Benn's speech in particular doesn't bear much criticism and so I shall aid the debate by assembling some; here's some commentators, and I end with some comment on whether pre-WW II appeasement and its alternatives, especially the example of the International Brigades have any relevance.
  2. Phil BC on his blog points out that Benn's speech seemed good as a piece of oratory because on the whole the quality of public speaking in parliament is so poor. Also it should be said that some of the best speeches came from the Tory antis, aided by their expertise. Phil points out that Benn has changed his mind over the last two weeks and doesn't explain why, nor explain how Cameron's plan can possibly work.
  3. The Vice also dissect the speech, addressing the pro-war history of this Benn, he supported Iraq II and Libya, and his dreadful co-option of the international brigades in the Spanish Civil War.
  4. Opendemocracy pierces the suggestion that action is UN authorised, challenges the doctrine of pre-emptive self defence on the basis of the Charter, questions the lessons of success in Iraq, suggests it's just another version of something must be done, and highlights that his history lesson fails to learn that bombing isn't what ended European fascism in the 1940's.
  5. On a slightly different tack, Simon Jenkins continues his onslaught on Cameron's lust to bomb, detailing the failed history of British air power in the area, and documenting it's limited capability.
  6. He finishes, "British government’s strategy is both incoherent and inconsistent with the declared threat to the British people. So it does what it always does when it can’t think what to do. It bombs."
  7. Danny Blanchflower, picks up in the "useful idiot" phrase,
  8. Cameron's own relentless deployment of politics of fear makes him terrorism’s “useful idiot”” sounds about right  http://gu.com/p/4emcx/stw 
  9. The International Brigades Memorial Trust documents the mentions of the Brigade in the debate. I suspect they won't be happy.
  10. This man seems to be the expert on Britain and the Spanish Civil War,
  11. and I have just bought one of his books
  12. I just bought: 'The Spanish Civil War And The British Labour Movement' by Tom. Buchanan via @AmazonUK  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0521393337/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_asp_o.fMK.PH93G7K