Thursday, December 3, 2015

Syria air strikes vote: Hilary Benn's speech one of the 'greats'

"Now Mr Speaker, I hope that the House will bear with me if I direct my closing remarks to my Labour friends and colleagues on this side of the House  

 “As a party we have always been defined by our internationalism. We believe we have a responsibility one to another; we never have and we never should walk by on the other side of the road. 

 “And we are here faced by fascists; not just their calculated brutality, but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this chamber tonight and all of the people we represent; they hold us in contempt, they hold our values in contempt, they hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt, they hold our democracy, the means by which we make our decision tonight, in contempt. But what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated. 

 “And it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists and trade unionists and others joined the international brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco; it’s why this entire House stood up against Hitler and Mussolini; it is why our party has always stood up against the denial of human rights and for justice. 

“And my view, Mr Speaker, is that we must now confront this evil. It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria and that is why I ask my colleagues to vote for this motion tonight. "