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Post-Paris massacre poll shows UK public oppose Syria airstrikes – MPs take note

paris massacreThe vast majority of the British public do not believe that British airstrikes on Syria are the right response to the Paris massacre, says a poll published today. Nor do the public believe past airstrikes have made the UK any safer. What most people want is a joint international approach backed by the UN, and for any response to be approved by Parliament before action is taken.

The poll should stand as a warning to those MPs who deliberately seek to undermine the party leader by ridiculing his position on this subject which clearly has considerable public support. There is nothing wrong with them arguing a different position – open comradely debate is encouraged – but playing politics with war and terrorism for factional advantage is repugnant and no-one could blame their communities and local party members for wanting to see the back of such behaviour.

Thepoll by Survation
 was carried out over the last two days. Its findings included:

  • A majority of the public (56%) believe that military strikes against Syria by governments around the world have made the UK less safe. Less than one in five people (18%) believe that such military intervention has made the UK more safe.

  • When asked which option the public believe would be the best way to combat the threat posed by IS, only 15% believe that the UK, like France should independently launch airstrikes on IS targets immediately, only slightly higher than those (13%) who say the UK should stay away fro the situation completely.


  1. gerry says:

    Although I agree that the UK joining airstrikes in Syria is a farce, a fake, pointless and reactionary, backing your case by pointing to opinion polls is a really bad idea! As you know, loads of opinion polls show that welfare cuts/benefit caps are very popular (60% in favour, 20% against)- should we adjust our opposition to these polls? Of course not…

    instead of abysmal “debates” about silly polls like this, shoot-to-kill or the “human rights” of Emwazi, in foreign policy re the Middle East JC should be pointing out how the “War on terror” was always a fake, given that the US/EU are best friends with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Turkey the three countries who have done most to export Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism and extremism throughout the planet…and similarly Russia’s best friend is Iran, which exported shia jihadism everywhere in the region too!

    Instead of parrotting the wretched Stop the War ” the West is to blame for terrorism” oversimplified lies, JC should unambiguously identify Islamic extremism as a murderous, fascistic ideology which is prevalent both here and abroad, and declare that Labour ( and all democratic socialists) should back Prevent, the police and the security services in fighting it 100%.

    Then he might be listened to about rejecting more airstrikes, and supporting any UN led, multinational solution to the apocalyptic Syria/Iraq crisis.

    1. David Ellis says:

      StWC is the foreign desk of Putin in London. When it blames the West for the shootings in Paris it is because it believes the West supported a jihadi uprising against its ally Assad. In actual fact whilst ISIS is to blame for its own crimes the West most definitely is to blame for ISIS. In Syria, contra StWC, and unlike in Iraq, it is to blame not because it intervened but because it failed to intervene. It turned its back on the Syrian people in 2013 giving the butcher Assad the green light to kill hundreds of thousands more and making the space for ISIS to capture territory in the liberated areas and slaughter everything progressive in its path. The West betrayed the democratic strivings of the Arab masses and the result of a failed revolution is always fascism. The West is to blame for the success of ISIS but so is StWC and the neo-Stalinst pro-Putin degenerate Western left. Naturally enough when it finally does invtervene in Syria on the side of Assad and with the blessing of the degenerate left perhaps after the UN passes a Putin resolution it will again be responsible for the further growth of ISIS because self-serving imperialism can by definition never do the right thing by human kind.

  2. Bazza says:

    I can’t remember which Tory Minister (Fallon or Hammond?) it was who said a while back that, “Russia would pay a heavy price for it’s intervention in Syria” which we now sadly know is true, as tragically France and Lebanon and many other countries have also been hit.
    We could get drones to bomb Un-Islamic Non-State (UINS) areas with leaflets, propaganda, to undermine them – using the political.
    Plus get Turkey to lay off the Kurds and help them more.
    Plus work with other countries in the area for political solutions in Syria.
    And yes Syria is a legal minefield with Assad only controlling half of the country so the UN could play a vital role as UINS impacts on a range of countries.
    Try to stop the sale of arms to UINS and stop countries buying ‘their’ oil etc. (stolen by their imperialism).
    Try to also win the tribes in the areas against them, perhaps by giving Iraqi etc. back its oil.
    We could perhaps begin a political campaign around Raqqa the UINS ‘capital’ and it could be the beginning of their end.
    I would argue that progressive and moderate Muslim’s also need a voice (hopefully lead by democratic socialist Muslims) so they would have a safe space to democratically and peacefully question Western Interventions and Imperialism as well as countering UINS.
    We now all face one tiny, extreme faction, using a distorted interpretation of one perspective of (Sunni) Islam who want to dominate the World through violence; and in their ‘certainty’ this is non-negotiable.
    But ideally we should only use violence as a last resort and only as self-defence.
    The Left should be trying (as democratic socialists) to unite diverse human beings (of all religions) and of none.
    We are the many, they are the few.
    Yours in peace.

    1. Richard Tiffin says:

      Nice idea but I’m not sure the people in Raqqa would do any more than treat the leaflets as toilet paper in a city of shortages.
      Why would they trust us? Where were we in 2011 and ever since? How many times have the US, Russia and France bombed the place?
      You are correct, we need their support but they know the invading ‘liberators’ left and left behind Isis in Iraq.
      A truly revolutionary army would go in, clear out Isis in quick time and then arm the people and keep marching east to Damascus. But will the regional powers and the imperialists come anywhere close?
      Of course not.
      Anything the regional and international power leave behind will leave them with oppression. Kurdish, Turkish, Syrian, blue helmets for a while then one of the above. The people of Raqqa will carry on struggling, only this time with their city in ruins.

  3. David Ellis says:

    Under no circumstance whatsoever can socialists support an aerial bombing campaign in ISIS-held Syrian territory not even if that campaign is sanctioned by a UN resolution. Unfortunately the degenerate Western left already supports the criminal Russian bombing, which is killing hundreds of civilians and have been supporting Assad’s bombing for four years which has killed 100s of thousands. These degenerates cheered Congress and Parliament when they voted not to disrupt Assad’s bombing with a No Fly Zone. They claimed this was a major victory for peace dubbing these twin black hearts of imperialism as the vanguard of the anti-imperialist struggle for their hypocritical decision to turn their backs on the Syrian people so that they could pursue rapprochement with Iran whilst Assad hacked and barrell bombed his way through them. So much for `anti-imperialism’. This `decision for peace’ led directly to the explosive emergence of the fascist ISIS in Syria as the demoralised revolution sparked by the election of Obama could not believe what it was seeing. ISIS did not of course attack Assad but land grabbed the liberated territories slaughtering democrats, revolutionaries, trades unionists, workers, minorities and intellectuals as it went. StWC have already said that the West bought the attack in Paris upon itself by not supporting Assad against the Syrian people. The opposite is true but Tory MPs agree with them despite the lies in the press. One Tory who voted against the No Fly Zone in 2013 which would have hurt Assad and favoured the revolution will this time be voting in favour of bombing as it will help Assad. This illustrates perfectly not just Western imperialist hypocrisy but the breathtaking hypocrisy of the degenerate oh-so-anti-imperialist Western left who already support the co-operation between France, UK, America and Russia in Syrian skies and would happily support a UN resolution, especially if proposed by Putin, for a joint bombing campaign. Bombing ISIS will kill and is killing civilians in large numbers and it is a war crime. It will create millions of new refugees. It will not be seen by the local population as bringing liberation from their new tormentors but genocide from the old tormentors. In the short term it will benefit Assad and Putin but in the long term an alliance of the West and Russian imperialism in support of the Arab tyrants can only benefit ISIS because one way or another the old, decaying Arab tyrannies with or without imperialist support cannot survive. With the Arab Spring defeated or in retreat that leaves only the new tyranny of Islamist fascism to take their place.

  4. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

    The usual windbags and armchair generals and diplomats carrying on with themselves; although I broadly agree with most them if I’m honest though not alway for the same reasons’.

    David Ellis summed it up perfectly.

    “Under no circumstance whatsoever can socialists support an aerial bombing campaign in ISIS-held Syrian territory not even if that campaign is sanctioned by a UN resolution.”

    For me the fundamental issue here is the moral one.

    An American academic I was listening to recently put it thus, “the ratio of civilian casualties among active combatants; before Vietnam was 1 civilian killed for ever 10 combatants, post Vietnam the kill ratio is now the reverse of that.”

    That fact alone should give people here pause.

    1. David Ellis says:

      Yes war criminality is never a good look for socialists but of course for imperialists, fascists and Stalinists it is par for the course. In fact the neo-Stalinists and the imperialists are converging. They are all coming round to supporting aerial bombing in Syria alongside Putin and Assad but the neo-Stalinists want a UN resolution first to make it alright. They could have stopped the bombing in 2013. They declined. Now they want to add to it.

      1. gerry says:

        You speak the truth here.

  5. Bazza says:

    Regional Un-Islamic Non-State (RUINS) are certainly dehumanised.
    And few will shed a tear at the death of the named ring leader of the atrocity in Paris but just heard a French woman on the radio say (after the announcement), “I am so happy, I hope they kill them all!”
    And I felt a bit uncomfortable.
    We need the head to rule the heart otherwise, “Say not for whom the bell may toll, it tolls for you!”
    Love, peace & international solidarity.

  6. gerry says:

    Bazza – RUINS: very funny! But seriously, who are YOU to decide that ISIS are “un-Islamic”? Their caliph has a PhD in Islamic Studies , they have a definitively Sunni Islamic theology, they declare Shia Muslims to be infidels, they truly believe they are doing Allah’s work, and they believe that they will be rewarded in Paradise for their murders. Indeed, the only difference between ISIS, and say Saudi Arabia, is the open sex slavery of non Muslim women and children – the two regimes are otherwise identical. And most of the other 56 majority Muslim countries on the planet are ruled by similar extremist Islamic fundamentalist laws- Iran, Qatar, Indonesia, Sudan, Brunei, Pakistan etc. Google their legal systems if you don’t believe me.

    So Bazza – your ” all you need is love” hippy liberalism wont cut it against Islamist hegemony! The truth is that many millions and millions of orthodox Muslims, including very many in the UK and Europe, support the same ends/goals as ISIS: caliphate, theocracy, societies ruled by their version of sharia. That is what decent socialists, and many others, are up against….and its really not funny at all.

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