Symon Hill exposes the ‘moderate’ party’s blood-soaked militarist voting record
'The “Independent Group” of MPs has now launched itself as a political party under the name “Change UK.”
Given its support for capitalism, corporate power, Nato and Trident, a more accurate name might be “Keep Things Pretty Much The Same UK.”
The group likes to be described as “moderate” and “centrist.” It says something about the state of British politics that its views are considered moderate.
When it comes to issues of peace and war, almost all of its members have consistently voted in favour of the more militaristic of any two options placed in front of them.
Of Change UK’s 11 MPs, four were in Parliament at the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003: Ann Coffey, Make Gapes, Chris Leslie and Joan Ryan. They all voted for it.
Ryan was a teller for the “Ayes.” Gapes later described the establishment of the Chilcot inquiry into the war as a waste of public money, attributing it to “hysterical” prejudice against Tony Blair.
In 2011, Parliament was again asked to vote for a new war, this time in Libya. Ryan had lost her seat in 2010 (she re-entered Parliament in 2015) and Heidi Allen was not elected until 2015.
But the other nine MPs who were later to become Change UK willingly followed David Cameron and Nick Clegg in voting to bomb Libya.
There was a success for the peace movement two years later, when the Commons voted against bombing Syria after the Labour leadership accepted pressure from the public and party membership to resist yet another call to war.
To be fair to the Labour MPs who later joined Change UK, they all joined Ed Miliband in voting against immediate bombing, with the exception of Angela Smith, who abstained.
Of the Tories who later signed up for Change UK, Anna Soubry voted for bombing Syria in 2013, but Sarah Wollaston deserves some credit for resisting the Tory leadership and voting against (and Allen was not yet an MP).
However, in November 2014, all nine of the then MPs who were later to form Change UK voted for yet more bombing of Iraq, supposedly against Isis (in practice meaning areas controlled by Isis, full of innocent civilians).'
Read more: Why “Change UK” Loves War