British Labour need to learn the difference between “ineffective” and “meaningless” (Labour MPs to snub SNP’s ‘meaningless’ Trident debate). Action can be ineffective, in that it is unlikely to bring about actual change, but still be meaningful, in that it makes a statement. Over a million people marched in protest against the murderous assault on the sovereign nation and people of Iraq, But the British Labour government led by Tony Blair went ahead with their vicious military adventure regardless. Does anyone who raised their voice against this heinous crime now regret doing so? Do any of those who raised their voices in protest at the inhumane folly of the Iraq invasion think their action was meaningless?
Trident is an obscenity at any cost. Decent people will always object to it. They will naturally seize on any and every opportunity to register their disgust at the criminal profligacy of squandering resources on weapons of mass destruction while children go hungry.
British Labour’s decision to boycott a House of Commons debate on the issue, for the pettiest of reasons, is very far from meaningless. It means that they are turning their backs on those decent people. It means that they are snubbing, not just their political rivals, but all of those hungry children.
In the eyes of voters, British Labour’s opting out of this debate means that they put small-minded party politicking before their duty to the electorate. It means that they are happy to put that which is politically expedient before that which is morally right.
It means that they are afraid to participate in a debate which would risk exposing the deep divisions within the party on the matter of Trident and the fact that British Labour offers no alternative to the Tories on this key issue, as on so many others.
British Labour dodging this debate is not meaningless at all. We know exactly what it means.