I will probably come as no surprise to most that I write to my MP fairly regularly and, to be fair, she usually gets back to me with considered and often detailed responses. However, actions invariably speak louder than words, and there has sometimes been a disconnect between what she says and what she does.
No where has this been so blatant and reprehensible than over issues of warmongering, and especially worrying as a longstanding member of the Defence Select Committee.
In September 2014, I had cause to write the following, under the heading “Spineless Madeleine Moon succumbs and votes for another futile war”:
Ithought our Labour MP, Madeleine Moon, was asking most of the right questions on Thursday. She posted this on Facebook:
As we move towards tomorrow’s debate I remain very worried about air strikes leading to mission creep.
Questions I feel need answering include;
What role will the Gulf states play militarily?
What role will the Sunni tribes play in attacking IS?
What role will the Sunni and Kurds play in a future Iraqi state?
What role will Russia and Iran play in this conflict?
How can we be confident that Iraq will not end up like Libya where a humanitarian mission led to regime change and a failing/ failed state?
Is the Iraqi army capable of following through on the ground after air strikes?
Is it just coincidence that we are having this vote the day before the Conservative conference? And so on. There were no answers given to any of these questions, but unlike the her colleagues with the courage of their convictions (listed below), she crumbled and vote in favour of war and the death of civilians and the further radicalisation of young Muslims.
Fast forward just a few months to February, and she was one of just 40 MPs who were on the guest list of a high profile arms dealers dinner in London. She was the guest (along with Wrexham MP Ian Lucas) of a company you may not of heard much about, Finmeccanica, an Italian company (with some Libyan connections) that has become a big player in the UK military industrial complex. Its website boasts the following:
- Finmeccanica is the second largest defence company in the UK, employing 8,500 people
- Finmeccanica has invested nearly £2bn in the UK since 1995 and is the largest overseas investor in the UK defence sector
- Finmeccanica operates from 10 different locations/sites across the country from Christchurch to Edinburgh
- Finmeccanica in the UK was the first defence company to sign a strategic partnering agreement with the UK MOD
- Finmeccanica is the largest Italian investor in the UK
- Finmeccanica is the third largest exporter of defence products in the UK
- Finmeccanica invests around £200m in Research and Development in the UK
None of the 10 sites, by the way, is in Wales.
So with votes on further bombing raids on the agenda, I think we can now assume they will have the backing of Moon. It will be good for business, and probably another slap-up meal.
What a pity, then, that when something of global importance required her attention – something that is a threat to you and me, as much as the poor souls being bombed to smithereens because there might be an islamist terrorist in the vicinity – Madeleine Moon found her diary a bit too full (lunch date with some other warmongers perhaps?)
I refer to the debate on 19th of November that was essentially about the position the UK should be taking at the upcoming Paris Climate Change Conference. Sadly, Moon was not alone in having ‘more important things in her diary’! Only 54 ish MPs made it at all, according to Greenpeace, and many of those arrived late or left early
Full marks for Huw Irranca-Davies making it, but he is one of just 4 Welsh MPs to bother it appears, and one of those was the highly dangerous, climate change denying Tory MP for Monmouth, David TC Davies (answers on a postcard as to what the TC stands for!). Sadly, only one out of three PC MPs made it, and it appears that Messrs Corbyn and McDonnell were otherwise engaged too.
All-in-all, a very sad state of affairs that reflects badly on MPs priorities in general and Madeleine Moon’s in particular, from a Bridgend perspective.