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The Times - United Kingdom | Friday, December 4, 2015

Syria mission exposes Britain's self-centredness, writes Philip Collins

The heated debate that preceded the vote in the House of Commons on whether Britain should deploy fighter jets in Syria revealed how self-centred British political decision-making is, writes Philip Collins, columnist for the conservative daily The Times: "It was a debate about eight planes, not the Battle of Britain. The raids would have taken place with us or without us and all the bloody rhetoric of the Stop The War sympathisers is self-regarding and parochial. Most foreign policy debates, in a small nation, have a hint of self-indulgence, as if the world awaited our verdict, and this one had little else. … The vote will not change the situation in Syria very much. The politics of Britain, and the other democracies, are a long way from accepting the protracted civil involvement in other nations that is the obvious concomitant of military adventure. The world has lost the capacity even to think like this and the debate is bound to be parochial. As long as that remains so, debates on foreign policy will be more about us than they truly are about the world."

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