OT minister’s job under threat

| 31/08/2013

(CNS):The Cayman Islands may be dealing with a new man in London very soon as a result of the political fallout in the UK over a government defeat in the House of Commons last week. Mark Simmonds, the junior Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister who has responsibility for the UK’s overseas territories, may be moved out of the post when the British prime minister reshuffles his Cabinet. Simmonds was one of at least five members of the government front bench that missed the vote on military action in Syria this week who may find that failure will cost him his job. The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday that David Cameron could announce a series of changes to the Cabinet as soon as next week.

Simmonds, who has not yet visited Cayman and has held the FCO job for less than one year, was said to be in a meeting with Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, when the two claimed not to have heard the division bell.The two ministers, who offered public apologies, were among a handful of senior conservative members of government who missed the vote on a potential war with Syria which the coalition government lost, all of whom now face the political firing line.

Greening and Simmonds said they did not realise that voting had begun. Commons officials said the explanation was baffling as it would have been clear that a vote was happening.

Thursday night’s vote, which has undermined the credibility of Cameron’s leadership, was described by some Conservative members as a “total shambles”.

Cameron was seeking the backing of MPs for the principle of military action against the Syrian regime, which has been blamed for a chemical weapons attack in Damascus last week. He said he had sought to make the argument in a “strong and principled way”. But he lost the parliamentary vote by 13 after 30 Tory rebels voted with Labour and 31 Conservatives simply failed to vote.

According to the Telegraph’s Downing Street sources, the positions of ministers that didn’t vote were in jeopardy. “The Prime Minister is pretty angry,” said a senior Tory source. “This vote had a three-line whip and no, they didn’t all have permission to miss the vote.”

David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, said Cameron had used a “shaky argument” when he had asked Parliament to “kill people”.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: World News

Comments (28)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Whodatis says:

    @ Senior:

    Generally, you make valid points.

    However, you are jumping to conclusions regarding culpabilitiy.

    For example, if I was one of the many and fragmented units fighting in opposition to the Syrian army – my wet dream would be to get my hands on and use chemical weapons in a manner that would frame the Syrian government. Especially knowing that said chemical weapon use is the explicit "red line" for western / USA intervention.

    Furthermore, it is highly suspect that Assad would order such action in light of the above – even more so as he had the upper-hand in the war at the time.

    Assad was not a crazed, scuicidal  "thug" and "murderer" just a few years ago when Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife dined with him and Mrs. Assad – nor is he today.

    *Lastly, it is already established that Al Qaida is fighting in Syria as part of the rebels. Are we saying that Al Qaida was able to carry out the greatest terrorist attack of modern times all the way over in the USA (9/11), but is wholly unable to carry out a chemical weapons attack / bomb / explosion in Syria?!

    These are all possibilites that must be explored and considered. Unfortunately, it appears as if western governments and the media do no feel the need to do so. Or perhaps certain unseen entities are simply thirsty for war $$$ and its long-term perks (e.g. Tony "Iraq Oil Chairman" Blair)?

    • Anonymous says:

      WHodatis, British politicians had to sit down with Mac. Do you think they really wanted to or that was just part of the deal of being at the top of policitics…???

      • Whodatis says:

        Excuse you??
        I think what you meant to say was Mac (and other Cayman politicians) had to sit down with Blair and other war criminals.
        Those at the top of British politics have far more in common with Assad than Mac or any other local politician.
        Funny how the brain works isn’t it?
        We only see what we want and miss the glaringly obvious.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are entitled to your view whodatis, that is democracy and thank God for it…but why do you ramble on so much about things you can only read in a newspaper or see on television, which probably bare little resemblance to the real reasons, rather than doing something about your own criminals where you know the story inside out because this place is so small?


          Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of Blair, and regardless of the WMD excuse in Iraq which was a disaster they did get rid of a killer dictator there and are no free to create their own mess. You could not even get rid of Mac!

          • Whodatis says:

            Yep … it was a long time coming this time – but it got here.

            The inevitable deflection.

            Buddy, I was simply going along with the course of the discussion – and you know it.

    • Whodatis says:

      Clarification: "Assad was not a crazed, scuicidal  "thug" and "murderer" just a few years ago when Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife dined with him and Mrs. Assad – nor is he today."

      "Scuicidal" is the operative word in that sentence.

      Whether he is a thug or murder is debatable. However, if we believe he is, then what does that make George W. Bush and Tony Blair considering the illegal and murderous invasion of Iraq?

    • Senior says:

      I lean more to believing that it was the Assad forces that used the chemical weapons. If it was Al Qaida they would have announced they did it with an islamic message to the world via the net or television. That is how they do things, their mode of operation. 

      • Whodatis says:

        Why would one claim or announce an act when its effectiveness is absolutely dependent on secrecy?

        Come on dude.

        Furthermore, if the USA and UK carry out military strikes in Syria, they will effectively be partnering with Al Qaida.

        That is one brilliant foreign policy they have going there, lol!

  2. Whodatis says:

    Alrighty then.

    Couldn't bother to show up to vote on a decision that would severely impact on the lives of foreign innocent civlians? Yep, that's the kinda fella we need at the head of the FCO, innit?

    Yet again we are facing a change in "representation". How many is that in the last 10 years? I've lost count.

    In any event, I am happy that Cameron lost the vote. As the situation stands there is not enough evidence to justify a military strike against the Syrian government. (However, if one relies solely on the mainstream media the complexities of the situation will be completely lost on you. It is sad what the west has deteriorated to in regards to propaganda, rhetoric and obscene political corruption.)

    Lastly, William Hague is the most reckless and dangerous man in international politics at the moment. His behaviour over the past 2 weeks has been absolutely disgraceful – a war-mongering, propaganda-peddling prick he is. Thank goodness he is nothing more than a loud, annoying bark.

    (My main concern is who exactly does he represent? What is his angle? He reminds me of Cheney in the G.W Bush-era … ominously insistent on military action by any means necessary.)

    • Think! says:

      Hear, hear! And to add: “All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities.”

  3. Invertebrate says:

    What a shame because he fits right in with some of illustrious leadership!

  4. Anonymous says:

    When will these moronic leaders realize that we don't want any more war? Perhaps we should give Cameron and Obama a couple of M15s and send their sorry butts to fight? Well done to Mr. Simmonds for his strategic oversight.

    Unfortunately, the warmongering Nobel Peace Prize recipient is right now drumming up support for a military strike which will be revealed by a resolution from Congress in the coming days.

    Just because it's on Fox and CNN, doesn't mean it's real.



  5. Sinbad says:

    Serve him right! Cayman could be Syria in a heart beat if we really was to think of all the recent home invasions, burglaries, white collar crimes that no one gets arrested,  child molestations with a slap on the wrist, muggers, crack heads. Imagine if these guys took over cayman, would England help us?

    innocent children and women are being gassed in Syria and the mind set is to leave this dictator to torture innocent people because of politics? Mr Simmons you have the luxury to go home and see your family and I am certain in a nice ambiance. Think of the father, the brother, the sister, the mother that goes to see their dead children, their dead sibling, their dead cousin and for no reason for their deaths under fear that they could be next!

    • Anonymous says:

      So…you're saying that our Government could launch attacks on us with chemical weapons?  I know what you meant in terms of Cayman getting violent but please don't make dumb analogies.  Say that Cayman is getting as bad as Jamaica, Bahamas, or some other place that is dealing with similar socio-economic problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing like a bit of hyperbole to start your week off

  6. Anonymous says:

    The condemnation of "chemical weapons" seems to go back to the First World War when Germans used mustard and phosgene gas for the first time. There was outrage then, but after a while, of course, the British and French quickly used them too. Since World War 1, there has been this international horror of chemical weapons but not chemicals like napalm or weapons like cruise missiles, "bunker busting" bombs, rocket propelled grenades, landmines, drones and a host of other life depriving armaments. Can anyone tell me what the big deal is over chemical weapons? Didn't Bush and Blair's "Shock and Awe" attack on Iraq do a wonderful job of obliterating innocent civilians? Is there some sort of moral difference in dying from explosives, shrapnel and collapsing buildings as opposed to gas attacks? Does it feel less awful? Are the surviving family members and loved ones relieved that the dead were killed by explosives as opposed to chemicals?

    • Senior says:

      The big deal about chemical weapons is that its a weapon of MASS destruction. If you don't know what thay means then let me explain. You go on the battlefield and use a firearm to kill the enemy. The firearm has bullets that are aimed at the enemy soldier. It is not aimed at nobody else. That firearm is not a weapon of MASS destruction. However, you go on the battefield and fire a rocket which unleashes poisonous and unscented gases that is invisible and causes no only the soldier you were aiming at to die, but other innocent people, women and children, even birds and pollutions to the environment… that rocket my friend is a weapon of MASS destruction. It with the atomic nukes were condemned by the UN for a reason and Syria signed on to it. The principle of value is that we share the same planet, and any weapon that is tailored to kill the innocent or destroy life in general (and not the opposing combatant) is against the World Order. If the US Congress oppose Obama and NO TO WAR on this issue, it will for the first time, disregard the World Order and make it permissble for chemical warheads to be used…think of that!  This war issue is not like the war on Iraq, it is war to uphold a UN mandate… it will be a travesty if Assad gets away with this war crime against humanity! 

      • Anonymous says:

        So, 9:30, the weapons the poster you are responding to mentions -napalm, bombs and cruise missiles causing building collapse, land mines and other armaments are ok with you? You write: "You go on the battlefield and use a firearm to kill the enemy. The firearm has bullets that are aimed at the enemy soldier. It is not aimed at nobody else. That firearm is not a weapon of mass destruction."

        There are, 9:30, as I type, 6 US warships in the Mediterranean armed each with 40  cruise missiles. When they are fired, I will be happy to know that "it is not aimed at anyone else" so no innocent people will be harmed.

        • Senior says:

          I see your logic. I am starting to see the possibility of this conflict escalating into a world war. It will create a vacuum that may start another war between Syria's allies and the U.S. allies, or it will cause the Noble Peace Prize President to ground troops which he promised he won't do. No… I don't want war and I think that there are more options on the table other than war. God help America and the World if we get ourselves into another world war, or a conflict that adversely affects us here. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    and this is the person responsible for our beautiful cayman islands!  good riddance David Cameron

  8. Think! says:

    I’m glad it was defeated. And now like a spoiled brat and bully, Cameron will take it out on others. War really sucks.

    – Plato was right when he said, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

    • Senior says:

      An international UN law has been broken!  The UK, U.S., France, and many nations as well as Syria, signed a world agreement not to ever use chemical weapons (a weapon of mass destruction) in warfare. The world made that agreement from way back the 1920's. Are you saying that "we" should offically allow chemical weapons to be used in war?  If we allow Assad to use it on his own citizens, what precedent are we setting?  So UN laws will be immaterial. If the U.S. Congress vote no to war next week, it will make significant history and undermine the world order. I disagree with you. War for oil is wrong. War with no evidence if wrong. But if the UN and US have evidence and chemical weapons are being manufactured, I am with Obama and Cameron – it has to be stopped or else it will get into the wronghands and these weapons will be used against the UK and the US, effecting their economies. You have to see the big picture. If Hitler was allowed to do what he was doing and the US didn't intervened, much of Europe or the world would have been under the NAzis. Don't be so fooled to beleive that we must just focus only on home and domestic affairs, and think that foriegn policy has no influence on our stability and security. 

      • Anonymous says:

        So, Senior, why is the "world" that signed these things not doing a damn thing to stop this behaviour? Just the USA?

      • Discus Ted says:

        Syria never signed up to that agreement. Says a lot about the country…..

      • Think! says:

        “No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic.” – “In war, truth is the first casualty.” – “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Plato did not say that !!  I, the waterboy's mom said that   Plato is the devil !!