The following letter was written to the Western Gazette (12th Sept) by Ken Keable, on behalf of the Yeovil and West Dorset Stop the War Coalition. We encourage all visitors to this site to use it as a model to write to their own MPs and local paper.

Yeovil’s MP, Mr David Laws, voted for Britain to attack Syria. There are three things wrong with this.

Firstly, it would be a war crime. For any member of the UN to attack another, without explicit sanction by the UN Security Council, would be the crime of aggression, the supreme crime under international law. It would diminish the authority of international law and make it more difficult for the UK, or any of its nationals, to claim the protection of international law when we need it.

Secondly, there is no proof that it was the Assad regime that used the chemical weapons. Mr Laws, in his comments in last week’s Western Gazette, offers no proof, yet he states it as if it were a fact. The intelligence advice given to the government (even if we were to believe it without question) does not claim to have proof. Mr Laws only says, “It does appear that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against its own people”. Well, “it does appear” is just not good enough for such a serious matter. Besides, why do he and his Tory friends not condemn Israel for using white phosphorus on the people of Gaza?

Thirdly, such an attack would almost certainly kill and maim innocent people, would make a bad situation worse and would have unpredictable consequences. It could be the precursor to an attack on Iran.

In the debate in the House of Lords, Admiral Lord West, former chief of the naval staff, lambasted prime ministers and presidents who “think they can have clinical little military strikes and keep control of things – but you cannot”. He warned that the whole Middle East was a powder keg. General Lord Dannatt, former chief of the general staff, said “I do not support intervention in Syria in any shape or form at this time” and he urged the government to “renew with great ferocity our diplomatic activity”. Lord King, the former defence secretary, said it was imperative to find a solution, "and it mustn't be military".

Lord West, a former minister, urged diplomacy before military action, telling the Daily Mail "We simply can't predict which way military action will go.”

Britain needs to have an independent foreign policy, stop these incessant wars and stop being Washington’s poodle. The vote in the House of Commons was historic, but David Laws placed himself on the wrong side of history.