Monday, September 15, 2014

Political will

At the 2011 elections, the PP promised to reform the abortion laws in Spain limiting availability to those women who had been raped and those that would suffer if their pregnancy continued. In order to obtain an abortion, women would have to gain the consent of two doctors.

The move would have made the law the strictest in Europe and as some women complained, taken Spain back to the days of Franco. The planned changes pitted hard line religious anti-abortion groups against the will of the people (70- 80% of people polled rejected the change).

The reforms were meant to be implemented by the end of September but according to sources in the PP will never make parliament due to lack of consensus. The PP lost out 2.5 million votes at the European elections and are nervous that they may again lose out at the municipal and general elections in 2015.

David Cameron faces a similar dilemma now. When the British aid worker David Haines was beheaded and threats were made against a second UK citizen, Alan Henning, the Prime Minister had to try and reflect the will of the people rather than his own parties dogma.  

In a statement in front of two union jack flags, Cameron said: "We are a peaceful people. We do not seek out confrontation, but we need to understand we cannot ignore this threat to our security and that to our allies. There is no option of keeping our heads down that would make us safe … We cannot just walk on by if we are to keep this country safe. We have to confront this menace.

"Step by step, we must drive back, dismantle and ultimately destroy Isil [Isis] and what it stands for … We will not do so on our own, but by working closely with our allies, not just the United States and in Europe, but also in the region because this organisation poses a massive threat to the entire Middle East."

In doing so he will be mindful of the backlash that has occurred since Tony Blair led Britain into war in Iraq. Some now claim that the repressive regime of Sadain Hussain kept the region in check and thus the war there has proved counter productive. Cameron will not want to make the same mistake.

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