Yesterday was a very strange day, full of mixed emotions for me. I had instinctively felt from the start of all of this that the case for extending air strikes into Syria had not been made and, although I came very close, I could never get to a place where I felt the risks to people on the ground outweighed the potential benefits. Had I been a Liberal Democrat MP, I would have voted against. I watched a huge chunk of the debate and it was, at times, difficult to see my feelings being expressed by members of other parties.
This wasn’t like the coalition years, though. On more than a handful of occasions, I sat through parliamentary debates with gritted teeth, often feeling apoplectic because I could not understand why on earth we had even entertained the idea of voting for, say, secret courts or some of the more brutal elements of welfare reform. Yesterday, though, I could totally understand and empathise with our leader’s stance, driven as it was by the best of liberal, humanitarian and internationalist motivations. He made an absolute cracker of a speech, delivered with passion and confidence. If you haven’t seen it, watch this extract: