Just as it looked like the UK parliament would rubber stamp arms length military action against the Assad regime it seems that its MPs have been heeding the people and are now asking some searching questions.
The first politician to stand up and put their head well above the parapet was the UKIP MEP Nigel Farage who, writing in the Express, came out unequivocally against action in Syria, echoing the feeling in the country. He was joined very quickly by Caroline Lucas of the Green Party.
This was then followed by the leader of the opposition who, instead of quietly following the government, changed his tune and refused to accept the executive's view that the case for raining missiles down on Syria had been made and even put forward his own proposals.
It is reported that this has sent No10 into an expletive laden whirlwind frenzy of anger and also got Miliband removed from the Christmas card lists of Barack Obama and FranÃ§ois Hollande. And the latest is that Ed Miliband now stands accused of helping the Syrian regime by opposing the vote.
What David Cameron saw as a quick speech and vote followed by the launching of cruise missiles before the ink was dry has turned into a forensic inspection of his case.
Basically what the MPS opposing the vote to go to what would effectively be war against the Assad regime seem to want to know is:
* Why the rush to follow US headlong into conflict?
* Why do this prior to the UN inspectors making their report?
* What real proof is there that Assad was really behind the attack that initiated this?
* What motive would Assad have for making such an attack when the stakes are so high?
* How sure are we that attacking Assad would deter further use of gas?
* What would be the impact on the local geopolitical situation of our interventions.
They are asking the questions that the British public want asking and their actions in holding the executive publically to account should be applauded. Should we now go to war on the back of an MPs vote it would only be after a far more thorough check of the case than the government wanted, something to be welcomed after the Iraq war debacle. Far from helping Assad, these MPs are protecting our democracy and the long term interests of the UK and our international partners should accept this check on the headlong rush to conflict.
Democracy in action.