Constructive dissent is essential to arriving at the best possible solution to difficult problems. Jeremy Corbyn provided this useful service in the run-up to the debate on extending bombing into Syria. So I was outraged at David Cameron’s suggestion that those of us who support Corbyn’s views were a bunch of terrorist sympathisers. I wrote the letter below to David Cameron, suggesting he should take appropriate measures against a self confessed terrorist sympathiser. The prime minister is yet to sentence me, but his recent antiterrorist legislation suggests that I should be interned. I would hate to spend Christmas alone so write this blog appealing to those, I expect numerous journal readers who are fellow travellers to write to him. I imagine Belmarsh couldn’t cope with the likely numbers so expect we could spend a convivial Christmas in an open prison or under house arrest.
Neither have I had sentence passed by the various organisations that I mention below. I could be in for a bumpy new year.
“Dear David Cameron,
As a citizen who has thought deeply about the need and efficacy of the UK extending our bombing missions into Syria, I have come to the decision that such a campaign is an ineffective way of tackling the hideous ideology promoted by ISIS. We should spend much more time exploring the many other ways in which we can intervene.
I am a 73 years old retired physician having worked for some 35 years in the NHS. Over this time I have been consultant physician, medical director of both Lewisham and Guys hospital, and Lewisham site dean for Kings College Medical School. I am a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Faculty of Public Health, the Royal Society of Arts, and have worked closely with both the editors of The BMJ and The Lancet.
So it surprised me to learn from your recent remarks that those who support Jeremy Corbyn’s position are terrorist sympathisers. Presumably you will have to take appropriate measures against a self confessed terrorist sympathiser. I will also send a copy of this letter to the Royal College of Physicians, the Faculty of Public Health, the Royal Society of Arts, The BMJ, and The Lancet as they will also need to take appropriate action.
It seems that conservative administrations casually characterise citizens dissenting from their views as terrorists sympathisers, as I was also branded as a terrorist sympathiser by Margaret Thatcher’s government for my support of the African National Congress and Nelson Mandela.”
Competing interests: Robin Stott is a member of the Green Party and has joined “Stop the War” marches
Robin Stott worked for 27 years as a consultant physician in Lewisham University Hospital. For much of this time he was also site dean and medical director. He has a life long commitment to understanding and seeking to improve the economic, environmental, and social circumstances which are most supportive to good health.