Tory radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer loses the plot when a caller demolishes her nonsense live-on-air [OPINION]

Tracy Keeling

TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer just completely lost the plot live on air. She was arguing for more military intervention in Syria with the Stop the War Coalition’s (StWC) Chris Nineham. But when Nineham attacked her argument, all the TalkRADIO host could muster in response was to shout at her guest, continuously interrupting his case.

TalkRADIO backs Boris

The TalkRADIO interview came in the wake of a parliamentary debate on Syria. Hartley-Brewer began by asking for Nineham’s reaction to a recent comment Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson made about StWC:

One of the issues that came up from the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and others, was why are there no demonstrations outside the Russian embassy over the fact they are heaily involved in the Syrian conflict? Bombing civilians, even accused of war crimes?

Hartley-Brewer was referencing a comment Johnson made during the Syria debate on 11 October. And Nineham responded:

Because the StWC was set up to counter the wars that our government, the US and other British allies, have been involved in. There’s a very good reason for that. When we protest against our government we can make some difference.

Then Nineham said a protest outside the Russian embassy would have no impact on that country’s actions. Furthermore, he claimed that a protest would only stoke the growing tensions between Russia and the West. In conclusion, he stated:

We’re the Stop the War Coalition not the Start the War Coalition, so why would we want to do that?

Nineham’s assertion that Russia wouldn’t change its behaviour following a protest was agreed to by Hartley-Brewer. Yet she cast doubt on whether the StWC’s protests against the UK government had any impact. But Nineham countered:

Well, in 2013 David Cameron tried to take us to war against Assad, we have a whole series of protests, both online and on the streets. And we managed to persuade MPs to vote against it.

A wide divide

At that point Nineham noted that, in general, the public view on “this cycle of war” stands in contrast to some politicians. He stated:

The idea that what we have to do to deal with the terrible situation in Syria is drop more bombs on the country is absolutely…

For Hartley-Brewer, this statement could not stand. So she interrupted Nineham to clarify that “no-one is talking about” dropping more bombs on the country. Rather, some in parliament are pushing for a ‘no-fly zone’ over Syria.

A no-fly zone is a ban on aircraft in a designated area. Military forces regulating the ban will shoot down any aircraft that defies it. Much as Nineham went on to say, it brings with it real danger of military escalation and civilian harm:

As Hillary Clinton’s leak said yesterday, and this is an exact quote from Hillary Clinton, in private, in a briefing in 2013, a no-fly zone would involve killing loads of Syrians.

Nineham is right. A no-fly zone does harm civilians. And the catastrophic intervention in Libya is a testament to that fact. It was a no-fly zone that launched the intervention in Libya. As a result, tens of thousands of Libyan civilians died.

When in doubt, shout

Hartley-Brewer did not appreciate such logic. Especially in light of her support for the Libyan intervention. When questioned about Tory MP Andrew Mitchell’s choice to vote for both the Iraq and Libyan war, she commented “and I would have done exactly the same thing”.

But the TalkRADIO host’s support of these wars, and her approval of starting a war with Russia, ruined her main argument for action. In the interview, she pushed Nineham to admit that getting involved more deeply in Syria was necessary to stop “innocent people from dying”. But she is advocating a choice that would certainly kill more civilians. And her dismissal of the Libyan, and Iraqi, lives already lost casts doubt on her real concern for civilian populations around the world.

Hartley-Brewer’s argument was full of contradictions. Maybe, she even recognised them herself. As a result, the TalkRADIO host was left with nothing more than shouting, interruptions, snide remarks and Hitler comparisons to neutralize Nineham’s arguments.

But it didn’t work. And thankfully so – because the Syrians, and other citizens around the world, deserve much better.

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Featured image via Scott Arthur/Youtube

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