sit idly by

sit idly by

 and stand idly by
to remain close, doing nothing to help. I do not intend to stand idly by while my children need my help. The wealthy man sat idly by while the poor people starved.
See also: idly, sit
References in periodicals archive ?
Boss Dave Prentis said: "We can no longer sit idly by.
Sadly for him, the attempt misses the point completely, which remains that Liverpool's residents will not sit idly by whilst their much-loved parks are concreted over.
The the lawsuit said we "cannot simply sit idly by while the United States drains our farmers' lifeblood in violation of the federal and state laws protecting the priority to this water.
To sit idly by and moan "what's the point" afterwards - now that truly would be pointless.
MAY I ask the Chronicle readers whether they agree with the betrayal by both the Labour party and the Coalition, who are content to sit idly by while companies are recruiting cheap labour in Romania and Bulgaria in advance of their being allowed free entry into the UK in January?
We can't just sit idly by and hope it never happens - that will simply put more children at risk of harm.
Labour can't afford to sit idly by and allow Fine Gael to rule the roost on this one.
Although we must accept that unpopular choices have to be made to save us from ruin, that does not mean we have to sit idly by and let the Government punish ordinary people for the sins of others.
The Chinese government will not sit idly by watching its territorial sovereignty being infringed upon," the ministry said in a statement.
If you keep doing this, we will not sit idly by," the official warned.
Or is this government, like the previous administration, going to sit idly by, moaning about water conservation and proving yet again that they do not have even the vestige of the vision and ability of their last century forebears?
Chris Redfern, a senior dealer at Moneycorp, said: "The markets are now braced for a summer increase in interest rates, as it is unlikely that the Bank of England will be able to sit idly by as public inflation expectations creep steadily higher.
The system that allows and encourages this has to be fundamentally wrong, our socalled politicians and world leaders must know this, yet they sit idly by and condone it.
No one expects these aggressive, growth-minded strategic buyers to sit idly by while attractive properties are auctioned to other bidders.
We can no longer sit idly by and watch as the horrors continue - and we may never know the true extent of the junta's determination to crush any opposition.