Image via Wikipedia
A letter in the Guardian from Sunday, arguing the main reasons why any British progressive, regardless of party politics, must support AV – summary offered here by the Letters From Europe blog.
If you are a centre-lefty like myself, just remember this – the Tories have regularly dominated politics in Britain, despite only being elected with 50% of the popular vote in 1900 and 1931. Every other time, left-wing infighting between Labourites, Liberal Democrats, Greens, and the Left Nationalists of the Celtic nations, have led to the Conservatives benefiting. We can’t let that continue any longer….
via Letters from Europe
Image via Wikipedia
10.15pm: The government has won by 557 votes to 13 – a majority of 544.
via Politics blog + Commons Libya debate – live | Politics | guardian.co.uk.
Now that’s a majority and a half. Clearly it shows widespread support for the intervention in Libya… but we also have to note the real tone of the debate, and it was far from positive. Reading through a few of the comments, it shows that people are uneasy. With a British submarine, alone with American ships, launching missiles at 20 targets on the coast (Gaddafi‘s missile defence system, clearing the way for the pilots), we’ve become involved more than perhaps some MPs expected. The Arab League is also wavering in support, condemning the bombing of civilians – despite the fact that intervening in a near-civil war was always going to result in civilian casualties, especially as Gaddafi’s supporters were, he claimed, willing to be bussed in to key targets to act as human shields. The prospect of assassination of Gaddafi, hinted at by Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox, is outrageous to many – frankly, I find that speaking openly of it is a foolish move. If you want to assassination someone, you don’t bloody tell Fleet Street. At least the Israeli’s have the common sense not to admit it if they do it. Having said that, assassinating Gaddafi is foolish in-and-of-itself. Martyrdom for Gaddafi is not an advantage to anyone – forcing him out may be our best option, but openly killing him. If he does chose to go down with the ship, so be it. Good riddance. But we can’t openly support it, or plan for it. Our legal mandate is to defend civilians, not assassinate politicians.
John Baron (Basildon & Billericay)
Graham Allen (Nottingham North)
Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley)
Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North)
Barry Gardiner (Brent North)
Roger Godsiff (Birmingham Hall Green)
John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington)
Linda Riordan (Halifax)
Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)
Mike Wood (Batley & Spen)
Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion)
Mark Durkan (Foyle)
Margaret Ritchie (Down South)
Labour’s Katy Clark (North Ayrshire and Arran) and Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East) acted as tellers for the noes.
An excellent summary of the debate can also be found here :-http://blogs.ft.com/westminster/2011/03/unease-in-the-commons-as-mps-debate-libya-action/
British planes are in action over Libya, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.
He spoke after hosting a meeting of the government’s emergency management committee Cobra in Downing Street.
Earlier he said Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi had broken his own ceasefire and will now face the consequences of his actions.
Speaking after a summit of world leaders in Paris, Mr Cameron said “the time for action has come”.
After the Cobra meeting, he said: “British forces are in action over Libya. They are part of an international coalition to enforce the will of the United Nations.
“We have all seen the appalling brutality meted out by Col Gaddafi against his own people.”
He added that the action was “legal, necessary and right”.
Mr Cameron praised the British servicemen and women involved and said they were the “bravest of the brave”.
It was a “just cause” and in “Britain’s best interests”, he said.
via BBC News – Cameron says British forces are in action over Libya.
In case you’re relying on me as a source of news, it is confirmed – Britain has just entered a new conflict, the intervention in Libya. We will deploy planes in support of an international no-fly zone over the country