The monthly Ipsos MORI political monitor for Reuters has been published. Topline figures are CON 34%(+2), LAB 40%(+1), LDEM 15%(+4). All the main parties are up, and other parties sharply down, but this will be largely a reversion to the mean after a rather odd MORI poll with a unusual sample last month. The Lib Dems are up to 15% – whereas we expect high Lib Dems from ICM, this is unusual for MORI, who for the last five months have had them between 9% and 11%. I’ll add my usual caveat about any unusual shifts in the polls – it may be the sign of something, or may just be a blip. Wait and see if it is reflected in other polling. Full tabs are here.

Incidentally, given I’m normally so ready to be rude about poor newspaper reporting of polls, I should give credit where it is due to the measured and reasonable reporting of the poll by Reuters, which correctly says that the figures are broadly unchanged and that it is too early to say whether the Lib Dem increase indicates a sustained shift in attitude. Entirely correct!

The YouGov/Sun daily polling results yesterday are here. Topline results are CON 36%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%. On Libya, the proportion of people thinking the intervention is going well has crept further up: 54% think it is going well, 25% badly. However, suport for the intervention has returned to being pretty evenly split – 39% think it is right, 40% think it is wrong.


251 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Reuters – CON 34, LAB 40, LDEM 15”

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  1. I would have thought the ‘coalition electoral pact’ question would have been a more regular question with a tracker.
    (Perhaps also asking about other electoral pacts and coalitions)

    It gives a much broader insight in to where support lies for voters between parties.
    It’s a shame that AV didn’t pass, the first/second prefs would give us a much better insight.

  2. @ Old Nat

    Fair enough; I accept you did not intend it as a jibe & agree that the British Labour Party has won numerous elections in Scotland over the past 50 years; & my response:

    Labour, a Party with old & deep roots in Scotland, became the ultra-British Party because its mission was – & is – to have social democracy in Britain. That our objective has largely been achieved in Scotland, can only be denied by the resolutely stubborn.

    Of course there is room for further, incremental gains; Scotland could take back its transport routes from the likes of Virgin & oh, Brian Souter’s StageCoach (little jibe there, nobody is immune) & have a proper state run & funded transport network!

    But I digressed; having largely cemented social democracy in Scotland, Labour must continue its mission to draw the rest of Britain away from unfettered capitalism of the worst kind. It is a worthy mission which I will continue to pursue.

    Will the SNP assist the ‘enemy’ by lopping off Labour’s old & deep Scottish roots? Perhaps they will. And I will feel an enduring sadness, if they do. The SNP will have taken my roots in Party & Country away from me & for what, Old Nat? What are the SNP offering in exchange for these things I hold so dear? In return, I will have different tax rates to those of my friends & neighbours!

    I do not deny, Old Nat, many in the Scottish Labour Party will go gently into that dark night; but I, for one, will not.
    8-)

  3. @Colin

    FYI:

    That the UN should call for restraint amid the chaos in Libya is a given. But it was nonetheless right that yesterday’s release of $1.5bn worth of frozen assets should be accompanied by a condemnation of reprisals against troops loyal to the regime of Colonel Gaddafi.

    What was starkly missing was a similar message from Libya’s Transitional National Council (TNC).
    ——————————————–
    The Independent.

  4. @ Colin

    FYI
    “The killings were pitiless.
    “They had taken place at a makeshift hospital, in a tent marked clearly with the symbols of the Islamic Crescent. Some of the dead were on stretchers, attached to intravenous drips. Some were on the back of an ambulance that had been shot at. A few were on the ground, seemingly attempting to crawl to safety when the bullets came.
    “Around 30 men lay decomposing in the heat. Many of them had their hands tied behind their back, either with plastic handcuffs or ropes. One had a scarf stuffed into his mouth. Almost all of the victims were black men.”
    ————————————————-
    Again, the above is from from the Independent.

    I reiterate: IMO, The rebels are racists & are killing black people simply because they are black. I wonder if the black residents of Libya will be allowed a vote in the ‘upcoming [but for now, deferred] elections’.

    Perhaps it will be a moot point; all black people may have been killed, imprisoned or deported by the time of these ‘upcoming elections’.
    8-)

  5. @ SoCaL

    President Obama must be thanking his lucky stars that the Republicans stopped him from becoming associated with the events in Libya, given the turn which events have taken.

    It is currently looking like the President will need all the black votes he can get, to win a second term. The last thing he wants, IMO, is disappointed voters staying at home because they consider him to have sided with white Europe against black Africa.
    8-)

  6. @ Amber Star

    “I reiterate: IMO, The rebels are racists & are killing black people simply because they are black. I wonder if the black residents of Libya will be allowed a vote in the ‘upcoming [but for now, deferred] elections’.

    Perhaps it will be a moot point; all black people may have been killed, imprisoned or deported by the time of these ‘upcoming elections’.”

    If someone shoots at you and you return fire killing them, the fact that that person happens to be black does not make you a racist. Nor if a white person shoots at a black person and the black person returns fire and kills the white person is the black person a racist.

    The fact that most of the dead are black men may be attributable to the fact that Ghadaffi has been relying on mercenaries from sub Saharan Africa to come in and fight for him. This is because most of his military has defected and most Libyans refuse to fight. This doesn’t imply racism.

    Now are some Arabs racist against blacks? I’m sure of it. I had a coworker and friend in D.C. who is a black woman who could not get cabs late at night (after her shift ended) because Arab cabbies wouldn’t stop for her. And vice versa. This is an unfortunate fact of life. I mean how many Europeans, who claim to be progressive and far more sophisticated than Americans, are incredibly racist, sexist, and homophobic/heterosexist? Quite a lot. But that’s not the reason behind what’s going on in Libya.

  7. AmberStar @ Old Nat & John B Dick

    “…. could it be possible that most of the Labour Party in Scotland do not see removing the SNP from power in Holyrood as their number one priority?”

    They probably don’t, but they are authoritarian followers of a leader in another parliament who doesn’t see it that way because he knows nothing but Westminster. He said that the Scottish Parliament election was an opportunity to “send a message to Westminster”

    “And yet, from some strange place, comes these jibes against a Labour team who have their faults but are basically good people …. ”

    … in a centre right party in which they do not fit very easily.

    Yes, sometimes we’ll be awkward & appear to vote against something you’d expect us to support

    Because you are told to, or because English Labour wants to do something different from what the SNP want to do and you used to support, and privately many probably still do. [Trident]

    “John B, you consistently say that the Scottish Parliament & its supporting electoral system was intended to show a more gentle, consensus style of politics – yet you damn as complacency, Scottish Labour’s lack of aggression & failure to panic at the sight of a democratically elected, left of center government, running the Scottish parliament!”

    I never said they were complacent, and there is agression but it is all artifice. There is a role in the SP for opposition back benchers. They have “a proper job” as DD told me they should, and some of them do it.

    SLAB and their support in the press engage in opposition for opposition’s sake, and unremitting negativity.

    They are the losers, for as any salesman with a fortnight’s formal training would tell you, it puts people off.

  8. Amber -I will put aside yet again your failure to condemn any of the atrocities committed by Gaddaffi whilst in power, and your transparent anxiety to find any misdemeanour committed by his political opponents; and address the points you raise:-

    The deaths in Abu Salim are disturbing.
    More rounded reports than the one you quote have included the 100+ deaths of patients in treatment inside the Abu Salim hospital, which was occupied by Gaddaffi loyalists during the battle for that district.
    Other reports following the release of political prisoners from AbuSalim prison have begun to shine a light on the punishment meted out by Gaddaffi to his opponents.

    A spokesman for NTC has said that any freedom fighters found guilty of war atrocities will be held accountable . The ICC are on the ground as are Red Cross & we must hope that all crimes against humanitycommitted in Libya by people still alive, will be brought to court.

    With regard to your strange obsession with the place of “black people” in Libya, I have seen a number of people whon might be described thus walking the streets of Tripoli & being interviewed , on tv coverage. I have seen them carrying arms & the Free Libya flag.

    But you are correct that there is an “issue” with one group of sub-saharan africans in Libya-and it derives from Gaddaffis fear & mistrust of the loyalty of his own people.

    Have you wondered , as I have, where the massed ranks of the Libyan Army has gone , as the Freedom fighters cleared Tripoli at lightening speed ( today as far as its southernmost reaches)?

    The answer is that it doesn’t exist. Gaddaffi’s fighting force is drawn from the ranks of mercenaries around the world-many from Sub Saharan Africa. These poor people from Chad & elsewhere on the continent fought for money-not for loyalty. The former being something Gaddaffi understood-the latter being something he could not command in a country ruled by fear & suppression.

    These are the desperate people with nowhere to go, and a pocketfull of Gaddaffi dollars who have been emplkoyed as snipers-snipers in Misrata , picking off children in the street & doctors greeting ambulances-snipers in Tripoli shooting at doctors& nurses as they fled Abu Salim hospital.

    Has this made libyan freedom fighers suspicious of any black African carrying arms with dubious or non existent ID? I wouldn’t be surprised

    Has it made some libyan freeedom fighters remember a death by sniper fire, as a Chadean mercenary is rounded up for interrogation-and decide to forget the interrogation? I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Is it acceptable -no -war crimes & crimes against humanity are illegal-whoever commits them.

  9. @ Amber Star

    “President Obama must be thanking his lucky stars that the Republicans stopped him from becoming associated with the events in Libya, given the turn which events have taken.

    It is currently looking like the President will need all the black votes he can get, to win a second term. The last thing he wants, IMO, is disappointed voters staying at home because they consider him to have sided with white Europe against black Africa.”

    That’s so funny that you just thought of me. Obama has got to get behind a pro jobs agenda if he’s going to win reelection. He can let the GOP block it but then he will win like Truman did in 1948.

    The fact is, what happens in Libya will give Obama some short term boost but it won’t really affect his reelection chances. I believe minority turnout in 2012 will actually be higher than in 2008. What I think helps save Obama’s bacon right now is that economic times in Virginia and North Carolina are good and even in states where the economy is getting worse, blue collar whites are rallying behind Democrats again thanks to the GOP onslaught against labor unions.

    I don’t think there are any black voters in the U.S. who look at Libya as “white Europe’s war” against black Africans. There are a few people (of all races) who question the legitimacy of removing another country’s government and a few who believe this is oil related and a few who feel that this is a war we cannot afford. If anyone is dissapointed with him, it’s because of stuff that happens at home.

  10. Robert Newark – if you are around, can you see if you can get into the Extended Profile page now? I think I’ve worked out the problem and, if I’m right, you should be able to access it now.

  11. AmberStar @ Old Nat

    Or is it just an attempt to keep political control of Scotland in the way that it did for 50 years?
    ———————————————-
    See, that’s what I mean about jibes… Labour did not ‘keep political control of Scotland’. There were wee things called “elections” every few years, at which the people of Scotland voted for Labour.

    Not at all. It is an attempt to keep/gain political control of the UK aka England.

  12. @ SoCaL

    It’s not fighting, it’s executions. And there is no evidence that these men are African mercenaries. The world has only the ‘rebels’ word for that.

    Or are you proposing that there are no black Libyans & all such men must be ‘imported mercenaries’? This would be a remarkable state of affairs for a country with Libya’s geography.
    8-)

  13. “Last March, the BBC spoke to officials in Mali who said the Tuareg were being paid $10,000 to join the Libya government forces and a further $1,000 (£613) a day to fight.

    Western sources suggest that up to 10,000 Africans were recruited from countries including Sudan, Chad, Mali and Niger. ”

    BBC News

  14. “A doctor in Libya has told Sky News how he witnessed the bloody aftermath of an alleged mass execution by Colonel Gaddafi’s troops.

    Dr Moez said he was working in a hospital on the Matiga airbase, in east Tripoli, when a truck full of bullet-riddled bodies turned up outside.

    He said one of the survivors told them that they had been captured by Col Gaddafi’s troops, held in a school for several days and then executed.

    If the allegations are true, evidence of the injuries collected by Dr Moez and his colleagues could be used in any war crimes trial, if Col Gaddafi is ever found and brought to court.

    Dr Moez said: “Around dusk time a large truck with an open back turned up unexpectedly and I could hear people crying and wailing.

    “I went out to have a look what was in the truck and even before I got to the truck the stench was quite overwhelming.

    These are the war crimes we are talking about and I am sure this has been replicated in many parts of the city and even in the country as well.

    Dr Moez
    “As I looked inside there was possibly 16 or 17 bodies that were riddled with bullets from head to toe. A lot of them had been shot in the head but they had bullets all over.

    “Later we found out what had happened: these were all people that had been held by Gaddafi loyalists over the past few days and they were possibly captured over the past week or two, kidnapped if you like, and they were held in a school quite close to the city centre.

    “What had happened was as the Gaddafi loyalists retreated they went into this room and executed all these people.

    “One… of the victims… was shot in the leg and they failed to execute him so he told us everything that happened.”

    Dr Moez said he and other doctors spent about three hours photographing all the victims’ injuries in detail.

    “These are the kind of things that are going to be required to prosecute Gaddafi in the international criminal courts.”

    Sky News

  15. @ Colin

    With regard to your strange obsession with the place of “black people” in Libya, I have seen a number of people whon might be described thus walking the streets of Tripoli & being interviewed , on tv coverage. I have seen them carrying arms & the Free Libya flag.
    ——————————————–
    The true measure of a democracy where the majority rules, is how it treats its minorities. That is what drives my not at all “strange” obsession.

    And I have condemned violence by anybody – including Gaddafi – one hundred times, at least, on these pages.

    Your strange obsession with requiring every post to be couched in terms of “I condemn this or that” before a person gives a view on something else, is somewhat odd & defensive, IMO.
    8-)

  16. @ Colin

    Thank you for your reasonable and thoughtful comments.

    @ Amber Star

    “It’s not fighting, it’s executions. And there is no evidence that these men are African mercenaries. The world has only the ‘rebels’ word for that.

    Or are you proposing that there are no black Libyans & all such men must be ‘imported mercenaries’? This would be a remarkable state of affairs for a country with Libya’s geography.”

    No but it might explain why so many that the Rebels are executing happen to be black men.

    Frankly, I think white Europeans are far more racist towards Arabs than they are towards black people. But I couldn’t say. The whole anti-Muslim crusade that’s going on is really one that is anti-Arab but masquerading under the guises of “fighting Islamic terrorism” and “muscular liberalism.”

  17. AmberStar @ Old Nat

    “Labour, a Party with old & deep roots in Scotland, became the ultra-British Party because its mission was – & is – to have social democracy in Britain. ……Labour must continue its mission to draw the rest of Britain away from unfettered capitalism of the worst kind.”

    NewLabour is not the means to that end.

    So you need Scottish MP’s so that you can govern England against the wishes of the majority, not just in England but also in Scotland.

    Most people in Scotland want a government to the Left of NewLabour, maybe even to the left of the SNP.

    Most people in England want a government to the right of Old Labour.

    NewLabour knows what’s it thinks is best for NewLabour – power in the UK with alternating right-wing elites providing an appearance of democracy.

  18. @ Colin,

    And the point of your 8:39pm is? As far as I am aware, neither NATO – nor I – am assisting or cheerleading for Gaddafi.

    NATO & your good self are assisting & cheerleading for the TNC & the rebels.

    War & civil war bring about horrendous violence. All this could have been avoided by the UN sending a peace-keeping force to Benghazi as I have repeatedly said they ought to have done.

    NATO’s determination to effect opportunistic regime change under the cloak of humanitarian intervention has brought dreadful violence, with ugly elements of racism, to Libya.
    8-)

  19. @ Colin

    “Last March, the BBC spoke to officials in Mali who said the Tuareg were being paid $10,000 to join the Libya government forces and a further $1,000 (£613) a day to fight.

    Western sources suggest that up to 10,000 Africans were recruited from countries including Sudan, Chad, Mali and Niger. ”
    —————————————————–
    Unnamed officials & othe “Western sources” gossip with BBC reporters. I stand in awe of your irrefutable evidence! Or, having thought about it, maybe not so much…
    8-)

  20. @ Amber

    “The true measure of a democracy where the majority rules, is how it treats its minorities”

    I agree-absolutely-ethnic & cultural minorities…………and of course political minorities & the voices of dissention.

    It is a measure we can so easily judge Gaddafi by :-

    “His revolutionary committees called for the assassination of Libyan dissidents living abroad in April 1980, sending Libyan hit squads abroad to murder them. On 26 April 1980 Gaddafi set a deadline of 11 June 1980 for dissidents to return home or be “in the hands of the revolutionary committees. Gaddafi stated explicitly in 1982 that “It is the Libyan people’s responsibility to liquidate such scums who are distorting Libya’s image abroad.”

    Wiki

    I feel sure FreeDemocratic Libya will improve on that

  21. @ Amber

    “. All this could have been avoided by the UN sending a peace-keeping force to Benghazi as I have repeatedly said they ought to have done.”

    I disagree.-that would have permanently partitioned a country which want to be one entity.

    ” I stand in awe of your irrefutable evidence! ”

    Believe what you want to my dear-obviously.

    You must be one of the very few people who believes that there is no evidence that Gaddaffi employs Sub Saharan mercenaries ! :-)

  22. Anthony

    Thanks, whatever you have done appears to have worked. Now I can come out. (Does anyone do that nowadays?) I have also dropped the ‘Newark’. There is no other ‘Robert’ on the site, so that’s what I will be from now on.

  23. @ John B Dick

    NewLabour is not the means to that end.
    ————————————–
    Indeed; & as I mentioned – to Old Nat, if I recall – I did not work enthusiastically for New Labour, although they did achieve some good things. What say you to devolution? Was that a New Labour success or do you see devolution as a failure?
    ————————————–
    Most people in England want a government to the right of Old Labour.
    ————————————-
    Which is why the mission to persuade them of the benefits of social democracy continues…. or should politics only be about giving people what they already want, without seeking to open their eyes to an alternative.

    Democracy demands that change comes in bite-size pieces which people can swallow. A revolutionary Labour Party – determined to implement socialism against people’s will – would be offensive to you, would it not?

    Therefore, having written of your doubts that the British Labour Party can effect democratic change, I ask you: What is the credible alternative means to that end, John?
    8-)

  24. @ Colin

    I feel sure FreeDemocratic Libya will improve on that
    —————————————-
    After they’ve finished executing black, “sub-saharan mercenaries”….

    I sincerely hope you are right.
    8-)

  25. I think if we accept that atrocities were committed by Ghadafi and his associates and are now being committed by both sides that particular argument can be put to bed.

    In 1968 ( I think ) Col. Ghadafi deposed the then King Idris for suppressing his people. It didn’t take him long to realise that he couldn’t get all the tribes to agree the best way to run the country and soon turned into a clone of the man he and the rest of the population despised .

    There are at least 160 tribal groups in Libya and as I said on a previous thread to get them all to agree on anything is a major task.

    In my view there are 3 possible scenarios to follow ( in no particular order )

    1, The NTC get the tribes on board and agree a way forward including free and fair. election.

    2, The whole thing breaks up and tribal wars begin ( Anarchy )

    3, A strong man emerges and the roundabout goes round again.

    I know what my money is on but I’ll keep that to myself.

    Just my thoughts folks.

  26. Amber

    That you want to extend the left/right balance that we have in Scotland to England, seems reasonable (unless you are part of that English majority that disagrees with you).

    It does seem a very limited ambition, though. Scotland is only 8.4% of the UK population, if you expanded your horizons and advocated a transatlantic union of theUK and the US, then the UK population would be twice as large a proportion of that Union as the Scots are in this one – 17%.

    That you don’t want to bring the joys of socialism/social democracy (or whatever Labour currently describes itself as) to SoCalLiberal and his fellow countrymen would suggest that one or more of the following is the case

    1. You recognise that 17% of a population cannot persuade the larger 83% to change their ways (but yet seem keen that 8.4% will change the ways of the larger 91.6%). That suggests a lack of numeracy inappropriate to your career choice.

    2. You are really a Conservative, in that you want to keep things as they have been because you are comfortable with that, and the system has duly rewarded to you

    3. You are a Nationalist. Regardless of whether your preferred style of government (on the left/right spectrum) would be more likely to be in place for you with a different political structure, you are a Brit. That transcends everything, and you are more content to live under a right wing Government for lengthy periods than to not be a Brit. Your Nationalism is the most important thing in your life, and you will happily take the consequences of that position.

    (I’m a bit more pragmatic. :-) )

  27. Colin

    “a country which want to be one entity.”. That may be true of Libya. I presume you have polling evidence to support your assertion?

    Alternatively, the multiple peoples within the Imperially constructed state of Libya may not want to “be one entity”. I don’t know, but you seem to.

  28. tsitsikamma

    “2, The whole thing breaks up and tribal wars begin ( Anarchy )”

    Or possibly “The whole thing breaks up and all the peoples are happy with having their own sovereignty again.”

    There is something rather repellent about those outwith Libya being so certain about what the Libyans do or don’t want.

  29. @ Old Nat,

    It does seem a very limited ambition, though. Scotland is only 8.4% of the UK population, if you expanded your horizons and advocated a transatlantic union of theUK and the US, then the UK population would be twice as large a proportion of that Union as the Scots are in this one – 17%.
    ——————————————–
    You’ve uncovered my fiendish, longer-term plan to spread social democracy to the US. First Britain, then the world…
    8-)

  30. OLDNAT,

    That would be a great outcome but i doubt it.

  31. @TSITSIKAMMA

    “There are at least 160 tribal groups in Libya and as I said on a previous thread to get them all to agree on anything is a major task”

    I’m not so sure that it is a “major task”.

    But it is certainly an issue which those who have doubts about a viable post Gaddaffi democracy , often raise.

    There are numerous commentaries available on line covering Libya’s tribal demographics .

    I thought this extract interesting :-

    ” “These ( tribal)declarations also demonstrate that Libya’s tribes are not homogenous entities, but rather are comprised of diverse members with varying social and economic backgrounds. This reality reflects the nature of Libyan society as a whole, which has a 90% urban population and in which inter-marriages across tribal lines are common.”

    Arabist.net

  32. @ Colin

    I disagree.-that would have permanently partitioned a country which want to be one entity.
    ——————————————
    Your preference is for civil war, blood & martyrs. Indeed, you say you are in awe of those who are willing to die for a cause.

    The current situation gives no reason to believe that Libya will not become a nation divided. See Tsitsikamma’s excellent comment at 9:15pm giving a good summary of the likely outcomes.
    8-)

  33. “The NTC get the tribes on board and agree a way forward including free and fair. election.”
    There is another option that nobody’s probably considered.

    Have a form of tribal democracy, rather than western-style democracy?
    So something in the style of the comitia tributa of Rome?

    I don’t see why we *should* always try to force our own system of government and economy on cultures different from our own.
    I know why we do it, but I don’t see why we should.

  34. TingedFringe

    “I know why we do it, but I don’t see why we should.”

    Because Amber is out to rule the world? :-)

  35. OLDNAT

    ” That may be true of Libya. I presume you have polling evidence to support your assertion?”

    Don’t be silly-this is Libya we are talking about.

    My “evidence” is the statement by NTC that their objective is one country with its capital Tripoli.

    NTC’s credentials for representing the views of Libyan people can be found in the description of the electoral processes used in their formation. Its on their website.

    Alternatively you might like to consider the list of countries / organisations who have recognised NTC & decide whether it represents a reasonably assuring accreditation of NTC’s democratic credentials.

    Of course , if you believe that NTC has no representative credentials within Libya , then no proof of Libyan public opinion will be available to you until NTC have written a Constitution, achieved it’s popular approval-and called those first democratic multi party elections.

  36. @ Tinged Fringe

    Have a form of tribal democracy, rather than western-style democracy?
    So something in the style of the comitia tributa of Rome?
    ————————————————–
    Gaddafi claimed to have put a system similar to this in place & to be in the process of extending it. One must automatically assume he was lying or risk Colin’s wrath!

    Apparently, for 42 years, Gaddafi held all these factions together by terrorising the country with the help of Sub-Saharan mercenaries…
    8-)

  37. Colin

    “Don’t be silly-this is Libya we are talking about.”

    Exactly my point. You have no evidence whatsoever that the peoples in Libya want to remain one country.

    That a different political group also wants to rule all of Libya tells you precisely nothing.

    You made an assertion based on ignorance. Never the best starting point. :-)

  38. Here’s an analogy for you:

    In the 1940s, there was a strong push in British India for independence. Concerns were raised at the time that there were underlying sectarian divisions (in this case Hindus and Muslims) that could go out of control without British rule. But the argument in favour of independence won, and the price of independence was a horrific wave of violence is thought to have claimed around 500,000 lives.

    So, if we could turn back the clocks and keep India a British colony indefinitely, should we do so? I’m sure that anyone from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka would answer with an unequivocal no. People were prepared to pay a heavy price for freedom from a colonial authority, and I don’t see why they’d be any less willing to pay the price when they are seeking freedom from one of the most notorious dictators in modern history.

    This does not mean we should sit back and shrug if it looks like post-revolution Libya is headed for a bloodbath on the scale of Iraq. (Libya doesn’t have the problems post-Saddam Iraq had, but there’s always the danger of something we haven’t thought of yet.) Having got this involved ion the conflict, NATO now has a duty to do everything humanly possible to help Libya to peace and freedom. But even if the worst comes to the worst, I cannot ever see the Libyans turning round and saying they preferred Gadaffi.

  39. Amber

    “Your preference is for civil war, blood & martyrs. Indeed, you say you are in awe of those who are willing to die for a cause.”

    I’m getting fed up of your constant re-writing of my opinions & statements in order to produce non-sequitur’s which support your views.

    It was not my preference.My preference was for Gadaffi to stop shooting political protestors & call elections.

    But my fantasies-like yours were useless to the people of Libya.

    By the time Sarkozy sent those jets in , Gaddaffi’s tanks were shelling western Benghazi’suburbs. The shooting of the original protestors had already happened & the Benghazi revol;t was in full swing.

    That there was a bloody conflict & “martyrs” was entirely Gaddaffi’s fault -did & do I admire them-you bet.

    Do I wish they didn’t have to give their lives to get their freedom from that bloody monster?-of course.

    Got it now?

  40. Chris Neville-Smith

    I am no fan of Ghadaffi, but “one of the most notorious dictators in modern history” is a description that would require some evidence to justify it.

    Are you suggesting that he ranks with Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot?

  41. Colin

    “that bloody monster?”

    Going back to Chris Neville-Smith’s reference to British India, I presume that you are giving NBonar Law that accolade too?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jallianwala_Bagh_Massacre

  42. @ Old Nat

    Colin also has zero evidence that the majority of the Libyan people wanted rid of their existing government.
    He is happy to believe that having the heart bombed out of their city by NATO, had no influence on their backing of the TNC….

    I shudder to think what could happen, if a future independent Scotland finds itself with a huge, as yet undiscovered, oil reserve & a political system which Colin disapproves of.

    If somebody was destroying Edinburgh from 40 thousand feet, I would quickly come around to their way of thinking; that said, I’d probably have to martyr myself later, if they began executing jews, blacks or any other minorities.

    Well, this is a thoroughly depressing comment & no mistake. :-(

  43. @ Colin

    No, I don’t ‘got it’.

    One person was shot in Benghazi when a crowd attacked a police station. Troops were sent to ensure law & order prevailed; that people & property were protected (rather like Northern Ireland, perhaps). Then all hell broke loose because Sarkozy sensed a political opportunity for himself.

    NATO then proceeded to go to postal; the longer things went on – with the vast majority chosing not to be political martyrs – the more intrusive & violent became NATO’s efforts & the spiral of violence escalated…

    So no, Colin, I don’t ‘got’ your rewriting of recent history.
    8-)

  44. @ Old Nat

    “I am no fan of Ghadaffi, but “one of the most notorious dictators in modern history” is a description that would require some evidence to justify it.

    Are you suggesting that he ranks with Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot?”

    I think you’re right. Hyperbole doesn’t help things.

  45. OLD NAT

    I’ve considered your post carefully.

    You have persuaded me that the global community has indeed missed a trick.

    We should have persuaded Gaddaffi that instead of tanks , he should have sent YouGov in to Benghazi.

    And I think the SNP administration was very well placed to persuade him of the good sense in such a move.

    So sad-lost opportunity

  46. Amberstar,

    He is happy to believe that having the heart bombed out of their city by NATO, had no influence on their backing of the TNC

    Yes, isn’t it true throughout history that people kept various different flags in their basements to bring out whenever a new army marched in.

    Tingedfringe,
    “Have a form of tribal democracy, rather than western-style democracy?
    So something in the style of the comitia tributa of Rome?”

    Yes, Great Idea I’m for anything that could contribute to a peaceful happy Libya.

  47. AmberStar @ John B Dick

    The Labour party has seldom failed to disappoint its sympathisers, often by failing to get elected, but NewLabour isn’t a political philosophy: i’ts a marketing strategy.

    It wasn’t all bad, but compared with the Atlee government, the good they did was a tenth as much in twice the time.

    Devolution is not to be counted as a NewLabour success. The values of NewLabour were subverted in a political achievement the like of which we have not seen since we had hereditary rulers.

    Show me any other case in recent centuries where major constitutional change was effected by a second level government minister with the participation of a head of government who did not understand what was being done.

    I deeply regret that when Donald Dewar explained to me in great detail his vision for a Home Rule parliament, I rejected the idea it as the third best option after (first) the reform of Westminster, and (second) independence, because of the additional tier of government and extra cost.

    I was wrong.

    DD was disappointed that he had not been able to convince me. I didn’t see why the reforms he proposed – with which I completely agreed – should not be applied to directly to Westminster.

    He said that “A Home Rule parliament would be an opportunity to try out one or more of [the possible solutions]” and I now think that this, rather than the better governance of Scotland was his primary objective.

    It took Donald forty four years to complete phase one of his plan. I havn’t got another forty four years to wait for the second phase, so I’ll have independence now instead.

    An SNP candidate once asked me if I did not agree the Union was “broke”. I said yes, I had thought so, but not broke enough for the uncertainty of independence.

    NewLabour changed my view on that.

    It’s more broken than ever, though things like the block vote are gone.

    Most of my life I have been a Labour voting anti-Con. NewLabour turned me into an anti-Lab:anti-Con though the chastened nature of the few surviving Conservatives in Scotland certainly helps.

    “A revolutionary Labour Party – determined to implement socialism against people’s will – would be offensive to you, would it not?”

    Any authoritarian party would be offensive. Leftish policies, not necessarily so, but authoritarianism and competence are rarely asssociated in politcs.

    “Therefore, having written of your doubts that the British Labour Party can effect democratic change, I ask you: What is the credible alternative means to that end, John?”

    If I can’t have DD’s reforms applied to Westminster, I’ll take independence if it is on offer. I told AS that I thought that the SNP was missing the best argument for independence: that you get a fit for purpose modern parliament bundled with it.

    He said “You think I should speak about it.? and we began to count up the differences. See if you can find more than 34.

    Principles
    Petitions
    PR
    Party funding
    Presiding officer

    That’s only the “P”s”

    I want my dual nationality grandchildren to grow up in a country with parliament founded on the principles of Openness, Accountability, the Sharing of power and Equal opportunities, which respects the values of Integrity, Wisdom, Compassion and Justice.

  48. oldnat @ TingedFringe

    “…. Amber is out to rule the world? ”

    No, that was Donald Stewart.

  49. @Amberstar

    “Colin also has zero evidence that the majority of the Libyan people wanted rid of their existing government.”

    If by “evidence”, you mean balanced opinion polls from YouGov, ICM and Mori, we don’t. Unfortunately, Gadaffi wasn’t that keen on that sort of thing, so we’ve got to make the best guess on other evidence.

    So, considering:

    a) The uprising in Libya was capable of overthrowing control in one third of the country without outside help in spite of the armed forces being under the control of the government;

    b) The scenes coming out of Libya are almost exclusively of Libyans celebrating his downfall; and

    c) Virtually every Libyan outside of the country who has expressed their opinion on their Government opposed Gadaffi;

    I think that’s as strong a case as you can get in favour of the rebels.

    “If somebody was destroying Edinburgh from 40 thousand feet,”

    I think you’ll find Gadaffi was doing a much better job of destroying Libyan cities than anything NATO produced.

    Quite frankly, I am astounded that the same people complaining about NATO imposing their values on other countries are quite happy to make assume other people want to live under their dictatorships with apparently no attempt to listen to what they have to say.

  50. @ Chris Neville-Smith

    I have a sneaking suspicion that most of the Libyans who are now dead would have chosen to stay alive. Of course, I cannot stick a microphone in their face & ask them. Yet somehow, I continue to think they would have appreciated the UN/ NATO sending more negotiators & fewer bombs.
    8-)

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