The Right Honourable Gentleman is absolutely right (maybe)

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    Or –

    18th March 2011

    BREAKING NEWS:  The present Libyan Foreign Minister says that Libya “has decided on an immediate cease-fire and the stoppage of all military operations.”

    As expected by many commenters in the last few days, Gaddafi may be one (diplomatic) step ahead of his opponents.  If he DOES  CEASE FIRING on his people what happens next? A stalemate as the UN resolution is seen as irrelevant and even unnecessary? A period of inertia may now apply, by default. Anyway, it’s not even 2:00pm.  I expect it will all change in a few hours.

    Now where was I? Oh yes, on being “right”.

    It would be churlish of me not to congratulate the Prime Minister on his success in helping to secure the UNSC resolution for regime change … sorry… intervention … apologies … protecting the Libyan people.  And I wouldn’t want to be churlish.

    PULLING A BLINDER

    Britain, France, Lebanon and particularly the USA (with its will they/won’t they positioning) have pulled a blinder. They have managed to persuade Arab and African nations that turmoil in Arab and African nations is at least partly their responsibility to deal with.

    And credit where it’s due.  Mr Cameron was quite impressive in the House of Commons this morning, despite the chamber being less than a third full.  He gets more like his hero by the minute, except when he’s doing an unsubtle aside on legality/illegality of such military actions. Ye-e-e-es.  Some of us noticed that, Mr Cameron. The legality or otherwise of Iraq has NOT been settled – ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.  So please, do cease firing in that direction for self-congratulatory comparative reasons.

    THE HONOURABLE … IS NOT ALWAYS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT

    Someone needs to tell Mr Cameron that it is not compulsory to respond to almost every question put to him in the House with – “The Honourable gentleman/lady is absolutely right”.

    I know he needs to make his big tent as wide as possible, and flattery is the most effective path towards inclusivity. But more than half the time we all know that HE knows that they are NOT anything like right. They are simply framing their opposition to his policy in acceptable parliamentary terms.

    SkyNews live, as it has been since the start of the Arab spring at the beginning of the year, is by far the better of our two main rolling news broadcasters for keeping us ahead of the game. Watch SkyNewslive here

    Related

    Libya attack: The UN, and David Cameron got it right

    Excerpt: ‘This has, in the end, been a textbook operation, with the Arab League in the forefront, Russia and China settling for abstention and the dithering of President Obama looking, with hindsight, like a useful stratagem that allowed other players to unite. Critics said the UN was good for nothing. It has proved them wrong.

    This is a good day for internationalism, for diplomacy and for conscience. It is also a good day for David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy. Both leaders are open to diverse criticism, but on this issue, Mr Cameron has been extraordinarily bold, rising above the mockery of cynics and justifiable anxiety of critics, to engage other leaders and do what is right.’

    A “textbook operation”.  So far, so maybe. But what happens now that Gaddafi has started to read from a different book?

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