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Friday, 24 April 2015

Tories’ Faux Libya Outrage

What did I tell you? Earlier this week, Zelo Street reminded readers that, while we all look at the refugees leaving Libya in a desperate attempt to put the fighting there, and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East behind them, Young Dave and his jolly good chaps also bore some responsibility for the situation in that country, having pledged their support - then running off and leaving the Libyans to their fate.
Dave would rather you don't see this photo

And I was not the only one making the suggestion: a Telegraph leader this week - yes, that’s the paper that most slavishly supports the Tories - told “We have made the point before that the longer term solutions to this disaster include the restoration of a proper Government to Libya, from where many migrants set out and whose lawless state is partly the responsibility of the European countries who toppled Col Gaddafi”.

That would include the UK, whose Prime Minister so shamelessly paraded himself before the crowds in Benghazi, along with Nicolas Sarkozy (and no-one should need reminding what happened to him). Mil The Younger, who is making a speech on foreign policy today - that’s the area that the right-wing press has been berating him for not covering - will, however, stop short of saying Cameron has blood on his hands.
But he will sayIn Libya Labour supported military action to avoid the slaughter Gaddafi threatened in Benghazi. But since the action, the failure of post-conflict planning has become obvious. David Cameron was wrong to assume that Libya’s political culture and institutions could be left to evolve and transform on their own”. He is right.

Douglas Alexander has reinforced the point: “The speech rightly highlights the loss of influence that David Cameron has overseen, and it also highlights the widely accepted failures in Libya where the international community rightly took action to prevent Benghazi being turned into a slaughterhouse and then has abjectly failed to engage in post-conflict planning. That is widely understood and recognised”.
He went on “David Cameron waded in and then walked away. What we have seen since 2011 is five different Libyan governments. There was an opportunity with the establishment of the national transitional council to get around and provide better support”. There is nothing remotely contentious in any of that. Cameron did indeed walk away.

Instead, the Tories have not even waited to allow Miliband to deliver his speech, before issuing their “pre-buttal”, claiming Miliband means Cameron “is directly responsible for the deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean”. But he didn’t say that. All that he did say was that Dave made an assumption that turned out to be wrong.

What the Tory faux outrage also fails to address is that it was the Government of which they have been the senior partner whose House of Lords spokesperson said this last October: “We do not support planned search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean … [this was] an unintended ‘pull factor’, encouraging more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing and thereby leading to more tragic and unnecessary deaths”.

They didn’t need encouraging. They were desperate to escape. Now the Tories are screaming “look at the rotten lefty” rather than answer for their decisions. It happened on Dave’s watch, so it’s someone else’s fault. Pass the sick bucket.


Anonymous said...

I'm no 'Kipper', but When Farage was interviewed on BBC Breakfast earlier this week he had a golden opportunity to remind everyone of Cameron's failings. 5 minutes to really get some points against the PM.

Unfortunately the interview exposed how little briefing he gets before interviews. He never even mentioned the PMs failings, just a bland statement about how intervention has left Libya in a mess.

organic cheeseboard said...

This might sound silly, but for me this has all the hallmarks of a Labour 'dead cat' rather than a Tory one.

The Tory papers all had stuff to do with Labour failins on immigration or Tory plans on anti-Scotland. Clearly the tories wanted to make this a full week about Labour/SNP and to round off with this 'English Income Tax' plan. But instead Labour produce an actually-fairly-innocuous-but-too-tempting speech by Miliband and the tories dive in on it, trying to reignite the as-yet entirely unsuccessful 'Ed is weak' meme - one which, since the campaign started, has seen Ed's ratings shoot up. The fact that they had to get Liz Truss on to attack him says a lot - they weren't prepared for this and haven't briefed their candidates on it properly. It also allows Labour to demonstrate that Tories won't wait to hear a speech before attacking it and its messenger, reinforcing the idea of them as the nasty party, which this campaign so far has vindicated.

This Libya focus also means he can remind a public whose attitude towards intervention is broadly in opposition that he stopped another campaign like the Libya one when opposing the awful plans the Govt had for Syria. With that, he was squarely on the side of public opinion.

It is of course totally hypocritical for Miliband to simultaneously accuse Cameron of isolationism while implicitly parading his opposition to Syria - yet it'll probably work.

Neil said...

Pot/kettle. Why give the right wing media and the Tories to remind everyone of Blair's disastrous foreign wars?