What Next Mr Cameron?
I am alarmed by some of the comments emanating from the Tory government. We now seem to be embarking on “mission creep”. At the beginning of this venture the prime minister, David Cameron said that our only aim in taking part in the implementation of a no-flight zone was to protect the Libyan civilians from the threats of mass slaughter from Libyan leader Col. Gaddafi. However, the government now seems to have surreptitiously crept from saying we are in Libya to protect the Libyan citizens, to being there to “help the rebels”. This is concerning, how exactly will we be helping the rebels? Who are these so-called “rebels”? What do we know about them? From what I can see at the very best they can be described as a bunch of militia, with very little if any plan for when and if they do depose of Gaddafi. They ride about in trucks with heavy weaponry and seem to shoot off their guns into the air at a moment’s notice and for no particular reason, are our special forces already in Libya on the ground helping these “militia”? If this is so then David Cameron is misleading the country over a grave matter such as war when he told us we would not be entering ground forces in Libya. Are we helping to depose of a leader when there is absolutely no infrastructure of democracy to take his place? If so just what are we condemning the Libyan people to and to whom? Mr Cameron has said how Libya is run is a matter for the Libyan people, of course it is, who in the democratic West could argue with that statement? However, is it right to help rebels depose of a leader when there is absolutely no plan for who takes his place? Libya cannot run itself, our wish to help the Libyan people could turn into the worse of nightmares for them, having helped depose of Gaddafi, can we in all honesty just walk away and leave them to the almost certain continuation of a civil war in a divided Libya? To stay in Libya would mean occupying another country and we would be in for the long protracted haul and almost certainly we would not be welcomed by the Libyan people as an occupying force, even if it were because we were worried about events post Gaddafi – this is why I thought we should not have become involved in another country’s civil war. Once again I feel we have rushed in to “help” with no exit strategy in place and whether Gaddafi is eventually overthrown, or he stays in Tripoli, our involvement looks to be for the foreseeable future.
Which brings me neatly to the cost of the mission, if we stay for the long haul the cost is open ended, even if we stay for a shorter time the cost of being in Libya is colossal. Perhaps the time to exit gracefully is now we have apparently “helped rebels” push Gaddafi back, before we become to bogged down and get to a point where we are simply unable to walk away?
Regarding the cost, we are constantly being told by this Tory-led government that labour left the country’s finances in a mess, they use dumbing down phrases like “the country’s credit card is maxed out”, however, the government know, as we all know this is totally untrue, again this government are guilty of deliberately misleading the British people in order to make their ideological cuts, they found £10 billion to give to Ireland, they will now find further billions to help bail Portugal out, £10 billion to international aid, £100 million to waste on a voting reform referendum, more millions for Mr Cameron to pay pollsters to ask us all how happy we are etc. and now we are just expected to believe that we have billions kicking around in special reserves to help us fight other people’s civil wars, at present it is costing upwards of £5 million per day to “help unknown gun toting militia rebels” and £900.000 each time we fire off one single missile in Col. Gaddafi’s general whereabouts. How dare this government even imply this country was bankrupt or even near bankrupt when we obviously were not? Once again we have this Tory-led government deliberately misleading the British people, what we do have in Britain however, is a “morally bankrupt” government that thinks nothing of lying to and misleading its own people.
While we are in Libya spending millions per day “helping unknown rebels” to do goodness knows what to the Libyan people in the future, our own people are beginning to suffer back home. We are expected to swallow the medicine of these Tory born ideological cuts as necessary for all our futures, while each and every day our government is firing off missiles into the Libyan night somewhere in the vague direction of Col. Gaddafi at £900.000 per time and zooming over the heads of terrified Libyan women and children in jet fighter planes. If we can find billions of pounds at a moment’s notice to fight someone else’s civil war, then we can find money to fund our children’s Sure Start Centres, pensioners Winter Fuel Allowances and build new school buildings, charge students a fair price for their tuition and STOP the privatisation of our NHS and halt the selloff of all our public services and stop the degrading despicable assault on those unfortunate enough to have to claim disability benefits, stop attacking the unemployed as if they are somehow unclean and stop constantly picking on, demoralising and demonising our public servants.
Yesterday in London the government had a wake-up call when over 500.000 people marched to peacefully demonstrate against the government cuts, the government ignore us at its peril. This government ought now to come clean about what it is actually doing in Libya and what it actually hopes to achieve.