"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

More On The Libya Debate

Despite the many reservations held by MPs yesterday's government motion was supported by 557 - 13. Given the UN Resolution it would have been surprising if the vote had gone any other way.  Dai Havard (5.33) and Rory Stewart (5.54) were two 6-minute speeches that stood out for me as I dipped in and out, though I'm sure I missed many others, and also this short exchange between Leigh & Lewis:

Edward Leigh, Column 772 @ 7.57pm
... Oratory is not enough; we need air power. How many Tornados do we have? I believe that the strategic defence and security review was a disaster, as big a disaster as the Nott review, which was finally overtaken by the Falklands war. I hope that this operation overtakes the disastrous defence review. France has an aircraft carrier; Spain has an aircraft carrier; Russia has an aircraft carrier; the USA has 11 aircraft carriers; and we have to fly a round trip of 3,000 miles to impose our military force. By the way, all we have done is send three Tornados and two cruise missiles.
Dr Julian Lewis: I am glad that my hon. Friend raised that point, which I did not have time to raise. Although it is true that in this case we can get by from land bases, when it comes to the fuel costs of flying a single mission, a Harrier from a carrier would have cost £5,750, one from Sicily or southern Italy costs about £23,000 and one from the United Kingdom costs £200,000.
Column 720 is where Miliband twice speaks of "... a world order based on principle as well as power". At least he had the sense to miss out the word 'new'.

The debate continued until 9.42pm when it was wound up with a statement by William Hague before the House went to vote.

I'd be surprised if any meaningful review of last year's SDSR takes place in the light of Libyan developments and even more surprised if the government decided to retain the Ark Royal but it's preposterous that Britain should not have an aircraft carrier.

Backbenchers were like anxious children seeking assurances   What if?  What if?  But Nanny patted them on the head, swept their reservations under the carpet and told them to go back to sleep, everything would be all right in the morning.  Few seemed to be convinced and I think many had a sleepless night.  I detected a determination amongst b/benchers not to have the wool pulled over their eyes again.  No-one will ever forget Blair and Iraq & Afghanistan - his true legacy.

Statement, response and the debate in full:  Hansard


  1. "... a world order based on principle as well as power".

    He's havin a larf.

  2. Yup, I think he must be, McG - I've never known a more unprincipled bunch of toerags. What they do doesn't bear close scrutiny - as Wikileaks and the internet are proving.

    I came across a quango I'm going to write up in a minute - self-appointed, self-serving, feckless to the point of 'dnr' and part-funded by Soros. I don't want their type of 'principled and powerful' world leadership.


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