Will Dave ever be able to satisfy the red-tops?

Will Dave ever be able to satisfy the red-tops?

How is this all going to end?

The mood of the daily tabloids after the first weekend of military intervention is perhaps less gung-ho than we’ve been used to. Certainly there’s a big shadow from Labour’s intervention in Iraq hanging over the whole business and Cameron seems determined not to be seen to be making the same mistakes.

First we had the UN resolutions to make it legal in international law, then we’ve had repeated assurances that the legal advice will be published, and this afternoon there’ll be a debate in the commons with the PM repeatedly saying that this will all be subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

But we now know only too well that it’s a lot easier to start military interventions than to get out of them and, no doubt, there’ll be some tough questioning of Cameron this afternoon.

My guess is that it will be a tough session for him but by the end the debate we will have greater clarity.

The media, particularly the red-tops, are going to be important in shaping the public mood and, so far at least, they are a lot less bellicose than we saw during the Falklands in 1982 and the 2003 Iraq invasion.

A big question is how long is all this going to last. Is Gadaffi going to be able to hang on buttressed by the inevitable civilian casualties as a means of building international support for his position?

How will all this look at the start of May when the devolved parliaments elections in Scotland and Wales take place, the referendum as well as local elections in many parts of England?

A lot of questions but not many answers. The debate is due to start in the Commons at 3.30pm.

Mike Smithson

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