a couple of cheers for pocket Bismark

When I said the other day that I wondered how Britain would respond to the situation in Libya, I was referring to the fact that the last government committed the UK to a one way bet on Ghaddafi as the means of securing oil and arms concessions – also, of course, support in the “war on terror”. Should the revolution succeed it’s hard to see those contracts being fulfilled, at least on anything like the same terms as present. So some credit to pocket Bismarck here.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague called on global leaders on Sunday to speak out against Libya's crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.

"The world should not hesitate to condemn those actions," Hague told Sky News. "What Colonel Gaddafi should be doing is respecting basic human rights and there is no sign of that in the dreadful response, the horrifying response, of the Libyan authorities to these protests."

See also. You obviously can’t be too naïve about this. He may be in the process of walking back New Labour’s commitments in the hope of preserving British commercial interests should the rebels win, though in the process he’s just radically reduced the chances of preserving them if Ghaddaffi hangs on.

But can you imagine the festival of squirming equivocation we'd be getting if Blair was still in office?

Anyway, if Hague has made a spread bet, it may be a good one. Latest reports have the rebels in control of Benghazi and the Eastern half of the country. Good luck to them, though it does make me think of the 518.