The Libya war: in pictures

The government is expected to announce that the war has cost £250m. Here are images of the conflict

Above, David Cameron arrives at a press conference on 21 June. He insisted that Britain would continue its Libya operations for "as long as is necessary". Today, the government is expected to announce that the mission has cost £250m.

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People gather next to buildings damaged by Nato airstrikes in Tripoli. Nato admitted causing civilian deaths, and blamed this on a "weapons system failure". At least nine people were killed, including two children.

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Here, French helicopters land off the coast of Libya following airstrikes. Today's announcement contradicts George Osborne's claim that the war would cost tens, not hundreds, of millions.

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A French aircraft carrier off the Libyan coast is pictured from a helicopter. In news reminiscent of the Iraq War, the Financial Times revealed that only 12 UK officials are working on plans for Gaddafi's departure and reconstruction.

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Above, Libyans loyal to Gaddafi dance at Tripoli's Mitiga International airport to celebrate 41 years after the United States left Libya on 11 June 1970.

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A child poses with a rifle at the same event. These pictures were taken on a guided government tour.

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Here, rebel fighters flash the victory sign as they drive towards the frontline from their stronghold of Benghazi.

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During Friday noon prayers in Revolution Square, Benghazi, Libyans pray over six bodies recovered from a mass grave. These were allegedly the bodies of people killed by Gaddafi's regime some 20 years ago.

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Above, Libyan rebels fire a machine gun at positions held by forces loyal to Gaddafi during fighting in the western mountain region of Qalaa. The opposition has warned that it will run out of funds in less than a week without aid.

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This picture shows another building destroyed by Nato warplanes, this t.ime in the Bab Al-Aziziya district of Tripoli where Gaddafi has his base

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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Don't blame Brexit on working-class anger - it's more worrying than that

White voters who identified as "English not British" backed Brexit.

For those of us who believe that the referendum result in favour of Brexit is an unmitigated disaster, the nominations for culprits are open. Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg made a compelling argument in the Financial Times that the blame lies squarely with Cameron and Osborne.

Clegg, who has first-hand experience of Tory duplicity, is scarcely a neutral observer. But that does not make him wrong. No doubt the PM and the Chancellor are the proximate cause, and should be held accountable by their parliamentary constituents, their party, and by the country as a whole - or what’s left of it if Scotland goes its own way.

Yet journalists and historians alike would do well to probe deeper causes of the referendum result. One obvious culprit is the British press, who, at best, failed to scrutinise the Leave Campaign’s claims and at worst actively abetted them. The New York Times has suggested that using the EU as a punching bag has helped sell papers (or at least generate clicks) in what is probably the most challenging climate for traditional journalism in two centuries.  Boris Johnson, it seems, is irresistible clickbait for the fourth estate. And as Nick Cohen has observed on Saturday, Johnson and Gove, both politician-journalists, have elevated mendacity in politics from an occasional vice to a lifestyle choice.

The search for deeper causes of the Brexit vote, however, cannot end with the press. A different electorate could have taken a different view, as they did in Scotland, which voted 2-1 to Remain.  What was the magic sauce?

Too many commentators, especially those on the Left, have blamed working-class anger. It’s all about social class, apparently. Lisa Mckenzie nearly predicted the result on that basis. Others use it simply to criticise Tory austerity politics. Blaming class can be woven into another favourite narrative - this is about lack of educational attainment. Anyone who has lived in Britain for any period of time knows the class system, the town-and-country divide, and intergenerational wealth disparities as important features of British life. 

Another favourite culprit is racism, as the Washington Post wondered on SaturdayOthers had the same thought, and racist attacks are on the rise. Given Nigel Farage’s antics in the weeks before the election, none of this is surprising. Amidst such scary stuff, many have tried to emphasise that most Brexit voters are not racist, but rather disillusioned with the rule of metropolitan elites. Douglas Carswell is one proponent of this argument, but he’s not alone. The Economist, in an effort to avoid talking about race, asserts that this result was about age, region and class.

Still, this kind of analysis is at best naïve and at worst disingenuous. 

As Lord Ashcroft’s polls suggest, it is only the white working class (if by this we mean C2/DE, though many in DE are unemployed) who voted for Brexit. In fact, those describing themselves as "in employment" generally voted to Remain. Those describing themselves as Asian, black or Muslims overwhelmingly voted Remain. By contrast, nearly six in ten white Protestants voted to leave. 

Brexit was a rejection of British multiculturalism. That is the real take-home message of the Ashcroft polls. Of those who see themselves as "English not British", 80 per cent voted to Leave, irrespective of social class. Those who see themselves as "British not English" voted 60 per cent for Remain. Similar patterns (and similar press involvement) can be found in the Quebec referendum of 1995, which failed by a narrower margin than Brexit succeeded.

Of non-Francophone voters in Quebec, 95 per cent voted to remain in Canada. Those who voted to leave, on the other hand, were rejecting Canadian multiculturalism. Quebecois separatism was seen as part of a struggle for cultural survival.  

Whether or not you call those attitudes racist, the advent of white English (and Welsh) nationalism is, for those of us who have taught modern European history, the truly ominous consequence of Brexit. Do not be fooled by the alternatives.

Dr D’Maris Coffman is a Senior Lecturer in Economics of the Built Environment at UCL Bartlett. Before coming to UCL in 2014, she was a Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Newnham College and a holder of a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in the Cambridge History Faculty.