Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
7 March 2011

Making friends with the Libyans

Douglas Alexander questions William Hague’s method of reaching out to potential allies.

By Duncan Robinson

The shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, today wondered whether William Hague had chosen the most effective way to ingratiate himself with the rebels in Libya.

“If some new neighbours moved into the Foreign Secretary’s street would he introduce himself by ringing the doorbell, or by climbing over the neighbour’s fence?” wondered Alexander.

Hague did admit that the “small diplomatic team” (made up of two MI6 agents and six members of the SAS) was withdrawn after a “serious misunderstanding of their role”.


Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK