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British public angered by spending on Libya amid cuts at home


More Tornado jets are being sent to Libya courtesy of the British taxpayer.

The announcement comes as the armed forces are hit by a wave of redundancies, as the country continues to tighten its belt.

The intervention, along with the public spending cutbacks, leaves people in the UK questioning their democratic rights.

here's anger in the UK as the country spends millions of pounds on the war in Libya, while the public sector at home is neglected and slashed...

More Tornado jets are being sent to Libya courtesy of the British taxpayer.

The announcement comes as the armed forces are hit by a wave of redundancies as the country continues to tighten its belt.

And as RT's Laura Emmett reports the intervention, along with the cutbacks, has left people in the UK questioning their democratic rights...

British streets are regularly filling with massive anti-government protests which start peacefully, but routinely turn violent.

Their fury is over swinging spending cuts by a coalition government they say no one wants, and now a new foreign war.

“I don’t think they’re listening to anyone at the moment. They’re just making up their own mind about everything really. We don’t have a say in anything whatsoever,” said one protester.

“I don’t see that the government will do anything about this, like they didn’t do anything about the tuition fees either. I’ve come today because I work in social care, I’m a social care equipment consultant - I find it ridiculous how much money they’re spending in Libya at the moment, sending planes over, sending troops over there, and taking money away from us - they should be spending more money at home,” another protester said.

But the will of these people is one which lawmakers willingly ignore. While a TV news poll suggested 43% of people oppose military intervention in Libya, their elected MPs voted overwhelmingly in favor: 557 to just 13 against.

“What we have in parliament now are a political class - they all go to the same schools, they go to the same universities, they get the same jobs in research offices, they spend their careers in politics having never had jobs in the real world. And they operate, speak, and vote like sheep. We don’t have enough independent thinkers sitting in the House of Commons, prepared to make counter arguments,” said Nigel Farage of the UK Independent party.

A league of their own and a world apart from a public mandate. The British don’t directly choose their prime ministers - certainly not the most recent men at Number 10.

Gordon Brown was handed the job when Tony Blair quit - drawing his eventual successor’s wrath.

But David Cameron was only rescued from a minority government with a deal of his own - sharing power with the party that voters put third.

It’s a coalition which an angry electorate sees breaking promises - and which listens to Washington more than Westminster protesters.

“The politicians are so committed to this semi-fantasy of the special relationship with Washington that they’re prepared to do whatever is necessary to maintain that relationship while having no concern for their relationship with the people who elected them in the first place. It’s a dysfunction, a deep, deep dysfunction of British so-called democracy,” said Chris Nineham from the Stop the war coalition.

The past six months have seen a series of demonstrations in London and across the UK which culminated in hundreds of thousands of people gathering to protest against cuts to public spending and the war in Libya.


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