THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Has the Government done enough to win support over Kosovo?

Just over 50 per cent of Britons support the use of ground troops in Kosovo

Just over 50 per cent of Britons support the use of ground troops

in Kosovo

Rod Liddle

Today programme

’The public seems to be behind the Government. I’m not sure ministers

are clear about their goals. The crucial question for everyone who

doubts the need to bomb is: what is the alternative? If the Government

adopted that as mantra it would go down well with the public. The

constant reference to ’this is place where you go on holiday’ worries

me. It is a dubious reason to become involved in a conflict.’

Tim Butcher

Daily Telegraph

’The Kosovo crisis started a year ago but there seemed to be an enormous

acceleration in Britain’s willingness to involve military force around a

week ago. There does not appear to have been much explanation to the

public, except in Tony Blair’s State of the Nation address. And all the

arguments put together in that could equally have been put forward eight

years ago in Croatia or six years ago in Bosnia. There has been no

explanation of why the Kosovo crisis is different.’

Martin Bell


’The Government has done all it can to explain the reasons behind the

bombing. Secretaries of State have been all over the media, as is their

right. The difficulty for the Government is that the chosen strategy has

not so far achieved the desired results.We have a free press, and those

who believe that the measures being taken are inadequate have the right

to say so.’

Brian Gosschalk


’The public supports British action by two to one. To that extent,

opinion is behind the Government. However, it is far from the level of

support for the Falklands. There is a fairly widespread perception that

we are following the lead of the US. I don’t think the Government has

dealt as effectively as it could with what, exactly, the bombing is to


Jonathan Haslam

Former chief press secretary to John Major

’Opinion polls suggest continuing support for Nato’s action. But the

Government must continue to be unrelenting in presenting clear and

direct messages, and that’s not easy with so many competing voices. It’s

vital that the public knows what is going on, whatever happens, so that

we don’t get squeamish about our response at this defining moment in

Western civilisation.’

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