“champion of reform”

… the second son of Colonel Gaddafi did talk a good game about democracy and modernisation – an impression only dispelled this week when he warned that Libya’s streets would run with “rivers of blood” if the protests continued.

It transpires that Saif is an excellent networker with many friends and acquaintances in business and politics, having recently described Tony Blair as a personal family friend. According to this morning’s Times he was a frequent guest at dinner parties in London thrown by Vincent Tchenguiz, the property tycoon, whose generous hospitality I can vouch for.

But the most curious friendship of all, arguably, was that between Saif and Joerg Haider, the far-right Austrian leader, whose funeral he attended in October 2008. It would be fascinating to know more about that particular friendship and where the two found common ground.

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