The ongoing Libyan crisis has made me proud: not that I have done anything to be proud of, simply proud to be a citizen of a country that has shown that it is, without fuss and bother, a fully grown-up member of the family of civilised countries.

I'm also proud of my Prime Minister. Does that sound sycophantic? Am I being over-sentimental? You might say so, but I challenge you to watch last Sunday night's press conference and not agree with me. A difficult job is being done and a difficult future is being faced realistically and without false hopes being raised: we're being treated like adults.

Almost in the same measure as I am proud, I am ashamed.

Ashamed at the out-and-out egoism and insularity bordering on racism being shown by a few, but a not unsubstantial few, commenters on the online stories that are flooding the media. Quite often, these are people for whom syntax, grammar and - God help us - logic, to say nothing of basic human compassion, are alien concepts. They pepper their comments indiscriminately with capital letters and exclamation marks, and often ramble off into some rant or other, but their basic message is clear: "Go back to Libya and stop annoying me, your problems are nothing to do with me".

The really scary thing is that not all of these people are ignorant yobs: quite a few are, or expect to be taken as, quite well educated citizens who hold down responsible jobs. All I can say is, I hope they are at peace with their consciences, because I couldn't be.

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