A number of Conservative MP’s and senior figures are opposed to British involvement in a unilateral, non-UN mandated military action in Iraq, reports the Independent on Sunday. I wonder when we will see Ken Clarke and Michael Portillo wearing a Not in Our Name badge?

There would have been a time when this was a startling and vital piece of news but while interesting to politics junkies in the big picture it really doesn’t matter much at all does it?

The Tories are totally irrelevant to this whole issue. The real debate (as on so many issues these days) is between the left of the Labour Party and the government. Judging from his piece in today’s Observer Charles Kennedy now appears to be part of the left opposition.

Elsewhere in the Sunday papers, Andrew Rawnsley makes this very astute point about Blair: “A man so often in the past depicted as mesmerised by focus groups has supported the United States against the grain of opinion among both the voters and within his party. It is one of the many ironies of his situation that the very same people who used to revile him for being enslaved to opinion polls now lambast him for not listening to the public. “

And what are that great British public saying about the Iraq situation? The latest YouGov poll shows that 72 percent would support British participation in military action if it is backed by the United Nations. Good.

But if there is no UN backing then that figure slumps dramatically down to just 20 percent support. Now why would that be?