Some welcome news:

Colonel Gaddafi's regime has sent one of its most trusted envoys to London for confidential talks with British officials, the Guardian can reveal. Mohammed Ismail, a senior aide to Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, visited London in recent days, British government sources familiar with the meeting have confirmed.

The contacts with Ismail are believed to have been one of a number between Libyan officials and the west in the last fortnight, amid signs that the regime may be looking for an exit strategy.

That, of course, would be the ideal solution. But who on earth would then take over?