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Blair 'must heed Thatcher lesson'

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posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 03:04 PM
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bbc news
Tony Blair has been warned by a top union leader not to repeat the mistake of Margaret Thatcher by staying on too long as prime minister.
Tony Woodley, head of the Transport and General Workers Union, urged an end to the uncertainty about Mr Blair's plans.

His appeal came as Labour MPs voiced anger and frustration at Mr Blair's refusal to use this month's Labour conference to give an exit timetable.

Mr Blair has told his critics: "Let me get on with the job."

And in a briefing with journalists in Scotland, he shrugged off comparisons with Mrs Thatcher's declaration to go "on and on", saying: "You pays your money and you takes your choice."

He said the last general election had only taken place 15 months ago and he wanted speculation about his future to end.

Mr Blair has already said he will step down before the next election but there is mounting pressure for him to go further and end speculation about his departure date.




time for blair to step down and let someone else take his place?
or will his party forcefully remove him if he doesnt step down or give a date to do so?




posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 04:52 PM
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comparing Thatcher and Blair, its like chalk and cheese.

Blair currently has more support in his cabinet than what Thatcher had when she was forced out by her own party.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 07:40 PM
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You've got to laugh at this.

Blair unlike all long-time PM's before him announces before the last general election that he would not just go on and on and on and that he would only serve the term if elected in may 2005 (but would also ensure sufficient time for the inevitable hand-over).

Then some Labour MP's, many of whom have always been anti-'New Labour'/Blair, end up in league with the tory party and tory press as they claim that the continuing 'uncertainty' and 'speculation' about when Blair is to step down exactly is damaging the party and the Labour government........as they themselves continue to speculate about it in the press etc etc.

Idiots.

Many of who are pretty same sort of blinkered ideologically driven idiots who turned on their own party in 1978-79 and look what that got us all.

The one good thing in all of this IMO is that Brown and Blair are astute politicians; Blair is far too handy a 'lightening rod' for Brown and there is absolutely no need for a general election for many years yet.

My bet is the announcement comes at next year's conference, not this.

Doing my Mystic Smeg impersonation.....

Autumn 2007 TB announces at party conference the mechanics of how the change is to be made.
Spring 2008 Labour party has contest and elects Gordon Brown to be leader.
Autumn 2008 or spring 2009 Brown calls general election and walks it on a wave of popularity as a man less to the right than Blair or Cameron with a good solid track record and who most of all is not Tony Blair.

We shall see.


[edit on 1-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 07:47 AM
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Have you seen Blair recently?

He looks like a broken man

The public has (in the Brit way of without actually doing anything about it!) turned aginst him over the war in Iraq but he does not have the balls to stand up to the USA over the War against Iran

If he joins in - it will be the end of him. Blair is too concerned about his legacy and history will not treat him kindly. Image is all to New Labour

He does not command the respect that Thatcher had, (personally: loathed her policy, admired the politician) you respected her either way and she stood up to the USA on many occasion (Greneda Falklands etc)

but who to replace him??



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 10:50 AM
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Originally posted by dj howls
Have you seen Blair recently?

He looks like a broken man


- Have you not noticed how all senior politicians start to look when they have been in the top job(s) for any length of time?

The job ages you. He has been doing it for 9yrs.
It's got nothing to do with being "broken".


The public has (in the Brit way of without actually doing anything about it!) turned aginst him over the war in Iraq but he does not have the balls to stand up to the USA over the War against Iran


- I think the truth is that the public never were especially enthused about Iraq (mainly because 'we' could see and couldn't stand the whole - repeated - Bush fraud).
I don't think there has been too much 'turning against' when they were never particularly for it.

Blair decided to stand with the US for geopolitical reasons far beyond Saddam, WMDs etc etc. In actual fact given a choice of siding with the US or not the UK is still a very pro-US country.
'We' just loath Bush and 'we' didn't like to be reminded of how subordinate the current reality placed 'us'.
Given the choice most people would have liked it both ways.
'With' the USA in terms of meaningful alliances but just not actually doing anything practical about it.
Blair simply did not have that luxury in a 'with us or against us' climate.

So, he acted to ensure the transatlantic link remained not only intact but strengthened and became of even greater importance that it was before - something more important, in the long run, than either Bush, Blair himself or any other transitory and petty considerations.

Whether one agrees with this stance or not the fact remains that to have not taken this course TB would have weakened the UK's political leverage in the world on several fronts (re the USA, the EU, Russia, China etc etc), something no sane British PM is ever going to knowingly do.

People might not like the workings of 'real politic' but you can't just wish it away.

IMO this will gain wider appreciation in time after he has gone.

(I did once read that in addition to the various financial deals the UK and US did during WW1 & WW2 there were several binding and wholly legal secret political protocols entered into which went towards 'paying' for those victories.
Who knows maybe the UK is secretly obligated when the US invokes a protocol?
It may be urban myth.......but what if it isn't, hmmmmm?)


Blair is too concerned about his legacy and history will not treat him kindly.


- This kind of comment amuses me.
Tony Blair will already leave a legacy and go down in history for the ground-breaking things he and this Labour government have accomplished already.
The idea that he is so desperately and obsessively concerned about something he is already assured of is not very credible IMO and really just indicative of the political slant of those writing or parroting this kind of stuff.


Image is all to New Labour


- I think you'll find that that is, again, the kind of laughable tabloid garbage more suited to the scribblings of lazy journo's in certain tory-supporting 'newspapers'.

Think about it.

The actual fact of the matter is that being in government and being able to implement your program for government is all to Labour
(and any other political party that was ever in any way serious about what they were at).


He does not command the respect that Thatcher had, (personally: loathed her policy, admired the politician)


- That strikes me as pure opinion.
Thatcher had horrendously terrible poll numbers at various points in her 'premiership'.
Internationally I don't think you can make a case for that either (and certainly not prove it).

In any case we shall see.
My bet is that shortly after he goes many people nominally neutral or even against him will (like Thatcher) start to feel more generous about it and begin to see him in a better light.
It also helps enormously that he has been so widely popular for such lengthy periods in the first place, something Thatcher rarely was.

IMO big clincher will be in terms of the economic record of his government(s).
The sustained growth and the lack of a battering to the pockets of the majority will go down very well......again, in stark contrast to the tory period.


you respected her either way


- Really?
I know plenty of people who still loath and despise her vehemently.


and she stood up to the USA on many occasion (Greneda Falklands etc)


- *?*

What?
How?
When?

If IIRC the gag at the time was how she sucked up to Reagan in the most stomach-turning manner.
Spitting Image's gag at the time was the Reagan puppet saying he wished he was doing to her what he was doing to 'her country'.

Weren't you there?
Don't you remember any of this?
(you do seem to be giving the impression you were)

Grenada in particular illustrated how she (for all that 'close-ness' with Reagan) had absolutely no clout whatsoever and how she, her government and the UK's legal position internationally were utterly ignored by the US gov in that episode and action.

Falklands?
Again, exactly what standing up?

She did little regarding the US but complain about Al Haig's attempts at diplomacy but for all of that still had to sit and await the outcome; it was not stopped.
That and take whatever satellite intel the US the US offered by way of a sop.


but who to replace him??


- I don't think anyone is going to be too shocked to see Brown replace Blair when the time comes.




[edit on 2-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 12:53 AM
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I think if memory serves correctly US wanted UK assistance in Greneda and Thatch said no

Also was under US pressure to give Falklands back (or at least sign some kind of agreement to in the future) Again she said no. When Argentina invaded she went to war against Reagans wishes

Not huge in the grand scheme of things but at least a little more than we have now

Time Trumpet may turn out to be the new Spitting Image(of sorts) made me chortle all the way thru last Thursday



posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by dj howls
I think if memory serves correctly US wanted UK assistance in Greneda and Thatch said no


- Thatcher was against the US invasion of Grenada and yet it made not the slightest bit of difference to the US policy and actions; in fact they deliberately misled her (lied to her face) over their intentions.

This is from Wiki (the article itself is under dispute but the statements by the public figures of the time and facts recounted in it remain the facts of the matter nevertheless) -


The invasion was opposed by the British government, because Grenada was part of the Commonwealth of Nations, and Queen Elizabeth was head of state as Queen of Grenada.

Grenada requested help from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was against any possible US invasion and her Foreign Secretary, Geoffrey Howe, announced to the House of Commons on the day before the invasion that he had no knowledge of any possible US intervention.
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States, assured her that an invasion was not contemplated.

Reagan later said "She was very adamant and continued to insist that we cancel our landings on Grenada. I couldn't tell her that it had already begun".

After the invasion, Prime Minister Thatcher wrote to President Reagan:

This action will be seen as intervention by a western country in the internal affairs of a small independent nation, however unattractive its regime. I ask you to consider this in the context of our wider East-West relations and of the fact that we will be having in the next few days to present to our Parliament and people the siting of Cruise missiles in this country...I cannot conceal that I am deeply disturbed by your latest communication.

en.wikipedia.org...


Also was under US pressure to give Falklands back (or at least sign some kind of agreement to in the future)


- Before the war the entire matter was being discussed on and off between the UK and Argentina at the UN.
US attitudes or preferences were neither here nor there.

Post the Argentine invasion US attitudes or preferences once again were inconsequential as the matter had to be settled and resolved between the UK and Argentina, once again any US preferred 'solution' proved to be utterly immaterial......and in fact US government opinion was split.

There were also several UN resolutions in Britain's favour.

.....and still the UK still had to sit by and await Al Haig's diplomatic efforts, 'we' could not get them stopped....or, as you have put it, "stand up to them".

Those diplomatic efforts failed because of the Argentinians' attitudes and responses, not because the UK refused to accept any private 'US plan', actually.


Again she said no. When Argentina invaded she went to war against Reagans wishes


- Reagan did not at any time ask he UK not to attempt to take back the Falklands; where are you getting this stuff from?

In fact it was the total US inaction (to what were both her allies) that was extremely irking to the British who believed the NATO obligation (where the UK saw this as an attack on a NATO ally of the USA and therefore in that 'senior position' the UK ought to have been able to invoke direct material aid and assistance) over-rode any other concerns.

Like I said as a sop the US provided some satellite intel and very little else (the only other tangible thing I can think of was that they later agreed to restock the RN's AIM9L Sidewinder missiles which proved to be so effective for the Sea Harriers).


Not huge in the grand scheme of things but at least a little more than we have now


- Actually the phrase 'nothing at all' is the more correct and accurate description of what you have attempted to claim.

Jayzuss wept, take me through it and explain how you reckon this, eh?

You want to compare a situation where the then British government was so servile in it's attitudes to the US administration that it said and did nothing at all publicly when the US actually attacks, invades and occupies British commonwealth territory(!) but yet to you, somehow, you rate that stance as "a little more" (what, independent or contrary?) to how the UK government is to the US now!?
"More" than what?
How does that work?

Or your next 'example' is to try and compare a relationship so powerless and lacking in clout that even when (irrespective of the arguments surrounding how 'we' arrived at that state of affairs) British territory was attacked, invaded and occupied the UK was met and served up such obvious delay and equivocation and a plain refusal to publicly back the British position (NATO allies, no less) that that is, again, "a little more" than now!?

I'd be interested in hearing what would be a really big 'something' to you!


Time Trumpet may turn out to be the new Spitting Image(of sorts) made me chortle all the way thru last Thursday


- That's as maybe but it does miss the point somewhat.

Contrary to your earlier claim there was at the time (just as there remains now) a sizable segment of negative British opinion of Thatcher and her relationship with Reagan in particular (which, as with some of Blair's critics today, saw it as pretty much a one-way street with no particular benefit to the UK).
It was neither warm, appreciative or respectful.
Quite the opposite in fact.

You turned up 2 particularly poor examples of Thatcher supposedly "standing up to the US".
Each actually demonstrated she first of all had little or no clout with the US and did not actually publicly stand up to the US at all.....and secondly your original claim was that "she stood up to the USA on many occasion".
What other occasions, when?
How?

The examples you gave of her "standing up" made not a shred of difference and in any event the truth is that there was no actual public "standing up" anyway.

Not a word of public criticism over Grenada (everyone at the time knew she was wriggling horribly on the hook over it)
and
not a word of public criticism over the US refusal to publicly back the UK position until long after it was obvious the US diplomatic efforts were going nowhere.

Your memory is a bit faulty IMO.



posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 01:46 PM
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- This kind of comment amuses me.

Tony Blair will already leave a legacy and go down in history for the ground-breaking things he and this Labour government have accomplished already.
The idea that he is so desperately and obsessively concerned about something he is already assured of is not very credible IMO and really just indicative of the political slant of those writing or parroting this kind of stuff.


Alot of people in this country will look back at his Legacy and say the lies he told to everyone over Iraq. Is his Legacy, agree or disagree, all the other things he has acclompished over his term as the Prime Minister is over shadowed by His failures in Iraq.

Like it ir not but that is His Legacy.



posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by spencerjohnstone
Alot of people in this country will look back at his Legacy and say the lies he told to everyone over Iraq


- I have no doubt that this will be true of some.

But I think you'll find history shows us that others will tend to be more generous.

Some will agree that he took a difficult decision on the basis of flawed intel (which was hardly unique to the UK) and others will simply say that they did not agree with the decision taken, an honest disagreement.
It happens.


Is his Legacy, agree or disagree, all the other things he has acclompished over his term as the Prime Minister is over shadowed by His failures in Iraq.

Like it ir not but that is His Legacy.


- No.

That is what the 'legacy' is for those consumed by the issue of the Iraqi war.

I'd bet that for most Britains (over 25 - 30) the true and greatest 'legacy', hugely appreciated by most, will be the peace, however imperfect, in Northern Ireland.....
......even if some of the political opponents and Iraq obsessives insist otherwise and leap on every relatively tiny imperfection as proof of it's worthlessness.

Other people take a far more broad view and do not think every molecule of British politics revolves around the single issue of Iraq (particularly when all the major British parties now agree that however 'we' got there 'we' aren't just for walking out).
Sorry but they just don't.

The sad irony of this is that the kind of black and white insistant view which only allows for Iraq to be all that can be considered to matter in British politics is not that far removed from the closed, narrow and one dimensional determined view those warped radicalised zealot young Muslims hold.

But it's nothing new, it tends to go with the territory when people are a certain young age.
Back in the 70's & 80's it wasn't hard to find equally zealous screaming young CND'ers convinced that the UK & USA were on the verge of blowing the entire world to an over-killed nuclear holocaust and that the defence policies of the UK and it's nuclear strategies were all that mattered in life.

But people grow up and the world stops seeming to appear in such stark 'black and whites' and the whole host of difficult grey shades, the prioritising and the compromises real life demands start to reveal themselves.

Just as, with time, some people stopped thinking the Thatcher 'legacy' simply revolved around her record economic recession, her record mass unemployment or the wars she was involved in
(particularly Northern Ireland, when many believed she pig-headedly went out of her way to turn an appallingly bad situation worse, especially in regard to the 'hunger strike' which was a huge boost to the PIRA).


[edit on 4-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 09:31 AM
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bbc
Tony Blair has faced a wave of resignations by junior members of his government over his refusal to name a date for resignation as Labour leader.
He branded ex-junior minister Tom Watson, the most senior person to quit, "disloyal, discourteous and wrong" for signing a letter urging him to go.

The resignations came as Mr Blair faces growing pressure to name a departure date or even quit now.

Gordon Brown backers say assurances he will go by May are "not good enough".

'Great sadness'

Mr Watson and the six parliamentary private secretaries (PPSs) - who are unpaid ministerial aides at the bottom rung of the government ladder - were among 17 normally loyal Labour MPs who signed a letter calling on Mr Blair to quit.



a small update



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 09:44 AM
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But I think you'll find history shows us that others will tend to be more generous.

Some will agree that he took a difficult decision on the basis of flawed intel (which was hardly unique to the UK) and others will simply say that they did not agree with the decision taken, an honest disagreement.
It happens.


haha This gets me he took the decision on flawed intel, He knew that it was alot of crap even before he went into Iraq so dont hit me with you'r he didnt know b/crap.

It was not an honest disagreement, how many Cabinet Ministers resigned in protest over the War in Iraq. History will show his Legacy will be Iraq.

He will be gone soon anyways good ridance as far as Im concerned.



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 09:45 AM
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Dear Tony,

The Labour Party has been my life since I was 15 years old.

I have served the Party at every conceivable level and your own leadership since 1994 in a dozen different capacities, latterly as MP for West Bromwich East, a Government Whip, and as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence.

My loyalty to you personally, as well as to the Party and the values we stand for, has been absolute and unswerving.

The struggle to fashion the kind of credible, convincing, effective Labour Party you now lead has been the preoccupation of my adult years.

My pride in what our government has achieved under your leadership is beyond expression.

We have revolutionised the lives and expectations of millions of our citizens, combining social justice with prosperity in a way which is unprecedented in the history of our country.

Your leadership has been visionary and remarkable.

The party and the nation owes you an incalculable debt.

So it is with the greatest sadness that I have to say that I no longer believe that your remaining in office is in the interest of either the party or the country.

How and why this situation has arisen no longer matters.

I share the view of the overwhelming majority of the party and the country that the only way the Party and the Government can renew itself in office is urgently to renew its leadership.

For the sake of the legacy you have long said is the only one that matters - a renewed Labour party re-elected at the next general election - I urge you to reconsider your determination to remain in office.

As you know, I had a conversation with the Chief Whip last night, in which she asked me to withdraw my support from the 2001 intake's letter calling on you to stand down, or my position would be untenable as a government minister.

I have reflected on this overnight.

I cannot withdraw my name, and therefore I accept her judgement.

I do not believe that statements so far give us the clarity necessary to progress over the next year.

Nor do I believe that newspaper reports of potential dates which may have appeared since I signed the 2001 intake's letter can provide the clarity the party and the country so desperately need.

It is with the greatest regret, therefore, that I must leave the Government.

Yours ever,

Tom Watson MP
West Bromwich East


source

now that the labour members are revolting out in the open it can only be a matter of time before he has to go, the only reason he seems to be hanging around is a desperate attemp to save his public image as proved by the leaked report yesterday about his farewell tour



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 10:38 AM
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Re Iraq
Whether you like it or not the fact is that the allegation that the government deliberately misled the people and Parliament has not been substantiated despite 4 formal enquiries into the matter.

You'll also find that the UK government was hardly alone in being in error over this.

But it's quite clear that those obsessed and determined to take a one-dimensional view over this issue will no matter what is said (cos despite the various enquiries - read in total bu how many? - they all suddenly imagine themselves to be expert in the matter, graced as they are by 20/20 hindsight).


It might also be worth pointing out that the decisions on whether or not to go to war Iraq are dead as an issue here.
The next election will not be dominated by it (and even tho it 'played' in the last it did not stop TB take a 3rd historic win for Labour last time anyway).


The fact that Parliament had a free vote (a first and an extension of democracy and also a rolling back of the powers of perogative, not forgetting a precedent, actually) on the matter rarely seems to enter into the equation either.


The resignation today of 7 such small and very junior people (nobody had heard of before) over the ridiculous (not to mention utterly disloyal) letter they stupidly put their name to earlier in the week (so much for collective responsibility huh?) isn't exactly earth-shattering either.


How can anyone seriously say "it can only be a matter of time before he has to go"?
Talk about stating the bleeding obvious.
He only said publicly in 2004 that he was going to step down, himself!

.....and once again those consumed with a dislike will attempt to forward any absurd 'proof' (cooo, I read it in The Sun or The Mirror, well that certainly proves everything about it, eh?) of his reasoning.

In fact Cameron's description of the government being in "melt-down" over it really says a lot about his own sense of desperation and poor judgement!


Seriously, whilst I have my own criticism of this government and people within it this kind of petty quibbling over non-issues, small jibes and generally feeble 'points' - so typical of the opposition and their media friends since Labour came to power in 1997 - are really the hallmarks of why Labour has been so successful - out in the country with the actual electorate - to date.
On the big domestic and serious issues they are still pretty much untouchable (and the tory party remain without any serious policy worth mentioning).


The fact is that Labour are again utterly dominating the agenda
(all publicity is good publicity, remember).
It is Labour in the headlines, it is Blair and Brown once again filling the column inches with their own little brand of a 'good cop/bad cop' routine and talking about their plans.
It's been very nice of the opposition to remain so short-sighted and complaint abot all of this over the years.


10yrs and still going strong........and just watch the poll 'bounce' when Brown takes over.
This is all just helping Brown (as the 'not T. Blair but still safe Labour - with an excellent track record' candidate) and the Labour party come the general election and win No.4.


[edit on 6-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 02:27 PM
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Whether you like it or not the fact is that the allegation that the government deliberately misled the people and Parliament has not been substantiated despite 4 formal enquiries into the matter.


And whether you like it or not the Government lied not only to the MP'S of Parliement, they the gov also lied to rest of the country.

I suppose the resgnations of those ex-ministers had nothing to do with Blair and co lying in the first place hmmmmms.




But it's quite clear that those obsessed and determined to take a one-dimensional view over this issue will no matter what is said (cos despite the various enquiries - read in total bu how many? - they all suddenly imagine themselves to be expert in the matter, graced as they are by 20/20 hindsight).


And you yourself seem to think your insight is better than anyone elses on this thread. Lol right, most of those enquries indicated that the Gov was at fault for misleading Parliement and also the British Population. Oh and I suppose you have experience in this too eh?



It might also be worth pointing out that the decisions on whether or not to go to war Iraq are dead as an issue here.


According to you it is dead is it? Where is hre? you mean ATS or the UK. It is not from where I am from Iraq is constantly being raised to politicians, as well as Afghanistan, and the amount of troops who are being killed everyday.




The fact that Parliament had a free vote (a first and an extension of democracy and also a rolling back


And the fact remains alot of those MP's who had a free vote on Iraq, have turn round and agreed they were mislead and lied to by the Gov, if they had toi make the decision again they would have voted against going to war with Iraq.




Seriously, whilst I have my own criticism of this government and people within it this kind of petty quibbling over non-issues, small jibes and generally feeble 'points' - so typical of the opposition and their media friends since Labour came to power in 1997 - are really the hallmarks of why Labour has been so successful - out in the country with the actual electorate - to date.


That is a matter of opinion, they way they are going about things right now, a former Minister has warned that it will take years for the Labour party to be as it once was be cause of all the speculation and in fighting on what dates or days T. Blair will be leaving office.



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by spencerjohnstone
And whether you like it or not the Government lied not only to the MP'S of Parliement, they the gov also lied to rest of the country.


- No they didn't.
Being mistaken and wrong is not the same a lying.

Like I said you'll find the UK government was not alone in being wrong about the Iraq intel (and it wasn't just the US, several European countries also believed they had intel about the kinds of WMDs claimed.....Italy for instance was one source of the 'yellow cake' uranium faulty intel).


I suppose the resgnations of those ex-ministers had nothing to do with Blair and co lying in the first place.


- If you'd specify which resignations you are referring to we could look at their resignation speeches and see?
Who are you referring to?


And you yourself seem to think your insight is better than anyone elses on this thread.


- No, I am merely sticking to the facts of what was said not an interpretation of what was said.
You keep claiming the reports and enquiries said they had lied but that is simply not true.


most of those enquries indicated that the Gov was at fault for misleading Parliement and also the British Population.


- Actually not one of those enquiries concluded that the government had deliberately misled anyone......hence the claims of a 'whitewash'.

There was agreement that intel was flawed - but as the Foreign Affairs committee said in their report that was in large part because the UK was too reliant on intel which actually turned out to be (sometimes knowingly and sometimes not) US sourced.


Oh and I suppose you have experience in this too eh?


- No. Just reading legislation and government-speak.


According to you it is dead is it? Where is hre? you mean ATS or the UK. It is not from where I am from Iraq is constantly being raised to politicians, as well as Afghanistan, and the amount of troops who are being killed everyday.


- The question of whether or not to send troop and be involved in the invasion is a dead issue.

British troops are now in Iraq (and Afghanistan for that matter) under proper UN mandate.


And the fact remains alot of those MP's who had a free vote on Iraq, have turn round and agreed they were mislead and lied to by the Gov, if they had toi make the decision again they would have voted against going to war with Iraq.


- Of course the political opponents would make such claims.

This is especially rich considering the then tory leader saying that he would not have bothered with the "dithering" of attempting to gain the first and then second UN resolution.

Not only that but all the major parties agree 'we' cannot now just walk off and leave Iraq or Afghanistan to a civil war or a return to fundamentalism).

20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing, eh?
That and a series of 'old news' criticisms with no actual different and constructive suggestions for what should happen now, hmmm?


That is a matter of opinion, they way they are going about things right now, a former Minister has warned that it will take years for the Labour party to be as it once was be cause of all the speculation and in fighting on what dates or days T. Blair will be leaving office.


- Of course it is opinion.
Just as the guy you referred to is giving his opinion.

But I am simply saying you should be open to the fact that there is more than one view on this.
Claims that this current episode is so bad may in fact turn out to be far off of the mark come 2009/10
(just as all those years of stories about the electorally damaging effect of the supposed 'bad blood' between GB and TB have been to date).



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 07:45 AM
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Well given the way Blair skilfully chose between giving a date now, and giving a promise limiting him to 12 months I reckon Thatcher could have learnt something from him. Maybe if she had said “I'm going” “Nearly gone” “No really I am going” she would still be prime minister?


Personally I don’t care if Tony Blair stays; his name in history is mud anyway so it won’t matter if the Labour Party falls around him. I think Brown will lack the ability to use his words so deceivingly; but that he won’t be that far of Blair's standard. I reckon Brown will be more of the same just as so too will Cameron. But given browns “compulsory cadet force idea”
education.independent.co.uk...
thescotsman.scotsman.com...
www.alba.org.uk...
I actually wonder if Cameron will be the more liberal minded out of the two of them?

Reply to Sminkeypinkey


I think the truth is that the public never were especially enthused about Iraq (mainly because 'we' could see and couldn't stand the whole - repeated - Bush fraud).
I don't think there has been too much 'turning against' when they were never particularly for it.


Well then doesn’t that make what Blair did even more morally unsound? From the sounds of it, although he has been democratically given the authority to do what he did, he has long lacked a democratic mandate (in the form of popular support). It’s one thing to make the wrong decision, doing it without popular support is surely a definition of “bad leadership”?


Given the choice most people would have liked it both ways.
'With' the USA in terms of meaningful alliances but just not actually doing anything practical about it.
Blair simply did not have that luxury in a 'with us or against us' climate.


Oh yeah and what would it have lost us? “The poodle relationship” which just makes us an even bigger terrorist target? Name something tangible we would have lost out on. Do you think George Bush would put sanctions on us if we didn’t support his war on Iraq? (He hasn’t done that to France) (well yet anyway).


the fact remains that to have not taken this course TB would have weakened the UK's political leverage


Actually I think we are weaker than ever. Our political leverage has fallen along with the U.S (which was recently sealed by our total support for Israelis war against Lebanon-the Lebanese; made worse by the fact we helped the U.S deliver weapons to Lebanon when the war was in progress). In fact (just like the U.S) our only political leverage seems to come from two sources: our economy, and our military. This may be perfectly adequate but the point is that in international politics its as low as it could get; it simply couldn’t get any lower without directly messing up these things which are both (firstly) the products of domestic and not international political decisions.


I did once read that in addition to the various financial deals the UK and US did during WW1 & WW2 there were several binding and wholly legal secret political protocols entered into which went towards 'paying' for those victories.


Well if their secret maybe the public won’t mind if we forget about them? Even so, very good point.


The actual fact of the matter is that being in government and being able to implement your program for government is all to Labour

Yeah and image is a massive part of that of course. The reason why people say things like “Image is all to Labour” is because they don’t have a great reputation for giving straight answers. That’s not new; what is, is the creation (or at the very least perfection of) something dubbed as “New Labour Speak”. An almost intangible riddle of words which somehow leaves you thinking the question has been answered only you’ve been too stupid to ether understand or concentrate. Even though in actural fact nothing has been answered and nothing has been promised.

Perhaps Sminkeypinkey Blair isn’t concerned about his legacy? But if I were him I certainly would be! I mean historians are going to have a great time studying the way the government was cleared by “independent inquiry” of sexing the war in Iraq up. Whether Blair knew Iraq had no WMD’s and countless other things.

This war in Iraq business is not as insignificant in history as it might currently seem. Right now it just seems like a third world country (which used to be almost first world before 1991) in total meltdown. Lots of people are dying there, but lots of people also die in Africa (partly because we like to export weapons).
Iraq is significant because it’s highly relevant to the situation we find ourselves in with Iran. It’s relevant because it shows what happens when you unilaterally disarm yourself of WMD’s (especially if we knew Saddam had disarmed which I think we did). After all breaking down his command and control structure (with WMD’s) would (almost inevitably) lead to some of those WMD’s falling into the hands of terrorists; from there, there can only be one destination (Israel).

Blair might be remembered for saying education 3 times and spending bucket loads of money on the NHS. But his social spending programmes haven’t been nearly as radical as the last socialist governments. They after all built the NHS and designed much of the welfare state. Which is a shame because though I don’t like socialistic economic ideology I like the effectiveness of their public spending policies.

If Cameron does exactly what Blair would do with Public Private Finance Inionative’s ect then chances are we won’t have much (out of the ordinary) to remember Blair for at all apart from Draconian Terrorist Legislation, Pioneering Propaganda, and Iraq of course (Blair’s Special Place in History). It’s a scary combination isn’t it? Let’s hope we don’t have too many leaders quite like him?

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 08:38 AM
link   


- No they didn't.

Being mistaken and wrong is not the same a lying.



Conservative leader Michael Howard says Mr Blair lied over the war. Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy says that "there is no doubt that we were misled" with regard to "the threat that we were under as a country" and "the true aims of government policy" and has called for an independent inquiry.

It added: "Language in the dossier and used by the prime minister may have left readers with the impression that there was fuller and firmer intelligence than was the case."

But the report said it had no evidence of deliberate distortion of the intelligence

With hindsight, everyone agrees that much of the intelligence that the UK (and US) government published to justify their case for war against Iraq was unreliable.


That proves without a doubt that they mislead and lied to readers, i.e. the public over the reasoning of going to War in Iraq in the first place.

Link




If you'd specify which resignations you are referring to we could look at their resignation speeches and see?


Claire Short - Overseas Minister Resigned, Robin Cook Foreign Secretary Resigned, Robin Cook was the first minister to resign over the Iraq War. Clair Short followed him a week later. Now dont tell that their resignations were irelevant. It was relevent to the Iraq War.

Robin Cooks Resignation Speech

Clair Shorts Resignation Letter

The Rest of your posting I will reply to them later when I have more time.[

[edit on 8-9-2006 by spencerjohnstone]



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 12:08 PM
link   

Originally posted by Liberal1984
From the sounds of it, although he has been democratically given the authority to do what he did, he has long lacked a democratic mandate (in the form of popular support).


- Sorry lib but that's just gibberish and illogical.

You also seem unable to make the distinction that under our system our politicians are elected to be representatives of the people, not delegates.


It’s one thing to make the wrong decision, doing it without popular support is surely a definition of “bad leadership”?


- If crass populism is always the entirety of your definition of 'good leadership' then I suppose you would have a point.
Thankfully I think most people believe otherwise.


Oh yeah and what would it have lost us?


- Luckily we are not in a position to find out.
The UK continues to rank as the USA's most dependable ally.
You might find that worthless but plenty of serious and adult commentators around the globe take it seriously.

If you seriously think the UK would have been better off chosing to be where France is now with the US 'body politic' then that is your affair but again I suggest you'd find few backing you.


Actually I think we are weaker than ever.


- You are entitled to your opinion, as always.


recently sealed by our total support for Israelis war against Lebanon-the Lebanese


- Well that's one determined interpretation of events.

Of course the other is that an empty, pointless and wholly ineffective series of condemnation could have worked against getting the various people around the table and the cease-fire established.

Your idea that a refusal to engage in gesture politics means the the UK was in "total support" of Israel is sadly, if typically, amusing too.

Britain has, and continues to have, very good links with the 'Arab World', actually.


Well if their secret maybe the public won’t mind if we forget about them? Even so, very good point.


- Well that's the point of secret protocols between nations, they aren't meant to be made public.
That may be urban myth and on the other hand when the 100yr secrets limit is up we might (those of us still here) find out.

Given the choice between no help and certain defeat in WW2 or a 100yr massive and sometimes costly secret I think it not unreasonable that if such a protocol exists that the protocol was the chosen course of action.


they don’t have a great reputation for giving straight answers.


- Are we still supposed to be talking politics or scouts honour here?

Cos if you're going to attempt to claim Labour - a political party - are somehow in the wrong for acting politically the way grown up adults in politics do just like in any other political party almost anywhere then I suggest one retires to building matchstick models alone, joins the local monestary or finds something equally quiet, deadly and rigidly honest in every possible way.

Stop crying over adult human nature lib.
Real politics (where actual power is exercised) demands compromises and the prioritising of conflicting needs.
It will deal with real people as they are.
It will try and help and encourage those it can and it will make mistakes or simply fail some, such is the human condition.

It isn't Church.

The real reason why critics complain about Labour being adept with managing their image and their media presence is because they're good at it.
Simple as.

If the others were capable they'd be no different
(and in fact when it was their turn they were no different......for those old enough to recall it was Mrs Thatch that began all of this by imported many of Ronald Reagan's ideas of 'professional presentation'......although the real truth is that 'spin' etc in one form or another has always been with us and good politicians have always been good at it.)


An almost intangible riddle of words which somehow leaves you thinking the question has been answered only you’ve been too stupid to ether understand or concentrate.


- Go watch some old historical news and old political programs lib.

You are way off-beam to suggest this is in the slightest bit new.

The only difference is that now when we are watching Ministers comment we don't get a host old Etonians (and 'the public' can be and are so much more direct).
They used to make some of the most appalling empty and curt comments as if the public has little or no right to question their competence or right to govern at all.


But if I were him I certainly would be!


- Do you know that probably speaks volumes.
Projection can be a very unpleasant thing.


I mean historians are going to have a great time studying the way the government was cleared by “independent inquiry” of sexing the war in Iraq up. Whether Blair knew Iraq had no WMD’s and countless other things.


- Maybe you missed the fact that they already have been and are.
There's nothing like a subject being contemporary for it to be given the most thorough going over.

Ask yourself how many real serious furores you can recall that have been caused by documents released under the 30yr rule?
Or how about the 75?
Or the 100?

My bet is so few that maybe you weren't even aware there was a 75 or 100yr rule (and they're supposed to be the really big secrets to be kept quiet).


But his social spending programmes haven’t been nearly as radical as the last socialist governments.


- Harold Wilson's 1960's regimes weren't especially radical in terms of the social investment norms of the day and his mid 1970's government had 2 good years (in terms of public sector investment) and then was followed by hefty cuts following the intervention of the IMF.
(Ironically we now know, because of things like the 'lag' in economic data that the IMF was not actually needed)

The really radical government in terms of public investment was the 1945 government.....cos the country had been utterly wrecked and impoverished by WW2.

So complaints that New Labour hasn't been as radical as the 1945 government are a tad silly IMO - 1945 was such a grotesquely unusual set of circumstances with the country having to effectively be rebuilt in large parts and major enterprises taken over and run by the state as the private sector was in no fit state, regardless of the political ideal of the time.


It’s a scary combination isn’t it? Let’s hope we don’t have too many leaders quite like him?


- No it's a silly combination.

It's a combination that merely chooses what you consider (from your POV) 'bad'.

You prefer to leave out things like Northern Ireland, the minimum wage, the child-care tax credits, the huge boost in overseas aid, the huge reduction in unemployment and the tandem record levels of employment, record living standards and record home-ownership etc etc.

Just because these things are worthless or inconvenient to your POV does not in fact render the actually worthless in the grand scheme of things, for all of these things (and more) are the measures by which political success or failure is gauged for all the parties or PM's when their time is ended.


Originally posted by spencerjohnstone
That proves without a doubt that they mislead and lied to readers, i.e. the public over the reasoning of going to War in Iraq in the first place.


- sj a comment or two by senior members of the opposition parties does not actually 'prove' a single thing.

You claimed the various formal enquiries and reports have said - outright - that the government had lied, so, go on then, you made the claim so you provide this so-called 'proof'.


Claire Short - Overseas Minister Resigned


- Ah yes, dear Claire.
Not the most senior Ministerial position but true enough she did resign.

She was against the war and believed like Cook that it was unnecessary......not quite backing your claim that she resigned because the government lied though is it?

She also really took her time about it didn't she?
When did the war start and when did she resign on such high and mighty 'principle', hmmmmm?

.....and if you actually read her statement in the link you provided you'd see that she does not talk about lies over the WMD issue in the build up to the war either.


Robin Cook Foreign Secretary Resigned, Robin Cook was the first minister to resign over the Iraq War.


- Once again if you actually read your own link that shows what Robin Cook said he did not talk about Blair and/or the government's deception or lies, he spoke about preferring to give the weapons inspections more time....and was actually complimentary about the PM.

That is a wholly different matter to the claims you have made.


Clair Short followed him a week later.


- No she didn't, actually.

Go look up the dates and set yourself straight.


Now dont tell that their resignations were irelevant. It was relevent to the Iraq War.


- I have not said they were 'irrelevant', Cook's departure in particular robbed the government of one of it's most able and sharp thinkers.

What I have said is that they were not for the reasons you have claimed.



posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 09:42 PM
link   
1. What you call “crass populism” is what I call “democracy in action”. After all if the arguments for going to war in Iraq were so strong, and if Blair is a good communicator then he should have been able to convince the public that war was a good thing without resorting to untruths (WMD’s and Saddam the friend of Al Qaeda, for instance). Fact is Blair is a good communicator but the truthful argument-logics for going to war in Iraq aren’t that strong; otherwise why doesn’t he have the public behind him?

Are they too stupid to realise that 7000 deaths in one month is a good thing? That empowering a country where 60% of the population are Muslim fundamentalists is actually a brilliant idea?

Making decisions that the public doesn’t like is ok to if the public comes round to liking them. That’s undeniably strong leadership.
Making decisions the public never likes is poor leadership. But doing it by resorting to untruths is bad leadership (the kind you expect from a dictatorship). After all isn’t that what they do? They convince the public by misleading them; and if things don’t go well they just mislead them again. Trouble is that misleading isn’t my kind of leadership (although it’s obviously a pillar of Blair’s).

2. As for us being in Frances position it would mean that 118 of our soldiers killed in Iraq would still be alive (and many more without truly horrific injuries; like a guy missing one and a half legs I met about 4 months ago), it would mean several billion pounds would still be ours to spend on stuff like more prisons; and “I guess” it would mean we would be a far smaller terrorist target. According to the terrorists who did 7/7 it was revenge for Iraq www.guardian.co.uk...
Now maybe they could be lying but given the political context; and that they actually did those actions I believe them. After all if they were lying it kind of entails that they’ve had a last minute change of mind about why they did them. Hence without Iraq the 52 commuters, and 700 injured could plausibly have been totally avoided.
The I.D cards which got through parliament mostly on the back of (the then more recent) terror would probably have been significantly watered down (liberalised in this case) failing that they may-probably would not have got through politics which means one of the issues which p***** me of most would not be happening.

Of course you rightfully point out that being in Frances position would mean being in the U.S bad books for a while (although what really seemed to have annoyed the U.S public the most is that they thought France had backed out of the war at the last minute; this is something we may or may not have faced).
But regarding being in U.S good books all you have to do is send a couple of hundred troops as peacekeepers to Lebanon; and suddenly wow!! You’re in their good books again. The fact we’ve always had a highly active role in Afghanistan (even before the Iraq war) also acts in our favour. We certainly would not have faced; so you see (in light of everything I’ve just said) I disagree with you when you “fortunately we are not in a position to find out”.

3.

Britain has, and continues to have, very good links with the 'Arab World', actually.

Doesn’t nearly every country?
But what are you referring too? The dictatorship of Saudi Arabia?
Egypt which represents its people so much that groups like the Muslim brotherhood can’t stand?
Or are you referring to the “Iraqi government” we effectively put in, and which so successfully keeps order of the lawns and flowerbeds within the Green Zone? (Through security our “Coalition of The Willing” provides) (Ironic as it’s this security which seems to be at the heart of the success of nearly everything they do).

Because ultimately it’s all very well for Britain to have good relationships with Arab governments-regimes which do not represent their people. Un till that is it comes to something like the war on terror (which is it not?) essentially a battle of hearts and minds (of people)?
This is why something like our unbroken support Israel’s war against the Lebanon people is wholly relevant (and not just on a moral front).

You seem to think that cutting of arms sales to Israel until they at least stooped bombing “terrorist” power stations and international airlines would do nothing. I think differently; I think Israel is a population of 6.25 million people and ours is one approaching 60 million. So if we want to make Israel’s lives difficult we can, we can give them a conscience (which would ultimately be in their peoples own interests) or at the very least we can demand they have one (which greatly boost our international standing with the people; and hence potential terrorists, of mother earth).

4.

The real reason why critics complain about Labour being adept with managing their image and their media presence is because they're good at it.
Simple as.


Agreed. But we are totally within our rights to dislike it, to dislike its effects on us.
And we’re within our rights to dislike the ideological empty, morally empty, soulless political model which all three political parties seem to aspire to.
So yes New Labour is good at it, but don’t think it bringing them power is the only reason why it’s disliked; it’s disliked for what it is (simple as).
Who knows maybe an alternative to this approach will (someday) offer another party votes? (Or is that just dreaming?)

5. Finally there’s no 30 or 100 year rule covering the knowledge that Iraq had no WMD’s or Saddam hated Al Qaeda. These things are public knowledge which is why they are going to form such a central part to Blair’s reputation.
However pioneering propaganda, and draconian protest legislation (including civil liberty infringements in the form of I.D cards) are also going to be central.

You might not like it but every PM since Churchill has been remembered most for the bad things they have done. With John Major it’s losing the Tories power; or something like Black Wednesday. With Thatcher it’s the near third world poverty introduced by the ruthlessly fast-vicious way she pulled the plug on Britain’s steel works and other heavy industries. Or perhaps it’s the poll tax riots?
With the past socialist governments it’s collectively their poor economic management, and the way they presided over union militarism (or indeed were held hostage by them).

And in a way it’s healthy that people remember mistakes most; as its mistakes (more than successful ways of doing things) that we need to remember to avoid most. So with Blair’s legacy facing the charges of: war, pioneering propaganda, and draconian protest legislation perhaps he can take some comfort from this “psychological public remembering phenomenon”?

However with past socialist governments they are recognised for having built the NHS, and designing the modern welfare state. With the Tories they are recognised for reducing general taxation (it’s still lower today) and for doing a lot for our economy.

With Blair there is peace with Northern Ireland; however the peace process was already under way in Major’s final years, and many would argue it was the previous years of violence, the changing attitudes of Americans to towards Irish Republicanism (particularly after 9/11) which really nailed the final nail in the IRA’s coffin (far more than anything Blair actually did.
The

the minimum wage, the child-care tax credits, the huge boost in overseas aid, the huge reduction in unemployment and the tandem record levels of employment, record living standards and record home-ownership etc etc.
are kind of expected and are already paling into insignificance (in terms of public consciousness) compared with the first three things I said (war, pioneering propaganda, and draconian protest legislation). So you see it’s not just my POV (and hence the problems for Blair’s “sad” legacy).

Basically it’s so bad that Blair doesn’t have to head the lessons of Thatcher. He can stay as long as he can. Of course it would be bad if he was chucked out by his own party; but given he doesn’t have very long I would be surprised if he’ll be that “unlucky”. (And even if it happens; he’ll still be remembered most for other things).



posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 07:05 AM
link   

Originally posted by Liberal1984
1. What you call “crass populism” is what I call “democracy in action”.


- Perhaps that's just because in this instance it happens to suit your POV?


if the arguments for going to war in Iraq were so strong, and if Blair is a good communicator then he should have been able to convince the public that war was a good thing without resorting to untruths (WMD’s and Saddam the friend of Al Qaeda, for instance).


-It appears that you prefer the "lie" interpretation as opposed to the flawed intel (which, at the time, applied to several countries, not just the UK).


why doesn’t he have the public behind him?


- The public rarely 'go' for long and protracted far-away foreign wars and this is particularly true when it is seen to be at the behest of a US President large numbers of them loathe profundly.

Mind you, the idea that they want an instant withdrawl now is another (highly debateable) matter.


Making decisions that the public doesn’t like is ok to if the public comes round to liking them. That’s undeniably strong leadership.
Making decisions the public never likes is poor leadership.


- ?!

So what happens if it is always the right decision but the public never comes around to liking it?


They convince the public by misleading them; and if things don’t go well they just mislead them again. Trouble is that misleading isn’t my kind of leadership


- Every government that ever was presents it's case in the best light it can. You can call it spin but that doesn't make it (necessarily) a lie.


As for us being in Frances position it would mean that 118 of our soldiers killed in Iraq would still be alive (and many more without truly horrific injuries; like a guy missing one and a half legs I met about 4 months ago)


- Horrible as those numbers are, that's probably about the most cowardly argument going.
Good job people didn't think like this 60yrs+ years ago, eh?


what really seemed to have annoyed the U.S public the most is that they thought France had backed out of the war at the last minute


- Eh? Where did you get this from?
This is plain wrong.

The French hostility to the 1st UN resolution and their refusal to back the 2nd made it clear the French never were 'for' the war right from the start.


But regarding being in U.S good books all you have to do is send a couple of hundred troops as peacekeepers to Lebanon; and suddenly wow!! You’re in their good books again.


- You might fool yourself with this kind of wishful thinking but the truth is that 'France' and 'the French' in large parts of the US have become a by-word for suspect, unreliable and not really an ally at all.

.....and will remain so for many years for so many there (those attitudes will not just die out when this administration goes, they are ingrained for at least a generation).

That might mean nothing to you but which British PM (of any party) would deliberately weaken the linkage to the UK's best and strongest single ally.....or weaken that linkage for the rest of Europe too through their actions.

Even that populist idiot Cameron today is today trying to be all things to all men (again) as he attempts to claim a 'non neo-con' foreign policy stance yet not be anti-US.


I disagree with you when you “fortunately we are not in a position to find out”.


- That's the idea.
Different views.



what are you referring too? The dictatorship of Saudi Arabia?
Egypt


- Yes.
Along with Kuwait, Jordan, Oman, Syria (relations have become much better recently), the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Libya.

They may not be the best examples of what 'we' might prefer in terms of democratic open countries but they are what they are and the situation is as it is.
'We' can only work with those there, not what 'we' might prefer.
......and given the strategic importance of the region how could it be any different?


You seem to think that cutting of arms sales to Israel until they at least stooped bombing “terrorist” power stations and international airlines would do nothing.


- Actually I am not supportive of the US stance which currently seems as if they will 'support' Israel no matter what.

I do not approve of every action Israel takes.

But I do think pretending that the UK is a major arms supplier to Israel is not only wrong but actually laughable (£25 million last year).

Similarly pretending that a gesture regarding legal trade and supply flights would be anything more than a slight irritant to the arms flow is equally silly.

......and lastly the idea that the ME requires more empty gestures (such as those condemning the UK for not instantly condemning Israel in Lebanon seemed to want) seems to me to be the height of delusional folly.
Far far better was the British approach of refraining from the pointless and encouraging engagement and hopefully something concrete from that.

But some will never be convinced of or accept this and will always insist it somehow 'proved' British partiality in the matter
(this despite it being this British government's actual policy that a sustainable settlement can only arise from a 2 state solution).

According to the BBC's Nick Robinson tonight, Tony Blair was invited to the Lebanon by their PM even as the war there was happening precisely because he is close to the USA and his stance may allow leverage with Israel to produce a durable settlement.
Quite clearly he doesn't agree the UK has a worthless position in this and it's also obvious that he is not interested in pointless adolescent gesture-politics either.


we can give them a conscience


- I think you should try a few steps in their shoes before making that kind of statement.

Israel is not 100% in the wrong any more than she is 100% in the right and simplistic condescension is probably the last thing that would 'help' anyone out there.


And we’re within our rights to dislike the ideological empty, morally empty, soulless political model which all three political parties seem to aspire to.


- Lib, seriously, how old are you?

When has it ever been any different?
All parties present themselves in the best light they can, it's not empty and it's not soulless, it's adult reality.

The sort of 'righteous' political parties of the kind you can 'believe' in '100% heart and soul' went out when the old totalitarian 'absolute-ist' regimes died, thankfully
(cos they only held that kind of 'appeal' to their 'true-belivers' anyway).


Finally there’s no 30 or 100 year rule covering the knowledge that Iraq had no WMD’s or Saddam hated Al Qaeda.


- No.
The facts are that prior to the war many claimed there were no WMDs and no AQ link and many others disagree and said there were.
It was disputed.
There was no certain 'knowledge' either was and it was against that background that the decisions were taken......as the umteen (4) formal Iraq enquiries found.


You might not like it but every PM since Churchill has been remembered most for the bad things they have done.


- Again no.
That's not to say some do not remember them that way but to claim only the 'bad' is all that is remembered is simply (and patently obviously) plain wrong.


With Blair there is peace with Northern Ireland; however the peace process was already under way in Major’s final years


- Er no it wasn't.

It had stalled completely as Major sought to keep the Ulster Unionists 'on side' propping up his wafer-thin majority.
The 1996 Canary Wharf bomb had wrecked any chance of Major being able to go any further.....and he hadn't even managed to get to the point of round-table talks involving all the NI political parties nevermind see any actual agreement reached.


many would argue it was the previous years of violence, the changing attitudes of Americans to towards Irish Republicanism (particularly after 9/11) which really nailed the final nail in the IRA’s coffin (far more than anything Blair actually did.


- No.

9/11 came in the year 2000.
This was just over 3yrs after the Labour government came to power and slightly more than 2yrs after the 'Good Friday Agreement'.


The

the minimum wage, the child-care tax credits, the huge boost in overseas aid, the huge reduction in unemployment and the tandem record levels of employment, record living standards and record home-ownership etc etc.
are kind of expected


- Again, how old are you?

You might "expect" these things but it does not always happen - and very recently it did not for a hell of a lot of the British people for a long time.

Perhaps you have no experience a government which for so many did not achieve these "expected" things?
In fact for many it was worse than that, the government of the day swept away some of the old measures which used to provide a little of the protections these measures offer.

The old wages councils used to act in a kind of minimum wage way in certain trades, for instance.
Overseas aid was cut massively for a prolonged period.
Thanks to the deliberate economic policies of the then British government unemployment reached a post-war record (twice) as did home repossessions.


So you see it’s not just my POV (and hence the problems for Blair’s “sad” legacy).


- Only if you don't really know any better and have nothing (as an adult with adult responsibilities) to compare it to.



[edit on 11-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



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