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Tony Blair post 9-11

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posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 01:34 PM
Being an ignorant american, I am a little on the fuzzy concerning Tony Blair. Years ago, he was being hearlded as Britain's version of Bill CLinton. Now, he's one of the most hated men in Europe.

Ok. Blair is from the labor party? Right? Which is ideologically equivalent to the Democratic Party, right? His opposition is the Tories, ideologically equivalent to the Republican party.

Ok. After 9-11 he was the U.S.'s greatest ally. Now, he has come under fire as a war monger and is vilified by the European Press. He's still a Labor person right? But is the Labor party up in arms against him? or the Tories? or both?

If so, I'd be like the Democrats hating Bill Clinton, and the Republicans opposing a war effort?

I'd like to know from some of you what has happened over there politically, and what you see happening in the future with him.

posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 02:20 PM
Don't worry, a lot of us are confused too!!

Yes he is a Labour man. (though he was more of a conservative in his youth so they say..). Labour, as it was before Blair became leader, was in fact a lot more further left than the US democrats. One of the things Blair did was drag the party more towards the right (or at least the middle) to get the party electable. Still a bit to the left of a Democrat, but much more "centrist" by British standards.

This is why you often hear the term New Labour, to distinguish this new position and set of ideologies. He won immense public support from a country disillusioned after 17 years of Tory rule, and was credited with bringing the Labour party back into power. Blairs ability to unify otherwise disparate supporters I guess is what lead to the "European Clinton" tag..

At the same time of course Clinton was President. again elected after a long period of conservatism; The two ideologies were very similar, and the mutual support was beneficial to both sides.

Then along comes Bush, the Neoconservatives, and the War on Terror. Out goes international cooperation, diplomacy, and the Geneva convention, and in comes preemptive invasion, detainment without trail, and the Patriot Act. Not exactly core Labour, or British values. We are just hoping that George Bush is temporary.

tricky one for Blair? you bet your bottom pound sterling!

That's one reason for why Blair is seen the way he is.

Another big objection to Blair is his overly "presidential style" of government. He doesn't consult with parliament as much as he should.. and while there's no hard and fast rules, he is often seen as crossing the line. He could easily be removed because of this, if we saw it as a threat.. the UK system is flexible like that, but for now, we're all wait to see what happens in the US elections. If Kerry wins, then there's a chance of re-assessing this whole mess, with a little less gung-ho and texan swa..I mean walk and a little more global input.

that's my (brief) take on it anyway.

[edit on 3/9/04 by muppet]

[edit on 3/9/04 by muppet]

posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 05:38 PM
Ok. thatr is sorta what I was thinking. Now, is Labour still for Blair, or do they have another opponent in the wings? Also, are the Tories for Blair, or do THEY have an opponent ready? and when is he election

I love foreign politics for this reason. So different, but not bad, just different. Listening to parliament is a hoot sometimes....Not like Japanese Siet, where fistfights commonly break out, but more a civilized raspberry sorta

posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 06:54 PM

Originally posted by soulforge
Ok. thatr is sorta what I was thinking. Now, is Labour still for Blair, or do they have another opponent in the wings?

The man most touted as the next Labour Leader (and thereby prime minister, if labour are the majority), is Gordon Brown, the current chancellor of the exchequer. Pragmatic, keeps in the background, and supports the PM, completely, he's been the man in charge of the economy for the last 6 years... and has done a pretty decent job of it most agree. He's also pro-Euro, i.e. pro the single currency and central European Bank.. which may turn out to be his downfall. Certainly a No vote in any future Euro referendum would make his place untenable I would think. Until a referendum takes place though, Brown is seen by most as the obvious successor.

Other possible labour leaders? Tough one. IMHO ..As much as we knock him, Blair IS a very capable leader, and there aren't many in the labour party that would effectively be able to challenge him. Jack Straw possibly? He's my local MP as well, and seems very capable. Tarred a little with the Iraq/WMD brush, but not as badly as Blair, and his diplomatic skills and understanding of the ME situation I think more than compensate for that.

An outside possibility might be Robin Cook. He's currently "in the wilderness" after his objections the war and resignation over the Iraq issue. His position may become more mainstream, depending on what goes on in the US and the ME..but for now he too is an unlikely candidate.

Other than that, there's no-one really obvious.. one of the reasons his position is still strong, despite his detractors. And of course there's the timing issue. Brown, Cook, or Straw could mount a leadership challenge tommorow if they wanted, but that would be unwise before the US elections, since any new leader would be tarred with the same Bush, I mean brush!!

Also, are the Tories for Blair, or do THEY have an opponent ready?

Gosh no!! (to the first part) I think a bit of an explaination of the British Parliamentary system might be required here.
This very different to what you guys have. (and also different from most other "partiamentary" systems)

The UK system is *loosely* like the congress, the senate, and the executive, all combined into one unit.

Not counting local/town council type votes, we only have one Election, the General Election. about 650 constituencies each elect one MP, or member of parliament. Jack Straw, the British Foreign Secretary for example, also happens to be my local MP.

Anyone can run as an MP. Just pick a constituancy (generally a town or area of about 100,000 people), pay your deposit (about 2000 pounds, returnable if you get over a couple of thousand votes or so), and start campaigning. Generally though candiates are also members of a the Parties, such as Labour, Tory etc, and they must be selected by the party if they also want the party to support them.

If elected he/she becomes an MP and sits in the Parliament. The party with most MP's (currently Labour) is then designated "Her Majesty's Government" H.M.G. The leader of that party is then designated the Prime Minister. The prime minister then chooses a Cabinet (equivalent to the executive branch), from among the elected MP's, and assigns them the relevant roles.. Foreign secretary, Chancellor, Defense minister etc.. This is very different to the US, where unelected people fulfill these roles.

The party with the second largest number of MP's (currently the Tories) is designated "Her Majesty's Opposition". While they could support Blair, and often HMO does support HMG in times of war and national crisis, in general they don't (being the opposition!). In fact their role is to question, oppose, and find the problems with everything the goverment does. The Tory leader is Michael Howard (not to be confused withe Aussie PM), so he is their current preferred leader.

As for the election... the Prime Minister can call a general election any time within five years of the last one. If one need to remove a PM before then it can be done by either..
(a) the leading party removing him as their leader, or
(b) the House of Commons voting against him in a "vote of no confinence"

any MP regardless of party can instigate a vote on (b) answer you question, a general election, which the public votes in, could come anytime before late 2005-2006 (I think, I lose count of the years). Blair could be challenged and voted out before then though by his own party MP's. Any Prime Minister can be out in a week under the British system, which certainly keeps them on their toes.. i can tell you!!

I love foreign politics for this reason. So different, but not bad, just different. Listening to parliament is a hoot sometimes....Not like Japanese Siet, where fistfights commonly break out, but more a civilized raspberry sorta

Me too, though I have to say your US system baffles me. When you're so used to having everything under one roof as it were,the three branch system republican system is pretty confusing in itself!

[edit on 4/9/04 by muppet]

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