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Political Figures of Interest - Tony Blair

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posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 08:35 AM
Reference. The British parliamentary system is different from our system. The upper chamber, the House of Lords, is steeped in tradition and made up of either hereditary members or accomplished people nominated for life. The Lords power is limited to delaying non-budget bills for up to 1 year. Commons can even overrule that.

The real power In Parliament lies in the House of Commons. It is composed of 650 members elected for a term of 5 years but elections may be held sooner. Elections are required when the government “falls,” i.e., fails to get a majority on a significant issue - called a “vote of confidence” - or when the controlling party’s leaders believe it to be perspicuous to hold early elections.

The reigning monarch of the United Kingdom is the Head of State and the majority party leader, the Prime Minister, is the Head of Government. The US system combines those two functions in one person, the office of president.

Anthony “Tony” Charles Lynton Blair was born in Edinburgh on May 6, 1953. He spent much of his early childhood in Adelaide, Australia, where his father, a barrister, was lecturing in the local Law School. An indifferent student more interested in rock and roll - he once said Mick Jagger was his model - he became a barrister (trial lawyer) and met his barrister wife who was also designated a QC - Queen’s Court - meaning allowed to appear in the courts. Solicitors (also lawyers) conduct most of the legal affairs in the UK but cannot appear in court.

Tony Blair lost his first effort to win a seat in the House, but in 1983, he became the Labor Party member from Sedgefield, at age 30. He immediately distinguished himself in the Party by his industry and grasp of political issues. Labor Party was in opposition to the Conservative Party - popularly called Tories - under first PM Margaret Thatcher and then PM John Majors holding sway in the UK from 1979 to 1997.

In 1994, Tony won the leadership post of the Labor Party and was able to have the Party’s constitutional Clause 4 repealed. This was the Clause committing Labor to the nationalization of basic industry that had once been the cornerstone of socialism in England, but which had become an impediment in the public’s eye.

After 18 years under the Conservative Party, the British people liked the newly “reformed” Labor Party, and in 1997, gave it a strong majority of 176 seats in the House of Commons. Tony Blair was chosen to be Prime Minister. He called an early election in 2001, held on June 7, and again won a very comfortable working majority of 167 seats. After the Nine Eleven Event in the US, Mr. Blair promptly came to the United States and pledged the full support of the United Kingdom.

America has always had a special relationship with England now known as the United Kingdom. There was never any real doubt which side we would support in World War One. The inept German decision to sink passenger ships in an effort to blockade the British Isles fed into British plans to bring the US into the war on the Allies side as opposed to what was called the Central Powers, Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottomans. The same situation repeated in the late 1930s when as Churchill said, after the fall of France in 1940, “England stands alone.” But not really. The US through its Lend Lease program helped mightily to keep England “afloat” until we entered War Two in late 1941.

Which brings us to 2006. The Labor Party is not the aggressive party in foreign affairs the Conservative Party is. Although the UK has not fully joined the EU - European Union - and retains its currency, the UK is said to have one foot in Europe and one foot in America. Which raises a real question. Can the EU survive without the full participation of the United Kingdom? But that’s for another thread.

We have all heard of the “Downing Street Memo” which many say “proves” the Bush43 White House had made secret early plans to invade Iraq and was willing to lie to the US and to the world in order to get public and Congressional support. Said by many to be the “smoking gun” there has been sufficient obfuscation of the “intelligence” over the WMDs - weapons of mass destruction - that Bush43 easily won re-election in 2004 against a weak Democratic candidate.

Conclusion. Blair does not have it so easy over there. Due mainly to his close relationship to Bush43, and public discontent over the UK role in the Coalition Force, Blair thought it wise to call an early election on May 5, 2005. Much to his surprise and chagrin, the Labor Party’s majority was reduced to 60 seats, which in British tradition, is not a slam dunk majority on any major issue when the PM’s popularity is in decline. It was a strong rebuke of Blair’s policies, mostly the unquestioning relationship with Bush43.

Blair has already lost one vote in Commons and not if, but when, he loses the second vote, he will be out. There have been local scandals, too, and while Blair is glib enough for most, the proof is in the pudding and his (Labor’s) performance is not up to his words.

Should the British forces in Iraq suffer a large tragedy, that could force Blair out of office. It is generally accepted that he will not finish out the term to which he was elected - 2010. Inexplicably and uncharacteristically, Tony made the same mistake Theodore Roosevelt made in 1904 when he promised, if he was elected, not to seek a third term. That made him a lame duck and greatly reduced his power. (The 22nd Amendment makes every second term president a lame duck.) Tony Blair is a lame duck prime minister.

[edit on 8/4/2006 by donwhite]

posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 05:46 AM
Nice synapsis of Tony Blair.

It raises some questions though. Surely he is/was a politicaly astute character, yet the past few years he seems to have become something of w white elephant. Why?

Where was his head during major misjudgements? Didn't he know the spot it wasputting him in? If so, why did he do it anyway?

posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 06:30 AM

posted by Relentless
“ . . raises some questions . . Surely he is a politically astute character, yet the past few years he seems to have become something of w white elephant. Why? Where was his head during major misjudgements? Didn't he know the spot it was putting him in? If so, why did he do it anyway? [Edited by Don W]

At first - post the Nine Eleven Event - just after B43's UN speech in which he challenged the UN to “be with us” or get out of our way, I thought the world had made Tony Blair America’s “designated driver.” I believed Blair had been assigned the thankless task of moderating B43's native tendency to shoot from the hip.

But that does not explain the “Downing Street memo.” That document raises Blair's participation from by-slander albeit lackadaisical to full scale participant. I read just 2 days ago that Blair hinted to the Labor Party he wants to stay on as PM until 2008 so he can equal Lady Thatcher’s 11.5 years as PM. He did not explain how that would benefit the Labor Party. More sober Labor Party leaders have suggested he leave the PM post by next May. I believe that coincides with the next Labor Party convention. They want to come out of the Convention with a new PM. Gordon Brown, it now looks to be.

I put MI6 into the mix of the Niger yellow cake forgeries. On other threads I raised the question who made the forgery? My answer was the CIA on orders from VP Cheney. I have no proof of that. If I could prove that, I could bring him down!

Briefly I asserted the CIA made the forgeries - no other agency was capable - and then forwarded them to the MI6 with a wink. In turn MI6 sent them back to the US but now with their imprimatur. The forgeries were next delivered to Colin Powell who used them in his February ‘03 speech to the UN. 41 months later, we’re near to 3,000 KIA into that mess.

The head of the IAEA described the Niger papers as forgeries the day following Powell’s speech. It must have been obvious to any “informed” person - I mean heads of state, not us ordinary mortals - if he could declare a forgery so soon after the presentation. Sec Powell had been made the innocent dupe in a grand plan of conquest, for which he has now apologized to the US people.

I have labeled the current goings-on in Iraq the Second Punitive Expedition to Iraq, R/L.

[edit on 8/8/2006 by donwhite]

posted on Aug, 9 2006 @ 06:13 AM
Any plans for providing us with a run down on Gordon Brown?

What is his history, stregnths & weakenesses. What would be the major pros and cons?

This should probably be a seperate thread if you are up to it.

posted on Aug, 9 2006 @ 02:52 PM
When Tony Blair first got in office he seemed the kind of man that was to make major goods for the UK.

But for some reason I see him lately like a poppet of the US administration and Bush.

I wonder why he seems no able to do anything without approval of Mr. Bush and the US.

Its like his will is no there any more.

When he is with Bush he seems like a lamb very submisive.

It is me or somebody else seems to notice that too.

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