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Blair's Situation.For Those Unfamiliar With British Politics

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posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 08:48 PM
It has come to my attention that some may not understand Tony Blairs situation so I'm going to try and explain and give some pointers as to what to expect in the future.
First a very quick profile.Tony Blair is a qualified lawyer.Never more than now does this show as he trys to convince the British Public in the same way a prosecution lawyer sums up his case for the jury.His style is far more explainitory than Bush.
Tony Blair is religious.Not in the born again sense but almost like a country anglican vicar in a small parish.In another life you could imagine him with a dog collar taking tea with old ladies and opening fetes.Yet his wife and children are catholic,he attends a catholic church,and it is even rumoured that when Blair visited the Pope recently that his conversion to catholicism was on the agenda.Should we be surprised that this natural born liberal should be tempted to join the far more conservative church?Not really.Many believe,in Parliament,that he is a Conservative cukoo sitting in a Labour nest.He is a man who once belonged to CND but now supports preemptive strikes.It is not traditional Labour members and supporters that have changed in the last 20 years.It is he.So why have the British Labour Party elected him leader and supported him up until now?The answer is simple.Blair promised and delivered the one thing the majority of his party were willing to sacrifice everything else for.After 18 years,Power.

In British Parliamentary Democracy the Prime Minister is the leader of a political party that can expect to command the majority of votes in the House of Commons.Because of the British Electorial system,and since the formation of the Labour Party,Parliament has been dominated by two political parties which then form majority Governments(one exception Liberal/Labour coallition early 1970's).These two political parties,Labour and Conservative,are very tribal so often have they stood toe to toe as Government and Opposition.Opposition is a permanent parliamentary group which rarely allows consensus politics and reinforces tribalism.

If a Prime Minister ,mid term, is changed he/she is changed according to the rules of the political party.There is no one mechanism for changing a Prime Minister.This can seem to some as though the people of the UK have no say who is Prime Minister.But this is not a Presidential system.The electorate vote for a political party and not the leader.

After the death of John Smith,who was leader of the Opposition during John Majors Prime Ministership,the Labour party set about electing a new leader who would lead them into the next election.For 18 years the Laboure party had been in Oppostion and Labour Party Members were conscious that they must continue the modernisation within the party if they wanted to gain power.Two names emerged.Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.Both were friends and had even shared offices in Westminster when they had both been elected to Parliament together in the same year.Both to had seen the Labour Party at it's most unelectable and had similar views on further modernisation.And both now were joint favourates to become Labour Leader.
A meeting was arranged in an Islington(London)Restaurent called Granita(?)what exactly was discussed at that meeting no one except the two men know exactly but rumour and events suggest that Brown would give Blair a free run at the leadership,Brown wold in return be Chancellor of the Exchequer(Finance Minister and the second most important job in Goverrment) also rumours of a pact began to circulate.Blair would step down halfway through his second term and allow Brown to become Prime Minister.

If Blair goes to war without a second resolution one of two things may happen.It is possible that he may be proved right and forgiven and his position enhanced but I think that his Attourny General has told him that 1441 or any Resolution does not give him the right in International law to attack Iraq.As a consequence the majority of his party,who sustain him as Prime Minister,will turn against him.There will be Government Resignations at every level.The big crunch will come if he has to rely on Conservative votes to go to war.The tribalism is so ingrained that,put quite simply,I doubt he will survive.In those circumstances he would probably continue until just before the party conference in the Autumn(September I think).He will hope in the mean time that he will be vindicated and may not have to resign but if he is not then the Labour Party Conference will elect a new Labour Leader and therefore a new Prime Minister.

There is talk that British troops may not fight in Iraq.I will be surprised if they do not.
I think Blair remembers his conversation with Gordon Brown all those years ago in the "Granita" and,believing he is doing the best thing for his country and the world,he is falling on his sword.

If you have any questions about the Political Situation in Britain post them here and I or other Brits will try and answer.Be quick though,things are moving fast.

posted on Mar, 13 2003 @ 07:06 AM
you forgot to metion he was king of spin

posted on Mar, 13 2003 @ 07:31 AM
An excellent post J.B. , I was somewhat familar with U.K. politics but your defination of the mechanics was very helpful.

Personally I like PM Blair and I hope that the near future will vindacate his support of a possible armed intervention in Ieaq (If one is required). Will look forward to your posts as time & your interests dictate.


posted on Mar, 13 2003 @ 09:29 AM
Interesting relevant link:

"Im an American and I dont understand why Blair is backing us"

with an answer from a BBC correspondent which explains a bit about Blairs position.


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