Tag Archives: Tony Blair

And they’re off: Labour leadership

To the likes of Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell, this is what Jeremy Corbyn’s electoral success looks like: an inexorable, mindless force that’s destroying their cosy living quarters. To others this may look exciting and fun and interesting, but Blair and Campbell and the rest live in those houses: it’s their comfy homes that left-wing pressure would be knocking down.

It wouldn’t be reasonable to expect them to welcome this. (And they don’t.)

If Corbyn is announced the winner on 12th September, and worse yet for Blair if Corbyn’s Prime Minister in May 2020, then everything Tony Blair did to create a new Labour party may be destroyed: the verdict of history that Blair looked forward to, might amount to:

“Tony Blair, who tried to drag the Labour Party rightwards, succeeded in doing so from 1994 to 2007, but in the process lost many voters and MPs, especially after he took the UK into war with Iraq in 2003: but the old Labour Party was restored in 2015, eight years after Blair stood down, by Jeremy Corbyn, who then led the Labour Party to a large majority in the Commons in May 2020.”

That’s a paragraph Blair would never want to read in any history book, from start to finish. If Corbyn wins, Blair will want Labour to lose in May 2020. Blair may not have anything else in common with Donald Trump, but the two men have the same size ego.
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Tony Blair: Even if you hate me, please vote the way I tell you

Labour leadership: Corbyn, Burnham, Cooper, KendallGuest blog by Ian Shuttleworth, a parody of Blair’s “Even if you hate me, please don’t take Labour over the cliff edge” in today’s Guardian

The Labour party is in danger more mortal today than at any point in the over 100 years of its existence. I say this as the current record-holder for putting the Labour Party in mortal danger. The leadership election has turned into something far more significant than who is the next leader. It is now about whether Labour remains a party I approve of.

Governments can change a country. Though mine didn’t, at least not the way you wanted, ahaha. And three of the four current candidates have made clear that they think it’s so important to get into power to be able to change things that they’ve promised not to change anything if they get into power. Labour in government changed this country. We changed the nation’s zeitgeist. We made socialism a thing of the past. We forced change on the Tories by occupying their territory and freeing them to move further to the insane right which they now get to define as the “centre”. We gave a voice to those who previously had none: instinctive Tories too scared to admit it by joining the Tories. We led and shaped the public discourse. Shaped it by amputating its left leg. And, yes, governments do things people don’t like, and in time they lose power. That is the nature of democracy. Even if you were all wrong to get rid of me, and I will always follow you FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE.
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Children should suffer

Aneurin Bevan: Tories lieOne of the basics of civilisation is that children don’t have to suffer for their parents’ mistakes or inadequacies.

Recalling that, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance,

Convinced that the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community,

Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,

Considering that the child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society, and brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, and in particular in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity…

A good welfare state is the culmination of civilisation. Whether a parent is able or willing, unable or unwilling, to earn enough to meet their child’s needs, the needs of all children should be adequately met. Otherwise we are not civilised.
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Dundee and Tony Blair

Lesley Brennan, Scottish LabourDoes Lesley Brennan stand a chance as the Labour PPC in Dundee East?

Electoral Calculus says no – Stewart Hosie has both the benefit of being the incumbent MP and the candidate on the rising tide of SNP votes. Maybe in 2020: Lesley Brennan has represented Dundee’s East End ward since 2012.

Nevertheless, Dundee East has been selected as one of 106 Labour “battleground seats”, and thus Brennan’s campaign became the recipient of £1000 from Tony Blair, who is donating £106,000 to the candidates in those seats, or so the initial publicity made it seem.
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Filed under Elections, GE2015, Scottish Politics, Women

A “Hutton style” inquiry?

rebekah brooks and tony blairOn Monday 11th July 2011, the day after the News of the World published its final issue, Tony Blair spoke to Rebekah Brooks in what Brooks says was an hour-long phone call, and Brooks summarised the phonecall in an email to James Murdoch:

“1. Form an independent unit that has an outside junior counsel, Ken Macdonald, a great and good type, a serious forensic criminal barrister, internal counsel, proper fact checkers etc in it. Get them to investigate me and others and publish a Hutton style report,”

“2. Publish part one of the report at same time as the police closes its inquiry and clear you and accept short comings and new solutions and process and part two when any trials are over.
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On Syria

Iraq WarAs ever, The Onion cuts to the quick of the matter. Given Syria has allies on the Security Council at the UN, there is no legal way for a United Nations member to take military action on Syria.

Just as the 2003 war on Iraq was not lawful.

James Fallows in The Atlantic:

Fact 1: Atrocities are happening in Syria. Fact 2: The United States has bombers, cruise missiles, and drones. Putting those two facts together does not make the second a solution to the first.
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Only ten years after the disastrous “what could go wrong?” / “something must be done!” rush to war in Iraq, you would have thought these cautions would not need restatement. They do. In the face of evil we should do something, except when the something would likely make a bad situation worse.

We’ve done all this before.
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Tony Blair and the Iraq War

Tony Blair looking ever so smarmy

Asked in a candid interview on BBC2’s Newsnight whether he minded if “people call you a liar, some people call you a war criminal, protesters follow you; it’s difficult to walk down the street in a country”, he replied: “It really doesn’t matter whether it’s taken its toll on me.

“The fact is yes there are people who will be very abusive, by the way I do walk down the street and by the way I won an election in 2005 after Iraq. However, yes it remains extremely divisive and very difficult.”

By 23rd July 2002 George W. Bush had already decided to invade Iraq.

For Tony Blair, at the time, it seems quite clear what his reasoning was.

  1. Saddam Hussein was a terrifying dictator – anyone who travelled in Iraq while he ruled there confirms that.
  2. He had unquestionably been guilty of horrifying atrocities, though as those had been committed at a time when he was regarded as a useful Middle Eastern dictator, they had then been ignored by the governments of the US and UK. He had been using Iraqi oil money for internal investment, building Iraq up to become a fully-developed nation (yes, he also spent it on his “palaces”, but so did every other Middle Eastern dictator with oil: he also spent it on Iraqi industry and infrastructure, and that’s what really bothered oil magnates). He had invaded a neighbouring country with intent to conquer and occupy (Gulf War II).
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