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Tony Blair - Bush's Lapdog or Political Opportunist?

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  • Tony Blair - Bush's Lapdog or Political Opportunist?

    Tony Blair - here in the UK - has come out of the last 10 days of political turmoil like a hero, according to his spin doctors. But his marginal victory- just 5 votes - concerning student fees has really rattled him and his party. The David Kelly affair has seen him ride a wave of public condemnation, where the Hutton Report (supposedly independent) kicked the BBC for six! Greg Dyke - BBC Director general - and other notables have resigned, and Blair has gone for the throat - both on TV and in the press, stating that his decision to join Bush and go to war in Iraq was vindicated. Still - no concrete proof of weapons of mass destruction, though. Today, he was like a man possessed in the House of Commons. From the public gallery, he was heckled until the session was stopped and the protestors were ejected. Some democracy we have here in the UK, eh? Ironic that the opposition barrack and heckle Blair, and he carries on unabated. When Joe Public adds its voice, Blair bottles it, splutters, loses his train of thought, stops ... looking rather lost for words. (A rare occurrance). It makes me sick at how stage-managed politics has become here in the UK since Blair's landslide victory in 1997. It will be interesting to see how long he can sustain his political advantage in the wake of the past few months. There is rebellion amongst his own party, and a deep sense of mistrust amongst the general public regarding the Iraq-Kelly affair. I wonder how Blair is really perceived in the US - for here in the UK we get reports of how wonderful America believes him to be.

  • #2
    The Lapdog and Fear

    {Bear with me, I'm a little "all over the map" with this one, but I am trying to guage the tone of american politics here...}

    Blair, for whatever reeason one cares to believe, is not a free man in my view. The Hutton Report is just a reminder of how "not free" things really are in the world of politics today. Some may call me a conspiracy theorist -- but how else do you explain Blair's actions over Iraq, or Hutton's Report, unless you also believe that the outcomes for both are being planned somewhere far away from public view? If it's a whitewash, who wants it to be one and why do they want it?

    BuzzFlash asks Greg Palast: "What the Heck is Going on With Tony Blair?"

    Let me put this another way:

    Why is the front story of lately about stuff like Jackson's accidental nudity the other day for halftime (I don't watch sports so I can't even tell you who won whatever game was being played), or (as today) "gay" marriage? Last week I saw an ad for a Sacramento, CA TV preacher's program -- two male figures were being placed onto a wedding cake and the voice over was going on about the destruction of the moral fabric of society. Symbolically, gay marriage was being equated with the creation of an amoral society ("Cuz y'know dem faggots put der parts in da wrong places anyhew..."). Offhand I'd have to say that the commercial was wildly offensive (not that it matters, but I wasn't offended for myself as I am not gay). Since I am in freaking California, a famously and supposedly very liberal place, I was utterly amazed that this advert even saw airplay -- I mean, what's next? Can we call African-Americans "niggers" to their faces again? Or is it just going to be a special "You faggots can't marry!" kind of thing?

    My point is that fear rules the day. And fear will easily motivate the 95% of people that aren't actually capable of real independent or analytical thought.

    So while we are talking about stuff like Janet's jiggly bits, and our faggy neighbors strange interest in stable relationships and basic civil rights we aren't talking about things like the war in Iraq, or the failing economy, or the shortsighted views we maintain in regards to corporations. You know, the stuff that really matters, but that also doesn't fit into a nice soundbite.

    So did we get someone intensely reasonable for governor in California? Say Green Party candidate Camejo? No, we got Arnold "I'll Be Back." freaking Shwartznegger. Yeah, because average folk have so much in common with a guy that owns his own private fighter jet.

    So are we likely to get a presidential candidate worth voting for? Hell, no. We aren't going to get the strangely compelling Dean -- we're going to get the strangely repellant "bonesman" Kerry. Then many of us will do the only thing available to us and hold our noses very firmly while we register our easily frauded electronic votes for Kerry. Since fear rules the day, we are more afraid of Bush, Jr, than we are of Kerry.

    The idea of capital D "Democracy" is a comforting lie intended to pacify the masses. Democracy doesn't matter -- today it's all about marketing. And at the root of that interest is the usual -- money.

    You can market a war, the destruction of the natural world, T&A, the desire for more comsumables, etc. As long as the machine keeps pumping for the very wealthy and the very powerful everything is great. The U.S. is an experiment in the rich man's democracy, either by intent (Alexander Hamilton) or by accident (the two faces of Thomas Jefferson). Either way, most of us lose.

    So "stage-managed" politics -- we should be glad it is not represented for us via hand puppets. Judy said "The war is a very bad thing!" Then Punch gave a her a very sound thrashing with his slapstick and closed out the act holding avery large picture of Janet Jackson's pierced breast.

    Ooooh Aaaah...


    • #3
      I think I know what went wrong with Tony when he decided to join Mr. Bush's "Crusade" -
      He was, I recall, one of those politicians who went to face a zillion cameras and happily chew some BRITISH BEEF in 2001 to show that HE wasn't afraid of the "Mad-Cow-Disease".

      He had guts, but fat good it did him, eh?
      Google ergo sum


      • #4
        Well that explains a lot of things.

        Mr B liar, as we call him. Is a grinning idiot who constantly goes against public opinion and his own political party AND GETS AWAY WITH IT?!

        I thought everyone in the UK hated him until I spoke to a lady who read a different newspaper to me. The media will decide who likes him it seems.

        There is a book Authored by a Dr Parsons called "Tony and me by Georg Bush" (with the spelling mistake). It is supposed to look like it has been written and illustrated by Bush in therapy sessions. It is completely purile in it's humour but illustrative of the real situation; Bush and Blair are a pair of kids.

        The war. Was not. Justified. No matter how many full stops. Blair puts in his sentences. There are too many political puppets these days, strings must be cut.


        • #5
          Exactly, the war war not justified by what they told us. And with it they destroyed most of the credibility of the "Western" society. Gone with the Wind, drown the drain ... just France saying "no" for reasons that are dubious (and certainly not morally founded) and a German foreign minister in his excited, croaky voice saying to Warlord Rumsfeld on the Eve of Destruction before the war: Sorry, I'm just not convinced!
          Google ergo sum


          • #6
            What I like is him now saying he didn't know the 45 minutes referred to battlefield weapons and NOT long range missiles. Does he not read newspapers? Did he not read ANY of the criticisms between the dodgy dossier and going to war?

            And the Tories can go screw themselves, because they were more gung-ho for the War before the evidence was presented, so to act morally outraged now is just a vote-winning sham. Let's face it, they would have gone to war with Iraq with no evidence too.

            If only he had the balls to stand up and say 'We are doing it becuase we are America's friends and allies, and that friendship is vital to us - enough to sacrifice British lives' - people might at least have appreciated the straight talking, even those opposing the war. As it is he seems to have alientated even those who supported the war.


            • #7
              There was a poll released in some of the major press and on the internet news such as Yahoo that 50% of the populace want Blair out of power here in the UK. Fair enough. But one political media-manipulating spin-machine mentality will be replaced by another - this thought is not a comforting one. Before Blair, Major and Thatcher did their level best to crush unions, divide the masses, and who can forget who went to war on a whim over the so-called Falkland Islands - and who gave permission to sink the Belgrano? No, it seems that we should asks the impossible question - can today's society (British or otherwise) function without the will and power of multi-corporate commerce, without the national debt mentality that our leaders subscribe to, and the crippling effect such debt policies have on the so-called third world people, who - let's face it, as things are now - don't stand a chance in hell of surfacing from that terrible catch 22 situation?


              • #8
                Indeed - watching Michael Howard have a go at Blair is ridiculous, considering the Tory policy before the war was that they wouldn't have waited for the UN either.

                As for whether we could survive without all those things - the answer on all counts would be yes, and one day it will happen - maybe not in our lifetimes but the wheel will turn, degree by degree, just as it turned to the right. Even if it takes the 'capitalisation' of the whole world first.

                Anyway, maybe all the right wing rhetoric and war is just to cover up for the decent things they have done, like redistributing tax money to lift nearly 1 million children out of poverty. Now there's an irony - they can't actually boast about their decent achievements for fear of upsetting the fairweather voters.


                • #9
                  Surprise! Surprise! Tony Blair denies Britain spied on the UN and says Clare Short is a crazy, irresponsible woman for letting out the 'secret.' I was listening to her speaking live the other morning while driving to work quiet early. She was talking to John 'I've got you by the throat so now cough up the dirt' Simpson on BBC Radio 4. He's a master of extraction, I must say. He could sniff a rotten bone a mile away. He had Ms Short on the ropes in seconds and when he said that her part in the phone tapping transcript issue was 'illegal', she was, for the first time ever I think, lost for words. The radio went blank. She coughed - several times - made strange gurgling noises, and sounded like a little kid caught with her hand in the biscuit barrel as she struggled to regain her composure and train of thought.

                  Blair has responded it true Blair fashion: rubbishing her character and credentials. It seems the lap dog has a bite as well as a bark. Yap, yap, yap, yap, yap.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SeanWright
                    Blair has responded it true Blair fashion: rubbishing her character and credentials. It seems the lap dog has a bite as well as a bark. Yap, yap, yap, yap, yap.
                    As far as I can see the government argument appears to be that by suggesting the intelligence agencies were engaged in illegal activities she has endangered the important (but illegal) work those agents are engaged in... but they won't deny or confirm anything. Then they suggest that she can't possibly have seen the files she claims to have seen because she didn't have the correct security clearance. But if the agents are engaged in illegal operations (presumably without our government's knowledge or assent ), why is it so hard to believe that one of these naughty chaps might also leak files to someone without the correct security clearance? If they're already breaking the law, what difference would it make?

                    Just once before I die I'd like to see a politician appear on TV to say: "No, I can't think of a confusing and petty argument to distract you from the real issue this time. I may as well just resign now. I'm really sorry. I've betrayed the public's faith and trust in humanity." Then s/he could go and sit in a corner and think about what they've done.

                    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild


                    • #11
                      Then s/he could go and sit in a corner and think about what they've done.
                      Oh, I believe politicians as a species know perfectly well what they do. By their very nature - it goes with the territory and so on. Why they do what they do? Now that's another question only they can answer. Perhaps Clare Short and Tony Blair could come on here - a kind of Mr Moorcock's Question Time. Now wouldn't that be fun?


                      • #12
                        I was listening to Broadcasting House earlier today and there were a couple of ex-diplomatic people who claimed that Britain spying on the UN is nothing new or surprising (to insiders anyway). In fact, we don't just spy on potential enemies, we spy on our own allies, such as the US, as a matter of course. People in the diplomatic service just take it as granted and make sure they don't talk about anything sensitive without going for a long walk in Central Park (or wherever); no-one, apparently, was unduly bothered by the fact that this stuff is technically illegal.

                        After hearing this, what surprised me the most was my own naivety for not guessing that this sort of thing was going on. Claire Short probably knew about this for ages herself. Funny that she never blabbed until now.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by titmouser
                          I was listening to Broadcasting House earlier today and there were a couple of ex-diplomatic people who claimed that Britain spying on the UN is nothing new or surprising (to insiders anyway).
                          Yes, I heard that too! I was also rather naive about us spying on our "friends" as routinely as we might on our "enemies", but it does rather suggest that most of the people who are attacking her as a liar or a liability are also well aware that she's only telling the public what most people in the trade consider old news.

                          It's confusing to hear some people accuse Short of making things up whilst also suggesting she has broken the Official Secrets Act... I suppose it's perfectly possible to leak sensitive information whilst simultaneously lying your head off, but if that were the case surely it would make more sense to simply accuse her of lying and leave it at that?

                          "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild


                          • #14
                            As I said earlier - polititians know the rules of the games they play. Sadly the games many play or support by their silence kill innocent people without apparent regard for human life or liberty. Disgusted, infuriated, and very upset. Still, the cannon-fodder mentality of WWI and WWII has not changed at all - just the technology by which to kill and maime. Disgusted.


                            • #15
                              Found this on the BBC site:


                              The most interesting bit to me was:

                              They point out that there is a great difference between bugging - in the sense of planting a microphone under someone's table or putting a device in a telephone - and simply hoovering up conversations that are in the atmosphere, which is what they say lots of countries do.

                              Q. Are these sources confirming Clare Short's claims?

                              They're not confirming or denying that Kofi Annan was eavesdropped on.

                              But they're saying that if it was true, then it would be perfectly legitimate to simply have a listening station in Yorkshire pulling material down from the airwaves.
                              So the whole thing could be perfectly legit, in the eyes of international law at least, and I think Short would have known that.