Posts Tagged ‘Guardian’

Reminder. Hayman Island, 1995: ‘Blair’s New Left warning to Murdoch’

April 25, 2012

All blog posts 2012 + Original posts list: from 2006 to 2012

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25th April 2012

Guardian excerpt: ‘TONY BLAIR warned the high command of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire last night that the Thatcherite free-market policies they espoused in the 1980s had failed to provide the social and economic stability needed to manage the technological revolution they unleashed [...] he made no discernible concessions to the Murdoch world view…’

Raised at Rupert Murdoch’s evidence session this morning at the Leveson Inquiry (which ended early today), it might be worth a reminder of Tony Blair’s Hayman Island speech in 1995 when he was in his first year as Labour party leader and two years away from his party’s first (1997) election win.

Copied below is the Guardian’s report from 1995. You may find it an interesting read. I have emboldened sections which stood out for me.

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BLAIR’S NEW LEFT WARNING TO MURDOCH

BYLINE: Michael White And Christopher Zinn

SECTION: THE GUARDIAN HOME PAGE; Pg. 3

TONY BLAIR warned the high command of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire last night that the Thatcherite free-market policies they espoused in the 1980s had failed to provide the social and economic stability needed to manage the technological revolution they unleashed.

In a bold pitch for the new Labour Party he is shaping, Mr Blair used the controversial platform provided by Mr Murdoch’s invitation to Australia to admit the failures of “the Old Left” – “rigid economic planning and state controls” – and to denounce the divisive legacy of the New Right.

Addressing News International’s senior executives at the exclusive Queensland resort of Hayman Island, he made no discernible concessions to the Murdoch world view other than to suggest that, in her assaults on vested interests, “Lady Thatcher was a radical, not a Tory”.

It is a view the avowedly anti-establishment tycoon purports to share. But Mr Blair, whose aides were presenting the speech as one of his most ambitious yet, insisted “the claim that New Left is just a fancy way of saying Tory is false. The left-of-centre will act to organise and prepare a country for change.

“The choice is not between resisting change and letting it happen; nor between the state trying to run industry and some crude version of laissez faire liberalism.”

Faced with “revolutionary change” – alongside the collapse of many traditional certainties about family, community and religion – the central question of modern democratic politics was how best to provide economic security and social stability within rules “accepted by society as a whole – and enforced”. He also defended Labour’s wary pro-Europeanism against the “insular nationalism” which papers like the Sun have promoted.

In a telling paraphrase of Bill Clinton’s campaign team slogan, he added: “It’s not just the economy, stupid. The task is to combine the preparation of a nation for economic change with the re -establishment of social order” – an immense task where the moral challenge would be as great as the economic one.

Many people who voted Tory in the 1980s were anti-Establishment and “saw part of the left as well as the right running that Establishment”. With a swipe at Oxbridge, the law, outdated parliamentary practice and a divided education system – of all of which he is a product – he complained that many Thatcherites had not wanted to bust, but to “buy out” the old regime.

He added: “The era of the grand ideologies, all encompassing, all pervasive, total in their solutions – and often dangerous – is over. In particular, the battle between market and public sector is over.”

Mr Blair who has been criticised for accepting Mr Murdoch’s invitation and offer of a free return flight, told reporters in Sydney: “We’re not here to flirt with anyone, we’re simply putting our case.

“It’s an important opportunity to address a very large news organisation and put the Labour Party’s case and the case of the left-of-centre the world over.” Before 200 Murdoch staff at the tropical hideaway he also conceded that Labour’s relations with News International’s papers have been poor in the past. “There have been changes on both sides. The past is behind us.”

Unhappiness about the direction of New Labour surfaced again yesterday in reports that key shadow ministers, like Robin Cook and David Blunkett, have attended meetings at the Commons of a group called What’s Left. All they were doing, they said last night, was explaining party policy to sceptics.

A Guardian report that Peter Mandelson MP is chairing a new policy revision group was explained. He was merely there to help “write sections of speeches and background papers for the party leader”. But, given the pace of change in Mr Blair’s first year, tensions are hardly surprising. He told the Murdoch conference that by “by the next election over half our members will have joined since the last election. It is literally a new party.”

His visit has received extensive publicity. Mr Blair said the government of Australia’s Labour Prime Minister, Paul Keating, had managed to ally economic sense and progress with strong social values.

“That combination of a fair society and a prosperous economy is one that’s devoutly to be wished by any, sensible, modern left-of-centre party.”

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Addendum: I notice that John Rentoul, my good friend, ally & member of WHF (‘we few, we happy few’) has also blogged on this under the headline – “Which Labour leader stood up to Murdoch?”

Ever keen to educate the biased & ignorant (my words, not his) John Rentoul has provided access to anyone to his extensive database. That means there is NO excuse whatsover for the information-hungry world and the rest of the press (!) to fail to refer to this in their attempts to “report” on what Mr Blair’s standing ovation (Rupert Murdoch’s words today) in Hayman Islands, were all about. 

JR:

“Partly, this is because Blair’s speech was given on the cusp of the new internet world, and no text of the speech or report of it is Googlable. Fortunately, as an archivist of Blair studies, I have a copy of the speech (which I have put on Google Docs as 14 single-page pdfs, because I don’t know how to do anything more user-friendly*) and, as a journalist, I have a subscription to a news database from which I have retrieved this Guardian report of the speech

[...]

*The last four pages (scans 0012-0015) are the most interesting.”

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Independent: Leveson Inquiry: Tony Blair impressed me, says Rupert Murdochl

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Michael White on John Bercow – the “teenager”

February 29, 2012

All blog posts 2012 + Original, from 2006 to 2012

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29th February 2012

Michael White: “The Speaker John Bercow must still have been an impressionable Tebbit-ite teenager when Tony Blair made his famous Chicago speech promoting liberal interventionism. But he took its message to heart and is always intervening to prevent the ministerial equivalent of failed states being overrun by Westminster’s tribal warlords.” (source)

Call it artistic/historical/narrative licence. Call it what you will. It happens all the time. But it evades me as to why the eminently sensible Michael White used it here.

If this had been written by just about any other Guardian writer I’d have assumed it was meant, in their usual air-brushing manner, to inform us that Mr Blair is past retirement age.  Which he isn’t, of course.

As it is I have to conclude it was just an easy link in his narrative on the kids in the House of Commons. Sorry – the honourable members of parliament.

What a pity Mr White hadn’t thought to link readers through to the aforementioned Chicago speech – aka Tony Blair’s “Doctrine of The International Community” [1999].  I have to tell you it is not the easiest thing to find on the internet, not even at the font of all knowledge – Wikipedia. But worry not, truth hunters. ‘Young’ Blair Supporter is here to save the day! (see here)

As for Mr Bercow the “teenager”. In April 1999 he was 36 years old. Tony Blair was not yet 46.

Michael White displayed this picture of Speaker John Bercow. Some might notice he is greyer and even suggest he looks 10 years older than Tony Blair

By the way, for what it’s worth, I rather admire John Bercow.

Tony Blair on 24 February 2012 with China's Middle East Envoy, Wu Sike

More on John Bercow (presently 49) & Tony Blair (presently 58)

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Breaking News: Tony Blair is NOT the Middle East Peace Envoy

February 6, 2012

Comment at end

Or –

6th February 2012

Now the headline’s caught your attention – let me hit you with the facts. I know, I know – you’re not used to ‘facts’ when it comes to Tony Blair.

He hasn’t been “sacked” from his unpaid job as Quartet Representative for the Quartet envoys on Israeli/Palestinian issues.

Reading on Twitter the plethora of misinformed sarcasm – “hasn’t Blair done a great job as Middle East envoy … how many revolutions now? … SO-O-O much peace already” – and such tripe I thought it was time to remind readers of his actual job description. I mentioned it already in October last year, but you can’t get too much of a good thing. And even I, for some time, described Mr Blair as the “envoy”.

So here it is again (my red bolding in the below) -

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From the UN website this is SG/2129 – PAL/2085, published 27th June 2007 by the Secretary General’s Office. It can be found here

STATEMENT BY MIDDLE EAST QUARTET

Following is the text of a statement issued by the Quartet ( United Nations, Russian Federation, United States, European Union):

Quartet principals noted that recent events in Gaza and the West Bank make it more urgent than ever that we advance the search for peace in the Middle East.  The Quartet reaffirms its objective to promote an end to the conflict in conformity with the Road Map, and expresses its intention to redouble its efforts in that regard.  The urgency of recent events has reinforced the need for the international community, bearing in mind the obligations of the parties, to help Palestinians as they build the institutions and economy of a viable State in Gaza and the West Bank, able to take its place as a peaceful and prosperous partner to Israel and its other neighbours.

To facilitate efforts to these ends, following discussions among the principals, today the Quartet announced the appointment of Tony Blair ( United Kingdom) as the Quartet Representative.  Mr. Blair, who is stepping down from office this week, has long demonstrated his commitment on these issues.

As Quartet Representative, he will:

– Mobilize international assistance to the Palestinians, working closely with donors and existing coordination bodies;

– Help to identify and secure appropriate international support in addressing the institutional governance needs of the Palestinian State, focusing as a matter of urgency on the rule of law;

– Develop plans to promote Palestinian economic development, including private sector partnerships, building on previously agreed frameworks, especially concerning access and movement; and

– Liaise with other countries as appropriate in support of the agreed Quartet objectives.

As Representative, Tony Blair will bring continuity and intensity of focus to the work of the Quartet in support of the Palestinians, within the broader framework of the Quartet’s efforts to promote an end to the conflict in conformity with the Road Map.  He will spend significant time in the region working with the parties and others to help create viable and lasting Government institutions representing all Palestinians, a robust economy and a climate of law and order for the Palestinian people.

Tony Blair will be supported in this work by a small team of experts, based in Jerusalem, to be seconded by partner countries and institutions.

The Quartet representative will report to and consult regularly with the Quartet and be guided by it as necessary.

The Quartet looks forward to welcoming Mr. Blair at its next meeting.

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LET’S NOT SHOOT THE MESSENGER

I notice that Mr Brian Barder has also been trying to explain to closed eyes, ears and minds. He describes at great length his “dialogue with the deaf at The Guardian”. He even pastes in his letters to and from that great organ of the Guardian’s ‘troof’.

Perhaps Mr Barder does not realise that the Guardian, like many others would love Mr Blair to be the envoy: the envoy that failed.

I know it’s kind of tough for them to deal with the facts, but the fact is that any failure would be that of the Quartet’s envoys and not of their messenger.

So let’s try not to shoot him.

Also from Brian Barder -

“How much if any success Mr Blair has achieved in these challenging but specific tasks since June 2007 I don’t know, but  as the Americans stressed publicly at the time, it’s a strictly limited mandate almost entirely unconnected with the peace process — just as it’s a bit of an exaggeration to describe as “President of Europe” an appointment as President (or more accurately in English, Chair or Chairperson) of the EU Council of Ministers, whoever gets the job.”

http://www.barder.com/ephems/

________________________________

And if you want more why not keep an eye on the Quartet information at Tony Blair’s website

About OQR

The Office of the Quartet Representative (OQR) works with the Palestinian Authority, the Government of Israel, international organisations and NGOs to help build the institutions and economy for a future Palestinian state. The OQR seeks to achieve the objective of the Quartet and Quartet Representative, Tony Blair: to promote an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict and bring stability to the Middle East.

The Quartet was established in 2002 and is composed of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia. In accordance with the Quartet’s mandate to him, Mr. Blair works with a team of international diplomats and development experts in Jerusalem and London. The OQR’s guiding principle is that improved social and economic conditions should promote increased confidence, trust and broad support by both Palestinians and Israelis for a just, lasting and credible peace agreement. Through sustained and intensive consultation with the Palestinian Authority, the Government of Israel, the international community and civil society, the OQR works to secure a two-state solution, with two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders.

In support of a peaceful solution, the OQR follows a three-track approach:

  • Promoting the continuation of Israeli-Palestinian political negotiations within a credible timeframe;
  • Aiding transformative change on the ground, to improve the daily lives of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and security for Israelis and Palestinians, and to generate a positive atmosphere that will facilitate success in the political negotiations; and
  • Developing a new strategy for Gaza, including lifting the blockade, so that reconstruction can take place, legitimate business can prosper and the livelihoods of Palestinians living in Gaza improve.

This approach informs the following key OQR objectives:

  • Donor Assistance: Secure from international lenders and donors more timely, predictable and adequate funding for the Palestinian Authority budget and priority areas;
  • Private Sector Development: Enhance Palestinian economic and social development including vigorous Palestinian private sector expansion;
  • Movement, Access and Trade Facilitation: Lift obstacles and restrictions to access and movement of goods and people to, from and within the West Bank and Gaza;
  • Gaza Development: Support a ‘ground up’ development process in Gaza by enabling movement and access for imports and exports to all markets, promoting the development of the legitimate Gazan private sector and expediting the rehabilitation and construction of key infrastructure;
  • Area C: Expand access to and facilitate development of Palestinian land designated under the Oslo Accords as “Area C”, which makes up 60 percent of the West Bank;
  • Rule of Law: Help the Palestinian Authority strengthen its rule of law capacity and develop strong and well-integrated security and justice institutions with clearly-defined mandates;
  • East Jerusalem: Improve the economic and social conditions of Palestinians living and working in East Jerusalem; and
  • Tourism: Mobilise local and international support to tap the significant Holy Land tourism potential and create a more prosperous, balanced, robust and accessible tourism sector.
  • To learn more about the OQR’s key strategies in these areas, visit the ‘Our Strategy’ pages on this website.

Who We Are

The Quartet Representative’s team of OQR advisers is led by:

  • Ambassador Gary A. Grappo, Head of Mission (seconded by the US State Department)
  • Dr. Daniel Arghiros, Deputy Head of Mission (seconded by the British Department of International Development)

OQR advisers based in Jerusalem:

  • Mr. Rami Dajani, Rule of Law (Security) Adviser
  • Mr. Henrik Denker, Infrastructure Adviser
  • Mr. Awad Duaibes, Political & Media Adviser
  • Mr. Neil Kritz, Rule of Law (Justice) Adviser
  • Dr. Firas Raad, Development Adviser (seconded by the World Bank)
  • Mr. Bader Rock, Private Sector & Trade Policy Adviser
  • Mr. Hadi Abu Shahla, Development Adviser
  • Mr. Charles Steel, Finance & Business Development Adviser
  • Mr. Stefan Szepesi, Economic Adviser
  • Dr. Tim Williams, Movement & Access Adviser (funded by the New Zealand Government)
  • Ms. Ruti Winterstein, Political & Press Adviser

The Quartet Representative also has a small team in London:

  • Mr. Nicolas Harrocks, Head of London Office and Senior Adviser (seconded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
  • Ms. Helen Pocock, Adviser (seconded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The OQR’s donors are: the US State Department, the European Commission and the Norwegian Government.

If you would like to contact the OQR, click here

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RELATED

This is a pdf file  on “Action in Support of Palestinian Authority state-building” and is to be found here 

Earlier post at this blog – Here’s Your Cards

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Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

See full signature list


CifWatch Wordles The Guardian’s commenters

February 5, 2012

Comment at end

Or –

5th February 2012

It’s worth stating this twice. Just so you get the (idiotic) point of Murray -

“Andrew Murray argued against a war with Iran in the context of what he sees as the folly of the West’s broader war on terror, and U.S./UK military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

My previous post was about the wordle cloud tag tool.  I’d like to thank CifWatch for reminding me about Wordle and thus helping me pointing up the fact that my blog seems to dwell on Tony Blair – world – international – new – or words towards and around that effect. No ifs, no buts.

CifWatch’s own reason for referring to the Wordle Cloud was in regard to a Guardian article.

Excerpt, CIFWatch –

So, it didn’t come as a surprise to see Andrew Murray, of StWC, publish an essay at ‘Comment is Free’, “An attack on Iran must be stopped“, opposing a UK or U.S. attack on Iran to prevent the Islamist regime from attaining nuclear weapons.

What was a bit surprising however, was that Murray, whose essay warns of the threat posed by “Anglo-American aggression addicts” who are “gearing up for yet another crack at winning a senseless war in the Middle East,” didn’t once, in a nearly 700 word essay, mention the word “Israel”.  Rather, Murray argued against a war with Iran in the context of what he sees as the folly of the West’s broader war on terror, and U.S./UK military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Of course, the mere omission of the words “Jews”, “Israel”, “Zionism” or “Lobby” didn’t prevent ‘Comment is Free’ readers to not so gently move the narrative away from military decisions made by UK and U.S. political leaders, and pivot to a more desired target.

The beauty of Wordle is that it allows you to quantify the degree to which comments beneath the line, in any given CiF essay, slant in one particular direction.

Wordle was fed every word from each of the reader comments posted after Murray’s piece and, excluding commonly used words like “the” (and the word “Iran”, because, well, that was  what the topic the essay was supposed to address!), churned out the following graphic of the most used words – represented in a size proportional to the frequency of their usage:


Note the enhanced size of Israel (a word used 220 times by CiF commenters), in contrast to words “U.S.” and “UK”.

In fact the words “Jew” “Jews”, or “Jewish” were used more times (42) than the words “U.S.” or “United States” (33).

And, finally, and quite ironically given the following CiF commenter’s malign obsession with the Jewish state, note the moniker above the gigantic “S” in the over-sized word “Israel”. Yup, Berchmans!
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I must say it’s a comfort to know that Cifwatch is on the tail of the atrocious Guardianistos and their anti-Israel/anti-Jew/anti-USA/anti-Blair prejudices.

The Cif/Guardian may have assumed with this article that they had managed to escape accusations of anti-Jew/anti-Israel obsession by failing to mention Israel in their article.

How sweet.

Like many others who brainwash and then sit back & let the brainwashed spread their dirty work, the Guardian is nowhere near hot enough off the spot when competing with those of us who care about freedom and “the west”. That “west”  includes Israel.

Wordle: Wordle at Blair Supporter's blog Feb 2012

A wordle generated from content of my blog

We know, Guardianistos, just what your game is. We have always known.

Create your own Wordle cloud or check up on other sites in which you are interested.

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Recent posts on CifWatch

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Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

See full signature list


BBC’s (& Quentin Letts’) ‘let’s pretend’ obituary for Tony Blair

January 2, 2012

Comment at end

Or –

2nd January 2012

Happy New Year to all! Let’s hope it’s better than the old one.

London's world-famous clock tower, commonly known as Big Ben, seems to explode in a blaze of fireworks. Guy Fawkes would have been proud.

The oddly timed news (rather leak – the broadcaster itself didn’t tell us) that the hallowed  BBC was doing interviews ready for Tony Blair’s eventual obituary  (yes he’ll have to go one day like the rest of us – no way out of that way out) raised a few eyebrows when it broke at The Sun.

Tony Blair at an event in London, beginning of December, 2011

For the record I saw Mr Blair in recent weeks and he didn’t look at all as though he was even approaching death’s door.  But questionably untimely as is this scour around to record snips from presumably the usual suspects  – in case they pop off before he does – it has some rhyme and reason. Quentin Letts’s reasons for his atrocious piece of work are far less excusable.

Let’s do Letts later, as it were.

The BBC MUST be prepared.  After all their broadcasting outfit is a near monopoly and bears a lot of responsibility for being right up there with the latest, so to speak. The BBC is the largest broadcaster in the world with the world’s largest broadcast news organisation and a reach in Britain of more than all the other British media outlets put together.

Aside : Despite this my request several weeks ago to the Leveson “Press” Inquiry as to whether or not broadcasters too are being looked into remains unanswered.

Since 73% get their news from TV, with the BBC supplying 70% of all TV news, the Beeb certainly has some responsibility; and some power.

It would never do if in say 20/30/40 years time when the time comes to remind us all about Tony Blair and the life and reasons for (successes & not to mention failings of the then late lamented) to find such as Tam Dalyell, Tony Benn, Clare Short and George Galloway had already popped their clogs.  Oh tragedy – true, utter, real tragedy! Not one of them to be found opining liberally on the Commons grassy bits .

The horror! Bereft indeed!

Dig out the archives, replay the video clips. Find SOMEthing … ANYthing to remind the waiting, wailing punters of… you know the rest.

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Just a little background aside or three on some likely interviewees. Come back to the below later if you prefer.

ORDER! ORDER!

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ALAS, POOR YORICK TONY! I KNEW HIM …

So the usual suspects and perhaps even a few sensible types have got their er… tributes in first.  In the can; on the record; ready for the big day when we can all find out how and why the most electorally successful Labour leader ever was such a … what’s the word …  oh yes, failure.

I DO realise that this writing up of early obituaries is common practice, just in case.  Since Mr Blair is just 58 it may be a decade or several premature.  I discount immediately perceived “threats” to him as suggested by someone here. The BBC may be at times illiberal with the verity but it is not a  killer setup regardless of Jeremy Paxman’s cross-media article (let’s pretend it’s about his fave pic) inadvertently I’m sure, rousing would-be assassin types who hang out at the rough corners of the Guardian of the TROOF.  As if, eh?

But nor do I imagine this BBC obituary will be a quick two-minute snip mourning a senior statesman’s demise.  Instead it will be a programme-length exhortation – or perhaps a series – as to what NOT to do with power. While of course explaining in no unbiased terms as to why exactly Mr Blair was such a ‘disappointment’ (to some.)

BBC ANTI-BLAIR BIAS

Why, I hear you ask, don’t I completely trust the BBC’s motives in recording, collecting, editing and collating ‘alas poor Tony! …’ wails from the affected…  er… effected?

It’s very simple.

I have watched over many years as the BBC’s anti-Blair/anti-Iraq war bias has shone through almost every news item: analysis pouring knowledgeably from the lips of assuredly informed Today broadcasters; echoed and chiming in a cacophony of  Newnights; muddling through middle-class mumblings at Any Questions masterclasses; chattering classily through quirky Question Times; not to mention Panoramically looking to let’s-put-things-right oh so liberally-leftily in that self-important overseeing seewetoldyou way.

All BBC gems undimmed in their omniscience due usually to the orchestrated absence of the airing of balancing countervailing arguments from any not quite liberal intelligentsia types among us.

‘I KNOW I KNEW HIM NOW. BUT WILL I KNOW HIM THEN?

Put aside that it is clear that despite often being accused by the political right of being too “left” the BBC and its commenters and broadcasters are, with a few honourable exceptions, against the Iraq war. Thus it follows anti-Blair.  Beseeching us for understanding, as though they had mistakenly cheerled for Hitler, they have the humility – nay – lofty self-flagellation and deserved meekness to make it clear they can’t apologise enough. Especially because he won’t.

Pumpkins.

Thing is, even if Blair is/was of “the left”, his having been a Labour PM actually makes it so much easier for them to put on their earnest lefty luvvie tones – ‘sorry we didn’t realise/he seemed so nice’.

Has the BBC considered there is an issue in recording opinions on a late lamented who isn’t yet late even if, by some, seriously lamented?  The man himself might outlive many of them. There may well be far more to be said about him than that he joined in on a war they did not like. On second thoughts – they clearly have considered that.

En passant – it’s been reported that a 24 year-old former drugs-dealing gang member has just been awarded an OBE in the News Years Honours List. For turning round his life in an acceptable way he has been rewarded.  How on earth does that compare to the work already being done by Tony Blair all over the world through his Faith Foundation, Climate Group, African Governance Initiative to name but some? Not that I think he’s looking for a gong, but where is Tony Blair’s award?  Where is his recognition for decades spent in public service?

And in decades to come will today’s OB units filming GG’s words REALLY do the man justice?

I conclude not.

There is one issue which is harder still to get one’s innocent head around.

How can such as Tam Dalyell (if indeed he is one with a starring role) talk today about a future deceased Mr Blair in tones which will have any pertinence when that sad day comes? After all it’s a different thing to talk today of someone yet warm than it may be on that cold distant morn. So how?

Only, might I suggest to Dalyell/Galloway clones, by being asked about matters they feel strongly about today: Iraq, in other words.  And who knows how the world and even today’s MPs will feel about Iraq in 20/30/40 years time?

So, yes I am suspicious about the filming of MPs re Tony Blair’s inevitable, eventual televised obituary.  Not because I think they expect him to die any time soon, but because I think they expect him NOT to.  They can’t dare allow him and the passing of time here and in Iraq to change perceptions. Not when such as Gorgeous George are still around to “balance” things by reminding us how evil was the man. (Not Saddam, silly, but Tony Blair the remover of that ‘indefatigability‘.)

Look – I’m fed up with this already. And I’ve hardly touched on Letts. Cant imagine how YOU feel!

I’ll write on Letts later, if he hasn’t by then been found dead in a “small shed” somewhere. Methane accruement in his particular case should take about ten minutes.

In which case, I suppose I’ll have to do an obituary.

What a stinker.

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__________

Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

See full signature list


Enjoy the Tony & Leo Picture, and Rage against the Darkening of The Guardian

December 12, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

12th December 2011

Like most politicians Tony Blair prefers, understandably, to keep his family out of the limelight.

Unusually he has broken with this in order to donate a Father & Baby photograph to the Royal Academy of Arts New Art Exhibition. Every donated item will be sold to raise funds for the Royal Academy Schools.  It is a beautiful photograph of the former prime minister with his newborn son Leo in 2000.  Many, if not most of us can identify with it.

Story is here at the Metro, pasted below:

Tony Blair and baby Leo a picture of happiness at new art exhibition

Former prime minister Tony Blair looks lovingly at his newborn son Leo in one of the exhibits at a new Royal Academy of Arts show called Happiness.

The Labour PM, who became the first occupant of No.10 to father a child for more than 50 years, sent a picture of him and baby Leo soon after his birth in May 2000.

Mr Blair said: ‘This captures a sheer, uncomplicated moment of contentment when nothing else mattered for either of us.’

Others to contribute from the worlds of art, fashion and culture include David Bailey, Sienna Miller, Vivienne Westwood, Manolo Blahnik and Bella Freud, with items ranging from children’s shoes and old records to paintings and clothing.

The free exhibition, created by champagne company Krug, runs from tomorrow until December 20.

All items will be sold on a first offer basis. The money raised from the sales of exhibits will go towards the Royal Academy Schools.

All that needs to be said has been said in The Metro. A father and son. Albeit a famous father. It is a lovely family picture which will be treasured and passed down generations.

So what does the disgraceful Guardian do with this?

They surround it with their own choice of words. Yes, The Guardian of The Truth’s puerile juvenilia takes some beating. They then have the utter gall to put this under the picture -

Photograph: Krug Happiness exhibition / Royal Academy of Arts

If I were a member of the Krug Happiness Exhibition or The Royal Academy of Arts I’d sue the nasty-minded Guardian for misrepresentation.

The writer/journalist/twisted soul (you choose) – someone called Tom Meltzer – someone of low values, little integrity, no human empathy – (I choose ALL) – says this:

Caption competition: what is Tony Blair’s idea of true happiness?

What might Tony Blair be thinking in this photograph of the former prime minister with his son Leo?

In order to help any Guardianistos compelled to comment and who feel commenting in this mode is a fine, upstanding thing to do, Meltzer provides a sampler as to what he’s looking for.  This is his idea of a caption -

“Happiness is – spending time with someone who has never heard of Fallujah”.

Fallujah? Was this Meltzer man born an idiot or did he have to work for the Guardian for a bit to attain that hallowed state?

Fallujah was FOUR years ahead of the day this picture was taken.  Even Tony Blair had likely never heard of Fallujah when little Leo was born.

It is an utter disgrace that a baby’s earliest picture should be attached in such a thoughtless, idle way to this kind of determined propaganda against the Iraq war and the man who led our country into it.

Even if The Guardian thinks it knows all there is to know about Iraq, it would do well to ponder that the “sins of the father” do not sit comfortably or deservedly on the head of his infant child.

How low can The Guardian go?

Don’t ask. Far, far lower.

BROADSHEETERY

We now discover that the Guardian’s determination to do away with the News of The World meant that it was content to announce to the innocent and gullible that a NoW journo had hacked into AND deleted messages from the phone of the missing teenager Milly Dowler. You will recall that, utterly reprehensible as hacking is, there was widespread acceptance that it was often done and had been widely done by many newspapers for years.  No-one was all that surprised.  What really stiffened spines against the News of The World was the Guardian’s insistence that they knew a NoW journalist had also deleted messages from Milly’s mobile so giving her parents false hope that she was still alive.

As we empathise today with the father & baby picture above we empathised then with the parents of Milly Dowler.

It now transpires that the Guardian was wrong – or as they choose to put it in their apology for an apology – were informed wrongly. The NoW journalist Glenn Mulcaire did NOT delete any messages from Milly Dowler’s mobile phone.

Yet THAT suggestion was at least part of what got the Leveson Inquiry off the blocks and killed the News of The World at the same time.

The Guardian is a shameful piece of pompous, deceitful, high-horsed broadsheetery.

Its behaviour almost makes me want to call for the return of the News of The World, and if it comes back I might even buy a copy.  That’ll be two I’ll have ever bought.

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Related

Also reported here in the terms it should be reported.

By the way, what do I think Tony Blair is thinking? Same as we’d all be thinking – “You’re beautiful, precious little one.”

Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

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Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

See full signature list


“By the Mail on Sunday” omitted. Why? Blair Office Response to Mail’s Opinion on “damning” Chilcot report

August 1, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

1st August 2011

BLAIR’S CRITICISM IS SOLELY TOWARDS THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

NOT TOWARDS THE CHILCOT INQUIRY

Not that you’d necessarily get that message if you accepted at face-value the Mail on Sunday’s edited version of Mr Blair’s spokesman’s response.

WHAT’S MISSING IN MoS & THE FOLLOW-UP REPORTS?

The Words -

“BY THE MAIL ON SUNDAY”

Firstly, for the avoidance of misunderstanding, to set the record straight and to show how feral is the feral press,  it is worth quoting Tony Blair’s spokesman exactly and completely  [my underline] -

A spokesman said: “This is a deliberate attempt by the Mail on Sunday to pre-judge a report that hasn’t even been written yet. We’re not going[sic] comment until it has been published.”

[NOTE: I haven’t been able to find a correct original version [from Blair's Office] of this online anywhere, so it was likely a telephone quote. I am sure that Mr Blair’s Office would have thrown in the word “to” before “comment”. Details ARE important.]

This knowing little piece of "We All Know" knowledge started the rest "knowing" all they always knew they knew in the first place.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE?

The main culprit or rather prime mover on truth, half-truths and lies is, quelle surprise(!) The Mail on Sunday.

It says, side-stepping its own responsibility for ANY of this -

“A spokesman for Tony Blair said: ‘This is a deliberate attempt to pre-judge a report that hasn’t even been written yet.

‘We’re not going [sic] [careful, careful!] comment until it has been published.’ “

Note: No by the Mail on Sunday” in this partial quote. Fancy that!

In case the Mail on Sunday or any other day decides it had better alter this, I have taken a screenshot.  [That reminds me -  I have a post in draft regarding how the Mail DOES alter its copy when pulled up on issues.  I hope to publish this soon.]

To see this better click the graphic to visit the MoS site.

Today’s Daily Mail article is no better. Titled [knowingly, but of course]  – Sir John Chilcot points finger at Tony Blair –  it sneaks in the word “fiasco” as though Tony Blair himself had used it in reference to the Iraq war, or if you like, and perhaps you do, as if in reference to the Chilcot Inquiry from… well, someone or other with an opinion. As if, eh?

“Last night Mr Blair hit back at claims that the inquiry would blame him for  the fiasco.

A source close to him said: ‘This is a deliberate attempt to pre-judge a report that hasn’t even been written yet.’ “

Where is the Mail’s quote for this “hitting back” [innuendo(?) - at the Inquiry?] Where too does his Office mention a “fiasco”?

All that Mr Blair’s spokesman said is that he takes exception to the Mail on Sunday’s pre-judgement of the Chilcot report! And note, in case you missed it, that the MoS still doesn’t include the full quote from Mr Blair’s Office in which the MoS is criticised.

OBFUSCATION DESERVES OBFUSCATION?

You may think this is to be expected, even accepted. Perhaps even deserved. Especially if you agree with the Mail/Mail on Sunday’s views on the Iraq war and on Tony Blair himself. After all, the MoS/Mail [and you] might argue that so-alleged Blair obfuscation and half-truths must be dealt with by the same tactics.

You may.  On the other hand isn’t the press under scrutiny for its own original obfuscation as well as other little things? And not only the Murdoch press? The Mail & The Mirror are both also being investigated.

TIME FOR SOME EUROVISION SING-ALONG-A-LIES POINTS ALLOCATION?

Here goes. For this FAILURE to be honest with even simply quoting others I award the Mail on Sunday [drumroll & pregnant pause that would outdo a Blair speech] - NIL POINTS.

And what of the others? Again, surprise, surprise – all singing from the same hymn sheet. Well, almost all.

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THE METRO [picked up free at London Tube stations & elsewhere in the capital. We don't even have to PAY for their lies!]

As is the viral nature of lies and half-truths this is what The Metro said, either lazily copying from the Mail, or obfuscation for its own ends:

“A spokesman for Mr Blair said: ‘This is a deliberate attempt to pre-judge a report that hasn’t even been written yet. We’re not going to comment until it has been published.’”

For the Metro’s Failure to do any investigative journalism, or worse to be prepared to extend the LIES  I award them – MINUS one point. After all they DID bother to add the [original quoted] missing “to”, so must have spent some time on it. Perhaps all of ten minutes.

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Then there’s  Craig Woodhouse at The London Evening Standard (‘This Is London’) describing the unpublished report [knowingly] as a “damning report”,  Mr Woodhouse has this -

‘Sources close to Mr Blair said: “This is a deliberate attempt to pre-judge a report that hasn’t even been written yet.”‘

Again omitting “by the Mail on Sunday”!

For this omission ‘The Evening Standard’ ties with ‘The Metro’, for the same reasons – laziness or an agenda. Possibly both. Awarded to The Evening Standard/This is London - [do take a bow] - MINUS ONE POINT.

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The Telegraph today also omits the phrase “by the Mail on Sunday” from Blair’s Office in its version of Iraq Inquiry: Chilcot report to criticise Tony Blair

And just for the flavour it adds one of the most unflattering pictures of Tony Blair it could lay its hands on. Around necks, anyone?

It too copies and pastes [with errors.]

‘A spokesman for Mr Blair said: “This is a deliberate attempt to prejudge a report that hasn’t even been written yet. We’re not going comment until it has been published.”‘

You notice how The Telegraph too has omitted the “by the Mail on Sunday” phrase? And how they have just copied and pasted including the missed word “to”? Lazy or agenda’d.  Both, imo.

As with most of this destructive cartel I award the Telegraph MINUS ONE POINT.

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AND THE WINNER/LOSER IS …

Nigel Morris at The Independent headlines from a different tangent.  He seems to know – without a relevant quote that – ‘Blair is angered by “pre-judging” of Chilcot Inquiry on Iraq war’. In a way, they don’t have to quote him to know he would not be pleased. Would YOU be relaxed if you were pre-judged by a ferocious press? Yet, as is the wont with the Indie it tries to sound as though it empathises. Until, that is one reads the article.

“Tony Blair has expressed his irritation at the Iraq inquiry’s preparing to deliver a damning verdict on his handling of the war.”

Where? When? How exactly has Blair expressed his irritation at the Iraq Inquiry? That’s right. In NO WAY! And where, when, how did he say he accepts that they are about to deliver a “damning verdict” anyway? Have they told him that?

In no way and at no time has Mr Blair expressed such irritation towards the Iraq Inquiry!

LIES, LIES & MORE LIES  and the Independent. No wonder Blair named that paper in his feral beasts speech.

For this simple dissembling – [did I say "simple"?] – I was about to award The Independent MINUS FIVE Points. But it had the sense to copy and paste the more-or-less entire quote from Mr Blair’s spokesman alongside its so-called “sources” – “Whitehall”.

“This is a deliberate attempt by the Mail on Sunday to pre-judge a report that hasn’t even been written yet. We’re not going [sic] comment until it has been published.”

So, The Independent scores MINUS FOUR points. Gained by pretending, exaggerating, dissembling, lying. [You choose.] It would have been MINUS THREE if it had read while it pasted and added the missing “to”.

Inexactitudes and the British press. Something to behold.

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And now the good news.

Perhaps because this article has been compiled [not one of these journalists is up for original writing] by Nicholas Watt The Guardian actually said -

“Blair hit out at the Mail on Sunday. A spokesman for the former prime minister said: “This is a deliberate attempt by the Mail on Sunday to prejudge a report that hasn’t even been written yet. We are not going to comment until the report is actually published.”

For quoting Tony Blair’s spokesman accurately I award the Guardian ONE PONT. No minuses at all.  It is on positive ground. In fact make that TWO POINTS. In this news item or opinion piece [you choose] it is the only paper I have come across which checks what it writes.  Note – “to comment”.]

However, it comes to something when only one of the cartel [yes, I repeat "cartel"] of media sources grabbing onto the coattails of the Mail on Sunday get thanks for quoting accurately!

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By the way, Sky’s report does not refer to Mr Blair’s Office’s response. And the BBC is on strike today. Again. Ye-e-es, I know. So it only has links to the Mail Online & Brian Brady at The Independent’s ‘Blair to face withering fire’

The latter of these, from the blessed Independent, has this gem:

A spokeswoman for the Chilcot inquiry said: “We will not provide a running commentary on the inquiry.” A spokesman for Mr Blair was made aware of the claims last night butdid [sic] respond by the time of going to pressed [sic].’

Presumably they meant “did not respond” and “press”? [careful, careful, catchee truthee. Details important]

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ON THE OTHER HAND

Fellow member of We Few, We Happy Few Julie has this in counter attack – IICRS Daily Mail Special. Her excellent post is referred to here by Max Dunbar, who has questions of his own.

You may think referring to the virally omitted “by the Mail on Sunday” is nitpicking.  It most certainly is not. This omission is nothing less than an attempt to make it sound as though Tony Blair himself is criticising the Iraq Inquiry. At least that is the intention of the Mail. The rest, onboard politically or not with the MoS, and most are onboard, are inarguably guilty of lazy journalism.

Mr Blair is NOT criticising the Iraq Inquiry.

Got it?

Good.

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UPDATE: I’ve found two more copy and paste jobs. One from the Herald Scotland which says – “TONY Blair has condemned leaks as a deliberate attempt to pre-judge the Chilcot Inquiry on the Iraq war before the report is even complete.”

Again – WHERE, WHEN , HOW did he condemn the press “leaks”? He condemned the conclusions that the Mail seems to have reached.

From The Mirror there’s simply this – ‘Sir John, the former civil servant who has chaired the Iraq Inquiry, will deliver damning verdicts, according to one report. A spokesman for the ex-PM hit back angrily at the claims. The source said: “This is a deliberate attempt to prejudge a report that hasn’t even been written yet.” ‘

NIL POINTS EACH, chaps. For no original thought and for failing to question the motives of your press colleagues.

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Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

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The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
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Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

Is Yates of Yard – “Yackered” ? Twitter Hashtags & Trending

July 12, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

12th July 2011

YACKERED?

So how do we trend THIS invented word?

Inspired by Paul Waugh’s suggestion of hashtagging YatesoftheKnackersYard I responded thus -

blairsupporterBlair Supporter@ @paulwaugh – well, “yates” is trending. So why not a hashtag #YatesoftheKnackersYard#yates #knackered #knackersyard or even #yackered

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Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

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The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.