29th August 2010
UPDATE: Confession. As I mentioned at an earlier post, I was watching this programme because my new friend Peter was on it. Except he wasn’t in the end. It time out. I had started to draft it with Peter Reynolds’ name in the title, then changed it to ‘John Rentoul‘. JR to the rescue! Read Peter’s very amusing account of his on/off encounter with the most attractive Susanna Reid. Disappointed? I’m sure she is.
UPDATE 2: Julie has this great title – “Blairphobia spreads to Ireland. 23 Victims reported”
After they discussed REALLY important things like the furore over the woman, Mary Bale, who put her the cat [not hers, it seems – humble apologies] Lola in a bin, and the ensuing calls for her death on Facebook as well as millions of hits on YouTube [watch here.]
The BIG question on the programme was – “Are we too obsessed with animals?”
Yes, many Brits ARE nuts over animals. Hypocritically so, considering we eat them after some cruel farming methods, and wear their skins daily on our feet.
And, yes, the reactive attacks on this woman, whose action was clearly reprehensible, was way OTT.
Should faith schools be abolished? Placed by historian Francis Beckett. He was concerned that children were being taught religious opinion as FACT. Beckett thinks that the phrase “Christian values” is the most pernicious phrase in the language. Lovely how people exaggerate to make a point, even historians, who should know better. I can think of a few more pernicious, like say “Tony Blair is a war criminal”.
Anne Atkins responded that faith itself is the basis of our society, law, parliament, even government. Her angle was that it seemed wrong-headed to throw out our society’s mores, and possibly our law, parliament and government in order to either dismiss faith or place them all on a level playing field.
This link with our very society (Christian/Jewish link) is one I have often made. At least religious schools are presently subject to some sort of inspection and regulation. On this, if not on her opinions on Tony Blair (read below) I think she was more right than wrong, and far more correct than Beckett.
He, by illuminating contrast, was COMPLETELY WRONG, on everything.
Francis Beckett usually IS wrong.
Pernicious enough phrase for you, Mr Beckett?
If anyone thinks that Jews and Muslims will accept the “abolish faith schools” proposition, without putting something else in its place, they were born yesterday.
Personally I have taught in Anglican and Catholic schools, and they taught about ALL religions. Do… would Muslim schools?
Beckett: “No he wasn’t a visionary and he wasn’t a peace-maker … the minimum wage was the key one.” [He then complained about the then low (at the time) rate of the minimum wage.]
Susanna Reid: “So everything that came out of the Blair years you qualify?”
Charlie Wolf: “He [Blair] saw the bigger picture – over 9/11 – Afghanistan, Iraq – he wasn’t a poodle – took a lot of guts.”
Atkins: “I’m not a natural Blairite … loathe the policies … not my phrase but he will go down as a ‘war criminal’ … the war in Iraq was a disgrace … over a lie … those tens of thousands are on our conscience … he does have stature and a wholesome personality … peace process a real achievement.”
John Rentoul: “Your panel is depressing apart from Charlie – disgraceful for the BBC to bandy the words ‘war criminal’ – despicable – Tony Blair stood against war criminals.”
Challenged by Beckett on the “lie” of WMD, 45 minutes as the basis for going into Iraq John Rentoul dismissed Beckett’s popular and populist misconceptions. Well dismissed.
The small-minded, cynical and frankly outrageous Beckett then said on the donation to the Royal British Legion of four and a half million pounds – “giving money to charity is a way of avoiding taxes.”
Oh, give me strength.
Well done, John Rentoul.
Way to go.
UPDATE: John Rentoul has a post up on this too. Great psychological analysis going on there, what! WHAT?
‘Lauren Booth, Tony Blair’s anti-semitic sister-in-law’ calls for an end to the Jewish state. Disgraceful. And from someone who purports to ‘CARE’ about peace. This is the true agenda of many of her fellow travellers.
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“Getting really bored with the persistence with which people pursue their anti-Blair propaganda, steadfastly refusing to see any good in the man.” – AND – “Tony Blair was the greatest Prime Minister since Winston Churchill and the only regret I have he didn’t get my vote as I live in Canada.”
- John Rentoul: Collaborators, your country needs you (independent.co.uk)
- John Rentoul: A little fratricide can do Labour no harm (independent.co.uk) Well, they’re well practised at it!
- How Bush and Blair plotted in secret to stop Brown (telegraph.co.uk) I wonder how come the “dumbass” Bush was so much smarter than Labour’s Brown-nosers?
- Tony Blair To Give Autobiography Proceeds To Charity (brainz.org)
- Labour contenders await Tony Blair intervention (guardian.co.uk) I’m sure they’re desperate to hear.
Tags: a journey, Anne Atkins, BBC, Christian values, Facebook, Francis Beckett, historian, Iraq, iraq war, John Rentoul, Lola cat, Mary Bale, pernicious phrase, Royal British Legion, Sunday Morning Live, Susanna Reid, Tony Blair, Tony Blair force for good, war criminal, wheelie bin, youtube