John Rentoul, Sunday Morning Live: ‘Was Tony Blair a force for good?’

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    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”

    John Rentoul appeared by webcam on Susanna Reid‘s Sunday Morning Live this morning, debating Tony Blair.

    [Watch it here] You can also comment at the BBC’s website here, as I have done.

    [Starts here – “Was Tony Blair a force for good?”, if you’d rather skip cats and faith schools.]

    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.

    Next question?

    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?

    Next question?

    WAS TONY BLAIR A FORCE FOR GOOD?

    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?”

    Beckett: “Yes.”

    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?

    _______________

    ETCETERA

    ‘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.

    Mystery of the marriage of Sharia Law & Feminism

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    13 Responses to “John Rentoul, Sunday Morning Live: ‘Was Tony Blair a force for good?’”

    1. Peter Reynolds Says:

      Well I’ve puzzled over all the comments on the BBC website and I simply cannot decide which is yours and under what alias you posted.

      On the subject of aliases, look out for my reply to a rather old comment of yours on the subject of “online ethics”.

      http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/my-non-appearance-on-sunday-morning-live/

    2. little ole American Says:

      The only reason Beckett gives to charities, is to avoid taxes? (Freudian Slip!) LOL!
      These anti-Blair types are bullies. When are they ever going to grow up?

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        They’re not . Going to grow up. It’s called justifying one’s denial by twisting the facts. Mention MONEY, TAXES, AVOIDING, PROPERTY, RICH, SEVERAL HOUSES attached to the name Tony Blair and it’s almost as powerful as “WAR CRIMINAL”. You Americans must be SO SO SO much more mature than we are. Do the American intelligentsia pursue Bush like this? No? Here his accomplice gets it in the neck for breathing.

    3. Peter Reynolds Says:

      Did you see this?

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/tony-blair/7968101/Tony-Blairs-memoirs-A-Journey.html

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Only got this far, P –

        Beside Blair, the five Labour candidates look like minnows. By the time of his election, in the summer of 1994, he had already made his mark. He had stood up against trade unions on the closed shop, and against the Labour Party, insisting on ‘one man one vote’.

        – which I agreed with completely, because they ARE minnows. And then I had other things to do. Will now read the rest. Seldon is at times a little iffy for me, though I quite enjoyed one of his books on TB.

        Will report back after I’ve had a look.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Read it, P. It was good. Better than I thought it would be. I think Seldon has an early copy of the book and understands a little better. His tone over certain issues has altered from before. Iraq, for a start. He is not as judgemental as he was last time I read him on Blair.

        I was at the Iraq Inquiry when TB was there. He was very, VERY good. Not as he was written off by the press. Some say he was nervous at the start. Well, why not? I think few of us in HIS situation, would not have been nervous. I was at the afternoon session, so he’d bedded in by then. I also met John Rentoul on that day. That man is amazing. A stalwart for Blair and a lovely gentle guy. He was being interviewed for 12 hours that day, from 7:30 am onwards. I was in his office when an ignorant Radio London producer rang him and said “how was he at the trial?” HONESTLY!!! John looked at me, raised his eyebrows and replied to this child – “it was not a trial”.

        No bloody wonder we’re in the mess we’re in. These meeja types are 18 going on 12.

      • Peter Reynolds Says:

        That’s right, just like the pederast’s favourite politico, Laura Kuenssy. She was only 12 last week.

    4. Blairphobia spreads to Ireland: 23 victims reported « Says:

      […] John Rentoul, Sunday Morning Live: ‘Was Tony Blair a force for good?’ « Tony Blair August 29, 2010 at 11:34 pm […]

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