Jeremy Vine hears from admirers of “The Great Tony Blair” (Radio 2)

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    8th September 2010

    UPDATE: For those who didn’t know – at the Tate Modern tonight there will be a private launch party for “A Journey”. All half-baked, Islamist fundamentalist-following shoe-throwers are NOT permitted to bring a spare pair. Walk home half-shoeless, to go with your wits.

    UPDATE 2: On ‘This Morning’ he said he has cancelled tonight’s Tate event too. Hmmm. Perhaps there is a strategy unfolding.

    Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

    Listen to the people who LOVE (not HATE) Tony Blair on Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 programme

    [The section on Tony Blair starts at around 8 minutes and ends at just over 33 minutes.]

    “Where”, Vine asks, “has all the anger come from?”

    He is admired, respected even hero-worshipped in Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Northern Ireland. Locals there contributed to the programme phone-in.  Listen. Just listen. And then ask yourself again – “where does the Blair anger come from?”

    THE PRESS, of course. People didn’t imagine that he was a liar, poodle etc.  They weren’t flies on the walls at his every meeting, HEARING the lies being formed and then hidden. The press’s reports told them these so-called ‘lies‘. The press was and still is the conduit for all of our information and thus our opinions. Our news media is far too big for its boots and far too politically biased, imho.

    Just think. You have probably heard little in the press about Kosovo. Even less about Sierra Leone, and as far as I can recall no main publication’s editorial came out with, “where is Blair’s Nobel prize for Northern Ireland?” when Obama got his for “promise” – FGS!

    Of course the usual suspects came onto Vine’s radio phone-in with the usual nonsensical, pre-judged arguments. On this programme all the antis were describing him as a “war criminal”.  Have they ever thought how it must feel to be constantly called a “war criminal”, when he knows he isn’t one? Do they give a damn how he feels about this? Or his family? I am still constantly outraged when I hear this. I feel outrage because British people, who generally insist that terrorist suspects, even when caught red-handed, MUST be described as “suspected” of a crime. But when it comes to Tony Blair, they KNOW. They just KNOW he’s a war criminal. It’s as though one dark night they all had a national, communal visitation from on high.

    Pic, above right is a BBC release of  Tony Blair during an interview on Monday Aug. 30 2010. (AP Photo/ Jeff Overs/BBC /PA)

    But most of the phone calls were from people who admired Mr Blair, some describing him as “the best prime minister we ever had”.

    Some callers’ thoughts:

    Anti: Challenged for Iraq and Afghanistan – one of the usual suspects said, “Blair & Bush are guilty of genocide”. This caller then gave away his political position – “there will never be peace in Ireland while England remains there.”

    Pro: “The anti-war people clearly have mental health problems …  I’m proud of his record in Iraq.”

    Pro: An ex-soldier who votes Conservative Blair said “Blair has some backbone. I admire what he’s done.”

    [Read John Rentoul on the “Empty Victory” of the RENTAMOB]

    I have written on some of Tony Blair’s work at this site. A few here:

    And there is a recent article at Tony Blair’s website on his ongoing work in Sierra Leone: Launch of free healthcare programme in Sierra Leone



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    Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

    Recent comments:

    “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.”AND“I am sick and tired of television and radio interviewers asking the same old questions over and over, regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, presumably they hope Mr Blair will let slip some secret information which they would then use against him. History will show if the decision was the right one, (I believe it was) but people must accept that Tony Blair is a honourable man, and made his decision based on the known facts and not with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.”

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    19 Responses to “Jeremy Vine hears from admirers of “The Great Tony Blair” (Radio 2)”

    1. Karen Says:

      I watched This Morning the interview was Excellant He has lost none of his charm and they never mentioned the Iraq war i think so sad he has to cancel his private party because of the safety of others sorry pospone it I do hope he will reshedule the party another time

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:


        The only good thing about it is that he has denied the SCUM-MOB the oxygen of publicity. I look foward to seeing the first of our mainstream press complain about his freedom to meet with friends…. and I wait … and I wait…

        THAT’S the big issue that comes out of all of this.


    2. Peter Reynolds Says:

      I am more and more aware of the knee-jerk, anti-Blair rhetoric that everyone seems to feel they have to buy into. I think some people subscribe to it now even without thinking about it.

      The “war criminal” jibe is intolerable really. As you say, where is the “alleged” that seemingly has to be placed before any other accusation of anybody else? I think a chased to the bitter end BBC complaint is probably called for here, probably going as far as Sir Michael Lyons in the end.

      It would be inappropriate for Tone to do this himself. Someone(?) should do it for him. Someone who is prepared to commit to a lengthy process involving detailed written arguments. Now, I wonder, who can I think of who might be any good at that? I shall have to give this some in-depth consideration. Mmmm. Duhhh. Mmmm. Who would possibly be any good at that?

      I can give (free) detailed consultation on the BBC complaints procedure to any interested party.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Peter, me ol’ mate, I thought, even HOPED you were volunteering to insist on the word “alleged” preceding “war criminal Blair”. I mentioned this to John Rentoul after your non-appearance on the Sunday morning telly thing, where they missed a chance to discover a political superstar! Anyway, we heard and saw Rentoul on that occasion and he DID complain live on air about the BBC’s facile mis-use of the words “war criminal”.

        There is another frequent commenter here who has done what you have done in the past – pursued the Beeb over this kind of anti-Blair bias. Perhaps we should mention writing a letter to Lyons. (By the name of “Stan” if I recall correctly.) He was probably almost solely responsible for getting little Laura K kicked up the backside over her “blood on his hands” remark, when its reference by the British ambassador to the USA was actually to his NOT having blood on his hands.

        But who needs facts, or journalistic exactitudes, when it’s so much more fun to lynch a politician, especially one with ‘blood on his hands’?

        Apart from that, don’t you think I do enough for He Who Should Have Been Listened To?

        The BBC complaints procedure is straight-forward enough. It’s just that they take forever to get back to you – 6 months in Laura K’s case, I understand.

    3. Peter Reynolds Says:

      Aha, but I have the personal email address and direct line of the executive in charge of Capita’s BBC Audience Services. It has taken me three months to get the first coherent answer from the actual producers of the programme I was complaining about. What they don’t realise is that this is just the beginning!

      I hope I don’t detect a little flagging in enthusiasm or commitment to the cause! Come now man, take a hold of yourself!

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Really P? Well, in that case YOU’RE the MAN to do the business.

        Or if you won’t I will. YES, once more and to the consternation and guffaws of those who think I am some sort of appendage to someone’s appendages, I’ll prostrate myself willingly to derision and hours more unpaid bl***y work, and all for the sake of defending the innocent until proven guilty-ness of the Great Man.

        OFGS! Sometimes even I’ve had enough of me.

        But no – gathering up one’s haunches, and thrusting into the breeches, er… breaches etcetera etcetera – we will fight them at the Beeb. We will fight them in the Guardian. We will fight them at Guido’s, in Paxman’s face, in the Daily Maul. We will NEVER surrender.

        OK, happy now, Pete?

      • Peter Reynolds Says:


        Never in the field of political spin etc, etc


        I’m in a state of quasi-religious, transcendent ecstasy. I can SEE God!

    4. Stan Says:

      I’ve already got two appeals in with the BBC Trust on bias against Blair in the reporting of the Iraq inquiry. The first is a follow-up to that Laura K complaint where the BBC only found against her on inaccuracy grounds, not bias grounds. This is going before their Editorial Standards Committee in November. The second is about a blatantly biased BBC News report by Nicholas Witchell which is still being considered for reference to their Committee. Both these appeals should highlight the matters that Mr Reynolds is concerned about and I would hope that he will join with others in giving maximum publicity to the outcome.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        I’m sure Peter R will Stan. You two should get together. He’s great fun to banter with. Some of the time I really need that, defending as I do the “indefensible” (alleged).

      • Peter Reynolds Says:

        Yes, I am at Editorial Standards Committee stage too although I do not have a date.

        I also have a complaint about the complaints system which has avoided Capita and gone direct to the BBC Trust. It’s based on this:

        I shall be delighted to help. Should I write a supportive but independent complaint or would you prefer that I write directly in support of yours?

        As for you ktbfpm! What’s this “banter” business? I’ll have no truck with your crass trivialisation of my profound philosophical rantings!

        • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

          No, Peter the Banter, really. Your ‘profound philosophical ramblings’ etc are priceless. You are probably the only commenter here these days who frequently gets me giggling – in a nice way, you understand.

          Now, I presume you’re speaking to me on this help business, Peter. Not Stan. [STAN – where ARE you? Get me out of here!]

          Sorry, P, where were we?

          Seriously now, I think we should write separate complaints. I know that Stan felt the Beeb were becoming heartily sick of him and his complaints. But he still is highly likely to support ours. Still, his earlier fight is still ongoing as he has explained. Perhaps Rentoul and some others I know will help too, if I ask them.

      • Peter Reynolds Says:

        Indeed. I would agree that independent complaints would be most effective. I was deferring to Stan out of respect for his efforts.

        I shall comply and will advise you accordingly.

        • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

          Great stuff. We shall, to the last drop of British blood, save The Man from the baying mob, if it’s the last thing we do, more or less, and all that kind of stuff… like a bridge – OK, let’s sing it for Tony, guys.

    5. Stan Says:

      I agree that independent complaints would be most effective, rather than supportive ones. Here are some tips based on my experience. Capita deal with complaints at what they call the Stage 1 level. On appeal they go to the Stage 2 level which are dealt with by the in-house BBC Editorial Compaints Unit (ECU). If you are still dissatisfied with their response, the final (Stage 3) appeal can be made to the BBC Trust, who then decide whether the appeal is strong enough to put to their Editorial Standards Committee, consisting of independent representatives of the “Great and the Good”

      All complaints must start at Stage 1, which is why it is such an arduous and long-winded process, and must be presented in terms of whether there has been a breach of the BBC’s editorial guidelines ( which can be accessed at their Complaint’s website).

      A word of warning. The complaints people rarely address the points you are making. They are masters of evasion (and procrastination). You really have to keep pinning them down. And even at the last, when their findings are published online, they will try to omit or distort your key arguments to avoid any conflict with Committee’s conclusions. Your only recourse in these circumstances is to try to get it all out in the public domain in one way or another.

      Happy complaining! – or NOT, as the case may be.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Thanks for this, Stan, I think. Are you sre you don’t want to take it on!?

        Perhaps I can keep getting it out in the public domain by placing a quick reminder at the top of each post, of course. And perhaps a running commentary, or crawling as the case is likely to be, in a linked page. Or perhaps someone else can get on with this. Sorry, if I sound a bit iffy, it’s just that the family is growing, and my time is limited.

        John Rentoul will use it, eventually, I imagine, since he too raised concerns over the ‘war criminal’ handle so carelessly applied to TB on that BBC programme. But I don’t think Rentoul is enough, to be blunt. And he has other fish to fry.

        Anyway, we’ll see.

      • Peter Reynolds Says:

        My experience exactly matches yours Stan. I shall make my complant as specific as I can although it will not relate to a particular programme.

        I shall only use my direct contact when itgets to the stage of chasing a response.

        I will keep you advised of progress. Give me a couple of days to draft the first letter. I plan to do it by snal mail and email simultaneously.

    6. Stan Says:

      All power to your elbow, Peter ( I think I can call you by your first name now). But from my experience any complaint like this must be related to a specific programme.

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