6th October 2010
THE STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL OF LABOUR CONTINUES
Have you noticed that Tony Blair hasn’t publicly said anything about the new, not New Labour party leader? Not even a congratulatory “well done”.
Hardly surprising, considering that the unchosen one managed to win over the Labour “faithful” by squealing about the “wrongness” of the Iraq decision. Something he didn’t squeal much about before.
But there we go. The measure of the man?
About a year ago, according to Andrew Porter at his September Telegraph article Tony Blair “interviewed” Ed Miliband in Washington when their paths crossed. It seems Mr Blair was interested in Ed’s position on global issues. Well he might have been. Blair still thinks of Britain as a global power. Clearly Ed M doesn’t. Mr Blair was unimpressed, especially on the then leader hopeful’s position on dealing with Iran.
And as we in Europe are under Al Qaeda threat – yeh, I know, they’re making it all up – Iran Admits It Could Pull Nuke Trigger on US, Israel
I wonder if Labour’s greatest winner ever suspected that Mili-E would come out with his absolute balderdash on Iraq? If he did he probably knew it wouldn’t be until AFTER Mili-Ed had won. Guts inside the Labour party are at a premium. They seldom know when and how to STAND and fight any battle. They prefer just standing.
If standing around watching was not their preference – remember all the failed and even non-attempts to remove Brown? – Labour would not now be in their present election-losing situation. They are now being led by someone many of us think most unimpressive.
Meanwhile tonight he whose name is seldom mentioned except in criticism, also known as the ‘Scholar-Statesman’ – is being awarded AGAIN in the USA. This time by the think tank the Washington Institute for his political grip on international issues.
“The Washington Institute for Near East Policy will award former British Prime Minister Tony Blair the Scholar-Statesman Award at a gala event in New York tonight. From a WINEP release today:
Mr. Blair joins President Bill Clinton, Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, and eminent historian Bernard Lewis as recipients of a prize established to recognize outstanding leaders who exemplify the idea that sound scholarship and a discerning knowledge of history are essential to the advancement of peace and security in the Middle East.
“Tony Blair fully exemplifies the finest ideals and attributes that The Washington Institute seeks to celebrate with this award,” said Robert Satloff, the Institute’s executive director. “In building peace and fighting war, he has shown himself to be a leader of uncommon insight, principle, commitment, faith, and determination.”
It had been assumed that the former prime minister has always steadfastly been behind David Miliband, the candidate leading the race to succeed Gordon Brown.
But Mr Blair summoned the younger Miliband for a meeting while the two men were in Washington before the election.
It has been described by one Labour source as “a job interview” to see if Ed Miliband could be the true “heir to Blair.”
A range of issues were discussed in the meeting, but there was heavy emphasis on global issues. Mr Blair is understood to have been unimpressed with some of the answers Mr Miliband gave and has since given his tacit backing to the elder Miliband, David.
What the world community should do to confront Iran was one area where the two men are said to have disagreed, according to party sources.
The meeting highlights the doubts some leading Labour figures that were thought to fully back David Miliband had about the shadow foreign secretary. David was a close adviser to Mr Blair and the former prime minister has used this week’s launch of his memoirs to tacitly endorse his protégé.
David Miliband recently made what was seen as a carefully coded attack on his brother’s politics.
He said: “Opposition is necessary but insufficient. At worst, it can take us back into our comfort zone – and our pantomime role in politics.
“There is no future for Labour in the comfortable but deadening policies of the past.”
Ed Miliband responded by talking about the “New Labour comfort zone” and repeated the phrase in this week’s hustings.
Perhaps the meeting didn’t so much “highlight “doubts over David, but was more a recognition that given the Blairless and Union-strengthened Labour party, Ed might well win.
And, did you notice that Ed M used that “comfort zone” phrase AGAIN at his “Iraq was wrong” diatribe? Only this time it was “New Labour” that was the “comfort zone.” Who writes his gags?
The last leader-in-waiting I recall doing anything like that with someone else’s phrase was Gordon Brown. This was at another Labour party conference when Blair had said they were “New Labour” and had a mandate to govern as New Labour. The next day Brown addressed the 2003 conference with “best when we’re Labour”. No mention of Blair’s “New”.
Hmmm. Yes, we got the message. From both of you, Mr MiliBrown.
- Blair left Downing Street years ago, but his ghost haunts all our politics | Jonathan Freedland (guardian.co.uk)
- “It died 15 years ago” according to this analysis. Fun, isn’t it? Well, if anywhere near true, and if also true that Blair hates Labour as much as it hates him, it’s time to look around, Tony. After all YOU’RE the winner, not them. And they all know that.
- As for David M’s future – the rumours of his replacing Cathy Ashton (who undeservedly got the EU job next to the EU President’s job that Blair should have got) – well, it seems William Hague won’t be nominating him. Perhaps he wants David AND Tony to cross over, as it were. Now that would really set the cat among the proverbial.
- Read Tim Allan’s Open Letter to Ed Miliband at The Guardian, and note the commenters, almost all from left-wingers and trades union supporters. Any more proof needed of Labour’s dire political position?
Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
“Mr. Blair is one of the finest politicians to have had the priviledge of serving the United Kingdom, and Britons are fortunate to have had him as their Prime Minister. Time will show that Mr. Blair’s approach to affairs in the Middle East were and remain correct. From a member of the Commonwealth, thank you, Mr. Blair, for your continued service to legitimate and lasting (and not convenient or politically expedient) freedom.”
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.”
Tags: Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda threat, Blair award, David Miliband, Ed Miliband, europe, Iran, Iran ukes USA Israel, Iraq, labour, Labour leader, new labour, politics, Scholar statesman, steve richards, Tony Blair, United States, Washington Institute