Blair and David Frost

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19th November, 2006

I’ve listened to and read the speech the PM gave to David Frost on the Al Jazeera channel.

I can’t see what all the fuss is about. What was he supposed to say when Frost said, “But, so far it’s been … pretty much of a disaster.”

It HAS been a disaster in as far as the deaths caused by insurgencies and in coalition troops, as well as in the time it is taking to stabilise the situation.

That DOES NOT MEAN that he thinks the decision to go in was a disaster.

That will not be known for some time yet.

Click here to read the text of the interview

7 Responses to “Blair and David Frost”

  1. chris Says:

    I think this blog is a great idea. We’ve never had a PM quite like Tony, long may he continue.

  2. keeptonyblairforpm Says:

    Hi Chris and thanks very much for your comment.

    There are so many prejudiced, narrow-minded, Blair-hating myopics out there that I’m not sure whether you are being genuine or sarcastic ;0)

    Anyway, I’ve allowed some real wallies to post here, so your comment is very welcome.

  3. Robert McIntyre Says:

    I think Tony Blair has delivered on of the most complete packages of reform of any PM:

    – He has probably destroyed his party through the honours for loans scandal (unless they steal off the tax payer to keep the Labour party solvent)

    – He has probably destroyed his country through introducing the Scottish Parliament which may well now lead to the break up of the United Kingdom.

    – He has defintely destroyed the reputation of his country in international affairs through Iraq.

  4. keeptonyblairforpm Says:

    Robert,

    Although I’m reluctant to publish most of the nasties (there are enough sites out there from people who think like you), I’ve posted yours because you started well!

    To your other points I say this:

    1. Honours: I disagree. Even if he takes full blame for the loans for honours business (why didn’t the Chancellor know about it!?) the party will say that now he’s history, and new laws have been put in place, the party is scrupilous now in its endeavours and behaviour.

    2. Scottish Parliament: We won’t know until after May if the Scots will go for that plonker Salmond. If they do, and I’m a Scot, they deserve each other. Blair was only doing what he promised – providing devolution – and if the cookie crumbles that way, well, tough! That’s democracy. HE WILL NOT HAVE BROKEN UP THE UK. The Scots will have done so. That’s democracy not autocracy.

    3. Country’s reputation through Iraq: Again, we’ll see. Personally I’m sick of the insipid French and Germans excusing themselves from engaging in the real fighting in Afghanistan and excusing themselves from anything in Iraq! Along with Portugal, Spain and several Eastern European countries the UK thinks that we DO have an interest in defending the west against international terrorism AND an interest in removing anarchic regimes.
    Punching above our weight? Maybe. But, as a pro-European, I’m waiting to be convinced that our European “allies” have the guts, focus and strength to work as a world power when necessary. Which, for me, is what the EU should be about. Blair may not be as highly approved of as he once was, but I’d be willing to bet he’s more highly regarded outside our borders than within, at the moment. Much of the home disapproval is to do with domestic policies.

  5. Robert McIntyre Says:

    Hi, thanks for replying. Your first coment is an interesting one – you don’t as a rule publish comments that disagree with you. OK. Perhaps you just mean comments that disagree and are deemed by you to be abusive in some way.

    Yr. 1. – Well Gordon Brown may well have known about it. After all he was in charge of an election campaign that spent £40m (or whatever it was) and yet we are expected to believe he never asked where the money was coming from. But he has plausible deniability. On this one I think the Blair approach to govt. – i.e. the sofa clique decision-making criticised by Lord Butler, works against Blair on this one. This is why the police haven’t interviewed him yet. You leave your prime suspect until last. People are falling over themselves to say they knew nothing about it, and because of the way Blair has made decisions in the past, this is plausible. The buck stops at Blair I suspect. But that wasn’t my point. My point is that the Labour party has taken out unsecured loans, which if they can’t repay they will have to declare bankruptcy. They were due to repay £1m on Thursday but the creditor has given them 90 days.

    Yr. 2. – Blair promised devolution, promoted it and made it an issue in the rcent UK elections in order to win Scottish votes. He made it an issue and then went for one of his classic half measures with the Scottish parliament where you have the infamously ludicrous situation such as Scottish Westminster MPs swinging the vote to ban hunting in England and Wales and Scottish Parliament MPs deciding Scottish issues separately that English MPs have no say on, yet have to fund through centralised taxation. And now Labour are proposing that England have a Scottish PM who can’t decide most things in Scotland but can decide everything in England. This inequitable situation can only create resentment. And as you say the parliament has given a platform for people who want to promote further devolution.

    I think you are getting confused between politics and democracy. Are you saying that Scotland didn’t have democracy before the Scottish parliament was established? Of course they did. Now fair enough England “imposed” Maggie Thatcher on Scotland for 10 years. But I’ve lived my whole life in constituencies where my vote hasn’t counted. Fair enough the climate has been created where Scottish people are perhaps seriously considering voting for indpendence. These are people who have been swayed by politics. They already had democracy. And will independence prove to be a good idea? It’s a hard road. As you can see from my surname I have Scottish heritage but consider myself “English”. I’ve got no axe to grind. If Scotland believes it’s been held back by England or oppressed then they should go for it, but the New Labour “project” has been funded by the success of the City of London. All future English tax revenues must only go to England.

    Yr. 3. “We’ll see” – how much more do we have to see? 650,000 dead. You are following the Blair/Bush line of it being anyone else’s fault other than their own. So it’s France and Germany’s fault? Aghanistan is in the state it’s in now because the US diverted its resources and attention to invade Iraq and neglected Aghanistan for 5 years. Is that the fault of France and Germany? If you think Blair is highly approved of anywhere I think you really need to do some more research. Everything I’ve heard and read is contemptous. Look at the response in the middle east to his recent “attempts” to solve Palestinian problem. I disagree funademntally with you on your last point. I hate Blair most of all for Iraq. The other stuff is just workaday politics, the Tories were as bad. But to initiate an unnecesary war in which so many people have died, that’s unforgivable.

    Rgs., Robert

  6. keeptonyblairforpm Says:

    Hello again Robert,
    Ref your comment:
    ” … you don’t as a rule publish comments that disagree with you. OK. Perhaps you just mean comments that disagree and are deemed by you to be abusive in some way.”
    I didn’t say that I don’t publish comments that disagree with me. You will see quite a few published on the other pages here if you look around.
    I only say that “I’m reluctant to publish most of the nasties (there are enough sites out there from people who think like you)”.
    Two points here –
    1) You wouldn’t believe, Robert, the abuse that comes from people who are probably quite civilized if I met them face-to-face! It’s quite disconcerting at times, if not dangerous, and I’m not giving their thoughts an airing.
    2) I don’t want this site to be taken over by people who are already posting all over The Guardian’s “Comment is Free”, and the like. They have nothing in common with Blair anyway, regardless of Iraq, much of the time, and are often pushing other agendas or other parties or even anarchy. Fine. But let them find somewhere else to clear their bile. This site is not about that.
    Loans for Peerages.
    I still fail to understand why this PM is unique and about to be hauled over the coals for something that they have ALL ALWAYS DONE. And if it’s some other issue to do with internal accounting or that the party treasurer didn’t know about it, well, I’d have thought that’s an internal party matter rather than a hanging offence. As I uderstand it things might hinge on whether or not the loans were made at a commercial rate. Who knows? Who cares? What difference does it make to the ordinary voter? It seems to some of us that there is a concerted effort from various quarters (certainly the nationalist parties who started Yates on his trails) to “get Blair” on SOMETHING because they haven’t got him on Iraq yet. If that is the case, their motives are not blameless and should be made clear.
    Devolution
    As a preface to this can I say that I have a feeling you and I have a more common political background than you may think. I too have had a vote which at general elections has never really counted.
    So if our background is common you must realise that devolution takes many forms and Scotland and Wales have different levels of devolution and power.
    There was qute a bit of discussion as to the West Lothian question at the time of the referendum and the compromise was agreed to leave it “as is”. Personally I have always thought that Scottish MPs should be excluded from purely English (& Welsh) issues. I don’t recall Blair making it any more of an issue in the recent election (2005) though, since a Scottish parliament had been agreed and working for years by then.
    I don’t expect Blair is happy at what devolution has let loose, but when I say “that’s democracy” I mean that the PM has to accept that too, the same as the rest of us.
    I agree that Brown’s position as you outline it here, Robert, is more troublesome if he or another Scots MP becomes PM.
    Iraq
    “We’ll see.” refers to the PM’s reputation. Sorry, we’ll just have to disagree on this one.
    Have a look at this site for Iraq dead. You, and people who take your viewpoint always quote The Lancet’s figures. Those numbers are disputed elsewhere. Here they are one tenth of your figures.
    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/
    By the way, in case you think I am a bloodthirsty war-mongerer, I think one death is too many.
    The disagreement between us may not centre on the fact that Iraq has been, to quote, “pretty much of a disaster”. It may be that on principle you are against fighting international terrorism or states which practice ethnic cleansing as none of our business. If so, we occupy different ground here. Kosovo was Blair’s project which was also fought against ethnic cleansing. And I’m not trying to rename the reasons for going into Iraq. I know it was WMDs, but there is more to Iraq’s problems than that! I mention Kosovo to show that in my humble opinion Blair is moved by what he considers a just cause. That is, whether right or wrong, what he thought about Iraq. We can never know what would have happened in Iraq or Afghanistan if we hadn’t gone into either of these countries.
    Surely you don’t think Bush and Blair initiated an “unnecessary war” IN ORDER that many people should die?
    I suppose if it had all worked out fine and we were out in a fortnight, and no-one died, we’d have congratulated Blair and even been grateful. And are you really saying that WE HAVE KILLED ALL those people?

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