Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Arresting Times? Arrest the ignorant know-alls

January 22, 2014

22nd January, 2014

My twitter account

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There are no words sufficiently spitoutable to describe my utter disdain for such as the aptly named tweep twit ‘Ghoulian Assange’ (similarities to any ghouls living or dead are not purely coincidental). His Twitter ID link is Twiggy Garcia. The offending article is here.

Twiggy Garcia-crop7

Realising he was incapable of intellectual grasp, Twiggy Garcia ungrasped the former Prime Minister and scarpered “sharpish” (as he put it) before the Police (or “shit”, as he described them) grasped HIM!

My outrage at this continuing nonsense and blatant disregard and/or ignorance of the law has awakened me from my hibernation if only for a short time, some will be pleased to note. Mr Blair may well laugh off this kind of puerile, unlawful nonsense but I don’t.  Whenever I have time or am so moved I will continue to stand against the consequences of the brainwashing of the anti-warriors by those with a similarly careless ‘do nothing about murderous foreign dictators’ agenda. They and their public platforms spouting such “thinking” need to be brought to task.

WHY DO SUCH AS THIS MAN DESERVE THE CONTEMPT OF ALL BALANCED PEOPLE?

Well, where do I start? It’s not just that a “citizen’s arrest” (see here for the real meaning and compare it with Garcia’s fantasy version) when it comes to such as our former great Prime Minister is little more than a cash-gathering publicity stunt or that the would-be civil-and-uprightists are too ill-educated, self-centred and frankly self-obsessed to realise that. It’s far simpler than that. Or, if you are a gatherer of the Moonbat shilling, it’s too, too complicated.  So let’s try to meet in the middle with just one of the FACTS:

Tony Blair’s so-called “crime” is NOT an indictable offence. Did you get that, cheerleaders at the bloodsport of getblair under the ill-principled management of such as Garcia, Monbiot & Galloway? If not, let me explain –

A CITIZEN’S ARREST IS ONLY POSSIBLE WHERE AN INDICTABLE OFFENCE IS UNQUESTIONABLE, ENCOMPASSING THESE PROVISOS:

A citizen’s arrest is permitted to be made on any person under section 24A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 for an indictable offence … It is thus permissible for any person to arrest:

  • Anyone who is in the act of committing an offence, or whom the arrestor has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be in the act of committing an offence, or
  • Where an offence has been committed, anyone who is guilty of that offence or whom the arrestor has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of it

In order for the arrest to be lawful, the following conditions and sub-conditions must also be satisfied: (My bolding & underlining)

  • 1. It appears to the person making the arrest that it is not reasonably practicable for a constable to make the arrest instead

  • 2. The arrestor has reasonable grounds for believing that the arrest is necessary to prevent one of the following:

    • The person causing physical injury to himself or others

    • The person suffering physical injury

    • The person causing loss of or damage to property

    • The person absconding before a constable can assume responsibility for him (more here)

NONE of those conditions applied. Not one, far less all of them. In other words Garcia did NOT and never could have put Tony Blair under arrest. He uttered the words as described by other moonbats, true, but he did not “accompany” Mr Blair to a Police station or into the waiting handcuffs of a London copper. He did NOT. Instead he ran off before the “shit” could get to him. Twiggy Garcia failed and his failure is writ large even in his own report. None of these facts matter one iota to the Blair haters. Their determinedly wrong-headed and misleading blindness as regards Mr Blair, Iraq and the law (nationally and internationally) means that they’d persuade themselves that black is white if it helped their cause.

In actual fact the only one to have committed an offence in Tramshed last Friday was Twiggy Garcia. For the very act of laying a hand on Tony Blair he could have been charged with common assault.

But now we have this, from George Monbiot’s Arrest Blair site: “His [Garcia’s] arrest attempt was reported more widely than any other there has been so far: throughout the British media and across the world. Twiggy will receive £2222.55(Moonbat’s bolding)

Got it? Tweet all over numptyland your ignorance of reality, politics and the law and Moonbat will slip you a few thousand.

Time permitting I have a lot more to say on this “Blair is a war criminal” nonsense.  The last word here goes to Matthew d’Ancona: “Who interrupts the appeaser’s meal?”.  Quite so. A question to which the answer is no-one. (Twitter d’Ancona)

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Tony Blair audition at Leveson Productions. Lie – halfway round world – truth – boots on

June 3, 2012

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3rd June 2012

Thought I’d better catch up on some of my thoughts regarding The Master’s glowing audition at the only show in town – Leveson, My Part In Their Downfall.

The would-be bit parter, looking for a big breakthrough, seemed to have the waiting audience/directors/producer warmed-up, primed and waiting for him to shine. His reputation had travelled before him. But anyway we knew all that. The papers told us if we didn’t. So before any more detailed analysis of content and context, a little word to the good people at DayLife.

I found the picture above at their excellent site, unfortunately with this accompanying caption:

‘A still image from broadcast footage shows Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair reacting after a protester disrupted his testimony at the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the media at the High Court in London May 28, 2012.’

Although I’m sure it wasn’t intended to mislead, the caption attached reminded me how ‘a lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on’. (source)

We also know that a picture paints a thousand words.

TWENTY SECONDS OF FAME INFAMY

The intruder/protester burst in on the proceedings, accompanied by an as yet unexplained clunking noise, at 15:27 into the video below.

By 15:47 the “war criminal” accuser had said his piece. Between the spoiler’s bundling offstage by a few burly stagehands and the picture shown above, there was this –

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At 16:09 a shocked Leveson reacted:

LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: I’m sorry for that, Mr Blair. I’d like to find out how this gentleman managed to access the court through what is supposed to be a secure corridor. I’ll have an investigation undertaken about that immediately.  I apologise.

TONY BLAIR:  That’s fine. Can I just say, actually, on the record, what he said about Iraq and JP Morgan is completely and totally untrue. I have never had a discussion with them about that or any relationship between them and Iraq.

LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: You’re entitled to say what you want, but you should not feel it necessary to answer somebody else’s points.

TONY BLAIR: No, I appreciate that, but part of the difficulty actually with modern politics — and I say this not as a criticism of the media — is that my experience of the reporting of these events is that you can have 1,000 people in a room and someone gets up and shouts or throws something. That’s the news. The other 999 might as well not have bothered turning up. But anyway, we were back in —

[THIS IS WHERE, WHEN & WHY MR BLAIR SMILED. At 17:22 he smiled at the fact that the barrister could resume his questioning. Not as a sort of dismissive comment on the intruder.]

MR JAY: We were back in 1997.

TONY BLAIR: Right.

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The above transcript excerpt was taken from the Leveson Inquiry website, transcript, morning session, 28th May. Pages 86-87.

To describe this still-shot of the TV coverage as his “reacting” is misleading. His actual reaction to the intruder was calm. He had his elbow on the table and his hand on his chin throughout the disturbance and remained serious but unperturbed. Most definitely not smiling in reaction to the incident itself.

To say that this smile was “reacting after a protester disrupted his testimony” is to imply “and look what he thought of that man’s protest. What arrogance!”

The reason I have spent some time detailing the timings of these few minutes is that it is important that we get the full facts, in words and pictures. As Tony Blair himself said “That’s the news”.
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Next – a cross-post. A pointer to other would-be thespians on the world stage.

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Red Mercury – Iraq – LBC – Blue Politics – Boris Johnson – Telegraph – Tony Blair – Leveson

June 2, 2012

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2nd June 2012

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Update: Boris Johnson was the Editor of the Spectator from 1999 to 2005 The writer below does not say in which year he spoke to Mr Johnson, but we can assume it was after 2003. Why did he sit on this information? FOI anyone?

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“… you are sitting on a huge international scoop. If you have evidence that even points to the Iraqis trying to acquire nuclear-related materials from the ex-Soviet countries, that’s big news. It vindicates Mr Blair and Mr Bush!”

I noticed an intriguing article this morning, which is pasted below in its entirety.

Some might say it raises more questions than it answers.  I am aware that even mentioning the possibility that Mr Dhondy’s recollections are accurate could be considered clutching at straws by we drowning Blair supporters. However it is clearly worth looking at, especially if such as Boris Johnson already know quite a lot about it. Am I being too suspicious to imagine that if it were a Tory PM whose name had been dragged through the mire over a political decision, the London Mayor might have been more willing to mention this? On second thoughts – if it were Cameron?

Still, political and personal ambitions and bias aside, perhaps some fair-minded newspaper or broadcasting organisation will consider it worth investigating properly if belatedly. That is the only way. If Tony Blair himself or those working for his interests sink time & effort into this investigation how many will accept those findings, given the zeitgeist?

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Mr Blair and the ghost of Iraq War

DHONDY.JPG
Farrukh Dhondy

“The world performs
And we are entitled to wonder.”

From The Proverbs
of Bachchoo

Like Banquo’s ghost in Macbeth, the Iraq War returns now and then to haunt Britain’s ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair. This week he was giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry on the relations his government had with the Murdoch newspapers. He was being asked if his friendship with the Murdoch family could have influenced his government’s policies or resulted in corrupt favouritism towards the family’s businesses.

As he stood at the witness’ rostrum a man appeared from behind the drapes where Lord Leveson, the chair of the enquiry, sat. The intruder shouted at Mr Blair playing to the cameras and reporters.

“You are a war criminal,” he repeated and alleged that Mr Blair had been paid by a bank to take Britain into the war. The court’s security guards grabbed him before he could say much more and frog-marched him away.

The newspapers and the TV stations which reported the incident scrupulously avoided the allegations about being bribed by a bank to go to war.

Why did Britain go to war? The question has been the matter of two parliamentary inquiries. Tony Blair and Alistair[sic] Campbell, his chief spin-doctor, insist that they received reports from the intelligence services which said that Iraq had and was acquiring and perfecting weapons of mass destruction (WMDs as they were subsequently dubbed) of the biological, chemical and nuclear varieties.

Mr Blair told Parliament and the nation that these WMDs were a threat to the security of Britain and that Iraq could launch an attack on this country or other countries in 45 minutes and asked Parliament to ratify the deployment of the armed forces.

As the world now knows, there were no WMDs discovered in Iraq. Mr Blair and Mr Campbell, it has been alleged, manipulated the Secret Services and falsified their report to exaggerate the threat of WMDs. The spooks had nowhere said that WMDs definitely existed and the 45-minute deployment was pure fabrication.

All over the world people allege that US President George W. Bush took the US to war to serve the vested interests of a group of American profiteers. That vice-president Dick Cheney, Mr Bush himself and Donald Rumsfeld, the US secretary for defence, had connections and investments in the oil industry and in firms such as Halliburton which landed huge reconstruction contracts, is not a secret.

Allegations that Mr Blair had a financial motivation have never been established and Mr Blair immediately insisted for the record perhaps, in denying the allegation.

Nevertheless, the episode has revived the media’s interest in the matter. An Iraqi exile speaking on London’s LBC radio station said he supported Mr Blair’s stance about WMDs as he was himself an operative in the biological field in Iraq and escaped the country because he knew that the war would target his facility. He claimed he could locate the sites devoted to the development of biological weapons by Saddam Hussein’s regime.

I don’t know whether the Iraqi government or the British Secret Services will contact this gentleman and verify his allegations. If I were Mr Blair I’d use some of my considerable wealth to privately investigate his claim if only to be able to retrospectively justify sending a country to war and being responsible for the expenditure of lives and money in what very many see as a futile, destructive and even criminal conflict.

Some years ago I set out to assist Mr Blair to do just that, though, gentle reader, I can see that this may sound like the comedian Spike Milligan’s satirical book title Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall.

It was after the parliamentary enquiry into the Iraq War had declared that there were never any WMDs in Iraq that I received a phone call from an acquaintance of mine in Paris.

This person had a criminal past and had spent a lot of his life in jail. He was at the time free and living in Paris but still involved in deals which some might have found questionable.

“Farrukh, you studied physics, so tell me what is Red Mercury?”

“It’s an Antimony compound which Soviet scientists claim to have fabricated which can be used as a nuclear trigger. Very many other physicists doubt its existence,” I said. “But why do you want to know?”

He said he’d been in Bahrain before the Iraq War for an appointment with some Arab gentlemen who were interested in buying Red Mercury which he could broker, for a substantial sum, from an ex-Soviet mafia outfit. He had evidence of his meetings with these Arab agents and written and taped records of their interest in purchasing nuclear triggers.

“Iraqis?” I asked.

He was sure they were acting on behalf of the Iraqi government.

“Then you are sitting on a huge international scoop. If you have evidence that even points to the Iraqis trying to acquire nuclear-related materials from the ex-Soviet countries, that’s big news. It vindicates Mr Blair and Mr Bush! Come to London.”

I introduced him to Boris Johnson, now Mayor of London who was then the editor of the Spectator. Mr Johnson said it was too big a story for the “Speccie” to break. It had to be one of the big dailies. He introduced my person to a leading reporter of the Daily Telegraph who was instantly interested.

The snag was that the Telegraph said it couldn’t pay the sort of money that my person from France was asking in exchange for handing over the evidence of the proposed transaction. I believe, though I wasn’t there, that my Paris acquaintance and the Telegraph reporter spent several days circling each other. The deal fell through.

My man had an even bigger transaction he said which couldn’t wait and he flew off to Nepal. He probably still has the emails and proof of his meetings with the nuclear clients and again, if I were Mr Blair I’d pay him a visit in Kathmandu, where he is a permanent guest of the Nepalese government, and strike a deal.

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RELATED

  • The Asian News at Twitter – The official Twitter page of The Asian Age, India’s only international daily newspaper. We have editions in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and London.  http://www.asianage.com
  • Radio London – LBC on Twitter London’s Biggest Conversation. This is their contact number. Please do call them on 0845 60 60 973. I could see no reference to this caller at their website or even on google. Plus ca change, Hmm?  http://www.lbc.co.uk

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Iraq. Democracy in the cradle of civilisation

May 15, 2012

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15th May 2012

The below is a cross-post, with my thanks, written by Paul Richards at Progress Online

I’ve had a couple of weeks to reflect on the short time I spent in northern Iraq. I am one of those many Labour party members who backed Tony Blair over Iraq. In retrospect, I can see what all the intelligence agencies and governments of the world couldn’t see at the time, that Saddam Hussein did not have stockpiles of chemical or radiological weapons at the time of the invasion. But I don’t care. In 1988 I was handed a leaflet outside the Salford University Students Union by a Kurdish student depicted a mother and baby dead on the ground. They had been killed, along with about 5,000 other civilians, by a combination of VX, sarin and mustard gas, dropped on Saddam’s orders on his own citizens in Halabja, northern Iraq. It was one of many uses of what came to be known as ‘weapons of mass destruction’ by Saddam. So the answer to those who say ‘he didn’t have WMD’ is ‘yes he did, and he used them to kill thousands of his own civilians.’

The people of Erbil, where I was staying, certainly agree with that statement. When Saddam was deposed in 2003, the citizens of Erbil took to the streets and celebrated into the night. Their lives now are immeasurably better than during the Ba’ath regime. Erbil stands on the route between Baghdad and Mosul. It has been continuously inhabited for over 8,000 years, by Babylonians, Assyrians, Romans, Persians, Arabs and Ottomans. It makes Cambridge or Canterbury feel like a Barrett estate. You can’t help but feel connected to ancient civilisations. Colonel Tim Collins’ famous speech was in my mind as I arrived. Iraq, he told his (presumably somewhat bemused) squaddies on the eve of the invasion, is ‘the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham.’ It is the cradle of civilisation. Ironic, then, that I spent most of my time in either a brand new international airport, or a brand new five star hotel. Everywhere the builders are constructing the new housing developments, hotels and conference centres which will characterise the next stage in this ancient city’s life. The main employment for young men is on building sites.

I was also struck by the historical footnote that Clement Attlee had fought his way through Iraq in 1917. Having survived the fiasco in the Dardanelles, Attlee took part in the Mesopotamian campaign. Attlee was the last-but-one soldier to be evacuated from Suvla Bay in Gallipoli. The last was General Maude. I imagine a rather English scene with one gentleman offering the place in the rowing boat to the other in the black of night, with Turkish shells landing all around. The two were reunited in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). Major Attlee was wounded commanding Indian troops at the battle of Hannah. Maude, the commander-in-chief, caught cholera and died. Even if Attlee had gone home in 1918 and tended his garden, his life would have been remarkable. His brother Tom was a conscientious objector, and I’ve always thought the tension between them would make a rather good drama.

Back in modern Iraq, I spent time with a group of 11 MPs, conducting a fairly standard media interviews training course (albeit in Arabic). They reflected the diversity of the country: more women than men, Kurds, western dress and traditional Arab robes. One MP spent his youth in the mountains of Kurdistan fighting Saddam’s forces. Then he lived in London for 10 years, and still has a house in Hayes. From freedom fighter in the mountains to catching the bus and going shopping Middlesex is quite a journey. He is one of three members of the Iraqi parliament who hold British passports. The MPs were like British MPs. They spent their breaks from my training course gossiping and plotting. They were passionate about their constituents and their country. They wanted to learn new skills. They were proud of what they have achieved. Imagine Stella Creasy in a hijab, or Rachel Reeves speaking Kurdish. That’s what the women were like. It was a privilege to spend time with them.

I am in no doubt that democracy in Iraq is genuine, vibrant and will develop and grow. I know the depth of feeling that Britain’s involvement in Iraq generated among Labour people. But I cannot understand how anyone can doubt a democracy, which is what Iraq now is, is not better than a dictatorship, which is what the people suffered for decades. Surely the job of progressives now is to develop links with the trade unions, women’s groups, civil rights organisations and democratic parties, to help democracy flourish, and to bring Iraq into the mainstream of modern states? Raking over old ground, or endlessly apologising, helps no one, and certainly not the people of Iraq.

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Paul Richards writes a weekly column for Progress, Paul’s week in politics. He tweets @LabourPaul

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From John Rentoul, October 2010  – More reasons why the Iraq war was not wrong

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Heller Raising plumbs new heights

May 9, 2012

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9th May 2012

Heller Raising plumbs new heights

“In 2003, sorry … 1956, Britain’s prime minister took this country into an unlawful and unprofitable war in the Middle East, and misled its parliament and people about its origins and purpose.”

And so the die is cunningly cast.

At Richard Heller’s website directly under his name, there is this gem: ‘Raising world literature to new heights’

I have a soft spot for modesty. Evidently just another thing I do not share with Mr Heller.

Like so many of today’s opiners he is one assumption short of a private, personal opinion. He claims to speak for all of us when he says – ‘Leave us alone, Tony Blair’

This article, aka opinion piece, was published at his website by Mr Heller on 7th May. It also appeared at Politics.co.uk   He alludes to & may well bear some fond childhood memories of the 1956 days of Look Back in Anger while reminiscing his principled (then 8 year-old’s) protests against then PM Anthony Eden’s Suez plans.

But far more serious for his long-term health, Mr Heller seems to suffer from BDS –  Blair Derangement Syndrome. This condition is exemplified by an inability to see any good in a Prime Minister elected three times and who served his country – our country – as PM for 10 years; longer by far than any previous Labour prime minister. His constituents returned him as their member of parliament for 24 years. Perhaps one can safely presume from that evidence that they were reasonably satisfied.

But for Mr Heller today’s Anthony – ACL Blair – is beyond the Eden pale. I am truly spoilt for choice when considering where to start with the hell raiser’s denunciation of Tony Blair.

From the start, with the usual ‘devastating’ comparison to Sir Anthony Eden/Suez – Tony Blair/Iraq is also found lacking. Eden is somewhat forgiven by the simple fact that he had the good grace to retire to the land and the cows.

So with a raising world literature flourish and selective reading of history Mr Heller attempts to link the two Anthonys.

In fact Eden resigned from politics in 1957 after having served less than two years as PM. He retired to the countryside because his health was threatening his life. His retirement was by doctor’s orders rather than “in disgrace”.

Heller compares and contrasts what the modern-day Anthony is up to. Bristling with indignation at the effrontery of it all he culminates his Blair excoriation by also insulting the noble profession of farming: cow dung shifting is Blair’s true, due inheritance.

It is clearly utterly reprehensible that after 10 years as prime minister and two dozen as an MP Tony Blair is going where no other former British prime minister has gone.  Into business, religious understanding,  encouraging sport in the northeast, advising African governments on leadership while keeping a weather eye on variable concerns over climate change issues.  And all while still (ohGod’elpus) representing the international Quartet in the thankless search for peace between Israelis & Palestinians.

It is all too much for one mere mortal to do. And Heller is raising hell about that mere mortal having the conceit and audacity to try.

I mean it’s obvious, isn’t it? This Blair man is only working himself to a standstill for three reasons. One, to purge his conscience over his er…  “mistake”, Iraq. Two, to set up a grand array of mitigating circumstances in case one day he is brought before some court or other. Three, to make sure he has enough money in the bank to fly to the moon if that is the only place he can eventually seek retirement asylum.

So we have his business, charities, tax, advisory arrangements all lambasted as nothing other than self-serving. Even his Faith Foundation, which has brought and is still bringing together millions around the word, is for filing away under ulterior motives.

Heller’s other damning comparisons of Blair to Eden are wrong-headed and at times frankly misleading. He says that “for 20 years after Suez … He did not hawk himself round the world for money. Although a vastly more experienced diplomat than Tony Blair he was never offered any international appointment. He did not set up any foundations in his name. He did not have a spin doctor or a retinue of any kind. Above all, he abandoned any hope of a political comeback.”

As mentioned before Eden was ill after a gallstone operation which went seriously wrong. He was unable to continue in office or to fight to try to stay there. In contrast Tony Blair is in rude good health. As evidenced last night he is pulling them in in the USA – oh yes and in other parts of the world, Mr Heller, not just the appreciative US.  Much of Mr Blair’s so-called hawking is not for money, but pro-bono, as with his representation of the Quartet on Israeli/Palestinian issues.  As for charities set up in his name, why not, Mr Heller, when his name is a brand in itself? As for spin doctors, they were not invented in the 1950s. Nor too were the internet, instant news dissipation and even citizen journalism. And above all else – back to where we were, Eden was incapacitated thus never likely to even be physically able or willing to make a political comeback. Tony Blair on the other hand (was) retired at the height of his political nous, acumen & influence. Why stop there?

I am not arguing that Heller is wrong in comparing standards in political life today and 60 years ago. In fact I think he is right in this. But in my opinion, none of that drop in standards is Tony Blair’s doing. Adding up 2 & 2 – his dislike of Blair & his disapproval of the Iraq war and getting 5 – is ‘raising’ standards to a new er… what’s the word? … low.

Heller is not the only one seriously perturbed by talk of a possible return to domestic politics of the former prime minister. Tony Blair is clearly the human equivalent of Marmite. When one has made up one’s mind that not only did Tony Blair support the US in Iraq for the wrong (personal) reasons, but he “lied” to do so and will likely never be held… er… “accountable” for that, it is but a small step for any highfalutin’ writer to dive to the depths of illogicality & even hatred.

Such a pity. Hatred destroys the hater, not the hated.

Meanwhile, rest assured that when Richard Heller examines his writings he always gives it an A-Star. I commend to him the joys of not passing judgement.

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George Galloway to Saddam:”you have to get rid of what you’ve got”

March 30, 2012

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30th March 2012

This 32-second video from George (pussy cat) Galloway’s infamous outing on Big Brother speaks volumes. It’s worth half a minute of your time, believe me.

Galloway to Rula Lenska, on Galloway’s little chat with his friend Saddam:

“But the meeting was between me and him. I asked to see him.  I said ‘look, er…  I’m going to be frank with you. You have to know from me that they’re definitely going to attack. And I then said to him,  I fixed him eye to eye like I’m fixing you. And I said –  ‘and you have to get rid of what you’ve got’.”

GG’s SECRET WEAPON OF MASS DISTRACTION

Instead of asking the obvious, as would an averagely intelligent human being – say for instance – ‘what did you mean by getting rid of what he’d got?’ – Rula Lenska  says as per the GG script- “was he hated by the people?”

Upon which cue George Galloway says of the “indefatigable” Saddam – “Not at all, not at all.”

So I’ll ask what GG meant, since Ms Lenska wasn’t quite clued-up enough.

What, Gorgeous One… what EXACTLY was it you suggested Saddam had to “get rid of”? A couple of the superfluous  Mansions? That run-down Roller? An oil well or two? One of the wives/ex-wives? Another son-in-law?

In August 1995, Raghad (Saddam’s eldest daughter) and her husband Hussein Kamel al-Majid and Rana (his 2nd daughter) and her husband, Saddam Kamel al-Majid, defected to Jordan, taking their children with them. They returned to Iraq when they received assurances that Saddam would pardon them. Within three days of their return in February 1996, both of the Kamel brothers were attacked and killed in a gunfight with other clan members who considered them traitors. (source)

Or was it … (drumroll while one utters the unutterable)…

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION?

As if, eh?

Eh, President Assad?

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What Manner Of Man Is This?

March 8, 2012

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8th March 2012

WHAT MANNERS HAS THIS MAN?

Yes, Ed, we know you are your own man. But how unnecessary or naive or perhaps not(?) to remind us that you are “not Tony Blair”.

What do the Tony Blair boos at Conference tell us about Labour today? –  LOSERS?  ‘Perhaps some might want to recall a quote from a different conference speech then: “They say I hate the party, and its traditions. I don’t. I love this party. There’s only one tradition I hated: losing.”

And the speaker? Tony Blair in 2006

ED MILIBAND ON BLAIR & IRAQ

WRONG – SO WRONG

In September 2010 in first leader’s speech to conference  Ed Miliband defended his Iraq war condemnation

Ed Miliband giving his keynote conference speech
Mr Miliband of the “New generation” (forgetting the ‘oldies’ who actually VOTE)) said the Iraq war was wrong “for a whole range of reasons”  [a clue to the “range” would be helpful.] He defended his decision to condemn the Iraq war saying the war had “led to a fundamental loss of trust” in Labour and it was “right to level with people” about that.

He said he had not been able to speak out more strongly about Iraq while in government because he was “part of a collective responsibility … I criticise nobody faced with making the toughest of decisions and I honour our troops who fought and died there, but I do believe that we were wrong. Wrong to take Britain to war.” Oh, Brother! David Miliband was NOT impressed!

WHAT VALUES HAS THIS MAN?

New Labour is Dead – ‘One angry Blairite MP said: “We cannot just put Tony Blair in a box. We cannot totally disown New Labour as this lot seem to want to.”’

WHAT LESSONS MUST BE LEARNED?

Miliband used his family history – his late father Ralph escaped from the Nazis in German-occupied Belgium and his mother Marion was sheltered from the Nazis in German-occupied Poland – to make a serious point about his values and mission. “My parents fled the Nazis. And came to Britain. They embraced its values. Outsiders. Who built a life for us. So this is who I am. The heritage of the outsider. The vantage point of the insider. The guy who is determined to break the closed circles of Britain.”

WHO MUST BE PURGED?

Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol has failed to kill off rumours that top-level sackings at party HQ are a purge of Blairites by Red Ed Miliband.

A secret memo on how to deal with tricky questions on the shake-up gives the game away: ‘Is this a witch-hunt against all Tony Blair supporters?

Everyone who is willing to be loyal to Ed Miliband is welcome.’ We get the picture, Iain.

WHAT NOW FOR THE MAN WHO DERIDED NEW LABOUR?

The New Labour party which went where no Labour party had gone before,  or will go again.

Now Ed Miliband goes humbly to the feet of the man he treated publicly with such careless disdain. Why? For lessons in leadership and communicating with the people.

You couldn’t make it up.

And not just ONE passing get-together. It seems “the pair have chatted more often than Mr Miliband has met Gordon Brown — his predecessor as leader and his former boss at the Treasury.  A friend of Mr Blair said: “Tony is the greatest political strategist of his generation — why wouldn’t Ed want to meet him?”

Perhaps, since many diminish we Blair supporters for being followers of “The Messiah”, I should end with this. Apologies to those of a sensitive, fundamentalist religiosity  –

Jesus Tony calms the storm

And the same day, when the even opinion poll was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude journalists, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves desperate beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind twits ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?  Mark 4:35-41

Tony Blair at a meeting of his Faith Foundation in Sierra Leone, March 2012

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Brother and Blairite David Miliband too feels the need to acknowledge mistakes. Mistakes in government? We ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

“There’s a debate in the Labour Party about how we should understand our record in government, what we should be proud of and what we should apologise for,” he said.

David Miliband added that it was “very important to be proud of your achievements and humble about your mistakes”, while always understanding that politics is about the future.

“So we have a responsibility to understand the fundamental ways in which the world is changing and Britain’s place in the world is changing.

Changing? And so The Master’s voice still echoes in the still and darkness of the Labourite night.

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A Case of Mistaken, Miswritten, Missing Identities

February 26, 2012

Comment at end

Or –

26th February 2012

OF JOHN PRESCOTT, BLAIR SUPPORTER (BS), DIANE ABBOTT, TONY BLAIR, LORD PETER MANDELSON and CHERIE

Been a funny few days. Well, funny if you discount this in Syria – (journalists killed & 100 civilians a day) and this in Afghanistan –  (Two Nato (US) officers shot dead in Kabul) and this in Iran – (nuclear fears) not to mention this – (NHS Drop the Health Bill petition).

Who … what … are we human beings? What are we FOR, FGS?!

1. CONFUSING ‘BLAIR SUPPORTER’ WITH ANOTHER BLAIR

More personal identity issues kicked off for me on Twitter when John Prescott responded to my tweet congratulating him on his Desert Islands Discs appearance. He replied – “Thanks Blair”.
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Blair Supporter Blair Supporter@blairsupporter
@johnprescott – Didn’t realise you were such a jazz fan! Good, honest & open participation on Desert Island Discs, btw.
John Prescott John Prescott@johnprescott

@blairsupporter Thanks Blair!

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I suggested to the former Deputy PM that it might be better to call me “BS”, in case of confusion. After all, plenty do.

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2. ABBOTT CONFUSING HER LABOUR OLD IDENTITY WITH HER OWN OPINIONS ON TONY BLAIR & IRAQ

Then there was the racist [see here] & bully defender [see here] Labour leftwing MP Diane Abbott twittering away in her usual fashion. I had a bit of go at her over her never-ending game of Blame The Blair. By the way, I notice she seldom bothers to come back to me on twitter to argue the points. She did once, to be fair. On that occasion she played the same old tune. She said she was proud to have been against the Iraq war. And that was that. Well argued, hmm? Yes, I thought not too.

For no particular reason, and in days when she might just be campaigning on less divisive issues, yesterday she tweeted this:

Diane Abbott MP Diane Abbott MP@HackneyAbbott
Tony Blair meeting small groups of young class-of-2010 Labour MPs #desperatelytryingtosalvagereputation awe.sm/5gSQN

WHY did she feel the need to tweet on this at all? Does Blair’s Keynesianism worry her as noted at Jonathan Freedland’s article? Even  though it is also Ed Balls’? Or is she “desperately trying to salvage her reputation” and save her local Labour council/party/own future as an MP?

If Tony Blair were ever to return or if Blairism lived again as it should, in the centre, she might well find herself well out of it.

Ms Abbott does though come back to others on Twitter, usually only once. Don’t ask her to think too much, whatever you do, tweeps. She’ll only respond with – “Andrew. Andrew. Andrew.” [replace with your own name]

She responded to this tweep referring to you-know-who – “Only Labour PM who ever led us into an illegal war.”

Quite why she swallows the whole Lib Dem take on ‘legality’ is a whole other issue. But her constituents might as well vote Liberal Democrat in the locals. That way they get politicians close to those presently in power!

A few others got tweet responses from her. It was suggested by more than one that in these pre-local election days she might concentrate on other issues; those she CAN be proud of.  She responds – to @RichardAngell “Why is being opposed to the Iraq War divisive? Proud to have voted against it”

And to Paul Rowling & Luke Akehurst she opined (neatly forgetting many MPs had only WON their seats DUE to Blair) – “Lots of good comrades lost their seats in 2005 because of public anger at Iraq war.”

Rowling disagreed – “look at all the polling data Iraq was a tiny factor in 2010 election, granted was big issue in 05 when we won!!”  – “We are telling them about the Coalition cuts to come.”

She also got this wrong – to @SenChas“Blair was the only leader of a major European country who supported the war with Iraq.” #JustSaying

Just saying WRONG!  Spain? I corrected her on this. As is her wont when it comes to this despicable BlairSupporter I heard nothing back.

But she did have some support. These tweeps RTd her. All Old Labourites, I’m sure. At least two of them pussy cats.

Miaowwwww

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3. MIKE SMITHSON WITH “THE ECONOMY: DID TONY BLAIR GET OUT JUST IN TIME?”

Yes, it’s of the when did you stop beating your wife variety. But I have some time for Mike Smithson. He is a facts-and-figures man. I can deal with those. It’s misinformed, mis-interpreted, MIS-USED opiners I take issue with.

I was determined to watch the England Vs Wales Six Nations rugby match [Wales won , 19 -12] but I was daft enough to respond to this –  “The economy: Did Tony Blair get out just in time?”

Of course this kind of question begs, or provides, several others, as Mike Smithson will know. So I should have known I’d get into various arguments discussions with other commenters there.

The long and short of it all was that I was accused of being Lord Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair himself or even Cherie. It is testament to the lack of understanding as to what real people think to note that Blair haters cannot even imagine that Tony Blair might have one or two others on his side.

Despite all the identity muddles I still [think I] know who I am; for better or worse.

This is the Ipsos-MORI chart Mike Smithson used at his article (pasted below) –

From the month Tony Blair left office the economy was seen as the most important issue facing Britain. And that, note, was with Gordon Brown, former Chancellor, as PM. Since his departure in 2010 it has remained top.

Ipsos-MORI

Notice how the tide turned after his June 2007 exit?

The February issues index from Ipsos-MORI came out a couple of days ago with the firm always producing a range of historical charts so we can see trends.

MORI has been asking for 37 years in exactly the same way an unprompted question on what issues interviewees sees as the “most important facing Britain today”.

As can seen the economy moved up sharply in 2008 and has remained high. This latest month it was up 3% to 64% naming it.

Looking at the chart I find it extraordinary how little people were concerned in the first ten years of the 1997 Labour government – the Blair years.

It hovered around the 10% mark for so long and it only started to become a real concern after he stepped down in June 2007.

@MikeSmithsonOGH

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Nuff said, Ms Abbott?

Almost. But do take a lesson from the former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott.  He never, ever criticises Tony Blair – your party’s most electorally successful leader EVER.  And ask Mr Prescott how he felt about the Iraq decision, why don’t you?

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Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

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