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Blair Rant

Not that it will happen, but.....

You know, I'm almost prepared to live with a Conservative government for four years just to see Blairs smug smile vanish. He's definetly goping to go down in history along side Thatcher in the 'Most Hated Politican' stakes.

I still believe Labour will win this Thursday though, despite all their scare-mongering to try and stop people voting LibDem. It'd take a miracle for the Tories to actually win and they're not about to have any miracles happen. My favourite outcome is still hung Parliament but that'll only happen if people vote with their hearts and actually get out there on Thursday.

I want to see Blair hurt badly in this election. F**king bastard.

Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
cookwitch
May. 3rd, 2005 12:03 pm (UTC)
With you.

Especially after seeing the headline today "My Daddy Died a Hero".

silver_blue
May. 3rd, 2005 12:09 pm (UTC)
Although, really, if you get to a stage in any kind of military action whereby each individual casualty is worthy of headlines...
cookwitch
May. 3rd, 2005 12:14 pm (UTC)
The reason it hits me so hard is that this war was not wanted by thousand upon thousand of us in this country. It wasn't like WW2 where we banded together to fight a common enemy, or even the Falklands where we were saving our own people from being taken over becuase they asked for help - this was us tagging along on the heels of the USA to fight someone who, yes, was a bad guy but who also conveniently deflected from the fact that they couldn't find Bin Laden and thus became a scapegoat.

This is only my opinion though and one probably likely to cause a fuss.
silver_blue
May. 3rd, 2005 12:23 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean. I went on the first "Stop the War" march, etc. But my opinions have changed quite a lot over the last couple of years.

Whether by it's own inaction, or lack of support from certain nations, the UN is largely neutered in its ability to take any effective action against regimes like Saddam's. Therefore they either get left to themselves, or someone has to take action. My biggest issues with the conflict are that a) it was undertaken for the wrong reasons and b) the aftermath was badly planned.

The fact that the conflict was opposed by large numbers of people in this country is, ultimately, irrelevant. If we're going to live in a representative democracy, then you elect a government and you let it govern. If you disagree with what they've done then your time to say so is at the next election. During their governmental term, well, they do what they feel is right. The decision to go to war should not be taken on a democratic basis - I don't even think it should be put before parliament - it should be an executive decision.

The Iraq was was undertaken for the wrong reasons (a scapegoat as they couldn't find Bin Ladin, for oil, whatever), it's been "spun", but Tony Blair didn't lie about it. I think that he genuinely believed he was doing the right thing - and that's all I can ultimately ask from a leader, whether I agree or disagree with him. And in the end, it's making life a lot better for the population of Iraq (...and that's one of the things that annoys me most, the constant focus on how allied action has killed x thousand innocent Iraqis - that's a result of war, it's tragic, but the stories seem to suggest that otherwise they'd be living happy carefree lives, which isn't the case).
bridiep
May. 3rd, 2005 01:04 pm (UTC)
At a risk of going off topic here, the Pope believes he is 'doing the right thing' by discouraging the use of condoms across vast swathes of the Developing World, and look how much untold misery that is causing,. I don't regard 'believing it to be the right thing to do' necessarily qualifies potentially illegal actions.

Just as an aside, not wishing to open a huge debate or anything :)
silver_blue
May. 3rd, 2005 01:30 pm (UTC)
The Pope isn't accountable, however, whereas we live in a representative democracy and therefore if Tony Blair's "right thing" is in opposition to the vast majority of the country we have the opportunity to remove him from power. That's the strength of democracy - more than it being the opportunity to put a "good" government in, it's the only electoral system that provides the population with a mechanism to get a "bad" government out.

As for the "potential illegality" issue - while the AG's advice was spun, it does say that there was no further UN action needed, that he was happy and prepared to defend the legality of going to war in a court of law. As any good lawyer should do he also provided alternative interpretations, but essentially he said "this is legal".
angusabranson
May. 3rd, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC)
This is actually one of the things that I do like about the American government. You get to vote for President and Congress separatly. Thus you could still vote for your local Labour MP if you like his policies and commitment but get rid of Tony Blair as the actual PM. I think old Tony would be in much more danger if we had that.

As for the 'legality' of war - it completely depends on what side of the fence you stand on or listen to. There are plenty of Law Lords who feel the war was a breach of International Law and personally the AG has just come out of this smelling as a lackey for Blair which is unfortunate. You can say whatever you want if you have enough people who'll agree to back you up on it but it doesn't make it right.

The reasons we were all given at the time (MPs, general public and some of the actual Cabinet) were incorrect and lacked foundation and credible evidence. Yes, it is a good job that saddam was removed but he was not a credible threat at the time to world peace. He was unfortunate enough to be a very easy target having had over a decade of sanctions against him, had falled foul of a long standing grudge with the Bush family and the US needed both a scape goat for not catching Osama Bin Laden plus a publicity boost to keep Bush Jnr in power for another four years.

There are leaders out there who are much more unstable and with means to cuase a lot more damage than Saddam was but these are aren't getting the same treatment because they are better armed and/or have no oil reserves.

I would love one day for both Blair and Bush to be brought up in a war crimes tribunal. Especially Bush with the crimes taken place both within Iraq and the Cuban concentration camps run by US troops.

Any other country would have been flayed alive had they taken this action without international support.
silver_blue
May. 3rd, 2005 02:01 pm (UTC)
This is actually one of the things that I do like about the American government. You get to vote for President and Congress separatly. Thus you could still vote for your local Labour MP if you like his policies and commitment but get rid of Tony Blair as the actual PM. I think old Tony would be in much more danger if we had that.

I agree with that. Requires getting rid of Queenie though, if we want to start voting for a head of state.

In terms of the legality of the war - well, it's international law, there are no hard and fast rules, so it's always going to be a subjective view. The Attorney General, and plenty of other legal experts, have said that the war was perfectly legal and defensible in a court of law, as there have been many lawyers who held a different view.

The reasons we were all given at the time (MPs, general public and some of the actual Cabinet) were incorrect and lacked foundation and credible evidence. Yes, it is a good job that saddam was removed but he was not a credible threat at the time to world peace. He was unfortunate enough to be a very easy target having had over a decade of sanctions against him, had falled foul of a long standing grudge with the Bush family and the US needed both a scape goat for not catching Osama Bin Laden plus a publicity boost to keep Bush Jnr in power for another four years.

No, he wasn't a credible threat, I agree with you completely. Which is why I'd have had a lot more respect if they'd gone to war entirely on a basis of regime change for humanitarian reasons, and why I think countries should do that more often - unilaterally if necessary considering the inability of the UN to act. The long term improvement in the future of Iraq was a happy coincidence of the action - and I think it's a pretty decent one.

I don't think it is as simple as oil, or politics, or popularity - I do think George W is a genuine ideologue - an irresponsible one, with an ideology based on dogma and strong christian beliefs - but a very distilled part of it - that there is nothing wrong with imposing democracy on countries that don't have it - is something I actually agree with.
bridiep
May. 3rd, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC)
That's the strength of democracy - more than it being the opportunity to put a "good" government in, it's the only electoral system that provides the population with a mechanism to get a "bad" government out.

Unfortunately, as I pointed out in my comment to angusabranson's original post, the only people who can vote out Tony himself are the voters in his own constituency.

I do not believe that we have a bad government. I just believe we have a bad Prime Minister. Other than lobbying my own (Labour) MP to side with Plaid Cymru (I live in a Welsh consituency) and press for Blair to be impeched, there is little I can do as a voter to get rid of him personally, short of moving to Middlesborough in time for the next General election.
exmoor_cat
May. 3rd, 2005 12:23 pm (UTC)
It's called Barnet Council >evil grin<
BTW coming to the rally tonight? 7 15pm for a 7 45pm start
angusabranson
May. 3rd, 2005 01:38 pm (UTC)
I won't be making it. My gf's sister is over from Holland all week and I'm supposed to be going out with them this evening.
corone
May. 3rd, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
gf?
Have I missed gossip?
exmoor_cat
May. 3rd, 2005 02:47 pm (UTC)
NP
jonnynexus
May. 3rd, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
Well I suspect that even a heavily slashed majority could leave him much weaker, since when it comes to "New Labour" right-wing things his effective majority has been much lower than his theoretical one (due to left-wing MPs voting against the government).

So, if his majority went down to much below 30, and there were more than 30 "Old Labour" type MPs, then he might find that his majority was more theoretical than actual.

...Which then could usher in Gordon Brown much sooner than planned (i.e. at the start of the Parliament rather than the end of it). This is something I'd have mixed feelings about, because I despise Brown for what he did to the Tube (and the fact that in doing so, he pretty much showed just how little regard he has for London and Londoners).
angusabranson
May. 3rd, 2005 01:38 pm (UTC)
Here's hoping for a severly slashed majority at the very least! Personally, that's what I'm expecting to happen (although I don't know how many seats Labour will actually loose).

Thursday night/Friday morning will be an interesting one regardless :p
silver_blue
May. 3rd, 2005 01:44 pm (UTC)
I think Labour will lose a big chunk of seats. They'll still have an 80-100 seat majority though. That's an improvement on a majority of 161, such a large majority for any party is unhealthy I think, as it leads to a kind of electoral dictatorship.
bridiep
May. 3rd, 2005 01:00 pm (UTC)
The part about the UK election system that really bugs me is that the only people who can legitimately vote against Tony Blearch are those on his Segdefield consituency.

I loathe T.B., but support most of what the Labour Party has been doing, at least as far as domestic poloicies have been going. I'm really not looking forward to him regarding a Labour win as a vote for him personally. Can you imagine the smugness? Roll out Gordon Brown, I say...

Following this link (http://www.publicwhip.org.uk) from blufive, I discovered to my delight that my Labour MP did actually vote against the war in Iraq, along with many other dubious bills, so I shall be voting for him again.

Just don't start an argument with serpentstar on the subject of general elections unless you want to bang your head against an anarchic brick wall. Argh.
wyrdo
May. 3rd, 2005 01:59 pm (UTC)
This is a good point. I was going to start a comment thread of my own but I think I'll follow on from here.

Should people use the General Election as means of expressing disapproval of a single politician? Even if that politician is current PM? Or is a General Election about evaluating the performance of the current government, comparing that to the alternatives offered and weighing up your local candidates?

That's why I like the Scottish Election system - you have two votes; one for your local candidate and one for a party. There's a pool of party SMPs who get a seat based off the party votes.
angusabranson
May. 3rd, 2005 02:05 pm (UTC)
I like the Scottish system too but I don't think we'll ever see it down here until the LibDems are strong enough to bring it in. The other two parties have way too much to loose if the current system changes.
corone
May. 3rd, 2005 02:22 pm (UTC)
I'm not so convinced on the evil of Blair.
Howard certainly has a far creepier smile, and the thought of what a smug git he would look if he won makes my skin crawl.

I do feel that Blair does actually beleive what he is doing is right,
which gets my respect as well as scaring me at the same time.
While I don't think the war was a good idea,
I can't say I'm sorry to see Hussain go.
Even though Blair took us to war I feel that given we are America's bitch he had little option.
I beleive our presence may have helped save Iraqi lives that would have been lost if the Americans had gone in Gung Ho alone.
Not that there were many lives saved in the whole affair.
If the Tories had been in charge at the time, I'm not convinced they would have even considered not going to war.

I certainly don't want to see a hung parliment.
Whoever wins I hope they win with a decent majority.
Hung parliment just means we get nothing done for 5 years.

angusabranson
May. 4th, 2005 11:27 am (UTC)
**I do feel that Blair does actually beleive what he is doing is right,
which gets my respect as well as scaring me at the same time.**

Can I just ask if you also respect Bush? He also actually believes what he is doing is right? Or Hitler? Or Thatcher? Or the Pope? Or Anti-abortionists? Or the thousands of terrorists and dictators out there?

The one thing they nearly all have in common is that they believe what they are doing is right. That does not automatically mean that they are right nor indeed worthy of any respect.

I couldn't give a toss if someone 'thinks' they're right when they lie and use scare tactics to get their way and do things which I most certainly don't agree with. That is one of the reasons I could not vote for a Labour government as long as Blair is at the head of the party. If they loose Finchley to the Conservatives or to the LibDems then that's one less majority Blair has to rely on which is a good thing. They'd have to loose an unprecedented 160 seats to loose power. I feel that allows everyone to use their vote the way THEY feel is right. Not out of fear or worry.
corone
May. 4th, 2005 12:15 pm (UTC)
Well, thats why I said it scares me as well.
I'm not convinced Bush does beleive in what he says he is doing.
He does think he is right (God help us)
but his reasons for going into Iraq had nothing to do with weapons and dictatorship as he tried to say they did.
So in that way I can consider him a dick :-)

As to terrorists, well, same but different.
I do agree that the actions you take are the important part.
But I think I can respect anyone acting for what they beleive in,
even if I cannot stand the cause they are fighting for.
However, such respect does not mean I applaud any actions that hurts others.
You can still say 'well, at least you beleive you are right and I respect that' as you drag these people into prison.
(but enough about the Pope :-)

I'd probably be more anti-Blair if I read more papers.
But the thought of Tories running things scares me so much more.
I agree we shouldn't vote from fear.
I consider it voting from a 'fuck off Micheal Howard' perspective! :-)
It is just that so far, I've not developed more of a loathing for Blair than Howard.
I also don't see it as voting for Blair,
if I vote labour I'm voting for Rudi Vess as he is the labour guy.
I can't vote for Blair (and I agree it would be good if we had a say in the PM)
so my vote is for whoever I want in charge of my area.
Whether labour or anyone else win the election,
I don't want a Tory running Finchley,
and the labour guy seems to be ok, even if he shares a party with Blair.

heliograph
May. 3rd, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
Aside from the war, is there anything else objectionable about Blair and his party? We don't get alot of news about UK politics over here.

The objections to Bush extend to international relations and domestic policies. Is that true with Blair, too?
bridiep
May. 3rd, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
Depends on which side of the political thin line you are!
kit_hartford
May. 3rd, 2005 02:51 pm (UTC)
Now, even I - a labour supporter - don't like Blair, but I like Howard even less and don't think the Lib Dems have a snowball in hell's chance (sorry Angus!) My hope is that Labour win, but with a majority sufficiently reduced to make Tory B-liar realize he's a liability and decide to step down in favor of Gordon Brown or somesuch.

Wishing for the government to be crippled because the current PM is a reprehensible individual is somewhat akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face. I'd just love Sedgefield to vote HIM out (no matter how unlikely that is) but I'd rather like to have a functioning government, even if (god help me for saying this) the Tories are in charge.

As for the war: to quote Omar Bradley it was "wrong war at the wrong time against the wrong enemies" but once involved, pulling out and leaving things to go even further to hell would be irresponsible.
corone
May. 3rd, 2005 03:45 pm (UTC)
Very much with you on all that.
corpsie
May. 3rd, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC)
I don't know, Monster Raving Loonies have a candidate in Sedgfield. It would be.. pleasing if he won.
angusabranson
May. 4th, 2005 11:31 am (UTC)
I don't think the LibDems will win this election. I haven't heard anyone who thinks they will. This election is about growing the number of LibDem MPs we have in Parliament, reducing the Labour Party's majority and using that as a base in the next 4-5 years to mount an even bigger campaign at the next election. The Conservatives are in decline, one that is made more so by the emergence of the UKIP and the strengthening of the BNP - as well as the movement into their traditional right-wing territory by the 'New' Labour party.

The LibDems have a very real chance in the next 4/5 years of becoming the major opposition party and from there they can mount a serious challenge in 2012(ish) for government.

I also agree it would be foolish and a humanitarian disaster just to pull out all of our troops from Iraq now. We helped create this mess we need to be responsible and help sort it out - even if that does mean admitting we were wrong and asking others for help.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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