BUSH PULLS OUT OF SPEECH TO PARLIAMENT
November 17, 2003 10:09 AM   Subscribe

Bush pulls out of speech to Parliament during upcoming British trip. Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Francois Mitterand, have all given speeches to the Lords and the Commons while visiting Britain, but Bush is afraid of hecklers.
posted by wsg (63 comments total)
 
wsg, this is interesting news - I wonder if you considered posting it in this current discussion about Bush's UK visit?
posted by anastasiav at 10:16 AM on November 17, 2003


So, not just protesters, but MPs give the president knocking knees.

Remember when people used to call the POTUS the "leader of the free world"? I feel old.
posted by inksyndicate at 10:23 AM on November 17, 2003


Oops, I just noticed that it was posted in that thread 17 minutes before I made it an FPP. Sorry.
posted by wsg at 10:24 AM on November 17, 2003


Dubya must've felt the wielding of the mace was a threat to his security.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:30 AM on November 17, 2003


Bush will never agree to speak in any Parliament. He may not be an intelligent man, but he is shrewd enough to avoid what will make him look like a complete idiot i.e., eating in public, speaking in Parliament.

Politicians in the parliamentary system must be able to think on their feet and cope with hecklers. I remember a college political science instructor of mine saying that had Reagan been Canadian he would never have been able to become PM because the MPs would have shot him down like the lame duck he was.
posted by orange swan at 10:44 AM on November 17, 2003


Bush spoke before the Australian parliament, and was heckled.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:48 AM on November 17, 2003


Sure, mr_roboto, but perhaps his handlers figured out "fool me once..."
posted by billsaysthis at 10:49 AM on November 17, 2003


"Bush pulls out....." orange swan, I immediately thought of the metaphor of sex; Bush realized that it would be risky because he wouldn't be protected by his condom-like retinue of spinmeisters and handlers......I wonder if "The Big Dick" is one presidential nickname used by insiders? It's got to be.

But, yeah - he's shrewd enough if not exactly quick on his feet (far quicker than he used to be I'd say, but still not enough so to avoid being sliced into ribbons by MP rhetoric).
posted by troutfishing at 10:57 AM on November 17, 2003


I've had the good fortune of watching Tony Blair address the MPs on CSPAN. It was really quite amazing, it was kind of like watching Jerry Springer with brains and without boobs.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:01 AM on November 17, 2003


If you've never seen a session of Parliament on C-SPAN, it's well worth it. MP's are completely unafraid to attack (quite eloquently) people they disagree with. It's not surprising Bush is pulling out, but he's a spineless pussy for doing so. Isn't he supposed to have god on his side or something?
posted by mkultra at 11:03 AM on November 17, 2003


If only his father had pulled out...
posted by keswick at 11:07 AM on November 17, 2003


My, how frustrating it must be for those who support Bush's policies to see how misunderstood he is right now all over the world, how few people seem to see the light, and how this embarrassing lack of enlightenment necessitates these unfortunate limitations on free speech, oh sorry, on, um, photo opps where Our Hero could really shine, if it wasn't for these rude traitors, oh sorry um, people who have need seen the shining path, to coin a phrase, toward democracy that Bush is so clearly, um, bombing, I mean, laying out for the unenlightened dark, um sorry, Iriquois people. Iraqi, sorry.
posted by digaman at 11:09 AM on November 17, 2003


Isn't he supposed to have god on his side or something?

If he wants Biblical authority for his decision, he only need quote Ecclesiastes 9:4 - "For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion."
posted by orange swan at 11:12 AM on November 17, 2003


Chicken! Chicken! Bok, bok, bok!
posted by neuroshred at 11:15 AM on November 17, 2003


wsg, this is interesting news - I wonder if you considered posting it in this current discussion about Bush's UK visit?

Nahhh... the more opportunity to bash Bush, make fun of him, etc.... the better. Yeee HAW!
posted by Witty at 11:16 AM on November 17, 2003


hmmm.
(i would face Hecklers)
posted by clavdivs at 11:16 AM on November 17, 2003


Ecclesiastes is my favorite book of the Bible: "All is useless; like chasing the wind." Like, totally dude.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:34 AM on November 17, 2003


This is just one example of how the current administration is seriously lacking in statemanship. After months of isolationism the administration made a big appeal to allies, and now that the invasion is a done deal, we are back to burning bridges. Our allies are just a means to an end.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:37 AM on November 17, 2003


wsg, this is interesting news - I wonder if you considered posting it in this current discussion about Bush's UK visit?

And if that's not good enough, there's also this thread. Or, if it's more to your liking, this one. All three are still accepting comments! Act now before this offer expires!
posted by pardonyou? at 11:39 AM on November 17, 2003


Why the hell did George's babysitters handlers schedule him to speak to parliament in the first place? Don't they watch C-SPAN too?
posted by Oddly at 11:40 AM on November 17, 2003


Looks like Georgie cant find a way to put the unfriendly MPs into a 'free speech zone' several mine away from his location.
posted by MrLint at 11:42 AM on November 17, 2003


I don't really blame citizens of the USA for shitting their pants. Not after the terrorist attacks they have endured. I was fully in support of the war with Iraq. Because it got rid of Saddam Hussein's regime, and that is a good thing. I have not heard one good argument why the war was wrong. People died, I know that, but they were dying already. I hate Saddam Hussein more than I hate George Bush. I was more upset when Bush refused to sign up to the Kyoto treaty. Anyway, he got elected.
posted by mokey at 11:46 AM on November 17, 2003


Couldn't the secret service just wrestle the heckler to ground and drag them off?
posted by 2sheets at 11:55 AM on November 17, 2003


Anyway, he got elected.

Strange, that.
posted by The God Complex at 11:56 AM on November 17, 2003


Color me unsurprised. He's had what? A dozen solo speeches in front of the press his entire career at the White House? That's with a tame press and pre-selected questions.

Of course he couldn't hack any MP asking him a real question. Bush, like many US presidents, live in a media bubble, save Clinton who was torn to shreds over oral sex, which last time I checked didn't bring on average two body bags a day from Iraq.

Bring 'em on, indeed.

What gets me is this guy is still expected to get 50% of the American vote. We get the government we deserve anyone?
posted by skallas at 12:03 PM on November 17, 2003


Mokey: "I have not heard one good argument why the war was wrong. People died, I know that, but they were dying already."

Hrmph.

They say we must fight to keep our freedom,
but Lord knows there has got to be a better way.
War. What is is good for?


People died. That's enough of a good argument. However, we're here now. Laying blame at Shrub's feet ain't makin' things any better.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:04 PM on November 17, 2003


orange swan, spare me your hackneyed biblical quotes. The man claims to be on a mission from god, plain and simple. That should disqualify him from being able to make rational desicions, period and only fuels the Xtian vs. Muslim rhetoric that fuels terrorist attacks.
posted by skallas at 12:04 PM on November 17, 2003


> I have not heard one good argument why the war was wrong.

Based on lies.

Saddam was safely contained.

Iraq is not a hotbed for terrorism. Do a google search for Saudi Arabia.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9.11. 9.11 does not make it right to just attack a country you don't like nor lie to the world about WMD, Nuclear weapons, terrorist conspiracies, etc.

Streching our military needlessly.

Spending billions wasted on Iraq instead on a real war on terrorism that could produce results.

Not creating more hatred from the Arab community which we need for Intel to fight terrorism. See Syria.

Last, but not least, having US soldiers die for nothing - worse having them die for lies, politics, and neocons bent on empire building.
posted by skallas at 12:09 PM on November 17, 2003


But earlier this year, Bush was embarrassed when he was heckled by MPs in Australia.

how did i miss that?!?! oh, that's right! i live in a media controlled police state!
posted by quonsar at 12:21 PM on November 17, 2003


Yes, I know the war was based on lies, I am cognisant of that, but that doesn't mean that things would be better (in my opinion) if it hadn't taken place. I don't think Saddam was responsible for the terrorist attacks against the US, I have no idea if he was connected with those or not, but I still think the people of Iraq are better off without him, therefore I am glad that he has gone, even though it took a war to get rid of him.
posted by mokey at 12:23 PM on November 17, 2003


.yes, i know the war was based lies, i am cognisant of that, but that doesn't mean that things would be better (in my opinion) if it hadn't taken place. i don't think saddam was responsible for the terrorist attacks against the us, i have no idea if he was connected with those or not, but i still think the people of iraq are better off without him, therefore i am glad that he has gone, even though it took a war to get rid of him.

Plus, the car runs much more smoothly now that all four wheels are bolted firmly in place.
posted by The God Complex at 12:31 PM on November 17, 2003


I've had the good fortune of watching Tony Blair address the MPs on CSPAN. It was really quite amazing

it is. it is.
Question Time in the Commons is such an amazing display of Democracy in action that it is enough to convert anybody into a UK-phile forever (did it for me).
it's interesting to note how an otherwise terrible Tory leader like William Hague was an excellent debater during QT -- an old-fashioned quality to have in nowadays politics if there ever was one. but Hague was very entertaining to watch. he was way better than Blair, btw (Blair got better since '97, but he's hardly flawless)

If only his father had pulled out...
Jeb would be President now
posted by matteo at 12:34 PM on November 17, 2003


Next up, under the heading of better off with someone else in charge: Syria, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, China, North Korea, The United States (that war will be a tricky piece of business), etc.
posted by The God Complex at 12:35 PM on November 17, 2003


The man claims to be on a mission from god, plain and simple.

Link? Source?
posted by Witty at 12:37 PM on November 17, 2003


Even if we grant that the war was justified, does this mean that Bush's insulating himself from criticism is a good idea?

For some reason this reminds me of a scene from Berthold Brecht's Threepenny Opera (the source of the song Mack the Knife BTW) which centers on a conspiracy to protect the queen from the sight of London's poor. Perhaps because it hit home to a Nazi party that made a habit of stacking their rallies, we are extremely lucky to have any copies of it today.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:42 PM on November 17, 2003


Link? Source?

lazy or just willfully ignorant, witty?
posted by quonsar at 12:46 PM on November 17, 2003


To be honest, I don't think this is much of a story. There's no real tradition of leaders on state visits addressing Parliament, at least not in the same way that leaders address the parliament in Canberra or a joint session of Congress. And it wasn't as if any proposed address had been publicised in the first place.

Point is that Tony, Dear Tony is pretty shy himself of speaking to the Commons outside of his weekly grilling; and to be honest, I'm not so cruel to have wanted to watch Bush receive the full fury of Parliament, given that so many MPs and peers feel as if they were deceived by Blair in the run-up to war.
posted by riviera at 12:57 PM on November 17, 2003


The man claims to be on a mission from god, plain and simple.
Link? Source?

Abbas said that at Aqaba, Bush promised to speak
with Sharon about the siege on Arafat. He said
nobody can speak to or pressure Sharon except
the Americans.

According to Abbas, immediately thereafter Bush
said: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I
struck them, and then he instructed me to
strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am
determined to solve the problem in the Middle
East. If you help me I will act, and if not,
the elections will come and I will have to
focus on them."



While the President and the First Lady modestly demur whenever this topic comes up, others around the Oval Office assert that they are convinced. "I think President Bush is God’s man at this hour," a top White House aide told a religious publication not long ago. Ralph Reed, the former director of the Christian Coalition who now chairs the G.O.P. in Georgia, says his fellow evangelicals believe God selected the President because "He knew George Bush had the ability to lead in this compelling way."

He had turned to God at the age of 40 as a way of kicking alcoholism, and his faith had kept him on the straight and narrow ever since, giving him the drive to reach the White House.
But all that changed on the day of the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.
Those close to Mr Bush say that day he discovered his life's mission.
He became convinced that God was calling him to engage the forces of evil in battle
, and this one time baseball-team owner from Texas did not shrink from the task.


Link? Source?
lazy or just willfully ignorant, witty?

who cares?
at least he's not an intolerant lefty, and makes our community more diverse and intellectually stimulating
posted by matteo at 12:57 PM on November 17, 2003


orange swan, spare me your hackneyed biblical quotes

It. Was. A. Joke.

Picture George W. saying "I figured I'd rather be a live dog than a dead lion."

Right. He'd never do that. He'd never admit that he's too chickenshit to stand up to the British Parliament and answer some real questions.
posted by orange swan at 1:09 PM on November 17, 2003


Hmm, I go to all the trouble of using capital letters only to have them decapitalised for me. Also I have absolutely no idea what the car reference means, Mr The God Complex.
posted by mokey at 1:10 PM on November 17, 2003


Is there anything in common with Thomas Beckett? All these bibical references and international justice allusions make me wonder.
posted by infowar at 1:21 PM on November 17, 2003


Bush likes things to be scripted.
posted by the fire you left me at 1:30 PM on November 17, 2003



War. What is is good for?

It's good for business.

posted by kirkaracha at 1:31 PM on November 17, 2003


By refusing to address Britain's Commons, or even the supine higher assembly, the House of Lords, Bush/Blair are sending a clear signal.

What, exactly, is the point of a "State Visit" without an address to a country's elected assembly? It sends a definite signal that as far as Blair and Bush are concerned, the real centre of power in Britain is definitely not located within the Commons.

In the bad old pre-democratic centuries, it was okay to visit the PM, have tea with the Monarch, and maybe a quick procession down the Embankment, so now I see where Bush's policy of social regressivism is leading us...
posted by meehawl at 1:31 PM on November 17, 2003


Wow, what a great insight, meehawl. You're absolutely right. It's a totalitarian state visit all the way.
posted by orange swan at 1:36 PM on November 17, 2003


lazy or just willfully ignorant, witty?

Sorry. I must have been asleep when those comments were made originally, then skipped the threads that brought them to all of us. I think some of them are taken out of context, but surely he (Bush) doesn't mind using his faith as a means of cummincating the strength of his ideas. But I don't think it's as bad as some of you here suggest.

at least he's not an intolerant lefty, and makes our community more diverse and intellectually stimulating

Stuff it.
posted by Witty at 2:18 PM on November 17, 2003


"Bush is afraid of hecklers"

He ain't-a skeer't-a nuthin'! Didn't he say "BRING 'EM ON"?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:43 PM on November 17, 2003


Witty,

When matteo said "at least he's not an intolerant lefty, and makes our community more diverse and intellectually stimulating" he was sticking up for you and making a point in your favor. It didn't seem to me that he was being sarcastic in the slightest.
posted by wsg at 3:01 PM on November 17, 2003


I don't want to solicit some angry garble about my countries president which will be immediately reduced to needless words by anyone that doesnt outright hate George Bush Jr.

But a president that doesn't represent the American people properly is a poor president, no matter how many good things that president has done. I feel that extremists from both sides secretly question the presidents lack of open debate about anything in the last 3 years. The website link is a little opinionated, but the main news is true: He didnt speak to Lords and Commons. Shouldnt he publicly say why?

Why would everyone just go with his decision? This isn't about religion! Forget about the religious debate, the war debate, anything that makes people choose sides. What I want is George Bush coming home and telling C-span why he didn't want to speak. Who disagrees?
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:01 PM on November 17, 2003


please excuse my composition.
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:02 PM on November 17, 2003


You all sound like the Ditto-heads running around from 1992-2000 with the nit-picking.
George likes the bible, he's an awful orator, and every decision he's had to make was bound to piss off at a minimum 50% of the population. Ok we get it.
Besides, its not as if you or your candidate have the answers either. So sit back, relax and wait for the next President to come in and figure out that mess they've had going on in the middle east for the last million years.
posted by bwinnard at 3:25 PM on November 17, 2003


It didn't seem to me that he was being sarcastic in the slightest.

BWAHAHAHAHA!
posted by quonsar at 3:31 PM on November 17, 2003


>at least he's not an intolerant lefty, and makes our community more diverse and intellectually stimulating

>>Stuff it.


QED.

Laying blame at Shrub's feet ain't makin' things any better.

You couldn't be more wrong about that ZachsMind. Until its been hammered so many times into Joe Sixpack's mind that Bush and his shitbeast cronies are flushing America and everything it's supposed to stand for down the toilet, and why, that he can repeat it as automatically as he says 'Supersize them fries, there, sweetie,' there's still a chance that we may be in for another 4 years of the fuckers. Much as the utter perversion of America and its downfall would be a thrilling spectacle, I'd actually prefer it didn't happen.

Shout it from the goddamn rooftops.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:00 PM on November 17, 2003


Not that I'm convinced a Democrat administration would be any better, of course, but in this case, it's definitely not 'better the devil you know'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:02 PM on November 17, 2003


BWAHAHAHAHA!

quonsar,

Maybe I was wrong. If matteo was being sarcastic it's hard to tell, cuz sarcasm really doesn't work well on the web (or in print either, for that matter) without a wink icon ;) or an lol or a /sarcasm. Know what I mean? [sarcasm] Sure you do! [/sarcasm]

...and now back to the topic at hand.
posted by wsg at 4:36 PM on November 17, 2003


Bush is one of the most fundamentally insecure public figures I've ever seen. This was a foregone conclusion.
posted by rushmc at 7:06 PM on November 17, 2003


mokey: it was a reference to Friedman, who holds many of the same views you do and has a penchant for using automobile metaphors.

Bush is one of the most fundamentally insecure public figures I've ever seen

True, but he's secure in his fundamentalism!
posted by The God Complex at 7:15 PM on November 17, 2003


lazy or just willfully ignorant, witty?

Just another Defender Of All Things Duhbya.

Which makes going aWol the correct thing for all our troops to do, and right now!

Which makes 'Christian' fundamentalism a cool and trendy thing.

Which makes being a silver spooned cheerleader frat rat the same thing as being a fearless naval aviator.

Which makes being a narcissist the same thing as determined and steely-eyed and resloved.

Which makes a half-wit the same thing as witty.
posted by nofundy at 5:28 AM on November 18, 2003


True, but he's secure in his fundamentalism!

Perhaps not surprisingly, I disagree. I see fundamentalism as a symptom of deep insecurity.
posted by rushmc at 6:56 AM on November 18, 2003


Hey, come on, Bush isn't chicken. He really did think he heard his mother calling him.

Would've helped, though, if he didn't say "Yoink!" before running away.
posted by Ty Webb at 8:27 AM on November 18, 2003


You all sound like the Ditto-heads running around from 1992-2000 with the nit-picking.
George likes the bible, he's an awful orator, and every decision he's had to make was bound to piss off at a minimum 50% of the population. Ok we get it.


No, you don't get it. He's dangerous. People are dying by the scores in another nation in an insurgency guerilla war, sometimes scores daily, not counting all the injuries and Iraqi deaths, and the justification is proven to be false, and the world now is solidly against the US - which is 180 degrees from how the world felt just two years ago - and now there is no way out until Bush is out of office. He clearly cannot be trusted to be honest or responsible in any way, not even for his own words and decisions. He can't even deal with presenting his case and having to answer to critics. He obviously needs a captive audience, or none at all. He needs to go.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:19 AM on November 18, 2003


Just another Defender Of All Things Duhbya.

Not true... and never have been. But I'm certainly not a Basher Of All Things Bush either. I leave that job to you.

Which makes a half-wit the same thing as witty.

Are you done?
posted by Witty at 10:25 AM on November 18, 2003


Aaaaand the relevant webcams are down for 'operational reasons'. For the third bloody time. These bastards really do think we're fucking idiots, don't they?
posted by punilux at 11:29 AM on November 18, 2003


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