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The Smiler
July 15, 2009 9:43 AM   Subscribe

Tony Blair wants to be president ...of Europe.
posted by Artw (64 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Huh. I would think his image as Bush's lap dog would be a bit of a hindrance.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:45 AM on July 15, 2009


Well, yes.
posted by Artw at 9:47 AM on July 15, 2009


Get in line.
posted by DU at 9:49 AM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


man, that's an unfortunate picture of him in the BBC story.
posted by boo_radley at 9:49 AM on July 15, 2009


Get in line.

Okay, seriously, imagine how fantastic it would be if Eddie Izzard were president. Of anything.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:52 AM on July 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


The caption under the photo in the BBC article is beautiful: "Previously, ministers had avoided talking about a job that did not exist."
posted by litleozy at 9:56 AM on July 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


I know, right. Although the US probably has more to gain from a President Izzard. And how could a cross-dressing, French-speaking, history-knowing European fail to be elected?
posted by DU at 9:56 AM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Europe by way of Transylvania judging by that photo... and I thought he was busy teaching Religion at Yale?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:58 AM on July 15, 2009


Hah! He didn't say he wants to be President of Europe, but 'no such post exists so it would be pointless to put myself forward.' Or something like that. Any which way, he can twat off. Really, die under a rock or something.

I personally reckon Juncker will be first as he's a trusted pair of hands and a compromise between the two main blocs. Merkel might be after that, as by then she'll have had two terms as Kanzlerin, and will probably be the biggest political name in Europe, and a member of the largest bloc. Of course, if they ever open it up to a general election, I'm going for Zapatero.
posted by Sova at 9:59 AM on July 15, 2009


I would campaign to have Illinois admitted to the EU just to have a chance to vote for Izzard.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:00 AM on July 15, 2009


Sova: Yes, Viva Zapatero!
posted by lucia__is__dada at 10:05 AM on July 15, 2009


Cheri have anything to do with this?
posted by IndigoJones at 10:06 AM on July 15, 2009


SHUT. DOWN. EVERYTHING.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:06 AM on July 15, 2009


Also, it could be worse. It could be Berlusconi. Yikes.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 10:07 AM on July 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


And the Europeans laughed, and laughed, and laughed!

Dream big, Tony, dream big.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:08 AM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


A permanent President of the European Council, of whatever kind of cabinet ministers of EU members are present, is not the same as the President of Europe.

There are three institutions in the EU, battling for power. There's the European Commission, that does the daily grind. And there's the almost powerless European Parliament, that might become a bit more powerful if the Lisbon treaty is ratified; but still won't be very democratic even then. And there's the European Council -- that is easily dominated by the large EU member states, and their often strictly national interests.

Right now, the presidency of the European Council changes every six months, which doesn't help its effectiveness, it is felt.
posted by ijsbrand at 10:08 AM on July 15, 2009


Tony Blair should go to a hole and stay there. Ugh.
posted by saturnine at 10:10 AM on July 15, 2009


At least Berlusconi is safely incompetent. And though Berlusconi is a hateful idiot I find it hard to have the same hate-on for him that I do against Blair, being that he just sort of tagged along with the whole Iraq thing rather than being actively complicit in faking a case for war.

You know those British terms that people don't like around here? Berlusconi is a bit of a twat. Blair, on the other hand is a grade-A radioactive international scale cunt. With banners on.
posted by Artw at 10:11 AM on July 15, 2009 [11 favorites]


Tony Blair should go to a hole and stay there.

Tony Blair for President of a hole
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:12 AM on July 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


wait, didn't this guy resign as prime minister precisely because he'd become so unpopular thanks to the Iraq War? doesn't it strike anyone else as unlikely that he'd garner public support to lead the EU?
posted by shmegegge at 10:14 AM on July 15, 2009


If Tony Blair were president of a hole I would argue for the hole being filled up with medical waster and concreted over. With Blair in it.
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on July 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Eddie Izzard would be better as President of Uranus.
posted by jamstigator at 10:27 AM on July 15, 2009


Didn't he want to be Secretary General of the UN at one point? He's probably in secret negotiations with the Greys to be President Of The World come the invasion.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:29 AM on July 15, 2009


Well, It'd involve selling everyone out and being an utter traitor, so he'd have experience. They'd have to indulge his messiah complex of course.
posted by Artw at 10:30 AM on July 15, 2009


I've seen the cool kids just post a " . " in threads, presumably to represent sympathetic thoughts or a moment of silence, because they can't find the words.

Is there an equivalent for combined incredulity, outrage and disgust? Because that'll be handy in here.
posted by metaBugs at 10:34 AM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I want to be President of the Whole World, but that's not likely to happen either.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:35 AM on July 15, 2009


mmm, someone doesn't like this Blaire chap.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:35 AM on July 15, 2009


Is there an equivalent for combined incredulity, outrage and disgust? Because that'll be handy in here.

FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK
posted by shmegegge at 10:37 AM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


*
posted by Optamystic at 10:42 AM on July 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Will this get him off the dole?
posted by srboisvert at 11:04 AM on July 15, 2009


I'm going to hang around Union Square and be Emperor of the United States.
posted by GuyZero at 11:04 AM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


And I want to be a unicorn.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:06 AM on July 15, 2009


A permanent President of the European Council, of whatever kind of cabinet ministers of EU members are present, is not the same as the President of Europe.

There are three institutions in the EU, battling for power. There's the European Commission, that does the daily grind. And there's the almost powerless European Parliament, that might become a bit more powerful if the Lisbon treaty is ratified; but still won't be very democratic even then. And there's the European Council -- that is easily dominated by the large EU member states, and their often strictly national interests.


That's true, and the 'President of Europe' title is a media invention. However, the Lisbon Treaty weakens member states both in the Commission and in the Council of the European Union. The President of the European Council won't be a powerful position, but it could be combined with the President of the Commission. The policy and executive powers, along with the profile of such a combination would make any dual holder very important. It remains to be seen what happens after the Irish referendum when the treaty is implemented, but 'democratic deficit' is a common phrase now, and maybe appointment by heads of government alone won't last.

I don't really know though, get back to me in a year when I've completed Politics of the European Union 101. I promise to write my essay on the 'President of Europe'.
posted by Sova at 11:16 AM on July 15, 2009


He's probably in secret negotiations with the Greys to be President Of The World come the invasion.

A HUNDRED MORE YEARS
posted by queen zixi at 11:16 AM on July 15, 2009


Having got over my initial reaction and re-read the article:
The UK government is supporting Tony Blair's candidature for president of the Council [of EU governments].
Doesn't this feel like something we should get a vote in? I know how our system works: we vote for the party, and they form a government and arrange ministers as they see fit. I don't have a big problem with that. But this man was recently forced out of office because the public hate him so much. Their putting him up as our candidate for President of the EU feels very, very wrong.

More than ever, it feels like Labour's mantra isn't "what do our citizens want?" but "what can we get away with?". Bastards.


FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK has a nice ring to it, but for maximum efficiency in my outrage I'm going with


*
posted by metaBugs at 11:25 AM on July 15, 2009


Okay, seriously, imagine how fantastic it would be if Eddie Izzard were president. Of anything.

But everything would be covered in beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees-
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:28 AM on July 15, 2009


Tony Blair for President of a hole

The bottom of the hole will back him, but it's up to him whether or not he wants to put his foot forward.
posted by espire at 11:39 AM on July 15, 2009


Seems somewhat to very likely that Ireland will vote "no" on the EU constitution, so whether Mr. Blair plumps for the job or not is kind of a moot point.
posted by blucevalo at 11:41 AM on July 15, 2009


Tony Blair's teeth scare me. Seriously, they really freak me out. They're too small, and there's too many of them. They belong to some kind of reptile or something.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:42 AM on July 15, 2009


Offtopic Warning:

I love Eddie Izzard. I also really freakin love Phil Jupitus's impression of Eddie.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:44 AM on July 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Tony Blair should recognize that he thoroughly disgraced himself and stay out of public life, rather than attempting some McNamara-style redemption. At least Colin Powell, who also managed to permanently sabotage his reputation, had the excuse that he was just a henchman for the president. Tony Blair was a head of state, and had the responsibility to be something more than Bush's towel boy.

I hope his recent conversion to Catholicism has provided him with ample opportunity to reflect upon the wages of his actions.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 12:05 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


See now I can only imagine Blair as some posh English version of Dr Evil. With more hair. And more teeth.

EVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIL. EVIL IS HIS ONE AND ONLY NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME.

(goes to watch Austin Powers)
posted by litleozy at 12:09 PM on July 15, 2009


Berlusconi is a bit of a twat. Blair, on the other hand is a grade-A radioactive international scale cunt. With banners on.

I won't comment on Blair, but saying Berlusconi is a bit of a twat is like saying Hell is a little warm.
posted by romakimmy at 12:15 PM on July 15, 2009


I forget - is Tony Blair working for the Pope or the Illuminati?
posted by lukemeister at 12:55 PM on July 15, 2009


Seems somewhat to very likely that Ireland will vote "no" on the EU constitution, so whether Mr. Blair plumps for the job or not is kind of a moot point.

Yeh? There's a contrary opinion here, but I wouldn't say it was 'likely' that Ireland will reject the Lisbon Treaty in October. It may happen, it may not.
posted by Sova at 1:08 PM on July 15, 2009


boo_radley : man, that's an unfortunate picture of him in the BBC story.

Made even more so by the fact that the ad that came up next to it was this picture of a child. And between that smile and the kid's look of terror, all I could assume that the message being conveyed was that Tony Blair eats babies.
posted by quin at 1:12 PM on July 15, 2009


So now that Tony in his role as peace envoy, has reconciled all the parties in the Middle East, he's now available to bring the same talents to work for Europe?
posted by BlueMetal at 1:49 PM on July 15, 2009


Seems somewhat to very likely that Ireland will vote "no" on the EU constitution
And if they do, again, its seems the response is to keep making them vote on it until the voters of Ireland do what they're told. Bodes so well for the democratic prospects of a more integrated Europe.
posted by Abiezer at 1:51 PM on July 15, 2009


So, let's see ....

.... he masterminded perhaps the greatest UK foreign policy screwup (Iraq) of the last 60 years, happily stood by when parts of Lebanon was reduced to rubble, and was in power from 1997 to 2007 - the ten years during which a huge UK debt bubble was inflated.

How on earth could this incompetent buffoon be remotely considered for being allowed anywhere near any levers of power?

He should be down on his knees once/week in Trafalgar Sq begging for forgiveness for his monumental mistakes, and nowhere near even operating a toaster let alone President of the European Union.
posted by rolandroland at 1:55 PM on July 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


I personally don't think the UK should get influential positions in the EU until its political debate on the topic reaches puberty.

As for Blair, I'm conflicted. I don't hate him as much as some here, though he's got some big mistakes to his name. On the other hand, he's a figure with international stature and he's a good communicator, both of which are needed for this role (which isn't anything like President of the US - it's more like chairman of the national governments club).

I'm not sure that either of the other current names (Gonzalez, ageing former Spanish PM, and the ever present Luxemburg PM, Juncker) are people who can really make a difference in the job. I'd rather have one of the younger smaller-country PMs like Zapatero or Reinfeldt.

Of course - and this is the infuriating thing about the Council - I don't get the chance to vote. I can vote for the Government that nominates, and the European Parliament that has a veto.
posted by athenian at 2:11 PM on July 15, 2009


I am the president of my pants.

Smiler? Hnh. Pretty heavy charge there. I'd rather have Stalin running things than the Smiler. The beast is one thing, but someone who'd kill his own children is a whole other level of evil. Eh. Hyperbole, but perhaps apt given the visual. Looks like those monkey grins of submission.

Izzard is well traveled, knowledgeable, has a keen sense of history and it'd be worth having him in charge just for the constant James Mason presidential voice he'd use.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:11 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some how I picture Blair sitting at home in a cluttered basement rec room dressed as a combination of a space-age Napolean and Queen Victoria on a giant glittery Aluminum foil throne.

"PEW! KA-POW! PEW. PEW..."

His wife calls down to him "TONEEEEEY I asked you five times to take out the garbage!"

To him self "Argh! We are not amused. Can't you have some lesser being do this?"

"What?" She yells back.

"Sigh. I said IN A MINUTE, GOD DAMN IT!"
posted by tkchrist at 2:41 PM on July 15, 2009


Tony Blair was a head of state

Well, no. In the UK of GB & NI, the HoS is HM ERII. PM [HoG] = GB [was TB]

Clear?

He is, however, still a shite.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:48 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's rather worrying/disappointing that the President of the Council is an appointed position. Blair is unpopular to the people, not the elites.
posted by knapah at 3:42 PM on July 15, 2009


I hope his recent conversion to Catholicism has provided him with ample opportunity to reflect upon the wages of his actions.

His conversion to Catholicism mostly appears to have made him a lot more open about his desire to bring more religion to solve the world's problems. Because, you know, nothing will improve the whole Israel/Palestine or AIDS-in-Africa problem like more religion.

I personally don't think the UK should get influential positions in the EU until its political debate on the topic reaches puberty.

There is that. I have sympathy for the view that the only reason the UK is in Europe is to make sure it doesn't work. It's certainly the only way to explain a lot of behaviour. (Also, the Brits should probably actually pay their share...)
posted by rodgerd at 3:51 PM on July 15, 2009


Artw: Blair ... is a grade-A radioactive international scale cunt. With banners on.

I agree.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 5:08 PM on July 15, 2009


And there was me thinking Blair was holding out for the big job - God.
posted by influx at 5:09 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Because, you know, nothing will improve the whole Israel/Palestine or AIDS-in-Africa problem like more religion.

Well, it's a catastrophuck in the way that there's not a damn thing you can do with fanatics and dogmatics either way. Lots of places, if you have NO religion, that's waaay worse. Being a kafir is a horror compared to being merely an infidel or heathen.
On the other hand, conversion to Catholicism is like becoming a Yankees fan or enjoying pop music. It's the biggest religious body, one of the most ecumenical (current pope aside), pretty easy to sign up, easy to follow, etc. etc. Might have well switched to drinking Coke in terms of general acceptedness. Which, if you're Catholic among Jews, Muslims, etc. - easy to see and understand, whether you like it or not. "Oh, Catholic? Ok, yeah."

Now if he'd concerted to, say, the Nazarene fellowship of the Christadelphians, that would have put a bug up some people's ass just trying to figure out what the hell that is.
Which would have been cool. "You're a what now?"

I get that with the Philosophical Taoism and nontheism. People don't know what to make of it, theists, atheists, polytheists, whatever. But that'd probably just get me shot out there. "Look, I think we should unask the question concerning deity, but condoms are pretty important when..." *bang!*
Folks don't like to have to spend time figuring where you're supposed to be coming from.

So the AIDS thing "Ok, I'm a catholic, but let's talk about condoms anyway in disease prevention"
...of course, that's reading rational altruistic goals into Blair's moves there. Not just more power, agenda, etc. etc. (Apparently many, many, people are not going to ever die or need anyone else to help them ever).
posted by Smedleyman at 5:16 PM on July 15, 2009


I was elected the President of Thursday, but refused to serve.

Tomorrow, I'm considering making an exception.
posted by Eideteker at 5:19 PM on July 15, 2009


rodgerd: "Yes Minister" is, as ever, instructive in understanding politics.

And I didn't think I'd ever see a British PM more loathed than Maggie Thatcher. Then there was Blair. And we didn't even get any decent punk music out of his term. Maybe we can all just agree to call Blair "Lord High Murgatroid" and give him a silly hat and a robe and satisfy his ego that way?
posted by Grimgrin at 6:24 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


How about a Swede?
posted by armage at 6:40 PM on July 15, 2009


The interesting thing is, having followed this story various places on the internees, Ive yet to find one person who thinks it's a good idea - the unity of opinion is weird to behold.
posted by Artw at 6:42 PM on July 15, 2009


1. Flop sweat.
2. ??????
3. Happy birthday Mr President.
posted by The Monkey at 7:11 PM on July 15, 2009


lol!
posted by jeffburdges at 4:01 AM on July 16, 2009


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