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Older and wiser societies than ours knew about Tony Blair

Tony Blair rises every couple of months, like a bubble of swamp gas. First there’s an uneasy buried rumbling, then small tremors shake the surface, and then suddenly he bursts through, a gassy eruption stinking of farts and sulphur. It doesn’t matter how many rounds you fire into his shambling frame; he just won’t die. Whenever something unpleasant happens in the Middle East, whenever some huge corporation is discovered to be starving people to death or poisoning them through calculated negligence, whenever the chaos of the international order starts to wobble into another death-spiral, a damp wind blows through a graveyard somewhere in England and Tony Blair emerges from his tomb. There’s something viscerally revolting about the man. His fake chumminess and his sham gravitas are both as nauseatingly contrived as his shiny oily skin, hiding what can only be bloated rotting organs inside. He’s a gremlin, an incubus, very strange and very cruel and very foreign to our world. But still there’s a decaying vestige of that charm, the memory of the love in which he was once held, that universal joy when he finally ended a generation of Conservative rule by ending the Tory monopoly on evil.
Inspired by his latest pronouncements, Sam Kriss talks about the role of Tony Blair in UK politics.
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 25, 2014 - 23 comments

Blair Disease

"At a reception recently I met the former president of a small post-communist country. I know that’s what he was because he told me so immediately. He then began dropping names of London-based ex-Soviet oligarchs – his friends and business associates, he implied.

This man had Blair Disease, named for ex-prime minister Tony Blair: the growing propensity of former heads of government to monetise their service. Blair Disease is damaging but easily cured." -- From Simon Kuper in the Financial Times
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 6, 2014 - 38 comments

The TB-GBs

The tale of the day eight years ago when Gordon Brown went to Washington and heard that Tony Blair wasn't going to stand down for him ahead of the 2005 general election, as told by Brown's former special advisor Damian McBride. [more inside]
posted by imperium on Sep 30, 2012 - 24 comments

The Death of David Kelly

Lord Hutton made a request for the records provided to the inquiry, not produced in evidence, to be closed for 30 years, and that medical (including post-mortem) reports and photographs be closed for 70 years: evidence relating to the death of Government weapons inspector David Kelly is to be kept secret for 70 years, it has been reported (more here and here). Kelly was the UK weapons inspector whose suspiciously timed death in 2003, ruled a suicide, has remained a point of controversy ever since.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 on Jan 24, 2010 - 63 comments

Private and Confidential

Bush and Blairline-dancing, The Queen on the loo, Marilyn wanking (nsfw). The phototgraphy of Alison Jackson blends the real and the irreal.
posted by Artw on Nov 27, 2009 - 25 comments

The Smiler

Tony Blair wants to be president ...of Europe.
posted by Artw on Jul 15, 2009 - 64 comments

Preliminary sketches of Tony Blair invariably had the PM knocking off the head of a robot.

When the House of Commons required a portrait of outgoing PM Tony Blair, to whom did they turn? Phil Hale. [more inside]
posted by infinitewindow on Nov 15, 2008 - 22 comments

Today's Adventures of Spinspin: Alistair Campbell's media whirlwind

Tony Blair's ex-Master of Spin and closest adviser is on a media whirlwind promoting his diary. Campbell's apparently straight talking nature gives the prospects of some tantalizing insight into the inner workings of number 10 for the majority of Blair's premiership. He's not getting it all his own way, though. BBC Radio 4's John Humphrey's on the Today Programme (Real audio) (MP3) was more interested in the failings of a government and political movement for which he was an architect and key player, and particularly Campbell's legacy of elevating the role of spin in British politics, even in the inner working of government, allegedly sexing up an intelligence dossier in order to make a more compelling case for war in Iraq (See 10 ways to sex up a dossier). The Guardian, in an article titled Did he mean me?, invited some of those named in his diaries to give feedback, or should that be biteback?
posted by nthdegx on Jul 11, 2007 - 7 comments

Unpopular premier slams popular press

The UK media is like a "Feral Beast", and is undermining Britain, says Tony Blair. Simon Kelner, editor of The Independent, responds. Some reasons why Blair might not be too keen on the press.
posted by Artw on Jun 12, 2007 - 21 comments

"Number one, Mr. Speaker"

Prime Minister's Questions is a weekly televised convention in the UK started in the 1950s during which Members of Parliament get a chance to hold their leader accountable for his or her actions. Sick of boring political meetings? "PMQ" is fast-paced, hip, heated, eloquent, insulting, and sometimes hilarious. In fact, the inherant humor of it is has been well explored.

But brits aren't the only ones; "Question Time", as it's called generically, has been adapted in other countries as well. Yet the show often shocks Americans since the concept of weekly unscripted access to leaders without giving days of question prep-time seems like a fantasy. Of course, maybe the alternative (0:41) is much worse.
posted by TimeTravelSpeed on Dec 5, 2006 - 63 comments

Good Bye Tony

Tony Blair announces that he will resign as UK Prime Minister. Just broadcast on BBC. Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, is expected to be nominated by Labour party as the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Blair hasn't set a date for departure.
posted by three blind mice on Sep 7, 2006 - 71 comments

Spectre: Families of bereaved British servicemen to stand against pro-war politicians

"Families of soldiers killed in Iraq launch party to challenge ministers". Reg Keys, father of a British serviceman killed in the Iraq War, stood directly against Tony Blair in his Sedgefield constituency as an independent candidate (see Wikipedia for a brief summary of independent movements in the UK, USA and Canada) in the 2005 UK election, taking 10% of the vote. A founder member of Military Families Against The War, he is also at the centre of a new political movement, Spectre, that aim to stand up to 70 members of bereaved families directly against pro-war government and cabinet members in the 2009 election, and each by-election before then. See also the Guardian's Guide to anti-war websites.
posted by nthdegx on Aug 6, 2006 - 17 comments

The Porter-Blair debate.

Henry Porter is the British Editor of Vanity Fair. In the current issue he attacks what he describes as "[Tony] Blair's campaign against rights contained in the Rule of Law". The article follows a series of columns for The Observer and an extraordinary exchange of email between the two men, and has resonance in probably all countries in the Western world.
posted by Neiltupper on Jun 28, 2006 - 37 comments

Bush and Blair slated by Pinter

Bush and Blair slated by Pinter George W Bush and Tony Blair must be held to account for feeding the public "a vast tapestry of lies" about the Iraq war, writer Harold Pinter said. [Postroad: but then, what do artists know about politics?]
posted by Postroad on Dec 7, 2005 - 41 comments

If only all Politicians were this honest!

Finally, The Bush vs. Blair debate that we've all waited to see. Silly Friday-Flash. [Warning, contains profanity]
posted by metaxa on Nov 25, 2005 - 22 comments

w00t

Blair loses in the Commons for the first time since his election in 1997. MPs refused to pass laws allowing terrorist suspects to be jailed without trial for 90 days, and Blair's parliamentary majority of 66 turned into a minority of 31. The government has been holding back on the vote for months in an attempt to persuade their party to back the Prime Minister - they failed.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Nov 9, 2005 - 38 comments

"Values don't change, but times do"

Tony's Blair's keynote speech to the Labour Party conference today [wmv]. Text summary from Channel 4 news.
posted by nthdegx on Sep 27, 2005 - 19 comments

There be a way out of this yet!

The 'Captain' and his buddies have been stuck with the 'Downing Street Memos' that have to be dealt with on the merits of what they say because no one has questioned their validity. Not anymore. What do you do when you need a miracle? Go back to what has worked in the past and scrutinize the paper and typeface .
posted by UseyurBrain on Jun 19, 2005 - 107 comments

BBC Question Time

BBC - Question Time Leaders Special [Windows Media or RealMedia]
- Panorama: Iraq, Tony and the truth [transcript]
posted by Pretty_Generic on Apr 28, 2005 - 23 comments

Mmm, church and state, mmmmmmm.

Uhoh. Tony Blair's new Education Secretary Ruth Kelly is almost certainly a member of masochistic Catholic cult Opus Dei, as featured in The Da Vinci Code.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jan 24, 2005 - 52 comments

Impeach Blair

Teflon Tony Blair is a class act as a survivor but could he seriously face impeachment proceedings from These guys? So far its only the loons and the wannabees but how long before the case is taken up by The Prince of Darkness? It looks bad because his Pants are on Fire.
posted by Cancergiggles on Dec 10, 2004 - 39 comments

Sleeping with the president is not a good idea.

Sleeping with the president is not a good idea. Bush had no answers to big questions, such as 'what happens on the morning after.' The Daily Telegraph reports that documents show Prime Minister Tony Blair signed up to the U.S. policy of regime change in March 2002, a year before the conflict started... after he was warned that postwar stability would be difficult and the U.S. had few answers. Oh, no problem. This week, Bush said he is 'pleased with the progress' in Iraq.'
posted by fleener on Sep 19, 2004 - 14 comments

Impeach Tony Blair

Impeach Tony Blair. Backed by a large dossier, supported by a handful (so far) of UK members of parliament. Summarised by The Spectator.
posted by iffley on Aug 26, 2004 - 21 comments

More Whitewash, Jeeves?

As the verdict of Butler Report into the intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq, draws near in Britain, a senior intelligence source reveals that MI6 took the "rare step" of withdrawing the intelligence assessment that underpinned the claim that Saddam had continued to produce WMD (an admission that such information was fundamentally unreliable), however Blair did not tell the public "that the evidence of WMD was crumbling beneath him". [Watch the Panorama programme in question here for 7 days from 11-7-2004] The Dossier that Lord Hutton declared was not sexed-up (leading to senior BBC resignations), Dr Brian Jones (former head of the nuclear, chemical and biological branch of the Ministry of Defence's Defence Intelligence Staff) says was sexed-up, and details exactly how.
posted by Blue Stone on Jul 12, 2004 - 26 comments

Blair in Trouble...

The UK local elections have taken place, and for the first time ever forced the ruling Labour government into third position, with their worst showing in history. Is this just a mid-term blip, or the culmination of the huge Iraq backlash that will topple the government? With Bush in trouble too, will any of the warring leaders be left come November? And can the Big Intervention website topple Blair himself?
posted by wibbler on Jun 11, 2004 - 13 comments

Terry vs. Tony

Tony Blair: Why we must never abandon this historic struggle in Iraq. Terry Jones: Tony really must try harder.
posted by homunculus on Apr 14, 2004 - 20 comments

PAIR UP FOR PEACE PRIZE

PAIR UP FOR PEACE PRIZE It is possible to see the war against Iraq as a good thing,finally, but this Orwellian War is Peace seems a bit strange: :Tony Blair and George Bush have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for waging war on Saddam Hussein. They have been put forward by a Norwegian politician who said ousting the dictator had reduced the threat of a war with weapons of mass destruction."
posted by Postroad on Feb 1, 2004 - 26 comments

Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn an nwyl i mi, John

The BBC is asking visitors of its news site to vote from a shortlist of the ten most embarrassing political moments. Visitors can watch a short film [real media] which shows all ten nominated moments (forgive the home-video moments style background muzak). There's some variety here: Tony Blair and Neil Kinnock in moments exhibiting a baffling degree of misguidedness, George W Bush and Kenneth Clarke in tight spots (figuratively and literally), while Charles Kennedy and John Prescott probably coming out of their situations looking better than they did beforehand. For me the most cringe-inducing clip is that of John Redwood, the then newly appointed Secretary of State for Wales, attempting to mime the Welsh national anthem. Genuinely difficult to watch.
posted by nthdegx on Dec 5, 2003 - 31 comments

mirror across the ocean

“We fear the government using the current climate of fear and uncertainty about the future as a means to allow itself sweeping powers without an appropriate consideration of proportionality" ......no-go zones ........ power to ban peaceful protest ...... destroy private property without compensation ........prepare for the introduction of compulsory identity cards .... The climate seems to be changing.
posted by JohnR on Nov 26, 2003 - 3 comments

Dear George

Dear President Bush, I'm sure you'll be having a nice little tea party with your fellow war criminal, Tony Blair. Please wash the cucumber sandwiches down with a glass of blood, with my compliments. Harold Pinter, Playwright. Some caustic open letters in The Guardian for the big state visit.
posted by serafinapekkala on Nov 19, 2003 - 45 comments

You can have him...

I created this website because it seemed to me important that Americans said thank you to Prime Minister Tony Blair and the British people.
posted by i_cola on Oct 9, 2003 - 49 comments

Two grown men

You big babies. Chirac gives Blair the perfect birthday gift.
posted by Summer on May 7, 2003 - 14 comments

Blair a war criminal

Blair, the war criminal Tom Dalyell, a Labour MP with over 41 years of service in the House of Commons has voted with his Labour Party constitutency to call for Blair to reconsider his postion as party leader. He further states that he believes "[Blair] should be branded as a war criminal and sent to the Hague".
posted by lometogo on Mar 27, 2003 - 22 comments

Wakey wakey Mr Blair

Wakey wakey Mr Blair There's been a lot of media comment recently concerning Tony Blair's visible signs of exhaustion. This piece illustrates just how quickly he needs to wake up to what's going on if he's ever to sleep soundly again. Clare Short should show him the way and save her credibility at the same time
posted by skellum on Mar 22, 2003 - 13 comments

Sailing close to the flame

At what point does a government have to stop and wonder if it's judged the mood correctly?

The UK government manages to bribe a rebel with a cushy job, but not one, not two, but three other MPs walk away from the government in one day. Are things going wrong in the UK?
posted by twine42 on Mar 18, 2003 - 63 comments

When Washington writes Blair's autocue

When Washington writes Blair's autocue. For those of you outside the U.K. a very funny clip from Rory Bremner, about the only satirist left on U.K. television. (Real Video Stream - 'Blair & Campbell Autocue').
posted by rolo on Mar 3, 2003 - 9 comments

Blair unveils global warming plan

Blair unveils global warming plan, says U.S. must do more "We will continue to make the case to the U.S. and to others that climate change is a serious threat that we must address together as an international community," he said. "We in Britain have shown that it is possible to break the relationship between economic growth and ever-rising pollution." With the Bush administration relying so heavily on British support of its war plans, does Blair have some real leverage here to push for more progressive Bush policies on other issues?
posted by damn yankee on Feb 25, 2003 - 30 comments

George Loves Tony

Ask not for whom the Bush burns: it burns for Blair. [Quicktime req; via Bifurcated Rivets.]
posted by Carlos Quevedo on Feb 24, 2003 - 8 comments

Friday Flash!

Friday Flash! Actually, it's a movie, but it sure is hilarious... Bush + Blair = LUV
posted by sparky on Feb 21, 2003 - 8 comments

Tony Blair: The Case for War

"But if the threat cannot be removed peacefully, please let us not fall for the delusion that it can be safely ignored." Speech by Prime Minister Tony Blair at Labour's local government, women's and youth conferences, SECC, Glasgow.
posted by hama7 on Feb 17, 2003 - 69 comments

Blair-Powell Report Debunked

The first cracks in the foundations of Colin Powell's "Case for War" speech are beginning to be uncovered by a Cambridge professor. Some of the information taken from an "up to date" British intelligence dossier was apparently plagiarized and dramatically spun from a California graduate student's paper, describing the Iraqi regime during the 1990s. Will it make any difference in U.S. public opinion if the Powell speech is debunked? Will the widening gap between U.S. and global opinion further weaken the UN?
posted by zekinskia on Feb 7, 2003 - 42 comments

Closing time? Not yet!

Britain's Pubs to Entertain Longer Hours? Tony Blair Says Yes! In an effort to curb binge drinking and overall ruddy behavior after closing times at 11pm, Parliament has it before them to allow for extended bar hours, rather than fixed open and closing hours. Communities would have some sort of say in which pubs would be able to have which hours, probably based on distance to residential areas, etc. CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale was one of the formal organizations backing this plan. Open All Hours? is a group opposing the plan. Check it out!
posted by djspicerack on Nov 13, 2002 - 32 comments

Of GM food, the PR industry and Tony Blair.

Of GM food, the PR industry and Tony Blair. George Monbiot exposes the questionable methods (fake public interest groups) of the PR industry in defense of big Agribusiness.
posted by talos on May 29, 2002 - 15 comments

Blair to visit the Indian sub-continent

Blair to visit the Indian sub-continent to defuse the tension in the region. He is expected to arrive in Pakistan on January 7 following visits to India and Bangladesh.
posted by riffola on Jan 1, 2002 - 4 comments

Blair's Road to Nemesis

Blair's Road to Nemesis "There will come a day when the Government commits suicide" Columist of the year, Andrew Rawnsley's devastating critique of new labour is also supported by the BBC's Mark Mardell "Blair will get bored of just being the British PM soon". Ex-labour deputy leader Roy Hattersley says He must be stopped
posted by quarsan on Nov 18, 2001 - 8 comments

blair postpones freedom of information act

blair postpones freedom of information act until 2005, despite being a labour party pledge for 25 years...... after the undemocratic anti-terrorism legislation forced through parliament on monday, what hope for real civil liberties in the uk?
posted by quarsan on Nov 16, 2001 - 5 comments

blair to declare state of emergency, suspend human rights

blair to declare state of emergency, suspend human rights there is some scary stuff included in these proposals. including internment without trial there are serious implications here, and i find it frightening.
posted by quarsan on Nov 14, 2001 - 46 comments

Blair now a 'legitimate target.'

Blair now a 'legitimate target.' A spokesman for a British Islamic group has said Tony Blair is a 'legitimate target.' According to spokesman, "This means if any Muslim wanted to kill him or get rid of him, I would not shed any tears." Salman Rushdie roomate jokes aside, this is pretty chilling.
posted by prodigal on Oct 10, 2001 - 23 comments

Tony Blair For President!

Tony Blair For President! Seriously, I'd vote for him. What are the chances that the Democrats can recruit Mr. Blair to run? Also, the LA Times thinks Tony Blair Puts Bush to Shame. What do you think?
posted by Rastafari on Oct 8, 2001 - 19 comments

So while Bush has looked like a small rodent caught on a dual carriageway, Tony Blair has addressed the nation, met with the French and German prime ministers, attended a memorial service, met with both Clinton and Bush, been namechecked in the latters big speech, initiatied negotiations with Iran and, last but not least, been pictured looking photogenically concerned and statesman-like in a well-cut black suit. I don't think anybody does crisis as well as Blair. He's turning into Thatcher. Pity he doesn't have the support of his own party.
posted by Summer on Sep 21, 2001 - 27 comments

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