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It was a good war. (For some.)

Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., repeatedly lobbied Tony Blair to invade Iraq. In the days leading up to the invasion, Tony Blair's Director of Communications wrote that "(Blair) took a call from Murdoch who was pressing on timings, saying how News International would support us, etc. Both TB and I felt it was prompted by Washington, and another example of their over-crude diplomacy. Murdoch was pushing all the Republican buttons, how the longer we waited the harder it got." The phone call in question took place just days before a crucial vote on Iraq, and was one of three personal calls from Murdoch that Blair received in that week alone. Blair recently testified, admitting an "unhealthy" level of closeness with Murdoch, oftentimes communicating more with him than with his own ministers. In the first 19 days following the invasion of Iraq, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News averaged 3.3 million viewers, a 236% increase from the weeks preceding the war. Huge increases in newspaper sales were seen throughout his global media empire, with advertising revenue soaring to record levels. That empire now faces serious calls for it to be broken up.
posted by markkraft on Jun 16, 2012 - 62 comments

Several days in the life...

Photographer Tolu Omokehinde, a senior at Montgomery Blair High School in suburban Silver Spring, Maryland, shot 175,000 photographs over a 7-month period and edited them together into a time-lapse video of the daily rhythms at Blair. [more inside]
posted by drlith on Jun 5, 2012 - 27 comments

Is Religion a Force for Good in the World?

In tonight's semi-annual Munk Debate in Toronto, Tony Blair and Christoper Hitchens square off over the topic "Is religion a force for good in the world?" For those who couldn't get tickets, you can watch a live webstream (PPV, $5) of the debate this evening, starting at 7pm EST.
posted by modernnomad on Nov 26, 2010 - 106 comments

Fantasia, Americana, Wonderland.

Take a solo trek through the back streets of toontown or gaze upon pastoral fantasia. You'll find an astonishing variety of familiar and fantastic locales at Bob Richards' Animation Backgrounds blog. [more inside]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Sep 3, 2010 - 7 comments

Blair Peach

Better late than never A report by Police Commander John Cass says an unnamed SPG officer dealt the fatal blow to Blair Peach.
posted by marienbad on Apr 27, 2010 - 16 comments

Sorry, We’re Booked, White House Tells Obamas

NYT: "The White House has turned down a request from the family of President-elect Barack Obama to move into Blair House in early January so that his daughters can start school on Jan. 5." [more inside]
posted by Quidam on Dec 12, 2008 - 83 comments

My, Easter eggs aren't what they used to be in 1995.

sarkozy, sarkozy, sarkozy.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Oct 23, 2007 - 25 comments

Allí, ese 16 de marzo, Bush, Blair y Aznar decidieron sustituir al Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas y usurparon sus funciones para declarar por su cuenta y riesgo la guerra contra Irak.

Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion-- Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar. ("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here, and audio clips in first link. [more inside]
posted by amberglow on Sep 25, 2007 - 46 comments

Goodbye Tony Blair

I'm rubbish at political comedy, so I'll leave it up to Tim Ireland to properly say Goodbye, Tony Blair. (via)
posted by anonaccount on Jun 25, 2007 - 17 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

Amis On Blair

Fascinating feature on Blair's farewell tour by Martin Amis. Accompanying video essays. Highlights include a visit to the Green Zone in Baghdad (which "resembles the embassy district of a minor South American capital after a period of immiseration and collapse"), a comparison of Presidential vs. Prime Ministerial motorcades, and a few candid reflections from Blair.
posted by grubby on Jun 2, 2007 - 15 comments

Tony Blair tells Cabinet he will quit.

Tony Blair tells Cabinet he will quit.
posted by plep on May 10, 2007 - 89 comments

Question Time

So, how is that whole Iraq thing working out for you, Tony? What's going on with Scotland? Is the rise of the SNP your party's fault? Are they laying the groundwork for Scottish independence?
posted by chuckdarwin on May 4, 2007 - 81 comments

Arrested British sailors were gathering intelligence on Iran while on UN mandate?

Releaed British navy commander: We were gathering intelligence on Iran (Watch the interview)
Tony Blair: The sailors were on a legitimate UN mandate
The Observer: The MoD confirmed last night that the Iranians had made the claim that they had become interested in Cornwall's activities after learning about it on British television, but denied the decision to allow the ship's crew to be interviewed while on active duty had jeopardised the mission.
posted by hoder on Apr 8, 2007 - 30 comments

Tony Blair can act

Tony Blair did a sketch for Comic Relief on Red Nose Day. (But Ricky Gervais visiting Kenya is better).
posted by hoverboards don't work on water on Mar 18, 2007 - 55 comments

Orwell Redux

George Orwell Eric Arthur Blair is probably best known to readers for his eerily prescient novels 1984 and Animal Farm. This comprehensive Orwell site betrays an erudite, complex, fascinating personality who wrote about a variety of subjects, from an exposition on British class relations affecting the art and practice of murder, to the complex moral compromises of Gandhi's practice of non-violent resistance, to the doublespeak-laden corruption of the English language as a telling reflection of a corrupt, brutal, post-WWII culture — and much, much more. This site also includes Russian translations of much of Orwell's work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 21, 2006 - 21 comments

The David Kelly Conspiracy

New questions over the death of David Kelly. Previously, on MeFi...[1][2][3][4]. It's a theory, that wants to explain the death of a Weapons Inspector who was involved in little problem concerning Weapons of Mass Destruction. And of course, one cannot link to the Daily Mail without a fondness for the daily-mail-o-matic.
posted by gsb on Jul 23, 2006 - 23 comments

Mr President your mike is still on!

In this episode of the George & Tony Show the President and the Prime Minister are in Russia eating brie, discussing geopolitics, leaving their mics open, and whatnot.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 17, 2006 - 139 comments

New York Times to release Bush/Blair memo.

New York Times to release Bush/Blair memo tomorrow. The memo, which was mentioned previously, but never publically disclosed, confirms that George W. Bush and Tony Blair were determined to invade Iraq, regardless of UN approval, and despite what both leaders told their citizens. More troubling, the memo also indicates that Bush may have conspired to assassinate Saddam Hussein, which appears to violate Sec. 5g of Executive Order 11905, which states that "No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination." This executive order was considered the law of the land even after 9/11, when Bob Barr proposed legislation H.R. 19, which was never enacted into law.
posted by insomnia_lj on Mar 26, 2006 - 74 comments

Untermenschen

'I didn't join the British Army to conduct American foreign policy' A former SAS soldier talks about his experience in Iraq. [more inside]
posted by gsb on Mar 13, 2006 - 48 comments

British soldiers filmed beating Iraqis.

British soldiers filmed beating Iraqis. A British tabloid has released footage showing British troops beating Iraqi rioters. The video, available in realplayer format or Windows Media format, was apparently taken by a British corporal, and shows at least eight British soldiers dragging four young rioters inside a British army compound, where they were repeatedly beaten with batons, boots and fists, and kicked in the genitals. Arab television and the BBC have since aired the footage.
posted by insomnia_lj on Feb 13, 2006 - 72 comments

Lies and mistellings...

"We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq." A newly released memo of a meeting of George W. Bush and Tony Blair reveals a determination to invade Iraq regardless of a second UN resolution or evidence of a weapons program. UK's Channel 4 News claims to have seen the memo, which is dated 31 January 2003 (two months before the invasion), and aired a report this evening. Mr Bush told Mr Blair that the US was so worried about the failure to find hard evidence against Saddam that it thought of “flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft planes with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours”. Mr Bush added: “If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach [of UN resolutions]”. More discussion here, here, here, and here.
posted by youarenothere on Feb 2, 2006 - 65 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

Don't Bomb Us.

Don't Bomb Us. In response to credible reports that Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera's HQ in allied Qatar (discussed here and here on MeFi), Al Jazeera staffers start their own English-language blog. Their site contains remembrances of their fallen colleagues, firsthand accounts of US attacks on their offices, links to relevant reports on the controversy, Flickr photosets of protests calling for an official investigation, and al Jazeera's code of ethics. Also, a quick note to Tony Blair: " P.S. Thanks for talking Mr. Bush out of bombing our offices!" Not surprisingly, their blog is generating some comments.
posted by edverb on Nov 26, 2005 - 117 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

UK'ers look away!

UK Gags Media on Bush-Blair row over bombing al-Jazeera. In 2004 Bush and Blair got into a shouting match over bombing Al-Jazeera in Qatar, as Bush, in his pointy-headed non-wisdom, ached to do. The bombing didn't happen, and now the Blair gov't is threatening jounalists with prison if they print the story. One British journalist replies.
posted by telstar on Nov 24, 2005 - 94 comments

Eyes and ears and mouth and nose...

U2, the Pope, Bush, Blair and Oprah together -- doing head and shoulders! Yet more Flash Friday fun.
posted by Hot Like Your 12V Wire on Oct 28, 2005 - 23 comments

Is the Blair government creating another dodgy dossier?

Is the Blair government creating another dodgy dossier? Following Tony Blair's recent outburst accusing the Iranian government of supporting attacks on British troops, a team are being dispatched to Iraq on a hunting expedition, in the hope of proving him right. Meanwhile, a prominent neo-con who served as the Iraq desk officer for the Office of Special Plans is telling the British that only the threat of force will tame Tehran. Sound familiar?!
posted by insomnia_lj on Oct 9, 2005 - 75 comments

"Was it all a dream...F911"

FT changes headline on Blair's statement. This morning, I picked up the paper copy of the Financial Times, scanned the headline, and harrumphed, remarking that "I had seen something like this before". Yesterday, the FT website had the same title - "Blair rejects calls for probe into bombings." Today, however, the headline has been changed to "Blair promises to hunt down bombers". (BTW, it's UK conservatives calling for a probe). Not only that, but the text in question is purged:
Tony Blair will on Monday reject Conservative demands for a government inquiry into last week's London bomb attacks, insisting such a move would distract from the task of catching the perpetrators.
Gentlemen, prepare your tinfoil hats!!
posted by rzklkng on Jul 11, 2005 - 19 comments

more iraqgate: "Ministers were told of need for Gulf war ‘excuse’"

more iraqgate: "Ministers were told of need for Gulf war ‘excuse’" "MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal."
posted by specialk420 on Jun 12, 2005 - 80 comments

3rd world impact of western global warming politics

Western societies seem intent on maintaining standards of living with unsustainable consumption rates. The resultant world ecological debt has caused climate changes that arguably have greatest impact on the world's poorest nations. World Wildlife Fund-UK reviews the prospects for sustainable consumption while a Canadian academic group releases a paper identifying the top 10 areas in nanotechnology that could help reduce 3rd world poverty.[MI] previous
posted by peacay on May 13, 2005 - 49 comments

Blair wins third term in UK

Blair wins third term in UK overcoming public outcry against his handling of the war in Iraq. His Labour party was elected despite attracting votes from only 22% of those eligible to do so.
posted by drewlondon on May 5, 2005 - 74 comments

It's a basic irony, folks...

I'm amused by today's Editorial in The Sun. It starts off with how a protest vote against Labour may mean 'you could be signing a young person's death warrant' due to the Liberal Democrat party's drugs policy.

The second half of the newspaper's editorial is a tribute to Anthony Wakefield... whose death came, of course, as part of the Blair government's war in Iraq... a basic irony that the newspaper has failed to pick up on. [via Bloggerheads]

For those who don't know, The Sun - which backs Blair, though not like this - is the UK's biggest selling newspaper and is owned by Rupert Murdoch.
posted by tapeguy on May 3, 2005 - 32 comments

Damning leak for Blair / Bush!

Damning leak for Blair / Bush! A leaked transcript of a senior British government meeting indicates that the Bush administration viewed war with Iraq as "inevitable" as of July 2002, even though the rationale for war was "thin" and that "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran." It further states that the desire to bring about regime change was "not a legal base for military action", and that the only legitimate reason to declare war was with UNSCOM approval. Most disturbingly, it indicates that there were "strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change."
posted by insomnia_lj on May 1, 2005 - 139 comments

Blair government attacks the BBC, while attempting to "plant" the news.

Blair government attacks the BBC, while attempting to "fix" the news. In the aftermath of the Hutton Report fallout, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott reopened the war of words between Labour and the BBC by accusing the BBC of slanting their news coverage of the war in Iraq. Apparently, an Iraqi friend of Prescott's, Shanaz Ibrahim, was refused a (unscheduled) interview. What Prescott fails to mention, however, is that Ms. Ibrahim has lived in London for over 30 years, and is married to Abdul-Latif Rashid, the brother-in-law of Iraq's president. So... where have all the *real* Iraqis gone, anyway?
posted by insomnia_lj on Apr 27, 2005 - 18 comments

Britain's new opposition party?!

Britain's new opposition party?! Despite outraising and outspending all other parties, Britain's conservative Tory party is falling in the polls to P.M. Tony Blair's "New Labour" party. This collapse seems likely to increase; just days after conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch indicated his love of cheap labour, his paper "The Sun" is endorsing Blair. What isn't being pointed out, though, is that the Liberal Democrats are gaining former Labour voters just as fast as Labour is gaining conservative voters. A British public opinion site indicates that 43% of its visitors support LibDem policies, while the Guardian's unofficial "poll-u-like" shows 45% support for the LibDems, even though The Guardian has encouraged its readers to "hold their nose" and vote for Blair. Given that prior election polls in Britain have been off by as much as 19%, could there be a major shift here?
posted by insomnia_lj on Apr 21, 2005 - 32 comments

Brian Eno's next big thing?!

Brian Eno's next big thing?! Politics, it appears. Brian Eno, an outspoken opponent of Tony Blair's administration in Britain, has started up http://www.libdemthistime.org, encouraging prominent Brits to show their support for the Liberal Democrats. If that isn't enough, he's helping bankroll the father of a British soldier killed in Iraq to run against Tony Blair in his constituency, in the hope of unseating him. Could Labour win and Tony lose?
posted by insomnia_lj on Mar 29, 2005 - 47 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

Aren't you *supposed* to declare the Good News?

A Tale Of Two Believers: Blair hides his church attendance - because he may be a secret Catholic; Bush promotes Faith Based Initiatives, yet doesn't seem to go to church at all. Does your leader have a secret spititual life?
posted by dash_slot- on Oct 1, 2004 - 24 comments

Will the poodle lose his kennel?

Blair on the slide. Charles Kennedy's dreams may come true next spring, it seems [UKfilter].
posted by dash_slot- on Sep 26, 2004 - 38 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

A little dab'll do ya.

A recent non-scientific poll conducted by ABC News in the US found that 35 percent of voters feel that hot-saucing is an acceptable form of discipline. Blair Whelchel (yes, that Blair Whelchel) is a fan. Whatever happened to soap?
posted by emelenjr on Aug 24, 2004 - 53 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

Maybe I should emmigrate to... China?

The State of Britain today. Mass surveillance of it's citizenry. ID cards. Making criminals of teenagers who snog (!) And a bill to rival the USA Patriot Act removing property & human rights at a minister's whim. With men being imprisoned in UK jails for over almost 2 years, without charge or trial (ala Guantanamo) it looks like the partnership between Bush and Blair is a little more than simple expediency.
posted by Blue Stone on Dec 1, 2003 - 26 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

Global warming is a WMD?

"Global warming is now a weapon of mass destruction. It kills more people than terrorism, yet Blair and Bush do nothing." So writes Sir John Houghton, former chief executive of the Meteorological Office and co-chair of the scientific assessment working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
posted by homunculus on Jul 28, 2003 - 24 comments

The Grey Lady Falters

Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception The New York Times runs a long article detailing its preliminary findings in the matter of Jayson Blair, The Times' young staff reporter who made up sources, facts, and anecdotes in potentially hundreds of stories. Does this investigation help the Times avoid permanent disgrace? Or does this just confirm what you've always thought about the Times? Slate magazine is attributing part of the problem to affirmative action (Blair is black). Is AA relevant here?
posted by hhc5 on May 10, 2003 - 39 comments

Drowners and Beetlebums and Vaseline

Love and Poison tells the story of BritPop's love triangle -- Blur's Damon Albarn, Suede's Brett Anderson, and Elastica's Justine Frischmann. These articles from The Guardian are an excerpt from John Harris' "The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the Demise of English Rock."
posted by Reggie452 on May 8, 2003 - 10 comments

Two grown men

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

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