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 -
"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 -
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
) 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 -
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
actions. Sick of boring political meetings
? "PMQ" is fast-paced
, 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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
“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 -
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 -
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 -
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.
should show him the way and save her credibility at the same time
posted by skellum
on Mar 22, 2003 -
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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -