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"Appointing Blair would be a hostile act" - Hague

by Frank Schnittger Wed Oct 21st, 2009 at 08:56:24 PM EST

EU job for Blair would be hostile act, says Hague - The Irish Times - Thu, Oct 22, 2009

WILLIAM HAGUE has intensified a Tory campaign against Tony Blair by warning the EU that his appointment as president of the European Council would be seen in Britain as a hostile act.

The shadow foreign secretary, who has said in private that Mr Blair will only be appointed "over my dead body", told the 26 EU ambassadors in London that they should think carefully before choosing the former prime minister.

I really wish he would get off the fence and just sign the StopBlair Petition


I couldn't have said it better myself...

EU job for Blair would be hostile act, says Hague - The Irish Times - Thu, Oct 22, 2009

Mr Hague, who last night met US secretary of state Hillary Clinton amid concerns in Washington at the Tories' Euroscepticism, launched his strongest attack on Mr Blair at a lunch for 26 ambassadors from the EU member states in London last Thursday.

Eyebrows were raised when Mr Hague said:

- British voters, who are about to remove a Labour government, would regard his reappearance on the world stage as a hostile act.

- Relations between a Conservative government and the EU would be worsened if Mr Blair were president.

- Mr Blair had favoured the US over the EU during his decade as prime minister.

- EU countries should remember the Iraq war and what that had done to European unity. Iraq would haunt Mr Blair in his first few months as president because he would have to give evidence in public to the Chilcot Inquiry into the 2003 war.

One source said: "It would be fair to say the ambassadors were taken aback.

"They know there are differences between Labour and the Conservatives but they were surprised that William Hague could not see the advantages for Britain in having such a big European post."

Tory sources say the party leadership is adopting a hard cop, soft cop approach to the appointment of Mr Blair.

Mr Hague will lead the charge against the former prime minister while David Cameron will keep his powder dry in case he has to deal with a President Blair as prime minister.

One Tory source said: "Do not underestimate the strength of William's feelings about Tony Blair. William was badly hit by his loss to Blair in the 2001 general election. He also regards Blair as amoral in light of his handling of the Iraq war."

This is getting personal, but then everything about Tony Blair was always, well, about Tony Blair...

But what do you make of Hague criticising Blair for choosing the US over the EU at the same time as he is meeting Hillary Clinton to reassure her about UK Euroscepticism?  Is he trying to imply that the Tories - well, er, actually love the EU so much more than the US - that they are criticising Tony for making the opposite choice?

Is it really the right way to curry favour with the US by criticising Tony as an ally of Hillary bête noire George Bush?

Hague going in over the top on Tony is beginning to sound like US Republican's rejoicing at Obama's failure to swing the Olympics for Chicago and decrying his award of the Nobel prize.

If this goes on much longer, the Tories will come to be seen as increasingly vindictive and unpatriotic and perhaps unsuited to leading Britain's best interests abroad.  

By some sort of weird reverse psychology, EU leaders could now be tempted to give Tory Eurosceptics one in the eye by appointing Tony to spite them!

However something tells me that EU leaders have better things to do with their time and energy than become embroiled in petty internecine squabbles in the UK between people who have never shown that they have the best interests of the EU at heart in the first place.

A plague on both their houses might seem the most appropriate political and diplomatic response.  Labour is a lame duck Government, and the Tories would only use Tony as another excuse for anti-EU rants.

It's beginning to look like there is no narrative that would coherently support Tony for the job. Why reward a recalcitrant UK, give needless ammunition to a future Tory Euro-sceptic Government, and offend US Democrats by appointing a Bush poodle all in one go?

It's a lose, lose, lose for the EU at this stage. The EU can now appoint almost any non-Tony viable candidate as President and claim it was merely doing as the Tories had asked.  The Tories will be stuck with whoever the EU now chooses to appoint, so why not appoint someone like Mary Robinson who represents the human rights, women's rights, LGBT rights, and anti-market environmentalism the Tories so abhor?

Hague has ably mocked the discomfiture of one Gordon Brown should Blair be appointed.


But wouldn't it be nice to discomfort the Tories with a Mary Robinson appointment?

Display:
I get the discomfortable feeling that the Tories will now celebrate Bliar's failure as their own success...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 03:08:29 AM EST
They will.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 03:52:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a tricky one. On the one hand Blair is totally unsuitable for this role. On the other hand...

Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying
by RogueTrooper on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 04:43:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I recall right, the Daily Telegraph was one of the newspapers to prominently feature the Stop Blair! petition in 2008. The enemy of your enemy...

That the resistance against Blair is two-pronged, coming from two flanks, is something worth stressing.

by Nomad on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 04:59:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, maybe but in this instance the dishonesty of the attack leads me to suspect Hague is protesting too much. He wants Blair in order to poison relations between the EU and the UK public a bit more. It'll be easy for the tories to promote hatred of europe if Blair is the face of it.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 09:02:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conversely, however, they can now hardly complain too much if some other European they dislike gets the job.  An own goal?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 09:19:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really, but they don't really care either way. Blair suits them, but they simply aren't invested enough in europe to worry as they can make up something awful about anybody if they want. Being foreign is pretty damnable here nowadays.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 09:23:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would Mary count as foreign given she has lectured at oxbridge on occasion and dined with the Queen?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 09:33:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Mary Robinson the only Irish politician you consistently refer to by first name? I don't remember you talking about "Brian" or "Bertie".

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 09:38:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Irish politics/society is extremely informal and it is not uncommon to refer to senior personages by their first names without being in the least impolite.  For a foreign audience I generally use both simply because they might not know who I'm talking about but in this case the context was pretty clear.  Use of a first name only does not imply affection/familiarity, although of course it can!

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 09:43:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not about being impolite but about referring to men by their last name and women by their first name...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 09:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahern is commonly referred to a as Bertie in Ireland though sometimes in a deprecatory way by snobs to reference his North side anorak wearing image.  Generally  I don't think its a male/female thing and used more where the context is clear.  You would rarely use Brian for Cowen as there is lots of scope for confusion with Lehihan given that they seem to be joined at the hip these days.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 10:10:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Ahern was referred to here on ET as Bertie in other than a deprecatory manner, though not for the reason you state.

I'm curious because I have observed this phenomenon about male/female first/last names in many contexts for a long time in various countries...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 10:16:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  No: he also consistently refers to Mary Magdalene (Dublin Central) as "Mary".

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 10:27:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean Mary Lou?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 11:00:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably not, she speaks english as a first language, which means she's civilised. However, I interpret her recent statement as saying that she feels she has better, more important, things to do than this so I'm in the Finnish chap's camp at the moment (not that I get to choose).

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 09:53:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]

 ... " she speaks English as a first language, which means she's civilised"...

   Do be more careful, please.  One day, George W. Bush might learn English and claim it as his first language---though we know that lying is his first language--and then where would your syllogism leave us?

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 10:22:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That quip was regarding conservative attitudes towards her due to her being Irish and, therefore, not overtly foreign.

Not my attitude, theirs.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 11:08:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  And why not?  Blair's failure could and should be seen as every body's success---except Blair.

   Either there is no God or God absolutely hates mankind. (I favor the former view, and put Blair's rise to power and his damnable refusal to go away  down to our own gross stupidity) How do we know this?

  Viz: Reagan, Bush, Thatcher, and now Blair.  That's how we know.  QED.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 09:31:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It shouldn't be seen as the success of Eurosceptics in a country outside the Euro and Schengen, and small countries (who by all appearances wil be the main reason for his failure) should not be forgotten about.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 10:26:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]

  PS. He hasn't "failed" (in this abominable bid) yet!

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 09:32:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm chuckling over the idea that the Tories in power would have chosen the EU over the US re Iraq.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 03:51:19 AM EST
My sentiments exactly.

Weren't the Conservatives all gung-ho "let's rally behind our US Republican allies", "war on terror", "clash of civilizations" and all that?

I know that, as a Frenchman, I'm supposed to find hypocrisy in just about every British politician, but is that fellow the "damned if you do and damned if you don't" kind?

by Bernard on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 05:51:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For fairness, the Tories had their own Paleoconservative wing, who opposed the Iraq War on forums like The Spectator. I don't know if Hague had any connection to them, though.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 10:25:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Paleoconservative wing" would them be those who resent the US colonials for taking over the British Empire?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 10:57:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
:-) Not sure; they seem to get along rather well with US Paleocons.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 11:49:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The isolationist tendency is stronger in the US, but you can find it in Britain.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 12:37:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.
'President' Blair loses Sarkozy's support

(The Indepedent) - Tony Blair's chances of becoming the first EU "president" nose-dived when President Nicolas Sarkozy distanced himself from the former prime minister's undeclared campaign for the post.

Mr Sarkozy, who had been Mr Blair's most prominent backer, suggested that Britain's non-membership of the euro was a "problem" which could wreck his chances of becoming the new "strong symbol" of Europe.

Although Mr Blair remains the runaway favourite with British punters and bookmakers, a powerful tide has been running against him in recent days. The Benelux countries and Austria, and influential political figures in France, have all spoken out against Mr Blair, partly because of what they see as Britain's semi-detached attitude to the EU.

[See also my comment @BooMan - Oui]  

Blair 'accepted money to support Ukraine's EU membership bid'

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

by Oui on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 10:39:24 AM EST
Part of the problem here may be that no one knows how to campaign for a post that doesn't yet exist, which has yet to be clearly defined, and for which there are only 27 electors.  I would have thought the way to do it would have been to conduct private contacts with the relevant Heads of Government and their key advisers listening carefully to what they want to new President to do.  

Press campaigns/media spin can be counter-productive and may have resulted in the Conservative and other backlashes.  Certainly there appears to have been a major miscalculation by Blair's backers, and they seem to have forced people to define what they don't want.

Given Mary Robinson is not a peer she may have to wait until they call her rather than the other way around.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 11:08:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would have thought the way to do it would have been to conduct private contacts with the relevant Heads of Government and their key advisers listening carefully to what they want to new President to do.

From the SPIEGEL article, it appears private consultations was the route Bliar went. However, it also appears that he thought lobbying the six biggest member states is enough...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 11:52:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Several articles have indicated that Jonathan Powell was (and why not is?) running Blair's lobbying campaign, and Sir Kim Darroch handling the "diplomacy".

I think it's quite counter-productive to consider Blair over and done with. The media campaign to make him look inevitable didn't take on in the non-English-speaking media, and it got broken by the opposition to Blair in Britain itself. That doesn't mean the bid is not ongoing, with less public drum-banging, since that seems to set off a strong contrary reaction.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 12:33:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey. But declaring his bid dead is OR media campaign :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 02:00:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OUR.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 02:06:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This article contradicts exactly what I read in the Sun today.

On page three Mandy was saying Sarkozy is one of the big supporters of Blair. - I think that's what she said - I was somehow distracted by the Sudoku.

(If you click on the link you will find it was not Mandy, but an editorial by Deputy Political Editor, Graeme Wilson, but it sounded good, when I wrote it.

Sarkozy demands ex-PM Blair's `coronation'

The whole text is a hoot, ....

by PeWi on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 07:39:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I've argued elsewhere, Sarkozy has to face his own load of controversies these days, and the last thing he needs is to be seen as supporting Blair who's largely unpopular in France, and might steal the limelight from him.

As for the Sun, who cares about these morons and their tabloid horseshit?

by Bernard on Sun Oct 25th, 2009 at 02:04:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NuLabour have fallen back to plan B.  

Miliband for foreign minister - he talks some talk on climate change; Copenhagen will show us how he walks.

by Pope Epopt on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 04:49:09 AM EST
David Miliband tipped as EU foreign minister | Politics | guardian.co.uk
He recently impressed European policymakers with a speech on policy delivery in Paris and has been focusing on Europe in his attacks on David Cameron and William Hague, lambasting the Conservatives for their decision to break with the mainstream centre-right in Europe and form a eurosceptic alliance with east European rightwingers.

...

Diplomats said the foreign secretary was being mentioned increasingly for the post in Paris, as well as in Brussels, not least because he is seen as the most genuinely europhile of senior people in the Brown cabinet.

...

Other names being mentioned for the post include Olli Rehn, Finland's European commissioner, and two women, Ursula Plassnik and Dora Bakoyannis, former foreign ministers of Austria and Greece.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 04:52:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So:
Milliband (UK) - Labour (PES)
Rehn (FI) - Centre Party (ELDR)
Plassnik (AT) - ÖVP (EPP)
Bakoyannis (GR) - New Democracy (EPP)

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 06:01:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kouchner (FR) - ?
Joschka Fischer (DE) - Greens (Greens-EFA)
Franz-Walter Steinmeier (DE) - SPD (PES)
Carl Bildt (SE) - Moderate Party (EPP)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 06:23:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
Kouchner (FR) - ?
Kouchner (FR) - Kouchner (Kouchner) ?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 06:28:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL... sounds about right.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 08:15:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that many regard the High Commissioner post as the more substantial one, it is hard not to see it going to a political heavyweight such as some of those you suggest - Migs list look like B listers to me - with Miliband included as a sop or misdirection to the UK to prevent Blair getting into place.

It is hard to see the EU giving control of foreign policy to a Brit given all that has happened in the last 10 years.  In fact given the antics of the Tories, it is hard to see the EU giving anything the the UK in the next few years...

Sarkozy seems to be a key player here.  Anybody got any idea what he will do next?

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 08:57:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the two posts will go to a big country and the other to a small country.  Both cannot go to anglophone candidates or candidates from the same region -e.g. Iberia.  Ideally one will be a women, and probably one will not come from the conservative block.

I would suggest that the Foreign policy job will go to a major player from a bigger country at the heart of the EU project - thus ruling out Miliban - and probably to a conservtive/centre right person.

This means that the Presidency job could go to a Europhile, anglo-phone, smaller country, leftist, women who does a good job of projecting popular legitimacy and engagement to a broad cross-section of the political spectrum.

I still think that it is far more likely to go to an ex-Prime Minister, but also that Mary Robinson is not quite the long-odds outsider one might expect but the basis of current political "realities".

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 09:07:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 09:13:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well we know what Berlusconi would do in similar circumstances, but how will Sarkozy get his revenge?  Surely Jean is too young to get the EU job?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 09:22:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Is Sarkozy losing his grip?

Paris - The sharks who have been circling French President Nicolas Sarkozy since the start of his rule are stirring: they can smell blood in the water. A series of missteps, unpopular proposals and high-profile controversies ...

As a sign of Sarkozy's growing unease, he gave a lengthy interview to what many people consider his house organ, the daily Le Figaro, in which he addressed virtually every issue currently preoccupying him.

Blair contesté pour la présidence de l'Europe

Sarkozy: Sterling pounds Tony Blair's chances

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

by Oui on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 10:05:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
Sarkozy seems to be a key player here.  Anybody got any idea what he will do next?

As I explained here, Sarkozy cannot afford to publicly support Blair -- too many liabilities. But behind the scenes, who knows?

Still, my gut feeling is that Sarkozy just cannot accept to cede the European front scene to a charismatic person like Blair -- an obscure nobody from a small country would suit him admirably.

And Prince Jean has nothing to do with this: he was needed at the EPAD chair to keep a "safe" hand on the financial spigot: La Défense and the whole area West of Paris is the UMP's "Green Zone".

by Bernard on Sun Oct 25th, 2009 at 02:17:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank was asking about the post of the High Representative (the EU foreign minister that can't be called thus because of... Blair), not the PotEC.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Oct 25th, 2009 at 03:09:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, but the "steal-the-limelight" argument still applies: Sarko just won't be outshone.
by Bernard on Mon Oct 26th, 2009 at 11:34:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm a little puzzled as to why the Obama administration would be concerned about Tory euroscepticism.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 07:40:38 PM EST
Well if Tory Euroscepticism boils over and drags the UK out of the EU then theres noone inside spoiling it and it might get its act together?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 07:51:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's true.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 08:01:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh, don't forget Poland.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 24th, 2009 at 03:10:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but the poles might actually want somethingother than a pat on the head and to be made to feel important in return for the eternal toadying.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 24th, 2009 at 07:28:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I really wish he would get off the fence and just sign the StopBlair Petition

Has anyone written to him and asked him to?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2009 at 07:55:42 PM EST
Did the May 2010 UK General Election already take place? Why is Hague talking as if he were Foreign Secretary? Did I miss something?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 24th, 2009 at 03:12:38 AM EST
Don't you realise that opinion polls count as much as elections these days?  That's how eurosceptics know Lisbon was effectively rejected by EU members and the Parliamentary ratification is just a con job.  The Tories are the "Government-in-waiting" with only the unelected Brown acting as a barrier to the democratic process.  The Prospect of Blair getting the Euro job is just so dreadful because it would mean they can't get rid of those awful nuLabour people who usurped their position as the natural party of Government entirely.  Come to think of it, are Tories ever out of power - in their own heads at the very least?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 24th, 2009 at 05:05:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of those dreadful elections, what are the chances of the right wing and anti-labour vote being so split between the Tories, Lib dems, UKIP, BNP, raving loonies and assorted nationalists that Labour gets in again with only 30% of the vote - or at least that the Tories fail to get an overall majority?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 24th, 2009 at 05:08:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Chances would be minute due to constituenties divided into districts and winner takes all.

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

by Oui on Sat Oct 24th, 2009 at 05:55:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
.
The Independent: "We won't get fooled again"

Iraq war also undermines Mr Blair's claim to be a unifying force. The issue itself was divisive, pitting the governments of the European Union against each other. When the choice between Britain's relationship with America and its relationship with the rest of Europe became unfudgeable, Mr Blair chose America, which speaks volumes about his instincts.

Mr Blair rode roughshod over popular opinion across Europe, and misled people at home. He used information selectively to help persuade Cabinet and Parliament of the case for military action [Iraq]. As we say, he was a forceful advocate, sometimes stretching the facts to the utmost in order to make his case. His lawyerly persuasiveness may be useful in presenting Europe's case to the rest of the world, but it is not necessarily the ability that makes for the best chairman of summits of European leaders.

Blair for President? 'Not necessarily a good idea,' says his former adviser

Sir Stephen Wall - one of the key architects of the post of EU president - said a high-profile figure such as Mr Blair was "not necessarily a very good idea" and cast doubt on his ability to build consensus among EU leaders. A figure from a smaller state would send a "unifying signal." Above all, however, the argument against Mr Blair's appointment is that it would be undemocratic.

Research by The Independent on Sunday suggests a democratic discrepancy between voters and national leaders - who wield the votes for the new president.

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

by Oui on Sun Oct 25th, 2009 at 03:07:05 AM EST


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