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McShane 'promotes' Blair candidacy in FT

by Jerome a Paris Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 04:01:01 PM EST

This was just posted on the FT's website, and will certainly be in tomorrow's edition.


Europe needs Blair's leadership and ability
By Denis MacShane

Mr Blair remains the biggest leader Europe has produced since the era of Thatcher, Mitterrand, Kohl and Delors. He speaks French. Americans listen to him. He is still young. The world would respect an EU whose titular head was Tony Blair. Whether he wants to submit himself to the dreary bargaining needed to get anything done in Brussels is another question. When he and I entered the bunker-like office block housing the European Council in Brussels, Mr Blair groaned and visibly wilted at the hours of numbing talks that lay ahead to move Europe forward.

Yet he was better than most at making the EU do things it needed to do. Will he want five years of hard EU grind again? Having created the post with its challenging title - president of Europe - the task of finding someone to do the job is far from easy.

This sounds like a "Europe does not deserve someone so great as Blair"  excuse-laying for when Blair does not get promoted.

The world would respect an EU whose titular head was Tony Blair? Groan. What world? That of the English-speaking millionaires, the only one that seems to deseve mention these days?


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This sounds like a "Europe does not deserve someone so great as Blair" excuse-laying for when Blair does not get promoted.

Spot on!

by The3rdColumn on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 04:04:37 PM EST
Mr Blair groaned and visibly wilted at the hours of numbing talks that lay ahead to move Europe forward.

The need for diplomacy and negotiated decisions is certainly foreign to Blair, who led the British government as an autocrat by bullying, control-freakery, psychological manipulation, destruction of reputations and careers... The man on the couch (king on throne) who had his ministers in one by one to sit opposite him and get their marching orders.

He was not in a position to do any of this in Brussels, which is no doubt why he did not "move Europe forward" one iota in ten years.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 04:26:56 PM EST
the "dictature is so much easier" kind.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 04:52:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Dear Sir,

Dennis McShane, in his article about the possible candidacy of Tony Blair to the job of President of the European Council ("Europe needs Blair's leadership and ability", 11 February) seems to be preparing the ground for a failure of this candidacy, by suggesting that Europe (and its "dreary bargaining") does not really deserve such a great man. I readily agree that Europe does not deserve Tony Blair, albeit for quite opposed reasons.

His support for the catastrophic invasion and occupation of Irak against the will of the majority of the population of his country, and of the continent, his refusal to even try to bring the UK in the eurozone, or his efforts to ensure that the European Convention on Human Rights does not apply to the UK ensure that he would not be representative of the EU population. In fact, many people agree with that assessment, as suggested by the success of the online petition that was launched only a few days ago (and mentioned in print for the first time in your very own Observer on February 5) and has already garnered more than [13,000] signatures, including those of [....]

Tony Blair would shame Europeans.

Jérôme Guillet
Editor, European Tribune
www.stopblair.eu



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 06:19:29 AM EST
I would skip "(and it's "dreary bargaining")" from the first paragraph, and add this sentence at the beginning of the second:

Mr Blair 'groaning' and "visibly wilted" in expectation of hours of "numbing talks" at Brussels shows he is manifestly unfit for negotiating between the Council members, the very essence of the job.

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

by DoDo on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 06:33:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mr Blair 'groaning' and "visibly wilted" in expectation of hours of "numbing talks" at Brussels shows he is manifestly unfit for negotiating between facilitating discussions and brokering agreements among the Council members, the very essence of the job.


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 07:05:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know, that might put off some people who would otherwise sign the petition, seeing him as someone who with these attitudes would cause disruption in the councils of European states.

It may be one of our worries, but it doesn't need spelling out.

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 07:09:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It needs spelling out because we need to vigorously fight the media narrative that the job is that of "President of Europe" and has a strong international representation component. The job of Council President is like that of a Committee Chairman and he would represent internationally only the Council itself, not the European Union.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 07:12:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dodo's suggested sentence is a direct rebuttal of McShane's positions, using its own words. It should go in the the first paragraph. In fact, it should be the first idea presented in the text.
The first sentence in the original text is well thought and written, as usual, but it is definitely very british press like: preemptive. Now, that is an twist of the mental process of reasoning. As they say, those who fight monsters must be careful not to become one.

Also change "I" to "Many". Add weight to the second paragraph by putting on its end a reference to the FT/Harris Poll. (Again, it is picking up relevant arguments from the petition text). Something as: "This comes after your very FT/Harris Poll in late June having shown that far more people are against to the idea of having Tony Blair as President of the Council of the European Union, than those who are in favour."

by findmeaDoorIntoSummer on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 07:41:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the Treaties the "titular head" of the European Union is the Council President and that International Representation of the EU (not of the Council by itself) is the responsibility of the High Representative. However, the Council President is the only job not vetted by the European Parliament and appointed solely by a vote of the Council, which is probably the reason why Blair is aiming for that job: it's the only vote he has a snowflake's chance in Hell of passing.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 07:09:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You should replace "European Convention on Human Rights" by "European Charter of Fundamental Rights".

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 07:14:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the Convention is the Council of Europe's and the Charter is the EU's.

I should note that Blair incorporated the Convention into UK law with the Human Rights Act 1998, probably his best legacy and which he spent the second half of his tenure trying to get rid of.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 07:31:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Dear Sir,
Dennis McShane, in his article about the possible candidacy of Tony Blair to the job of President of the European Council ("Europe needs Blair's leadership and ability", 11 February) seems to be preparing the ground for a failure of this candidacy, by suggesting that Europe does not really deserve such a great man. Many readily agree that Europe does not deserve Tony Blair, albeit for quite opposed reasons.

Mr Blair 'groaning' and 'visibly wilted' in expectation of hours of 'numbing talks' in Brussels shows he is manifestly unfit for facilitating discussions and brokering agreements among the Council members, the very essence of the job.

His support for the catastrophic invasion and occupation of Irak against the will of the majority of the population of his country, and of the continent, his refusal to even try to bring the UK in the eurozone, or his efforts to ensure that the European Charter of Human Rights does not apply to the UK ensure that he would not be representative of the EU population. In fact, many people agree with that assessment, as suggested by the success of the online petition that was launched only a few days ago (and mentioned in print for the first time in your very own Observer on February 5) and has already garnered more than [13,000] signatures, including those of [....]

Tony Blair would shame Europeans.

Jérôme Guillet
Editor, European Tribune
www.stopblair.eu

What names can I include as known petition signatories? Susan George. And?

Should I add the reference to the FT/Harris poll?


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 08:32:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Philippe de Schoutheete
Johannes Voggenhuber MEP
Philipp Schulmeister
Dr Juraj Mesik

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 08:37:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did we ask Mr Voggenhuber and alii if we could quote their names?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 08:48:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you?

They all signed publicly with their names, and Voggenhuber signed with "MEP" in the title field.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 09:04:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AFAIK, only Susan George and Philippe de Schoutheete have explicitly authorised us to use their names.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 09:08:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's my understanding too.

I'm not sure, anyway, that citing names in a brief LTE will pay off, unless they're very big.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 09:12:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I just mention the names that I think we could mention. It's a matter of judgement (and possibly googling) to decide who's big enough.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 09:22:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
I'm not sure, anyway, that citing names in a brief LTE will pay off, unless they're very big.

It's a strategy that only really works in large scale adverts, with a large ammount of names, and can backfire as people will  tend not to sign up as they feel intimidated by the company they are being asked to keep.

If we want to go that way, it might be an Idea to write to every MP and Euro MP (plus the equivalents in other countries in Europe) Now a large proportion will be a complete waste, as there will be  groups of pro-Blair people out there, but we might get  good publicity out of it. (with luck a party will tell its members not to sign the petition, and that would be publicity gold dust and get the petition in the media all over again)

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 09:25:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
can backfire

Point to reflect on.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 09:43:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed.

The main reason to contact political organisations, IMHO, is to tap into their networks for signatures. It's another model of dissemination, so you have three different kinds: top-down (MSM coverage), viral (blogs/email/social web) and collaborative (existing email lists; political networks; social movements).

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 11:44:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does appearing in the 10 o'clock news on BBC1 qualifies someone as "known" ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 08:39:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Charter of Fundamental Rights

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 08:49:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My suggestion:

Dear Sir,

Dennis McShane believes that "Europe needs Blair's leadership and ability", (11 February), but seems to be preparing the ground for a failure of Mr Blair's candidature to the presidency of the European Council, by suggesting that Europe does not really deserve such a great man.

The depiction of Blair 'groaning' and 'visibly wilt(ing)' in expectation of hours of 'numbing talks' in Brussels suggests he is manifestly unfit for facilitating discussions and brokering agreements among the Council members, the very essence of the job.

Many readily agree that Europe does not deserve Tony Blair, albeit for other reasons. His support for the catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq against the will of the majority of the population of both his country and the rest of Europe, his refusal to even try to bring the UK into the eurozone, or his efforts to ensure that the European Charter of Human Rights does not apply to the UK, ensure that he would not be representative of the EU population. In fact, your FT/Harris poll of last June shows that this assessment is shared by a large number of Europeans, as does the success of the online petition against a Blair candidature (http://stopblair.eu) that has just been launched (and mentioned in print for the first time in your very own Observer on February 5).

Given where we're starting from, 13,000+ signatures is great going, but, in the context of this letter, it's not big enough to be impressive (let those who want to sign, or are curious, go see for themselves). As for signatories, I don't think there are enough yet whose names are well-known enough and who are willing to be cited.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 08:56:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Charter of Fundamental Rights


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 09:10:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will send as it is now, copying the "Observer" journalist (with Melanchthon's correction...)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 09:29:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Should more than one person sign it?
afew, linca, melanchthon, migeru, DoDo?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 09:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can add my name if you wish (with country/nationality in brackets? as : (UK) (FR) etc ?)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 09:38:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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