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Times Online: Blair is lauded as being Europe's inspiration

"The Europe of the 21st century takes its inspiration in many ways from Britain," said José Manuel Barroso yesterday, in London for talks with Tony Blair ahead of a key European Union summit. "Britain has this global approach, the approach that I am trying to push forward," added the President of the European Commission.

Almost everything Mr Barroso said, talking to The Times, could have been designed to allay British fears that the EU will fashion itself into an overbearing superstate. He went out of his way to say that Europe, to stay competitive in a globalising world, needed to take its cue from Britain.

Yet Mr Barroso, halfway through his first term, has taken on the helm of the club of 27 countries at a point when failure to agree its own rules threatens to choke off its decisions and prevent it accepting more members.

"We need Britain in Europe for many reasons," he said. One of the reasons is climate change, a passion that Mr Barroso shares with Mr Blair. Next week's meeting of the European Council is "one of the most important summits" in its history, he says. "The world will be watching, from the US to Russia, to see whether we are serious about climate change and energy security."

He is backing proposals to set targets on EU countries to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 30 per cent by 2020. "We have set targets which would have been impossible five years ago," he said. The choice of such targets owed much to Mr Blair, he said.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 01:38:45 AM EST
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Independent: An awkward moment from Blair's student days returns to haunt him

First came the picture of David Cameron alongside other members of Oxford's notoriously hedonistic Bullingdon Club. Now Tony Blair has suffered a similar embarrassment with the emergence of a photograph showing the Prime Minister making a lewd gesture alongside fellow undergraduates during his years at the university.

Perhaps the apparently shocking image of the St John's College Archery Club should not come as too much of a surprise. University was a time of social experimentation for Mr Blair. He played with being different people in different groups of friends, many of whom had no idea of his other faces. Two of his circles consisted largely of public schoolboys. One was the Archery Club, a frivolous drinking fraternity rather than a competitive sporting venture. The other was the band in which he was lead singer, Ugly Rumours.

Formal photographs of the Archery Club were posed and taken, including this one, in the summer of 1975. No photographs seem to survive of the Ugly Rumours, although there are occasional suggestions that an audiotape exists.

by Fran on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:01:10 AM EST
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Sigh...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 03:47:02 AM EST
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José Manuel Barroso owes a lot to Tony Blair. When the European Council had to chose a new president for the European Commission, France and Germany supported Guy Verhofstadt, then Prime Minister of Belgium,  because he was not enough atlanticist. Tony Blair (probably influenced by Bush administration) vetoed this choice as well as Chris Patten and imposed José Manuel Barroso.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 09:03:57 AM EST
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That was Barroso's reward for hosting the Acores meeting between Bush, Blair and Aznar where they decided to give up on trying to get a UNSC resolution on Iraq.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 09:11:11 AM EST
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I kind of like the typo I made: in Arabic, "Abd" means servant or slave (with a connotation of total submission). Fo example, the name Abdallah means "servant of God". So calling Barroso Abd el Blair is not so far from reality... (However, AbdelTony sounds better)

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 09:41:10 AM EST
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And I thought you were just being ironic...

Come to think of it, we could start a new meme by appending "Abd al-Bush" to a variety of world leaders' (and ex-leaders') names... Tony Blair Abd al-Bush, Jose Maria Aznar Abd al-Bush, Silvio Berlusconi Abd al-Bush...

Someone must have thought of this already.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 10:11:58 AM EST
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Sven Abd al-Sativah?

I know, I know...always thinking of myself ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 10:59:01 AM EST
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