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Return Of Teh Blair

by afew Tue Apr 7th, 2009 at 09:25:01 AM EST

There's the sound of a kite flapping in the wind in The Independent, under the byline of Political Editor Jane Merrick. (No other news source appears to be carrying the story, which strengthens the kite-flying hypothesis). Update [2009-4-7 16:28:33 by afew]: No longer true, see comments below.

Blair steps up fight to be crowned first 'President of EU' - Europe, World - The Independent

Tony Blair has emerged as the leading candidate to become the first permanent president of the European Union after Gordon Brown gave his grudging blessing to the plan. The former prime minister has stepped up his campaign for the job, which he wants to use to build a bridge between Europe and the new Obama administration.

His return to the global stage would be a shock to his critics over the Iraq war and dismay many in Europe.

But The Independent on Sunday has learnt that Mr Brown has accepted that his old rival should be in pole position for the appointment, on the basis that Britain needs to have a key figure in the architecture of the "new world order".

Yes, you read it. Blair has emerged from dealings in corridors and dimly-lit rooms, presumably, as the leading candidate for the new post of President of the European Council. This is apparently because Gordon Brown has given the go-ahead (no, there is no end to self-serving British insularity) because Britain needs to have a key figure in the architecture of the "new world order". Yes, you read that too: we are about to have yet another "new world order", meaning, the US with a new president is going to lead us all, with a British poodle to heel. You have to be a Serious™ Political Editor to write this stuff with a straight face. You also have to be parochially British not to suggest first of all why Blair should be president in terms of the interests of Europe and the EU. But never mind the bollocks, you can deconstruct the rest of the article (that tells us Sarko is on board, as is Barroso who has every chance of continuing as head of the European Commission), in comments.

Fourteen months ago European Tribune launched a campaign and a petition:

Are we going to have to relaunch? Or is this article not to be taken too seriously?


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If you have never signed the petition, you can go there via the STOPBLAIR! link above, or directly with this link
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 7th, 2009 at 09:29:08 AM EST
With a capital of 27622 signatures as of today (I just noticed we got new signatures until today), I think we should relaunch it.

But we should discuss how we want to relaunch it and what communication/dissemination strategy we should adopt.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Tue Apr 7th, 2009 at 09:36:36 AM EST
of his brilliant success as the Middle East Peace negotiations in the past year.

Oh wait.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 7th, 2009 at 09:38:49 AM EST
Blair steps up fight to be crowned first 'President of EU' - Europe, World - The Independent
Mr Blair will have spent two years in the Middle East role by July, giving him a legitimate opportunity to claim he has devoted enough time to the job.

Right?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 7th, 2009 at 09:46:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Look how the article ends:
Mr Blair will have spent two years in the Middle East role by July, giving him a legitimate opportunity to claim he has devoted enough time to the job.

But critics will say Mr Blair has failed to make any significant breakthrough. There is also little chance of progress towards the two-state solution under the new hardline Israeli government led by Binyamin Netanyahu.

In a sign that Mr Blair's mind is on an exit from the Middle East, he said in Brussels: "I think the next six months will be completely critical in determining whether this process will move forward or whether it will slip back. I do believe that if there is not significant progress in the year 2009, the peace process will be in very great jeopardy, because there are decisions that have to be taken."



Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 7th, 2009 at 09:46:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we are to relaunch then we need to make some changes to the front page, instead of this

No to Tony Blair as President of the European Union Council

Petition against the nomination of Tony Blair as "President of the European Union"

we need something along the lines of a brief outline of the first phase, talking about its success, and saying how having been initially successful he's now pushing for a second attempt and it's time to act now. something small and pithy enough to drop onto peoples facebook pages that can be easily passed around on social network sites.

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 7th, 2009 at 10:08:18 AM EST
This needs to go, too
NOTE: this version is temporary, as we had to put it up in a hurry. We might yet change the location of the petition, the design of the website, and we still need more versions to cover the EU's official languages! Come back again!


Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 7th, 2009 at 10:09:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How can modern reality continue to be so increasingly unfathomable?
Blair leading the EU defies sanity.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Apr 7th, 2009 at 10:26:58 AM EST
i know, what's next, GWB as leader of the UN?

shurrup and swallow the pill...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Apr 7th, 2009 at 01:12:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are other media reports. Honor Mahony in the EUObserver lifts from the Independent story:

EUobserver

Tony Blair has renewed his campaign to become the first president of Europe and has received backing from UK leader Gordon Brown.

According to a report in the Sunday Independent, Mr Brown is prepared to back his predecessor and great political rival for the new post - foreseen under the EU's planned Lisbon Treaty - in order to have Britain holding a key role in the "new world order."

There's also US blog RightPundits drinking at the same source:

Tony Blair is EU Presidential Candidate » Right Pundits

The 53 year old Blair says he wants "to build a bridge between Europe and the new Obama administration." Blair had a close relationship with both President Bill Clinton and President G. W. Bush. Current British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is not happy that Tony Blair is the man likely to go down in history as the leader of the European Union (EU). He gave up his objections, however, recognizing that Britain should be the key figure to engineer building the "new world order." With Blair's crowning, Brown reportedly fears a re-emergence of old, familiar problems with Blair's British Labor Party. An unnamed British official said Brown "will have to swallow hard to sit down in meetings once again with Blair."

But see the Brussels blog of the Labour magazine Tribune:

Tribune » Blog Archive » Brussels Watch: Prepare for the second coming of Tony Blair

PRESIDENT Blair for Christmas, anyone? Brussels is buzzing with renewed rumours of the Middle East envoy returning closer to home. The creation of the permanent post of president of the European Council will become a reality if the Irish vote "Yes" in a re-run of their referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. But don't bet on the European Union machine not finding a way to bring the position in by the back door if the Irish fail to give the right answer in the autumn, following the hair-raising Czech stewardship of the current presidency.

While other names come and go for the president's job, Tony Blair's is the one constant. Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark is now tipped for Nato Secretary-General, while Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg seems to have fallen out of favour with his main sponsor, Nicholas Sarkozy.

Blair's case has just been strengthened by David Cameron's main EU ally - the Czech ODS, with which the Tories are forming a new non-federalist conservative group in the European Parliament.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 7th, 2009 at 04:33:21 PM EST


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