NoUFO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 820 times:
Blair (on the National Health System): If you asked for a ball park figure, it wouldn't be an accurate one.
Paxman: Because you don't know.
Because for the reasons I'm giving you.
Paxman: If you do know, you could tell us.
This Paxman truly knows how to play hardball
Interesting interview but I didn't come across questions on foreign affairs or anti-semitism in Europe in this first part?
RogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 772 times:
Thanks for the encouragement. Its 0429 in the morning here and watching it might put me over the edge into certain long-term insanity. I think I'll go to the drive-thru at Whataburger instead. I'll try to watch it later.
Banco From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 772 times:
RT, the thing about Paxman is that his interview style is unlike anyone in the US. It isn't remotely respectful - he just goes for the throat every time.
Incidentally, he also presents University Challenge (I think College Bowl is your equivalent) and frequently tells the students how stupid they are. It isn't a cod disapproval a la Anne Robinson, he means to be nasty and vindictive.
Vickybiccy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 767 times:
Yes, Paxman is well-known for getting down to the nitty-gritty, which is why many politicians seem to turn-down so many interviews with him!
I don't know if you're being ironic with your use of "nitty gritty". The Police Federation Conference is on at the moment and they have told politicians that they are not allowed to use that term any more as it is deemed to be racist.
nitty-gritty • n, The fundamentals, realities or basic facts of a situation or subject. The heart of the matter.
ORIGIN: according to the Oxford English Dictionary Online, the term started as US slang but its origin is unknown. Editor of the Dictionary of Slang, Jonathon Green, speculates it is merely a reduplication of the standard English word gritty.
ORIGIN 2: one theory is that "nitty-gritty" refers to the debris left in the bottom of a slave ships at the end of a voyage. Hence, use of the term is highly contentious and has been banned by the police.
Ryanb741 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 739 times:
By 'debris' left at the bottom of slave ships, it means dead slaves who perished during the voyage! Hence it's offensive connotation. 'Lets get down to the nitty-gritty' takes on a whole new light if considered in this context!!!
N863DA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 708 times:
LOL! Like the US would be foolish enough to get involved on that one. (Then again, never say die.)
The strategic importance of the Pillars of Hercules doesn't give the US the right to tell either the UK or Spain what to do!!! This is for the two countries (and perhaps the EU, their common bond) to sort out.
The US has no right to a "say" over what happens on the stretch... it will not "descend into chaos" even if Spain was ever to get it back!
GDB From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 693 times:
I think Blair is a bit of a maverick regarding foreign policy, a bit like Thatcher was.
By this I mean he probably often departs from the conventional Foreign Office line.
Note how low-key his Foreign Secretaries have been.
His keenness for intervention has led to Blair being called 'Lord Palmerston' by the civil service at defence and foreign affairs, after the 19th century exponent of 'gunboat diplomacy'.
This became apparent in Kosovo in 1999, face it, he was the only NATO leader who was really happy with the operation.
When the political restrictions were badly hampering the air campaign, plus Clinton and other NATO leaders vetoing the possibility of using ground troops, Blair asked the Ministry Of Defence to prepare plans for a ground attack.
Hopefully this would embarrass the rest of NATO into joining in, if it became necessary.
But if not, the planning had to take account of that, if that meant putting more than half of the British Army into the field, (and virtually all of it's heavy armour), so be it.
I've friends at the MoD who say that the planning was deadly serious.
Some in the US media, and probably a few on Capitol Hill too, sneered that Blair wanted glory paid for with American soldiers lives, how wrong they were!
But then the Serbs broke, and gave up the fight.
God knows what Gordon Brown makes of all this, it's reported that he has been lukewarm towards the extent of support for the US since
Banco From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 677 times:
Yes, GDB, I've always understood it to be the case that the planning for the Balkans ground war was in deadly earnest. Blair's view was that the air campaign wasn't working, and ground forces needed to be put in. When the other members of NATO didn't agree, essentially saying "well, if that is what you think, why don't you put your own forces in", he decided to do just that. It is worth noting that at the same time as it became apparent that Blair was to all intents and purposes preparing a British invasion force of up to 50,000 troops, Milosevic finally caved in.
That may or may not be co-incidence, but it hardly sounds like the behaviour of an American poodle, whether you agree with him or not.