777kicksass From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2000, 668 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1273 times:
I can't stand him. I think he's made many a cock up recently and its about someone otherthrew him or whatever! I want him out. UK troops are ill-prepared, through no fault of their own, NHS is terrible, I suppose education is doing as well as it ever would though.
How can he still push for war when the majority of the country and his own party are against it? The man needs to be stopped. We the people of UK don't want to get into this war. Does he need the oil that badly?
When is the next general election?? I think its time the Lib Dems got a shot at the big time.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined exactly 12 years ago today! , 12713 posts, RR: 80 Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1232 times:
Whether you agree with Blair or not, at least he's prepared to be a leader, compare that to the German PM, who is just crowd pleasing to cover his economic failures and his constant policy changes since 1998, he really is what Blair used to be accused of, totally influenced by polls and populism.
Chirac? Overplayed his hand, creating long term damage to the unity of the West, and has he got some corruption baggage!
N79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1225 times:
Tony Blair is a stand-up guy. I agree with GDB. Being a leader sometimes requires taking an unpopular position and sticking with it. It is about exercising judgment. As far as this country is concerned, I think the US has no better friend than Tony Blair.
Aloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8357 posts, RR: 47 Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1222 times:
"Whether you agree with Blair or not, at least he's prepared to be a leader, compare that to the" US President. Doing everything he can to keep people from looking at problems at home.
Schröder is actually trying to start reforms (again) and will probably have the hardest time dealing with labour unions, employer unions, the opposition and all the pessimists in this country. You know, the situation turns hopeless for many Germans when they can't afford that new car this year.
Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
Donder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6659 posts, RR: 23 Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1217 times:
Spot on GDB.
Blair is not doing this to win some votes -he is doing it because he sees it as the right thing to do.Although it may not be right thing,he isn't follwing a shitty populist path with a short-term outlook a la Schroder.I have said it before and will probabarly will say it again a few times, but Schroder is a weak leader.He doesn't want to confront the union section of his party(ie most of it)and so will ,again,put off the required reforms of the German economy.
he really is what Blair used to be accused of, totally influenced by polls and populism.-a la Clinton some may say,right JCS17?
Arsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7791 posts, RR: 23 Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1195 times:
There's one thing Blair can do to reduce the stress: No more live TV debates!!
I can't believe the PM actually agrees to do them, then again, i have to admire his courage to go out there and come face to face with his own people.
Eitlean From Australia, joined May 2001, 21 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1172 times:
So what if Schroeder is being a populist? Is that really so bad? To stand up for what your people believe in on this particular issue? If anyone seriously thinks Blair is a principled leader, standing up for his moral views, he/she needs to think again. He is doing what his supporters (i.e. financial supporters) want him to do - to support American military intervention and the unbridled capitalist power that derives from this. He believes that he is backing the winning horse, and that's his call as PM, but it has nothing to do with morality, nothing to do with principled leadership. After all, it was really principled and a paragon of moral behaviour to plagiarise an American student's thesis in order to try to hoodwink the British people into believing that a war was necessary, wasn't it?? Nothing ever changes in politics, except the ideologies that lie behind the hunger for power, first left then right, then left again etc... If you genuinely believe that people like Blair or Bush are acting out of principle or moral courage, you are a fool.
Go Canada! From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 2955 posts, RR: 12 Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1138 times:
When is the next general election?? I think its time the Lib Dems got a shot at the big time.
the lib dems dont have policies, if they were in goverment half the things they promise wouldnt happen. Its easy for them as all they do is demand more money.
Regarding iraq, you are incoorect, the majority would accept a war if it sanctioned by the un. since we havent gone to war yet i dont see what you are worrying about.Furthermore the uk population during the 1930s didnt want war with germany but we still went to war. No one wants war.
Whilst i would be in the cold cold earth before i vote labour, i do believe that blair is showing moral courage in his actions against iraq.
It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
FDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 38 Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1113 times:
Blair is risking all for what he believes in. He has become a statesmen.
Chirac is getting his 15 minutes of fame, but at what price? He is most assuredly overplaying his hand which in the end will render the U.N. Security Council impotent and France's power over international affairs, which is vested in a functional Security Council, moot.
By Chirac cutting off all compromise by promising a veto in return, it is he who is driving this into a crisis situation and ultimatally war.
Banco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 55 Reply 16, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1069 times:
My opinion on the Iraq issue is irrelevant to this. What Blair has done is to stand up for what he believes in, no matter what the risk. I've actually always quite liked him as a PM, he's a brilliant politician. But what he done recently has really earned my respect and admiration. Whether you agree with him or not, he deserves that.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
Donder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6659 posts, RR: 23 Reply 17, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1065 times:
So what if Schroeder is being a populist? Is that really so bad? To stand up for what your people believe in on this particular issue?
The German people also want to see to and end to this economic malaise(unemployment is now at 11%!)but this will not happen with populist policies-I would have to say that Peel was spot on with regards to this area.
If anyone seriously thinks Blair is a principled leader, standing up for his moral views, he/she needs to think again. He is doing what his supporters (i.e. financial supporters) want him to do - to support American military intervention and the unbridled capitalist power that derives from this
LOL,I'm the fool?Funny that the vast majoriy of Labour's financial backers are the unions are who vehemently opposed to war!Perhaps you should take your head out of the Morning Star.
Stretch 8 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2561 posts, RR: 19 Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1056 times:
I respect and admire PM Blair. I think that President Bush should acquiesce to the extreme pressure Blair is under, and accept the British compromise proposal. This would be the least Bush could do to support a loyal friend and ally. We need our British friends. Mr. Bush can demonstrate that he himself is a "stand up guy" by cutting the PM a break.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
FDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 38 Reply 23, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1035 times:
>>>So according to FDXMech(and some others): Anyone who speaks out against war suffers from an Attention Deficit Syndrome and is looking for "15 minutes of fame".
A statesman is by their definition someone who does a wonderful job of kissing Yankee-butt.
Sheesh! I wonder what you are smoking!<<<
Not exactly, but what you suggest is anyone who differs from your point of view is "Bush's Poodle". Now Roy, would you consider that an objective and analytical position?
No my particular definition of statesmen, in this case, is taking a position on a vital world matter based on hard realities (albeit extremely unpopular) not on political expediency which will undoubtably raise personal polling numbers but harm world peace long term.
Also Mr Blair is attempting to compromise, is the other side?
By Mr Chirac being unwilling to compromise and making an accomodation, in the end, do you think this will for all practical purposes increase or decrease the possibility of war?
So that being the situation, is Mr Chirac sincerely working for Peace by any means possible or in essense throwing up his hands in public and melodramatically exclaiming, "I've done all I can for Peace, my hands are clean".
Unfortunately, this "crisis", appears to have been escallated more from sources outside Iraq than inside. And I don't mean the US/UK.
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 20853 posts, RR: 55 Reply 24, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 999 times:
GDB: Whether you agree with Blair or not, at least he's prepared to be a leader, compare that to the German PM, who is just crowd pleasing to cover his economic failures and his constant policy changes since 1998, he really is what Blair used to be accused of, totally influenced by polls and populism.
There is that element with Schröder, yes; But it´s a common misconception - as with Blair - that he was dominated by the polls.
With only cursory and occasional interest in german politics, this misconception may indeed arise. Still, it´s misguided. Both Schröder and Fischer have convictions and they´re following them consistently. It may not be interesting enough for you to notice, but it´s still a fact.
If you should actually bother to look at the sequence of events, it roughly looks like this:
Bush announces "Iraq is next".
German objections about a) the legitimacy of such an attack and b) concerns about a weakening of the anti-terrorism and the Afghanistan campaign are just ignored at that point.
Blair vows unconditional support for any of Bush´s plans without bothering to talk it through with his european partners.
During the german Bundestag election campaign, the government´s official stance on Iraq is being questioned; The opposition and individual voices from the chancellor´s own SPD are trying to coax the government into participation under Bush.A somewhat garbled and certainly unfortunate remark by a (subsequently sacked) minister invites criticism.
The unthinkable happens: Schröder and Fischer stay their previous course, which has always been that military engagement absolutely requires a solid legitimation and can only be the last resort after all other means have been exhausted. And those criteria are not suspended, not even for a close and valued ally. To end the speculations, Schröder announces that Germany won´t agree to an Iraq adventure. (The conservative candidate at this time, Edmund Stoiber, even declares he would prevent US forces from using their german bases for an attack.)
Shrill demands and denouncments are voiced by both the White House and the Pentagon.
In a reaction to the american abuse, France joins Germany in their position. Russia follows, then China, later most of the remaining governments represented in the UN.
Britain, Spain and Italy, with strong US support just barely behind the scene, split the european position they had just days before agreed to. So much for "staying the course" and being a "honourable ally".
Up to this day, Schröder and Fischer still haven´t left their course, a massive amount of threats and abuse notwithstanding. The priority still is - as it was five years ago when they started - that peaceful means to solve crises must always have priority over military ones if at all feasible.
So "the big veto Satan" France actually did not initiate the great insurgency - it was Germany under Gerhard Schröder and Joschka Fischer who you´re so fond of misrepresenting as "wimpy weathervanes". When you´re looking for that quality, you´d have more luck with Chirac or Blair.
Sure, at this time, Chirac may be louder than Schröder - at least partially due to his veto power in the UNSC - but it might not hurt you to recognize the actual chain of events, while you´re at it.
Donder10: Blair is not doing this to win some votes -he is doing it because he sees it as the right thing to do.
But since he has the same shitty evidence that isn´t enough to convince anybody else, I´m asking myself: What exactly is it that Blair believes in?
Getting rid of Saddam? Everybody would agree in principle, but the justification isn´t apparent - nor would a military attack be legitimate, as it stands.
Just "being with his master"? I don´t think so. Poodledom isn´t that exciting.
Maneuvering for "primary sidekick" position when Bush has finally achieved global imperial power? As silly as it looks, this "we can´t do anything about it, so why don´t we just adapt to the inevitable" perspective has always been pretty popular with many people. And I must say, as hopeless and negative as this perspective is, somehow it seems to fit most plausibly with what Tony Blair has said and done through the past months. Every alternative theory seems to have minor or major discrepancies with what we´ve seen so far.
If true, it would basically amount to an abdication of a formerly sovereign nation - ironically the same thing britons fear most from increasing cooperation within Europe.
Courage can be valuable, but it´s basically a secondary virtue: Even Wehrmacht soldiers in WWII may have been courageous, but their service was a gigantic mistake, to put it mildly.
And if I were to choose between courageous leaders, I´d choose Schröder and Fischer over Blair and Straw any time.
FDXmech: By Chirac cutting off all compromise by promising a veto in return, it is he who is driving this into a crisis situation and ultimatally war.
Okay, so Bush has declared that a military attack is a nonnegotiable essential for him, while Chirac and the rest of the world reject an automatic attack. So that makes Chirac force Bush to attack? "He made me do it! It´s all his fault!!!"
FDXmech: No my particular definition of statesmen, in this case, is taking a position on a vital world matter based on hard realities (albeit extremely unpopular) not on political expediency which will undoubtably raise personal polling numbers but harm world peace long term.
If it was for expediency, both Schröder and Chirac would have joined Britain instead of challenging the USA with all the mess that´s been following since (and probably will for some time).
Blair has chosen the apparently easier path - it just didn´t go as well as he thought.