cosec59
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Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 4:33 am

Following his humiliating defeat in the detention of suspected terrorists saga, he is now about to surrender the UK's rebate from the EU.
Will he survive as Prime Minister?
Rules are for the obedience of fools but for the guidance of wise men
 
9VSPO
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 4:36 am

Quoting Cosec59 (Thread starter):
Will he survive as Prime Minister?

He's got more chance than Charles Kennedy! Big grin
 
cosec59
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 4:38 am

Quoting 9VSPO (Reply 1):
He's got more chance than Charles Kennedy

Charlie boy ain't the Prime Minister
Rules are for the obedience of fools but for the guidance of wise men
 
Banco
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:29 am

Er. Yes. Of course he'll survive.

Blair will have for more difficulty over the education reforms in January. Howls of protest from the opposition is par for the course. It's when his own party start to have a go he's got problems.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Superfly
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:31 am

Any chance of Britan electing a REAL Labor Party leader instead a lapdog of the Bush administration?
Bring back the Concorde
 
Banco
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:40 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 4):
Any chance of Britan electing a REAL Labor Party leader instead a lapdog of the Bush administration?

We don't have a Labor Party. It's a proper noun, it can't be spelled your way. Like Pearl Harbour.  Wink
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Superfly
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:42 am

Ok Banco:
Any chance of Britan electing a REAL Labour Party leader instead a lapdog of the Bush administration?
Bring back the Concorde
 
Banco
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:46 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 6):
Any chance of Britan electing a REAL Labour Party leader instead a lapdog of the Bush administration?

It's "Britain".












 Wink

Sorry, but I couldn't resist. Big grin

OK, OK, OK.

I did go through with you before the reasons why, whatever you may think of him, Blair is far from being a lapdog of the US. I explained that he believes possibly more than Bush in many ways. You accepted that at the time, why have you gone back on that?  Confused
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Superfly
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:48 am

Banco:
That's right, I forgot our agreement.  Smile
Bring back the Concorde
 
GDB
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:24 am

Blair, despite the predictable paranoid howls from the tabloids, might just be playing a smart game in Europe.

The UK, unlike France, pushed hard for last years EU enlargement Eastwards.

One reason was to dilute the Franco/German lock on the EU, now Germany, despite what Chirac might say, under Merkel, is less inclined to always support France.

By cultivating the newer East European states, Blair is making friends and influencing people.

If France vetoes the result of the hard won review of EU spending, i.e. much less to the bloated, feather-bedded French farming lobby, it will be their turn to be out on a limb, they won't like that.
Unless France is under different leadership by then, perhaps with the balls to finally stand up to internal vested interests.

Superfly, if you think Gordon Brown will be significantly different to Blair, you'll be disappointed.
He'll have a similar view on balancing the relationship with the US, and the EU, more inclined in foreign affairs/strategic matters, to lean to the US, but in trade, environment etc 3rd World Aid, firmly in the EU camp.
Brown is more Eurosceptic than Blair.

It's true they both would have preferred Al Gore, worked well with Clinton, but they, unlike some EU politicians, live in the real world, Bush is a fact of life, so try to moderate his excesses, don't screw up a long term relationship because a dud got into the WhiteHouse, but for at most, 8 years.

Traditional Labour leader, Harold Wilson, much preferred Nixon, to LBJ, despite LBJ being the closet US President to a UK Labour PM, in policy terms, personal chemistry IS important.

Actually, all Labour PM's have been Atlanticist in defence/strategic affairs, Attlee sent 1000's of British troops to Korea, secured Greece from a communist takeover, when a wartime pledge to share atomic secrets in return for the UK science contribution to the Manhattan Project, Attlee authorized a UK bomb.

The ones that were not, Foot and Kinnock, never came close to winning an election.

To put Blair in the US context, he's for very strict gun control, Socialised medicine, would never deny Global Warming.

Wilson DID resist, to LBJ's fury, sending UK troops to Vietnam, we were busy successfully and in a fairly low key way, wrapping up Communist insurgents in the mid and Far East, as the UK finally withdrew from what remained of Empire, (one of FDR's wartime aims, hence his desire to bankrupt us).
So the US then asks for help in a region they helped to make economically impossible to stay in?
Screw that, also don't rule out payback for Suez 10 years earlier. Even if Wilson had opposed that folly.

But through all this, Wilson supported the US diplomatically in Vietnam, even if his Defence Chiefs thought the way it was being conducted was crazy.
(Defence Secretary Healey told McNamara, a personal friend, as much).
 
skysurfer
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:36 am

I don't know if it's the end of Blair, but i must say that i think he's done a great job of running the UK. I was all against him when he was vying to become the PM, but he's proved he has the balls and courage to stand up for the UK. He's made some dubious decisions, but at the end of the day you can't please everyone. I just hope the next PM is as good and as wise IF and WHEN Blair is no longer in # 10.

Cheers
In the dark you can't see ugly, but you can feel fat
 
FDXmech
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 9:39 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 4):
Any chance of Britan electing a REAL Labor Party leader instead a lapdog of the Bush administration?

What Superfly meant to ask was if Britain has any "blue states?"
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
Banco
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:17 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
Wilson DID resist, to LBJ's fury, sending UK troops to Vietnam

"You've lost your mind" was what Wilson fairly bluntly told him.

Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
Brown is more Eurosceptic than Blair.

Is he though? It suits Brown to appear that way, to differentiate himself from Blair. But the jury's well and truly out on that.

Quoting FDXMECH (Reply 11):
What Superfly meant to ask was if Britain has any "blue states?"

Well now, it works the other way around here. Labour is red, the Tories are blue.

But the make up of the last election was interesting. The Tories actually won in England, but Scotland and Wales are very much Labour heartlands.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:27 pm

The rebate did its job and we should now give it up in the process of bargaining, it serves little purpose for having one of hte richest nations in the EU getting a rerbate while the poorest would benefit from the money more. And I dont even like Blair.
 
Banco
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:38 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 13):
and we should now give it up in the process of bargaining

Er, yes. But we are supposed to get something in return when "bargaining" are we not?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
whitehatter
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:58 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 13):
The rebate did its job and we should now give it up in the process of bargaining, it serves little purpose for having one of hte richest nations in the EU getting a rerbate while the poorest would benefit from the money more. And I dont even like Blair.

The rebate is linked to economics.

EU contributions are linked to the VAT take, and because of our service economy and large population we would pay a lot more than we do per capita than anyone else. France and other similar nations don't have the same imbalance because of their large farming sectors.

The subsidies in France are actually strange. Chirac fights for them because they are actually France's own money. They are still a large net contributor, meaning that France pays in way more than they take out. Remove those subsidies and France would still need to make the same contributions as foodstuffs are generally low or zero tax rated, and any change in the industry would not lead to a change in the French contribution.

We are much less a farming nation and more of a service and industry nation. That's why our contribution is so high, and we get the rebate to balance it somewhat. What Blair is now saying is that there are new costs as Europe takes in the eastern nations, so everyone needs to chip in a bit more. The French don't want to play with their subsidies, but Britain recognises that we need to throw a few quid in by cutting back SOME of the rebate.

To go back to France, the problem there is that the farming subsidies are skewed and produce a combination of rich megafarmers and produce surpluses. That's where reform is needed. The issue is more structural than bottom line, and it's at the French bottom line that everyone is looking. Chirac is also on the right of French politics and farmers are his natural constituency.

That's why Blair wants reform of agricultural subsidies. He hasn't ever used the word abolition. It is much more complicated than just chopping them back.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
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scbriml
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:15 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 14):
Er, yes. But we are supposed to get something in return when "bargaining" are we not?

You mean like the French giving up their hugely inflated farming subsidies?  banghead 
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
RobertNL070
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:46 pm

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 16):
You mean like the French giving up their hugely inflated farming subsidies?

Which they might do in 2008 or 2009. Then again they might not. Unless I've missed something, it does not look as if Blair got any assurances from the French.

Regards, Robert  bouncy 
Youth is a gift of nature. Age is a work of art.
 
Banco
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sun Dec 18, 2005 12:17 am

Quoting RobertNL070 (Reply 17):
Unless I've missed something, it does not look as if Blair got any assurances from the French.

Correct. And that's the infuriating thing. Blair was actually in a very strong negotiating position. He could have simply told the rest of them that he wanted agricultural reform or they could get stuffed. Nothing anyone could have done about that either. He could have said that Britain is willing to give up the entire rebate, but only for X, Y and Z in return.

He gave it away for absolutely nothing in return.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
GDB
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Sun Dec 18, 2005 4:20 am

Blair knows that Chirac is coming to the end of his career, (like Blair ironically).
Blair did not want to be out on a limb, if France rejects the outcome of the review, it will be their turn to be in that position, (what 'Solidarity' then?)

This year has seen the new constitution rejected, by France of all nations.
Not really significant, except psychologically, was London beating Paris for 2012.

It's a different EU now, Blair simply could not afford to piss off the new EU Eastern members, they will have an important part to play in the years ahead, before they fully joined, Chirac told them to 'Shut Up'.
He's already pissed them off, but with improved economies and infrastructure, they'll have more muscle in the EU.

The balance of power is shifting somewhat, hopefully Chirac's replacement will realize this, adjust accordingly, rather than playing King Canute.

Today, this does not look a good deal for the UK.
But in a few years time?
I'm betting it will.
 
paulc
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:14 pm

Is treason still a crime in this country as Blair is certainly guilty by giving up any of the rebate without getting anything in return.

Mrs Thatcher had 'balls' by getting the rebate in the first place - yet the grinning idiot hangs out the white flag and surrenders.

Why should we or any other country continue to pay money into an organisation whose accounts have not been audited and approved for over a decade. If the EU were a business its directors would be in jail by now.

The NHS, education, transport, pensions are all needing money yet we can afford to pay more into the EU pot - sorry we should be getting our own country in order first. The taxes we pay should go into making this country a better place to live.
English First, British Second, european Never!
 
Pyrex
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:29 pm

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 15):
We are much less a farming nation and more of a service and industry nation.

So is Germany and they don't get a rebate. And when was the last time the UK had to integrate a Communist relic into itself? They are the highest contributor to the EU budget and still have to pay for East Germany.

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 15):
To go back to France, the problem there is that the farming subsidies are skewed and produce a combination of rich megafarmers and produce surpluses.

May I remind you who exactly is the largest individual beneficiary of farming subsidies in the entire EU?
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Banco
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Mon Dec 19, 2005 7:16 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 21):
So is Germany and they don't get a rebate. And when was the last time the UK had to integrate a Communist relic into itself? They are the highest contributor to the EU budget and still have to pay for East Germany.

Not to the same extent. Without the rebate the UK get less per head of the population back than any other EU state. And whilst the UK is doing quite well, it is far from the richest. The UK receives about £500 a year per person back from the EU, and whilst specific figures of who gets what aren't terribly relevant, it does make you wonder how it is that Luxembourg (not exactly poverty-stricken) receives £15,000 per person from the EU.

[Edited 2005-12-19 11:31:06]
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Andreas
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RE: Is This The End Of Tony Blair

Mon Dec 19, 2005 7:27 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
now Germany, despite what Chirac might say, under Merkel, is less inclined to always support France.

Amen to that!!! Only, this time it was a no-brainer, Blair let her go ahead without even trying to get the front seat, funny enough, is he ill??

What she did in Bruxelles was chequebook diplomacy, and nothing else, something Germany has done repeatedly in the past...we're quite good at it, too!
Wait and see what happens when the MAIN PROBLEM gets on the table, the subsidies.....  banghead  bomb  gnasher 

The only thing this meeting did show in stupendous clarity: The EU is about money, grab as much as you can and run! Disgusting....and this time they didn't even try to put in disguise by babbling nonsense about ideas and so on...  Wink
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