Michael White on John Bercow – the “teenager”

All blog posts 2012 + Original, from 2006 to 2012

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29th February 2012

Michael White: “The Speaker John Bercow must still have been an impressionable Tebbit-ite teenager when Tony Blair made his famous Chicago speech promoting liberal interventionism. But he took its message to heart and is always intervening to prevent the ministerial equivalent of failed states being overrun by Westminster’s tribal warlords.” (source)

Call it artistic/historical/narrative licence. Call it what you will. It happens all the time. But it evades me as to why the eminently sensible Michael White used it here.

If this had been written by just about any other Guardian writer I’d have assumed it was meant, in their usual air-brushing manner, to inform us that Mr Blair is past retirement age.  Which he isn’t, of course.

As it is I have to conclude it was just an easy link in his narrative on the kids in the House of Commons. Sorry – the honourable members of parliament.

What a pity Mr White hadn’t thought to link readers through to the aforementioned Chicago speech – aka Tony Blair’s “Doctrine of The International Community” [1999].  I have to tell you it is not the easiest thing to find on the internet, not even at the font of all knowledge – Wikipedia. But worry not, truth hunters. ‘Young’ Blair Supporter is here to save the day! (see here)

As for Mr Bercow the “teenager”. In April 1999 he was 36 years old. Tony Blair was not yet 46.

Michael White displayed this picture of Speaker John Bercow. Some might notice he is greyer and even suggest he looks 10 years older than Tony Blair

By the way, for what it’s worth, I rather admire John Bercow.

Tony Blair on 24 February 2012 with China's Middle East Envoy, Wu Sike

More on John Bercow (presently 49) & Tony Blair (presently 58)

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BREAKING: William Hill 20-1, Ladbrokes 25-1 on Tony Blair being next Labour leader!

28th February 2012

Just a quickie.

What’s this all about? Surely not following the recent meetings Tony Blair has been having with the new (2010) intake of Labour MPs?

News from Ladbrokes broke first. From 100-1 to 25-1.

A short time later William Hill slashed their odds from 250-1 to 20-1.

Some slashing!

Check both and all odds offered at Odds Checker

Thoughts?

A Case of Mistaken, Miswritten, Missing Identities

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Or –

26th February 2012

OF JOHN PRESCOTT, BLAIR SUPPORTER (BS), DIANE ABBOTT, TONY BLAIR, LORD PETER MANDELSON and CHERIE

Been a funny few days. Well, funny if you discount this in Syria – (journalists killed & 100 civilians a day) and this in Afghanistan –  (Two Nato (US) officers shot dead in Kabul) and this in Iran – (nuclear fears) not to mention this – (NHS Drop the Health Bill petition).

Who … what … are we human beings? What are we FOR, FGS?!

1. CONFUSING ‘BLAIR SUPPORTER’ WITH ANOTHER BLAIR

More personal identity issues kicked off for me on Twitter when John Prescott responded to my tweet congratulating him on his Desert Islands Discs appearance. He replied – “Thanks Blair”.
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Blair Supporter Blair Supporter@blairsupporter
@johnprescott – Didn’t realise you were such a jazz fan! Good, honest & open participation on Desert Island Discs, btw.
John Prescott John Prescott@johnprescott

@blairsupporter Thanks Blair!

__________

I suggested to the former Deputy PM that it might be better to call me “BS”, in case of confusion. After all, plenty do.

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2. ABBOTT CONFUSING HER LABOUR OLD IDENTITY WITH HER OWN OPINIONS ON TONY BLAIR & IRAQ

Then there was the racist [see here] & bully defender [see here] Labour leftwing MP Diane Abbott twittering away in her usual fashion. I had a bit of go at her over her never-ending game of Blame The Blair. By the way, I notice she seldom bothers to come back to me on twitter to argue the points. She did once, to be fair. On that occasion she played the same old tune. She said she was proud to have been against the Iraq war. And that was that. Well argued, hmm? Yes, I thought not too.

For no particular reason, and in days when she might just be campaigning on less divisive issues, yesterday she tweeted this:

Diane Abbott MP Diane Abbott MP@HackneyAbbott
Tony Blair meeting small groups of young class-of-2010 Labour MPs #desperatelytryingtosalvagereputation awe.sm/5gSQN

WHY did she feel the need to tweet on this at all? Does Blair’s Keynesianism worry her as noted at Jonathan Freedland’s article? Even  though it is also Ed Balls’? Or is she “desperately trying to salvage her reputation” and save her local Labour council/party/own future as an MP?

If Tony Blair were ever to return or if Blairism lived again as it should, in the centre, she might well find herself well out of it.

Ms Abbott does though come back to others on Twitter, usually only once. Don’t ask her to think too much, whatever you do, tweeps. She’ll only respond with – “Andrew. Andrew. Andrew.” [replace with your own name]

She responded to this tweep referring to you-know-who – “Only Labour PM who ever led us into an illegal war.”

Quite why she swallows the whole Lib Dem take on ‘legality’ is a whole other issue. But her constituents might as well vote Liberal Democrat in the locals. That way they get politicians close to those presently in power!

A few others got tweet responses from her. It was suggested by more than one that in these pre-local election days she might concentrate on other issues; those she CAN be proud of.  She responds – to @RichardAngell “Why is being opposed to the Iraq War divisive? Proud to have voted against it”

And to Paul Rowling & Luke Akehurst she opined (neatly forgetting many MPs had only WON their seats DUE to Blair) – “Lots of good comrades lost their seats in 2005 because of public anger at Iraq war.”

Rowling disagreed – “look at all the polling data Iraq was a tiny factor in 2010 election, granted was big issue in 05 when we won!!”  – “We are telling them about the Coalition cuts to come.”

She also got this wrong – to @SenChas“Blair was the only leader of a major European country who supported the war with Iraq.” #JustSaying

Just saying WRONG!  Spain? I corrected her on this. As is her wont when it comes to this despicable BlairSupporter I heard nothing back.

But she did have some support. These tweeps RTd her. All Old Labourites, I’m sure. At least two of them pussy cats.

Miaowwwww

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3. MIKE SMITHSON WITH “THE ECONOMY: DID TONY BLAIR GET OUT JUST IN TIME?”

Yes, it’s of the when did you stop beating your wife variety. But I have some time for Mike Smithson. He is a facts-and-figures man. I can deal with those. It’s misinformed, mis-interpreted, MIS-USED opiners I take issue with.

I was determined to watch the England Vs Wales Six Nations rugby match [Wales won , 19 -12] but I was daft enough to respond to this –  “The economy: Did Tony Blair get out just in time?”

Of course this kind of question begs, or provides, several others, as Mike Smithson will know. So I should have known I’d get into various arguments discussions with other commenters there.

The long and short of it all was that I was accused of being Lord Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair himself or even Cherie. It is testament to the lack of understanding as to what real people think to note that Blair haters cannot even imagine that Tony Blair might have one or two others on his side.

Despite all the identity muddles I still [think I] know who I am; for better or worse.

This is the Ipsos-MORI chart Mike Smithson used at his article (pasted below) –

From the month Tony Blair left office the economy was seen as the most important issue facing Britain. And that, note, was with Gordon Brown, former Chancellor, as PM. Since his departure in 2010 it has remained top.

Ipsos-MORI

Notice how the tide turned after his June 2007 exit?

The February issues index from Ipsos-MORI came out a couple of days ago with the firm always producing a range of historical charts so we can see trends.

MORI has been asking for 37 years in exactly the same way an unprompted question on what issues interviewees sees as the “most important facing Britain today”.

As can seen the economy moved up sharply in 2008 and has remained high. This latest month it was up 3% to 64% naming it.

Looking at the chart I find it extraordinary how little people were concerned in the first ten years of the 1997 Labour government – the Blair years.

It hovered around the 10% mark for so long and it only started to become a real concern after he stepped down in June 2007.

@MikeSmithsonOGH

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Nuff said, Ms Abbott?

Almost. But do take a lesson from the former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott.  He never, ever criticises Tony Blair – your party’s most electorally successful leader EVER.  And ask Mr Prescott how he felt about the Iraq decision, why don’t you?

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Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

See full signature list


Cherie Blair looks like an “angel”, but still sues Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp & Mulcaire

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22nd February 2012

For those on twitter who have a juvenile propensity to post unflatteringly pictures of Cherie Blair, I thought I’d show this one. It was taken recently at a Tony Blair Faith Foundation event in London.

I don’t know about you, but I think she looks great.

Her husband Tony – you must remember him? – was there too at his Faith Organisation’s annual event for young faith-inspired film makers.  A poke in the eye for other rumour-mongers on social networks who love to have fun on other daydreams.

Unfortunately, I don’t have to hand a picture of them together. But they were clearly singing from the same hymn sheet at the faithshorts film awards in central London a matter of weeks ago. Presumably at least one of them was mulling over just when to go for the throats of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Glenn Mulcaire.

Cherie Blair’s solicitor, Graham Atkins says Cherie Blair has sued “in relation to the unlawful interception of her voicemails.”

JOURNALISTS KILLED AND INJURED IN HOMS, SYRIA

Sadly for Rupert Murdoch, this news came just as he and the rest of us heard of the killings in Homs, Syria of the highly-respected Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin and a French photographer, Remi Ochlik.

Two other western journalists were injured; a British photographer and a French journalist.

One was named as British freelance photographer Paul Conroy, who was working with Ms Colvin, and Edith Bouvier of the French newspaper, Le Figaro. Ms Bouvier was said to be in a serious condition. The dead and the injured journalists are said to have been taken to a field clinic in Baba Amr. (see BBC)

Of Marie Colvin, her employer Rupert Murdoch said she was “fearless and one of the most outstanding journalists of her generation”

Their deaths are a  reminder of the power and the humanity, in all senses, of the press. We are all human beings, born to live and yes, to die.

RIP.

Rupert Murdoch has not yet tweeted on either matter.

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Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

See full signature list


Kosovo celebrates – STOP. The Forgotten War – STOP. Press asleep – STOP.

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18th February 2012

(Forgive the old telegram-style title.  If that doesn’t work I’ll try Morse Code)

I was about to write just ONE post on Kosovo. But in view of the press’s forgetfulness, and since it is easier to consume information in chunk-sized bites, I’ve decided to make it a few more.

PART 1

THE WAR THE WEST FORGOT TO REMEMBER

In case you missed it Kosovo marked the fourth anniversary of its declaration of independence yesterday, Friday.

Google “Kosovo anniversary 2012”.  Go on, I dare you.

I did. On page one of the links there is NO British media mention of this FOURTH anniversary of Kosovo’s independence.  Nor on page two. Not until the end of page three, that’s thirty links in,  Sky News mentions… oh hang on…  that’s SkyNews AUSTRALIA – Australia having a particularly neighbourly interest in Kosovo!

On the first ten search pages there is one mention from Canada, one from Norway, several from EU websites and even one from Russia’s RT. On NONE of those first ten Google search pages is there mention of ANY coverage on Kosovo Independence from a UK or USA website. Finally, on page eleven there is a BBC link … oh, hang on again … that’s from 2009!

And yet who are the political heroes of Kosovo?

One Tony Blair and one Bill Clinton. The former has had Kosovan children named after him; the latter a boulevard and a statue in his honour. I am not suggesting that Mr Clinton does not deserve both his honours, but we Brits would do well to recall it was Tony Blair who pushed President Clinton to take ground forces into Kosovo AND to win that war and defeat Milosevic without a United Nations Security Council resolution authorising it.

“Illegal” – I suppose some might suggest. As they might also suggest in Iraq.

SHAMEFUL SINS OF OMISSION

If ever we needed proof that today the west and its press has a particular dislike of heroes – I mean REAL heroes, not your average every day terrorist or even freedom-fighter sort – the lack of press coverage on Kosovo is it.  The media not only peddles in misinformation/disinformation gilded as ‘truth’ it also sins by omission, thus doing down our country, our democratically elected leaders and our commitment to freedom and humanitarian protection for all.  In other words we allow them to do ourselves down.

RELATED

Wikipedia – Kosovo War – Note how “negative is the tone here. Hardly surprising. Almost every Wikipedia entry on ANY war is written at Wikipedia with a ‘yes but, no but’ approach.

No-one pretends that all is hunky-dory in Kosovo or in Serbia but it is a darned sight better than it was.

More on the legality/illegality issues in next post – ‘Kosovo: The “Illegal War” The Press & Anti-Warriors Prefer To Forget’

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Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

See full signature list


“Tony Blair is an Angel”. Not MY words. Those of a member of UKIP.

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15th February 2012

You meet some interesting people on Twitter. But I have to say that Les Critique @Ministryofspiel surprised even me.  At his new blog he writes in unblushing praise on a man I occasionally refer to, somewhat blushingly, as “my hero”.  As I told someone not that long ago – I’ve never really had one of those before. Well, more or less.

If I were to say that Tony Blair is an angel I’d have to prepare myself for the ‘you  sycophant/religious nutter‘ comments.  So, well done UKIP/Tory supporter Les Critique.  And thank you for permitting the cross-post here:

____________________

They both deserve a medal and the Nobel Peace Prize.

Ok I’m waiting for the rotten tomatoes to come out, death threats and lord knows what else!! and maybe I have contradicted myself and my beliefs, but I am a man who can admire someone from any political side, (but Tony really wasnt that far away from my side!!) I would call myself a “Blue Blairite” Yes I hate Labour vehemently and all Socialist, Left wing movements but Tony Blair was different.

Tony Blair is a remarkable man and incredible humanitarian man of peace, for I believe he and George W Bush saved the world.

I find it remarkable how a man can transform a party of horrific incompetence, a party in the pockets of the unions, singlehandedly (with a little help from his spinning friends!!)  transform a party, rotten to the core with communist dinosaurs and corrupt with blood money from the wicked wicked Trade Unions, a party with a vision to destroy life for those over a particular salary bracket! He made Labour electable and this man, with his vigour, energy, passion and drive did it and overturned a stale government of almost 20 years with a resounding majority. That is no mean feat, that is Tony Blair!!

Tony Blair is a Europhile, allowed the opening of the floodgates to mass immigrants, Brown ripped them off the hinges!! His ministers, ruined the Education system introducing a crippling top up fee system which would deprive many talented pupils a place in University, His government created a welfare system that made it pay to scrounge and do nothing with ones life, he (admittedly he did not want to do this) ended the English tradition and much loved Fox Hunting. He did a lot of terrible things for the country and giving Gordon Brown the reigns was the nail in the coffin for Britain, who in 3 years of leadership, destroyed the country and eclipsed the failings of 10 years of Blair. Gordon Brown was the death knell for Britain.

But where his government failed the UK, his character, his grit, compassion and determination may have saved the world.

Countless Prime Ministers tried and failed miserably to end the barbaric crusade of the evil Irish Republican Army, governments failing, cease fires ending, yet this man brokered a peace pact, The Good Friday Agreement, which virtually put out the flame of evil from the Republicans. Northern Ireland is now a safer place, the UK is a safer place, The IRA, would laugh with pleasure and consider it a feat as their bombs murdered children. Tony Blair was the one who said “no more” and he did something about it, which many had tried and failed.

In 1999 whilst the sick and evil Slobodan Milosevic’s army was destroying Yugoslavia, committing mass atrocities of rape, murdering men, women and innocent children, especially boys, the world stood by and watched. Whilst hearing the screams of terror, the machine guns firing and the smell of fire, blood and death in the air, The Yugoslavians must have been, whilst in the grip of incredible fear, praying for someone to come, praying to be rescued, praying for an Angel. God obviously heard. Tony Blair led a NATO coalition and freed the yugoslav people from unspeakable horror. Tony Blairs actions as in Northern Ireland liberated the country and gave the people the peace they thoroughly deserved. Whilst the victims will never recover from the trauma Milosevic put them through, Im sure they will always remember the lights in the sky, the huge “wings” from above coming to set them free. Thanks to Tony Blair.

911 changed the world, when the evil Osama Bin Laden orchestrated the greatest islamic terror atrocity the world has ever seen, he knew he had the world in his hands and to play with  as his toy and do with what he saw fit. He loved it. But of course Left Wing conspiracy theorists could not accept that a vile terror organisation was responsible, “its the Jews, its the Freemasons, Bush did it for oil, Its an Insurance job”!!! NO it was a crazed, evil islamic extremist who knew exactly what he was doing. When the “messiah” carried out the horrific attacks, he knew well that he was leading his people into war, luring the west into his trap! and that he did so!!

911 must have been an incredibly expensive operation and in my “Right wing” conspiracy theory, I would happily wager a fish supper and can, that Saddam Hussein had invested heavily in this wicked plot!!

In a way Bin Laden & Al Quaeda carried out a modern day Gun Powder plot and it wouldn’t shock me that in years to come, the Left Wing thugs of the world will wear Osama masks in the name of “Protest”.

So we have a nut job in Bin Laden who only had to say “hello” to get his flock gathered, a flock all over a very big planet, a flock so twisted and evil with a frightening gift of intimidation and manipulation recruiting people of all creeds and religion to join the evil cause. A man with funding who could do untold damage to the world.

Saddam Hussein, just as evil and twisted, did he have WMD’s? did he not? Well he either didnt or he did? I certainly believe he did!! So Mr Blix found Jack shit!! well hello!!! Nukes can be shifted!! duuuuhhhh!!!

So the world had 2 crazed extremist tyrants on the loose, one being shielded by the Afghans and their Extremist Taliban regime!!

The world needed protecting and there were only two people courageous enough to step up to the plate and effectively save the world!!, The Great George W Bush and our very own saviour, our “Angel” Tony Blair.

So Lets give the Left their way, its 911 again and we do nothing!!! We cry, we have tributes, we condemn Osama but we don’t go into Afghanistan!! We just let it be! The same for Saddam, he pricks the world around, threatening to nuke us, but hey sod him!!!

The atrocities of 911 would only have been the scratching of the surface had action not been taken and a message to the extremists sent that we will not tolerate terrorists and the world will not be held to ransom.

Yes lives have been lost tragically, but lets look at Iraq and the fanatics there how they treated the hostages they took, “beheadings, executions” these are the people that we have to deal with day in day out controlled by the mad men, Saddam & Osama!!!

The wars on Iraq and Afghanistan may have been long and bloody, put the end result will be a planet, a world saved from obliteration by fanatics.

The wars have been costly, in both lives and money but at what price our children’s children and so on.

The eyes of the world have been opened to the dangers of radical Islam and its teachings of hatred, violence and death. These people give the good people of Islam, which is a good religion based on peace, caring, love and loyalty a horrible name and sadly ropes them in to a war that they play no part in.

Tony Blair is a humanitarian as is George W Bush, both have terrible flaws domestically but my lord above they put their protective  arms around the world and and took the bullets of fanatics, the insults and hatred of the Left but in years and years to come, even maybe when they have both sadly passed, one day the world will read and watch and realise what great saviours they were and one day give these incredible men a huge;

THANK YOU.

I certainly do, every day.

Tony Blair is an Angel and a saviour, and in my opinion, one day he should be made a saint. But in my eyes and probably the people of Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan we are all unanimous, he should probably get the Nobel Peace prize.

Biblical History shows Lucifer to be an Angel also, he just got himself a bad name but look deeper and through the things written.

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My thoughts: I haven’t yet looked at the ‘Lucifer’ reference! But I will. Probably. I just want to say thank you to Les Critique.

This gives strength to my long-held contention that not only right-wing Labour members appreciate Mr Blair and his record. It also proves, as I have said before, that Tony Blair was (probably still is given half a chance) THE Prime Minister this country should admire and be most proud of.  After all, which other British leader can you recall who laid his/her neck on the line for so many controversial causes – mainly humanitarian?

If there is a God let’s hope that both Messrs Blair & Bush see the day when the world recognises them for what they are; heroes.

Heroes first, then Angels.

IN CASE YOU WONDERED, I CHECKED WITH LES CRITIQUE BEFORE I USED THIS POST

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Blair Supporter
blairsupporterBlair Supporter

@Ministryofspiel – Just wondered, before I cross-post you, do your UKIP colleagues know what you think of the “Angel” – Tony Blair ?
in reply to ↑
Les Critique

@Ministryofspiel Les Critique
@blairsupporter I’ve never hid my admiration of Blair, I love Tony but hate the rest.
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Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

See full signature list


Breaking News: Tony Blair is NOT the Middle East Peace Envoy

Comment at end

Or –

6th February 2012

Now the headline’s caught your attention – let me hit you with the facts. I know, I know – you’re not used to ‘facts’ when it comes to Tony Blair.

He hasn’t been “sacked” from his unpaid job as Quartet Representative for the Quartet envoys on Israeli/Palestinian issues.

Reading on Twitter the plethora of misinformed sarcasm – “hasn’t Blair done a great job as Middle East envoy … how many revolutions now? … SO-O-O much peace already” – and such tripe I thought it was time to remind readers of his actual job description. I mentioned it already in October last year, but you can’t get too much of a good thing. And even I, for some time, described Mr Blair as the “envoy”.

So here it is again (my red bolding in the below) –

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From the UN website this is SG/2129 – PAL/2085, published 27th June 2007 by the Secretary General’s Office. It can be found here

STATEMENT BY MIDDLE EAST QUARTET

Following is the text of a statement issued by the Quartet ( United Nations, Russian Federation, United States, European Union):

Quartet principals noted that recent events in Gaza and the West Bank make it more urgent than ever that we advance the search for peace in the Middle East.  The Quartet reaffirms its objective to promote an end to the conflict in conformity with the Road Map, and expresses its intention to redouble its efforts in that regard.  The urgency of recent events has reinforced the need for the international community, bearing in mind the obligations of the parties, to help Palestinians as they build the institutions and economy of a viable State in Gaza and the West Bank, able to take its place as a peaceful and prosperous partner to Israel and its other neighbours.

To facilitate efforts to these ends, following discussions among the principals, today the Quartet announced the appointment of Tony Blair ( United Kingdom) as the Quartet Representative.  Mr. Blair, who is stepping down from office this week, has long demonstrated his commitment on these issues.

As Quartet Representative, he will:

– Mobilize international assistance to the Palestinians, working closely with donors and existing coordination bodies;

– Help to identify and secure appropriate international support in addressing the institutional governance needs of the Palestinian State, focusing as a matter of urgency on the rule of law;

– Develop plans to promote Palestinian economic development, including private sector partnerships, building on previously agreed frameworks, especially concerning access and movement; and

– Liaise with other countries as appropriate in support of the agreed Quartet objectives.

As Representative, Tony Blair will bring continuity and intensity of focus to the work of the Quartet in support of the Palestinians, within the broader framework of the Quartet’s efforts to promote an end to the conflict in conformity with the Road Map.  He will spend significant time in the region working with the parties and others to help create viable and lasting Government institutions representing all Palestinians, a robust economy and a climate of law and order for the Palestinian people.

Tony Blair will be supported in this work by a small team of experts, based in Jerusalem, to be seconded by partner countries and institutions.

The Quartet representative will report to and consult regularly with the Quartet and be guided by it as necessary.

The Quartet looks forward to welcoming Mr. Blair at its next meeting.

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LET’S NOT SHOOT THE MESSENGER

I notice that Mr Brian Barder has also been trying to explain to closed eyes, ears and minds. He describes at great length his “dialogue with the deaf at The Guardian”. He even pastes in his letters to and from that great organ of the Guardian’s ‘troof’.

Perhaps Mr Barder does not realise that the Guardian, like many others would love Mr Blair to be the envoy: the envoy that failed.

I know it’s kind of tough for them to deal with the facts, but the fact is that any failure would be that of the Quartet’s envoys and not of their messenger.

So let’s try not to shoot him.

Also from Brian Barder –

“How much if any success Mr Blair has achieved in these challenging but specific tasks since June 2007 I don’t know, but  as the Americans stressed publicly at the time, it’s a strictly limited mandate almost entirely unconnected with the peace process — just as it’s a bit of an exaggeration to describe as “President of Europe” an appointment as President (or more accurately in English, Chair or Chairperson) of the EU Council of Ministers, whoever gets the job.”

http://www.barder.com/ephems/

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And if you want more why not keep an eye on the Quartet information at Tony Blair’s website

About OQR

The Office of the Quartet Representative (OQR) works with the Palestinian Authority, the Government of Israel, international organisations and NGOs to help build the institutions and economy for a future Palestinian state. The OQR seeks to achieve the objective of the Quartet and Quartet Representative, Tony Blair: to promote an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict and bring stability to the Middle East.

The Quartet was established in 2002 and is composed of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia. In accordance with the Quartet’s mandate to him, Mr. Blair works with a team of international diplomats and development experts in Jerusalem and London. The OQR’s guiding principle is that improved social and economic conditions should promote increased confidence, trust and broad support by both Palestinians and Israelis for a just, lasting and credible peace agreement. Through sustained and intensive consultation with the Palestinian Authority, the Government of Israel, the international community and civil society, the OQR works to secure a two-state solution, with two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders.

In support of a peaceful solution, the OQR follows a three-track approach:

  • Promoting the continuation of Israeli-Palestinian political negotiations within a credible timeframe;
  • Aiding transformative change on the ground, to improve the daily lives of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and security for Israelis and Palestinians, and to generate a positive atmosphere that will facilitate success in the political negotiations; and
  • Developing a new strategy for Gaza, including lifting the blockade, so that reconstruction can take place, legitimate business can prosper and the livelihoods of Palestinians living in Gaza improve.

This approach informs the following key OQR objectives:

  • Donor Assistance: Secure from international lenders and donors more timely, predictable and adequate funding for the Palestinian Authority budget and priority areas;
  • Private Sector Development: Enhance Palestinian economic and social development including vigorous Palestinian private sector expansion;
  • Movement, Access and Trade Facilitation: Lift obstacles and restrictions to access and movement of goods and people to, from and within the West Bank and Gaza;
  • Gaza Development: Support a ‘ground up’ development process in Gaza by enabling movement and access for imports and exports to all markets, promoting the development of the legitimate Gazan private sector and expediting the rehabilitation and construction of key infrastructure;
  • Area C: Expand access to and facilitate development of Palestinian land designated under the Oslo Accords as “Area C”, which makes up 60 percent of the West Bank;
  • Rule of Law: Help the Palestinian Authority strengthen its rule of law capacity and develop strong and well-integrated security and justice institutions with clearly-defined mandates;
  • East Jerusalem: Improve the economic and social conditions of Palestinians living and working in East Jerusalem; and
  • Tourism: Mobilise local and international support to tap the significant Holy Land tourism potential and create a more prosperous, balanced, robust and accessible tourism sector.
  • To learn more about the OQR’s key strategies in these areas, visit the ‘Our Strategy’ pages on this website.

Who We Are

The Quartet Representative’s team of OQR advisers is led by:

  • Ambassador Gary A. Grappo, Head of Mission (seconded by the US State Department)
  • Dr. Daniel Arghiros, Deputy Head of Mission (seconded by the British Department of International Development)

OQR advisers based in Jerusalem:

  • Mr. Rami Dajani, Rule of Law (Security) Adviser
  • Mr. Henrik Denker, Infrastructure Adviser
  • Mr. Awad Duaibes, Political & Media Adviser
  • Mr. Neil Kritz, Rule of Law (Justice) Adviser
  • Dr. Firas Raad, Development Adviser (seconded by the World Bank)
  • Mr. Bader Rock, Private Sector & Trade Policy Adviser
  • Mr. Hadi Abu Shahla, Development Adviser
  • Mr. Charles Steel, Finance & Business Development Adviser
  • Mr. Stefan Szepesi, Economic Adviser
  • Dr. Tim Williams, Movement & Access Adviser (funded by the New Zealand Government)
  • Ms. Ruti Winterstein, Political & Press Adviser

The Quartet Representative also has a small team in London:

  • Mr. Nicolas Harrocks, Head of London Office and Senior Adviser (seconded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
  • Ms. Helen Pocock, Adviser (seconded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The OQR’s donors are: the US State Department, the European Commission and the Norwegian Government.

If you would like to contact the OQR, click here

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RELATED

This is a pdf file  on “Action in Support of Palestinian Authority state-building” and is to be found here 

Earlier post at this blog – Here’s Your Cards

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Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

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