Thursday, October 29, 2009

The worst President we'll never have (hopefully)

Encouraging to read the news at Slugger O'Toole that Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen has withdrawn his support for Tony Blair as the first fixed president of the European Council. Earlier I read with interest (and more than a little surprise) Jeff's invoking of the spirit of Tony the Tiger from the Frosties ads in explaining his support for the Blair bid, but I'm afraid I can't - to put it mildly - muster the same enthusiasm. When some of us say that Blair is simply unfit for high office as a result of the web of deception that paved the way for the illegal invasion of Iraq, it's actually not just empty rhetoric. The fact that the man was able to remain Prime Minister for four more years and receive a standing ovation in the Commons on his final day in office was distasteful enough to be getting on with.


  1. Blair is unsuitable for a wide variety of reasons, which seem to have been rehearsed over and over. Apart from the fact that he is potentially a war criminal, and that he went to war knowing that he had lied to parliament and to the British people:

    * His home country is one of the least EU-friendly counties;

    * When he was Prime Minsiter he was not particularly EU positive;

    * His home country does not use the single currency, that is to say that there may be a conflict of interest;

    * His home country is not a member of the Shengen group;

    * He has a record of slavish devotion to America and to its president and has been involved in putting strong pressure on the EU, under orders from George W Bush to alter EU regulations to suit America's purposes. (A regulation to limit hazardous chemicals that can affect gender, altered in favour of American industry after Bush put pressure on Blair to do so, reported in teh Daily Telegraph on Oct 23, 2009.

    I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would consider this man for president. He will demean the role. Needless to say Brown is prepared to vote for him. I hope enough leaders have the guts to say NO, NOT IN A MILLION YEARS.

  2. Hi, Tris. Oddly enough, I actually disagree with quite a bit of what you say - I don't think it's justifiable to exclude candidates simply on the grounds that they come from a country that has yet to join the euro or Schengen. Whoever takes this job will be president of a council that covers the entirety of the EU, not just an 'inner core'. A good analogy would be the frequently-heard (and outrageous) suggestion that a Scot should never be Prime Minister of the UK because of devolution.

    But I think the Iraq issue alone ought to be more than enough to exclude Blair from the running.

  3. Hi James... Hey, it's fine to disagree with me (it's your blog after all :-) )

    I think that's a fair argument about Schengen, but I would worry that there could be a conflict of interest when it came to the currency question.

    I also think Blair's closeness to America is something that countries less close to America would want to consider. How much of his interference in the example I quoted was a personal relationship thing with Bush, and how much was his love of America in general?

    I agree with you in any case that his potential status as a war criminal is enough to preclude him. There's an investigation going on which could potetially call him out on that. Of course we know it won't and he will be found to be whiter than white and it will be everyone and anyone's fault but his. But the truth is that, whatever the result of the whitewash, we know that he went to war on the flimsiest of pretexts, when experts advised against it, and because George Bush told him to. We know too that Shock and Awe killed, injured and maimed tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

    Sadam was going to still be in Baghdad when all that was going on... yeah! Just like Blair and the Queen would have been in central London if the boot had been on the other foot.

    Like I said, he will bring dishonour to the job, the position and the union by his very presence. It's would be a very bad start.

    (I'm going to use some of this on my own blog, I hope you don't mind. I'll link it to you)

  4. No problem, Tris, all publicity gratefully received! I agree with you about Blair's closeness to America, although I have a feeling that's precisely one of the factors that initially made him an such an attractive candidate to 'Atlanticist' leaders like Sarkozy and Berlusconi. Thankfully, though, a number of governments now seem to be focusing their attention more on Blair's shortcomings.

  5. Fine James. I noticed that this morning. I put it down to our wise words on our blogs and, of course the fact that Jonah Brown spoke up for him last night!

    Blair must have seen the road crash coming as soon as he heard.

    Mind you, it was the socialist group that rejected him; the right wingers will probably go for him.