Archive for the ‘Tony ‘King Blair’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 11, 2006

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Respect this...The UK Today – Showing a little Respect: I could spend time pulling the whole thing to pieces, but in all honesty that would be a waste of both your time and mine. New Labour, and Blair in particular, has shown time and again a complete inability to deliver on the fundamental issues facing society, and Respect is just another case in point.

It’s the sheer arrogance that gives me cause for concern… cheerily, this point and the core problem as I see it is covered by Justin in his autopsy of this dead duck (the first of many to reach our shores):

Chicken Yoghurt – Reject Action Plan: In his “Prime Minister’s Foreword” to the document, Blair says: “If we are to achieve the vision of the Britain that we all want, then there is no room for cynicism.” The trouble of is, after nearly nine years of dossiers, initiatives, war, evasion, obfuscation and downright lies, cynicism must be hard wired into the psyches of half of the newspaper reading public.

There’s also this view, expressed by Tony Blair on Radio 4 yesterday:

“We have got to get past the idea that the so-called civil liberties of that minority come ahead of the civil liberties of the vast majority of decent people.” – Tony Blair

“So-called civil liberties”… a phrase that’s already aptly described here as ‘proto-fascistic’.

“Decent people”… well, that’s the kind of rhetoric I’d expect from the most right-wing of Tories, but I’m not telling you anything new here, so I’ll move on….

While building this special ‘Respect’ page I had to opportunity to look through the META Tags of the Labour website. They appear below:

meta name=”description” content=”The official British Labour Party website – get the latest news on the Party and find out how you can get involved.”

meta name=”keywords” content=”Labour Party uk government tony blair prime minister students STUDENTS vote britain Uk politics parliament Britain partnership in power LABOUR PARTY labor Government Prime Minister Tony Blair Charles Clarke political news budget forethought members ALC nhs environment Scottish Labour Party constituency MP MEP councillor Gordon Brown environment Politics education New Deal jobs economy crime John Prescott Membership association of Labour councillors pension Young Labour TONY BLAIR MEMBER Welsh Labour Party LABOR BRITAIN local elections CONFERENCE GOVERNMENT EDUCATION NHS health schools UK POLICY FORETHOUGHT election ELECTION Crime Economy The Labour Party, Britain forward, not back”

meta name=”abstract” content=”The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few. Where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe. And where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.”

The very long and unformatted keyword list I present primarily for your amusement. The real point of interest is the passage that I’ve highlighted in bold:

“The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party.”

Minus the socialism and chipping away daily at our democracy… a good thing that this has – quite correctly – been classified as an ‘abstract’ view. Moving on…

Independent – Our failing schools: one in eight children gets sub-standard education

Poor schooling equals a poor start (there’s a nice sound-bite for you). Blair’s solution is to tack on a new school program to ‘teach’ children about decent behaviour instead of dealing with one of the core problems.

Even with the best schooling (and point-by-point lectures on behaving like a ‘decent’ person), those who are poor of pocket soon fall behind, due to a variety of consequences from lack of proper diet to lack of resources and – in some areas – close-to-total exclusion (this is where the aforementioned ‘decent’ people shut you out because you’re poor and you smell).

This is what drives anti-social behaviour. Even some of the sensible stuff tucked away in this gimmick-ridden package takes a ‘top down’ approach, when the most positive thing that could come from the top is a good example.

Sadly, the nearest thing we got to respect from Blair was a short-lived period of contrition following a slapping at the last election… closely followed by new laws designed to stop people questioning his authority.

Perhaps this is the real reason behind his anti-graffiti initiative. If anyone’s going to be overly-sensitive about the writing on the wall…

Click here for the alternative ‘respect’ campaign.

UPDATE – How amusing. Search for ‘tony blair respect’ in Google today and the top search result is that post election moment… but the 2nd-to-top search result is this pre-election moment. Both reveal the level of respect that Blair has for us.








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 10, 2006

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Well, you tell me…

The domain name for the main campaign website (respect.gov.uk) was registered six days ago!

Proof below the fold:

(more…)








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 10, 2006

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Respect?

RESPECT?!

I do apologise, but this latest wheeze by the Labour Party has rendered me (temporarily) speechless. Please excuse me if I delay my opening statement and instead simply provide you with the following links:

Please sign the ‘respect’ petition.

Please sign the ‘respect’ pledge.

UPDATE – Click here for the official and respectful web page for this campaign. (Complete with promised statement.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 6, 2006

Category: Tony 'King Blair

The Scum do their dutyI guess you can’t blame Blair for feeling a little cocky now that both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are doing the Reset Shuffle….

The Sun – Duty to Labour voters to stay: Defiant Tony Blair last night vowed to carry on as Prime Minister for the bulk of this Parliament – saying he owed it to the people. The PM insisted it was his duty to voters to stay in power because that is what they demanded at last May’s election. Declaring he would not flinch in the face of Labour rebels, he said: “I’m not going anywhere. I’m here and I’m going to see the whole programme through.”

More on Blair in a moment. First, we have to get on to Charles Kennedy and…. well, I have to begin by saying that I really feel for the guy.

How galling it must be for him to be lectured on honesty and the evils of drink by a bunch of drunken liars.

The Scum do unwittingly raise an interesting point in their editorial, though: Charles Kennedy is no George Bush, who also renounced the demon drink, but remained dry before standing for office.

But, years after ‘quitting’, George Bush still held the view that; “I don’t think I was clinically an alcoholic; I didn’t have the genuine addiction. I don’t know why I drank. I liked to drink, I guess.”

Denial. Even after the fact. Now that’s impressive.

For most alcoholics, the end of denial is the beginning of the end of the problem.

One might argue that this delusional state, common to most alcoholics, is the key to the ‘liar’ debate.

After all, in the past year, Charles Kennedy did not deny that he drank; he denied having a problem with alcohol. In his mind, this may have been the truth… and one can hardly blame him given his environment. (In this country, addiction to alcohol is treated differently to other forms of substance abuse – it’s all a bit of a laugh until a kidney drops off. You also have to consider that the man worked in Parliament. Anybody who has spent any time inside Parliament will know that it’s not necessary for me to finish this sentenc….)

Sadly, this argument is drenched in steaming piss when you consider that Kennedy openly admitted to lying to the public yesterday when he said that; “Over the past 18 months, I have been coming to terms with, and seeking to cope with, a drink problem.”

So… not a common and understandable level of self-delusion, but a lie. That’s it for Kennedy, then… and it’s not about drinking (insert joke about cheap shots here), it’s about trust.

On the high note of trust, we get back to Blair… via the subject of delusion.

Men do not choose their delusions. They may stagger toward them and/or willingly fall under the table with them, but they do not choose them.

So perhaps – just perhaps – it is unfair to call Tony Blair a liar.

He does, after all, claim to be acting in ‘good faith‘, in our best interests and so on… maybe this is a sign that he actually believes what he says.

When he took a rather selective view of evidence, intelligence and advice before going into Iraq, perhaps it was not the (now known) agenda that forced him, but the delusion that guided him.

When he claimed to be blissfully unaware of evidence or intelligence obtained by torture, perhaps – again – it was the delusion speaking.

Mind you, this line of thinking involves giving the guy a double portion of well-distilled benefit-of-the-doubt, and even if you did manage to reason in this way that he wasn’t lying, you would still have to take his delusional state into account when you asked that all-important question… do you trust him?

Further, you would have to ask; can you place your faith in a man who is so addicted to power (with a side-order or relish) that he refuses to give it up or even acknowledge that he may have a problem?

UPDATE – CuriousHamster – The Fluffers: Blair says “If you’ve won three elections then you’re obviously what the people want.” No mention of the fact that only 22% of the electorate voted Labour at the last election? No mention of the fact that 78% of the electorate didn’t want Blair enough to vote for his party? No mention of the fact that Blair had to draft in Brown to take a high profile role in the election campaign after initially attempting to freeze him out? No mention of the fact that this was because Blair was basically a liability at the election and that the implied message was quite clearly “vote Blair, get Brown”? No mention of the fact that the Conservatives had to drop that very slogan after they realised that Blair was selling the exact same message? Not a word.








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 10, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

BlairWatch – Why the UK Government Can’t Hold the Line: On assurances that we don’t use intelligence extracted by torture

Independent – Blair’s Britain 2005 – where peaceful protest can be costly

UPDATE (12 Dec) – Did anyone else catch Jack Straw on Radio 4 this morning? As far as he’s concerned, no rendition flights have passed through the UK because:

1) None have shown up in his records.
2) Condi Rice says so.
3) The Clinton administration asked permission twice since Labour came to power, therefore he has every reason to believe that the Bush administration would do the same thing (in this brave new world where ‘the rules of the game have changed’). And the Bush administration hasn’t asked for permission. At all. Therefore, it hasn’t happened. At all.

UPDATE – See also…

UPDATE (13 Dec) Weasel words from Jack Straw dated 30 November 2005. Note how he fails to answer the question. Has an assessment has been made of the effect on our international standing following our use of intelligence (see: ‘evidence’) gained by torture? The answer Jack Straw fails to give is ‘no’… all he says is that he is unaware of any adverse effect resulting from the government’s stated policy. Probably because an assessment hasn’t been made. Instead he waffles on with a rather selective denial. We never torture people and we never instigate torture. Sure, we create the conditions in which torture thrives, tolerate the hell out of it and then seek to use the intelligence that results, but this should not be mistaken for any kind of approval or encouragement. Interesting that he mentions training, though.

UPDATE – In Europe, 2 views of Rice’s mission

UPDATE – OMG! We forgot Poland!

UPDATE – BlairWatch – Jack Straw Re-Defines ‘Aware’








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 8, 2005

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!, The War on Stupid, Tony 'King Blair

Full text: Harold Pinter’s Nobel lecture (video available here): What has happened to our moral sensibility? Did we ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they refer to a term very rarely employed these days – conscience? A conscience to do not only with our own acts but to do with our shared responsibility in the acts of others? Is all this dead?

No, it’s not dead… it’s just subject to an ongoing cull.

BBC – Activist convicted under demo law: A peace campaigner has been convicted under a new law banning unauthorised protests from taking place within half a mile of Westminster. Maya Anne Evans, 25, a vegan cook from Hastings, was found guilty of breaching Section 132 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act. She was arrested in October after reading out names of soldiers killed in Iraq at central London’s Cenotaph.

Independent – Acts of defiance against war turned ordinary people into criminals: In three different British courtrooms yesterday, three ordinary people stood accused of three very different crimes, but all based simply on their opposition to the war in Iraq.

You can add these names to the long list of those who have dared to stand up for what is right and been punished as a result. We’re talking arrests, we’re talking sackings, we’re talking character assassination and media evisceration.

Katharine Gun: What has to be understood is that most whistle-blowers are not natural activists – this one certainly wasn’t. We usually work in anonymous jobs, far from the spotlight. We are not campaigners, or journalists, or wannabe celebrities, craving a platform. Our conscience tells us we have to reveal what we know. We do that, we blow the whistle and, overnight, the whole media circus descends on us.

The new Tory team should be going straight for Blair’s throat, but yesterday – at David Cameron’s much-awaited PMQ debut as leader – it was left to the Lib-Dems to ask about torture and ‘rendition’.

This is not good enough.

Tony Blair can’t be waited out, or smoked out… he needs to be thrown out.

The threat of terror is real – the ‘war’ on terror is a lie: And since September 2001, Tony Blair and his cohorts have been either misrepresenting the terrorist threat, manipulating the terrorist threat, mismanaging the terrorist threat, and/or misrepresenting and manipulating the terrorist threat in a way that amounts to gross mismanagement.

If David Cameron is going to act on this, he will want to do so now. He can start by backing EDM 1088 and unleashing the new shadow foreign secretary on Jack Straw.

Tip for William: If this government is going to rely on denial-of-all-knowledge regarding torture, then Uzbekistan is the key. Start here.

UPDATE – BBC – Lords reject torture evidence use: Secret evidence which might have been obtained by torture cannot be used against terror suspects in UK courts, the law lords have ruled. The ruling means the home secretary will have to review all cases where evidence from other countries might have been obtained in this way.

The throat, David. Go for the throat.

UPDATE – I overheard this in B3ta, and it tickled me greatly: As Rob Newman says… Americans are starting to feel like there are just 2 countries in the world; the USA and ‘The Rest of The World’. Ironically the flag for ‘The Rest of the World’ is the same as the flag for the USA, except that it’s on fire.

UPDATE (9 Dec) – The cull continues… Brian Haw has just been arrested.








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 22, 2005

Category: Flash Music Video, Games and Objects, Tony 'King Blair

Leo Blair screengrabAs I mentioned here, on the day after this specific project started, I often get good ideas for creative projects while working on other creative projects (related or otherwise). If I exercise the right part of my mind, I actually sweat useful material. Interesting, no?

No?

OK, anyway, on that day I made a promise, and it was as follows:

There is a new animation on the way. Totally new. You will be struck by its newness.

And here is that animation:

Backing Blair VII – The World According to Leo Blair

It’s 4.8Mb, so patience is required… but the impression will be lasting, I can assure you.

Now, let’s get back to the boring bits…

On the day the project was born, I’d just heard back from a guy by the name of Brook Adams after asking permission to use some of his great ukulele stuff in a Flash animation. Three songs were rattling around in my head that day; Anarchy In The UK, The Star-Spangled Banner and Live & Let Die.

On that same day, as I wrestled with my Blair/Guy and answered yet more awkward questions from my curious kiddies, I hit pay-dirt when the following thought occurred:

What does Tony Blair tell little Leo when his son asks questions about what’s going on in the world?

I started to imagine what Tony would tell him and how Leo would interpret this – and how he would balance it with whatever he picked up from snippets of broadcasted news and hushed/hurried conversations behind the door of 10 Downing St.

This animation is what I imagine would be going on in Leo’s mind right now if he were aware of the gruesome details of the invasion and ‘liberation’ of Iraq and the ‘war’ on terror… if those details were primarily presented from his father’s point of view.

It’s also meant to address the primitive parts of our own minds that readily accept carefully-crafted lies/summaries (e.g. ‘but then Saddam bombed 911…’) because the details are too hard to face. This is why the details (distressing as they are) are in there. Some horrible truths need to be faced – and addressed – before our complacency breeds something much, much worse.

UPDATE – Hahahaha! Oops: Chicken Yoghurt had a visitor today from someone googling ‘tim ireland bottle uzbekistan’. You’ll know why after watching the movie.

I’d best add this (and the word ‘bottling’) to the post just in case Google falls short – and so my own search engine knows just what the hell is going on.

Attention, strangers and newcomers! If you want to know more about Uzbekistan, then Craig Murray (former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan) is your man. Start there. Oh, and there’s plenty more here.

Independent – Craig Murray: The reality of Britain’s reliance on torture: So the UK receives this intelligence material not occasionally, not fortuitously, but in connection with a regular programme of torture with which we are intimately associated. Uzbekistan is one of those security services from whose “friendly liaison” services we obtained information. And I will tell you what torture means. It means the woman who was raped with a broken bottle in both vagina and anus, and who died after ten days of agony. It means the old man suspended by wrist shackles from the ceiling while his children were beaten to a pulp before his eyes. It means the man whose fingernails were pulled before his face was beaten and he was immersed to his armpits in boiling liquid. It means the 18-year-old whose knees and elbows were smashed, his hand immersed in boiling liquid until the skin came away and the flesh started to peel from the bone, before the back of his skull was stove in. These are all real cases from the Uzbek security services which we viewed as friendly liaison, and from which we obtained regular intelligence, in the Uzbek case via the CIA. A month ago, that liaison relationship was stopped – not by us, but by the Uzbeks.

AlterNet – Rights and Liberties – Why Torture Doesn’t Work: No one has yet offered any validated evidence that torture produces reliable intelligence. While torture apologists frequently make the claim that torture saves lives, that assertion is directly contradicted by many Army, FBI, and CIA professionals who have actually interrogated al Qaeda captives.








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 11, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Yahoo – Blair ‘Used Police For Politics’: The Prime Minister could face a Commons inquiry into claims of Government “politicisation” of police chiefs over new anti-terror laws. Tories are unhappy that chief constables lobbied and wrote to their MPs, urging them to support powers to hold terror suspects for up to 90 days without charge.

Guardian (Letters) – Police lobbying on the terror bill

Guardian – A failure of political judgment : No, the much more wounding conclusion from Wednesday’s defeat concerns Mr Blair’s judgment, rather than his authority. It was, after all, Mr Blair who first promoted the 90-day solution to MPs and who stuck to it relentlessly to the end. It was Mr Blair who, as things got more difficult, used every weapon he could grab to win sceptical MPs round – upsetting important conventions by dragging the police into the centre of the party political battle to support his case and insisting that no alternative perspective need be treated with respect.








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 10, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Today is a very good day to send an email to Tony Blair.

:o)

Try to be nice… it’s been a rough day.








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 10, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Poons just asked a very good question:
Where will Blair be in 90 days?








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