Archive for the ‘Tony ‘King Blair’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 10, 2005

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The War on Stupid, Tony 'King Blair

Well done, Rebekah Wade… you’ve shown how completely detached from reality you are. If anyone is ‘out of step with public feeling’, it’s you:

The Sun – We shame ‘no’ vote MPs: MPs tonight rejected proposals for terror suspects to be held for up to 90 days without charge. In a bitter blow to Tony Blair the bill was defeated 322-291. Below we name and shame the MPs who voted down the bill. Print the list off and stick it on your fridge as a reminder of the TRAITOR MPs who betrayed Britain.

[Note to Rupert Murdoch: Mate, she’s overplaying it. Seriously. Those who didn’t see the strings yesterday are sure to see them today. Plus, you’ve opened yourself right up to a charge of divisiveness. That’s awfully close to dissent (at least, it is in my dictionary). We’re supposed to be working against the terrorist threat together, remember? You’ll want to sack this ginger clown pretty sharpish. That’s free advice from one Australian to another. I’d take it if I were you. Her ludicrous Page 3 editorial initiative earns me more immediate converts that anything else I can name. In fact, most people think I’m a bit of a nutter until I show them this.]

Oh… hello readers! Sorry about that. Housekeeping. Had to be done. Back on deck now.


You may wish to thank to following people, who did not fall for the whole ‘the police/public want this, so let’s not bother with details’ line of bulldust.

Given the circumstances, I’m sure you won’t mind taking the time to thank your MP (if they’re on the list) and at least one other:

(Use or if you have any difficulty finding contact details.)


The 49 Labour MPs who voted against 90 day detention were:

Ms Diane Abbott (Hackney North & Stoke Newington)
John Austin (Erith & Thamesmead)
Richard Burden (Birmingham Northfield)
Michael Clapham (Barnsley West & Penistone)
Katy Clark (Ayrshire North and Arran)
Harry Cohen (Leyton & Wanstead)
Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North)
Jim Cousins (Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Ms Ann Cryer (Keighley)
Frank Dobson (Holborn & St Pancras)
Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe & Nantwich)
Mark Fisher (Stoke-on-Trent Central)
Paul Flynn (Newport West)
Neil Gerrard (Walthamstow)
Dr Ian Gibson (Norwich North)
Roger Godsiff (Birmingham Sparkbrook & Small Heath)
John Grogan (Selby)
David Hamilton (Midlothian)
Doug Henderson (Newcastle upon Tyne North)
Ms Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North)
Ms Glenda Jackson (Hampstead & Highgate)
Sian James (Swansea East)
Dr Lynne Jones (Birmingham Selly Oak)
Sadiq Khan (Tooting)
Peter Kilfoyle (Liverpool Walton)
Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North & Leith)
Tony Lloyd (Manchester Central)
Andy Love (Edmonton)
Mrs Chris McCafferty (Calder Valley)
John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington)
Robert Marshall-Andrews (Medway)
Michael Meacher (Oldham West & Royton)
Ms Julie Morgan (Cardiff North)
George Mudie (Leeds East)
Chris Mullin (Sunderland South)
Gordon Prentice (Pendle)
Nick Raynsford (Greenwich & Woolwich)
Linda Riordan (Halifax)
Ms Clare Short (Birmingham Ladywood)
Alan Simpson (Nottingham South)
Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)
Sir Peter Soulsby (Leicester South)
David Taylor (Leicestershire North West)
Emily Thornberry (Islington South & Finsbury)
Jon Trickett (Hemsworth)
Robert Wareing (Liverpool West Derby)
David Winnick (Walsall North)
Mike Wood (Batley & Spen)

The Tory MPs who voted against 90-day detention were:

Adam Afriyie (Windsor)
Peter Ainsworth (Surrey East)
David Amess (Southend West)
Michael Ancram (Devizes)
James Arbuthnot (Hampshire North East)
Richard Bacon (Norfolk South)
Gregory Barker (Bexhill & Battle)
John Baron (Billericay)
Henry Bellingham (Norfolk North West)
Richard Benyon (Newbury)
John Bercow (Buckingham)
Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley)
Brian Binley (Northampton South)
Peter Bone (Wellingborough)
Tim Boswell (Daventry)
Peter Bottomley (Worthing West)
Graham Brady (Altrincham & Sale West)
Julian Brazier (Canterbury)
James Brokenshire (Hornchurch)
Mrs Angela Browning (Tiverton & Honiton)
Simon Burns (Chelmsford West)
David Burrowes (Enfield Southgate)
Alistair Burt (Bedfordshire North East)
Sir John Butterfill (Bournemouth West)
David Cameron (Witney)
Douglas Carswell (Harwich)
William Cash (Stone)
Christopher Chope (Christchurch)
James Clappison (Hertsmere)
Greg Clark (Tunbridge Wells)
Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe)
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswold)
Derek Conway (Old Bexley & Sidcup)
Sir Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire South)
Geoffrey Cox (Torridge & West Devon)
Stephen Crabb (Preseli Pembrokeshire)
David Curry (Skipton & Ripon)
David TC Davies (Monmouth)
Philip Davies (Shipley)
Quentin Davies (Grantham & Stamford)
David Davis (Haltemprice & Howden)
Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon)
Stephen Dorrell (Charnwood)
Mrs Nadine Dorries (Bedfordshire Mid)
James Duddridge (Rochford & Southend East)
Alan Duncan (Rutland & Melton)
Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford & Woodford Green)
Philip Dunne (Ludlow)
Tobias Ellwood (Bournemouth East)
Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley)
David Evennett (Bexleyheath & Crayford)
Michael Fabricant (Lichfield)
Michael Fallon (Sevenoaks)
Mark Field (Cities of London & Westminster)
Dr Liam Fox (Woodspring)
Mark Francois (Rayleigh)
Christopher Fraser (Norfolk South West)
Roger Gale (Thanet North)
Edward Garnier (Harborough)
David Gauke (Hertfordshire South West)
Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis & Littlehampton)
Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham & Amersham)
Paul Goodman (Wycombe)
Robert Goodwill (Scarborough & Whitby)
Michael Gove (Surrey Heath)
James Gray (Wiltshire North)
Chris Grayling (Epsom & Ewell)
Damian Green (Ashford)
Ms Justine Greening (Putney)
John Greenway (Ryedale)
Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield)
John Gummer (Suffolk Coastal)
William Hague (Richmond (Yorks)
Philip Hammond (Runnymede & Weybridge)
Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon)
Greg Hands (Hammersmith & Fulham)
Mark Harper (Forest of Dean)
John Hayes (South Holland & The Deepings)
Oliver Heald (Hertfordshire North East)
David Heathcoat-Amory (Wells)
Charles Hendry (Wealden)
Nick Herbert (Arundel & South Downs)
Mark Hoban (Fareham)
Douglas Hogg (Sleaford & North Hykeham)
Philip Hollobone (Kettering)
Adam Holloway (Gravesham)
John Horam (Orpington)
Michael Howard (Folkestone & Hythe)
Gerald Howarth (Aldershot)
Jeremy Hunt (Surrey South West)
Nick Hurd (Ruislip – Northwood)
Michael Jack (Fylde)
Stewart Jackson (Peterborough)
Bernard Jenkin (Essex North)
Boris Johnson (Henley)
David Jones (Clwyd West)
Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury & Atcham)
Robert Key (Salisbury)
Miss Julie Kirkbride (Bromsgrove)
Greg Knight (Yorkshire East)
Mrs Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest)
Mrs Jacqui Lait (Beckenham)
Mark Lancaster (Milton Keynes North East)
Andrew Lansley (Cambridgeshire South)
Edward Leigh (Gainsborough)
Oliver Letwin (Dorset West)
Dr Julian Lewis (New Forest East)
Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater)
David Lidington (Aylesbury)
Peter Lilley (Hitchin & Harpenden)
Tim Loughton (Worthing East & Shoreham)
Peter Luff (Worcestershire Mid)
Miss Anne McIntosh (Vale of York)
Andrew Mackay (Bracknell)
David Maclean (Penrith & The Border)
Patrick McLoughlin (Derbyshire West)
Anne Main (St Albans)
Humfrey Malins (Woking)
John Maples (Stratford-on-Avon)
Francis Maude (Horsham)
Mrs Theresa May (Maidenhead)
Patrick Mercer (Newark)
Maria Miller (Basingstoke)
Anne Milton (Guildford)
Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield)
Malcolm Moss (Cambridgeshire North East)
David Mundell (Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale)
Dr Andrew Murrison (Westbury)
Brooks Newmark (Braintree)
Stephen O’Brien (Eddisbury)
George Osborne (Tatton)
Richard Ottaway (Croydon South)
James Paice (Cambridgeshire South East)
Owen Paterson (Shropshire North)
Andrew Pelling (Croydon Central)
Michael Penning (Hemel Hempstead)
John Penrose (Weston-Super-Mare)
Eric Pickles (Brentwood & Ongar)
Mark Prisk (Hertford & Stortford)
Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin)
John Randall (Uxbridge)
John Redwood (Wokingham)
Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Kensington & Chelsea)
Andrew Robathan (Blaby)
Hugh Robertson (Faversham & Kent Mid)
Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury)
Andrew Rosindell (Romford)
David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds)
Lee Scott (Ilford North)
Andrew Selous (Bedfordshire South West)
Grant Shapps (Welwyn Hatfield)
Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills)
Mark Simmonds (Boston & Skegness)
Keith Simpson (Norfolk Mid)
Mrs Caroline Spelman (Meriden)
Sir Michael Spicer (Worcestershire West)
Bob Spink (Castle Point)
Richard Spring (Suffolk West)
Anthony Steen (Totnes)
Gary Streeter (Devon South West)
Graham Stuart (Beverley & Holderness)
Desmond Swayne (New Forest West)
Hugo Swire (Devon East)
Robert Syms (Poole)
Ian Taylor (Esher & Walton)
David Tredinnick (Bosworth)
Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight)
Andrew Tyrie (Chichester)
Edward Vaizey (Wantage)
Shailesh Vara (Cambridgeshire North West)
Peter Viggers (Gosport)
Mrs Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet)
Charles Walker (Broxbourne)
Ben Wallace (Lancaster & Wyre)
Robert Walter (Dorset North)
Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne)
Mrs Angela Watkinson (Upminster)
John Whittingdale (Maldon & Chelmsford East)
Bill Wiggin (Leominster)
David Willetts (Havant)
David Wilshire (Spelthorne)
Rob Wilson (Reading East)
Mrs Ann Winterton (Congleton)
Sir Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield)
Jeremy Wright (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Tim Yeo (Suffolk South)
Sir George Young (Hampshire North West)

All 62 Liberal Democrats voted against 90 day detention. They are:

Danny Alexander (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
Norman Baker (Lewes)
John Barrett (Edinburgh West)
Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Tom Brake (Carshalton & Wallington)
Colin Breed (Cornwall South East)
Ms Annette Brooke (Dorset Mid & Poole North)
Jeremy Browne (Taunton)
Malcolm Bruce (Gordon)
Paul Burstow (Sutton & Cheam)
Mrs Lorely Burt (Solihull)
Dr Vincent Cable (Twickenham)
Sir Menzies Campbell (Fife North East)
Alistair Carmichael (Orkney & Shetland)
Nicholas Clegg (Sheffield Hallam)
Edward Davey (Kingston & Surbiton)
Tim Farron (Westmorland & Lonsdale)
Lynne Featherstone (Hornsey & Wood Green)
Don Foster (Bath)
Andrew George (St Ives)
Mrs Sandra Gidley (Romsey)
Julia Goldsworthy (Falmouth & Camborne)
Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South)
Dr Evan Harris (Oxford West & Abingdon)
Nick Harvey (Devon North)
David Heath (Somerton & Frome)
John Hemming (Birmingham Yardley)
Paul Holmes (Chesterfield)
Martin Horwood (Cheltenham)
David Howarth (Cambridge)
Simon Hughes (Southwark North & Bermondsey)
Chris Huhne (Eastleigh)
Mark Hunter (Cheadle)
Paul Keetch (Hereford)
Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye & Lochaber)
Susan Kramer (Richmond Park)
Norman Lamb (Norfolk North)
David Laws (Yeovil)
John Leech (Manchester Withington)
Michael Moore (Berwickshire Roxburgh and Selkirk)
Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West)
Mark Oaten (Winchester)
Lembit Opik (Montgomeryshire)
John Pugh (Southport)
Alan Reid (Argyll & Bute)
Dan Rogerson (Cornwall North)
Paul Rowen (Rochdale)
Bob Russell (Colchester)
Adrian Sanders (Torbay)
Sir Robert Smith (Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine)
Andrew Stunell (Hazel Grove)
Jo Swinson (East Dunbartonshire)
Matthew Taylor (Truro & St Austell)
Sarah Teather (Brent East)
John Thurso (Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross)
Steve Webb (Northavon)
Mark Williams (Ceredigion)
Roger Williams (Brecon & Radnorshire)
Stephen Williams (Bristol West)
Phil Willis (Harrogate & Knaresborough)
Ms Jenny Willott (Cardiff Central)
Richard Younger-Ross (Teignbridge)

The Democratic Unionist Party MPs who voted against 90-day detention were:

Gregory Campbell (DUP Londonderry East)
Nigel Dodds (DUP Belfast North)
Jeffrey Donaldson (DUP Lagan Valley)
Rev William McCrea (DUP South Antrim)
The Rev Ian Paisley (DUP Antrim North)
Mrs Iris Robinson (DUP Strangford)
Peter Robinson (DUP Belfast East)
David Simpson (DUP Upper Bann)
Sammy Wilson (DUP East Antrim)

The Independent MPs who voted against 90-day detention were:

Peter Law (Ind Blaenau Gwent)
Dr Richard Taylor (Ind Wyre Forest)

The Plaid Cymru MPs who voted against 90-day detention were:

Elfyn Llwyd (PC Meirionnydd Nant Conwy)
Adam Price (PC Carmarthen East & Dinefwr)
Hywel Williams (PC Caernarfon)

The Respect MPs who voted against 90-day detention were:

George Galloway (Bethnal Green and Bow) [Ed: Hurrah! He actually *voted* this time!]

The Scottish National Party MPs who voted against 90-day detention were:

Stewart Hosie (SNP Dundee East)
Angus MacNeil (SNP Na h-Eileanan an Iar)
Angus Robertson (SNP Moray)
Alex Salmond (SNP Banff & Buchan)
Michael Weir (SNP Angus)
Pete Wishart (SNP Tayside North)
Social Democratic and Labour Party
Mark Durkan (SDLP Foyle)
Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP Belfast South)
Eddie McGrady (SDLP Down South)

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 10, 2005

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The Political Weblog Movement, The War on Stupid, Tony 'King Blair

My deep tracking just went live. Visitors to this website that I can track directly back to the Houses of Parliament are as follows:

Yesterday, the tally for the month of November (to date) for the IP address was 285 hits and 89 individual page-views.

Today, the tally is 368 hits and 125 individual page-views

That’s 36 page-views. From within the Houses of Parliament. Today.

It may not seem like a large number to you, but what matters here is focus… and the focus in this case is this page (viewed, as a specific page, a grand total of 569 times today):

Those are the actual numbers. Make of them what you will.

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 9, 2005

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The War on Stupid, Tony 'King Blair

The trumpet-call had let loose an enormous volume of noise. Already an excited voice was gabbling from the telescreen, but even as it started it was almost drowned by a roar of cheering from outside. The news had run round the streets like magic. He could hear just enough of what was issuing from the telescreen to realize that it had all happened, as he had foreseen; a vast seaborne armada had secretly assembled a sudden blow in the enemy’s rear, the white arrow tearing across the tail of the black. Fragments of triumphant phrases pushed themselves through the din: ‘Vast strategic manoeuvre — perfect co-ordination — utter rout — half a million prisoners — complete demoralization — control of the whole of Africa — bring the war within measurable distance of its end victory — greatest victory in human history — victory, victory, victory!’ – George Orwell – Nineteen Eighty Four

The Sun – You speak and they listen: TORIES out to wreck Tony Blair’s crackdown on terrorists were in turmoil last night – as The Sun’s army of readers rallied behind the PM. A whopping 100,000 of you phoned our hotline to DEMAND 90 days’ detention for terror suspects. Thousands more of you went online – blitzing MPs with emails to SHAME them into backing Mr Blair in tonight’s crunch Commons vote. As you made your voices heard in near-record numbers, senior Tories began to buckle – and Labour rebels started drifting back to the Government side. We urge you to keep the pressure up by phoning the number above. The sensational show of Sun reader power instantly turned the tide in favour of Mr Blair.

Well, after Charles Clarke’s late-night attempt to diffuse the diddled poll row, I think it’s well past time to put this one to bed, too.

Let’s start with the numbers they do give…

A whopping 100,000 of you phoned our hotline to DEMAND 90 days’ detention for terror suspects.

Recent figures show the Sun’s circulation at 3,361,396.

(100000/3361396) x 100 = 2.97%

Hm. So we’d best correct that:

Less than 3% of you phoned our hotline to DEMAND 90 days’ detention for terror suspects.

Now, let’s look at the numbers that they almost give…

Thousands more of you went online – blitzing MPs with emails to SHAME them into backing Mr Blair in tonight’s crunch Commons vote.

I didn’t mention this yesterday (because one does not interrupt their enemies when they’re busy making a mistake) but I actually sent my message to ‘wobbly’ MPs to each and every one of the 257 email addresses that the Sun provided, which was based on the list of 299 MPs who voted against the glorification bill.

(They’re short 42 email addresses, but we’ll let that slide; not all MPs have readily-accessible email addresses. Each MP is granted one in the format last-name + first-initial @, but of course the Sun wanted to be certain that their messages reached their intended target. So they went with published addresses and certainly would have tested these addresses first, right? Erm, no. From of the 257 emails I sent, I received 25 bounces (and 4 ‘out of office’ auto-replies). So that’s 232 presumably valid email addresses. Still, it’s public feeling and intent that matter here, so we can let this slide also and operate with the 257 figure.)

60% of the British population has internet access. You may wish to question this figure given that some people have multiple connections and the Sun targets the working class, so let’s be really, really generous and operate on the assumption that 30% of Sun readers have internet access.

30% of 3,361,396 is just a shade over a million; 1,000,841

We should probably halve this again, as not all of the Sun readers involved may have been constituents of the MPs involved… but we’re not going to, because a considerable number of emails received by MPs were from people who refused to reveal their address and/or were not from their constituency.

Ah-hah! Did you spot the deliberate mistake? Yes, I just revealed that I’ve been in contact with many of these MPs, not just regarding my message, but the level of response they experienced following the Sun’s campaign (within acceptable boundaries of confidentiality and propriety, of course).

I spoke to seven MPs (or their researchers) about this. Admittedly, that’s a small sample – but they all reported very similar figures and (again) I’ll try to be as generous as possible with my figures in order to allow for variations I may not be aware of.

These MPs received between 1-4 emails as a result of this call to arms. Counting mine. But I promised to be generous, so let’s operate on an average of 6 emails per MP:

6 x 257 = 1,542

Thousands more of you went online – blitzing MPs with emails to SHAME them into backing Mr Blair in tonight’s crunch Commons vote.

Erm, no. More like:

*Hundreds* more of you went online – blitzing MPs with emails to SHAME them into backing Mr Blair in tonight’s crunch Commons vote.

Again, I’m trying very hard to be fair here. The sentence initially refers to readers ‘going online’, so perhaps they’ve based their figure on the number of people who downloaded their list of shame. We have a number of variants here, including an unknown number of visitors who would have followed this link from Bloggerheads, and many Sun readers who may have downloaded the page only to see that their MP was not listed, but let’s continue the spirit of generosity and double the 1,542 figure. This gives us 3,084 Sun readers with a clear intention to email their MP (or perhaps somebody else’s MP).

Finally we’re at a stage where we can rightly use the word ‘thousands’ and not ‘hundreds’ to describe the figure… but what happens when we apply this figure to the (greatly under-estimated) number of Sun readers with internet access?

(3084/1000841) x 100 = 0.31%

Zero. Point. Three. Percent.

Not even *half* of a single percentage point.

So that’s:

Less than 3% of Sun readers support the proposed 90-day law enough to pick up a phone and push a few buttons
Just over 0.3% of Sun readers support the proposed 90-day law enough to (maybe) write and send an email

This is not what I would call a blitz. It’s more like a blip.

Let’s go back to the Sun for more:

As you made your voices heard in near-record numbers, senior Tories began to buckle – and Labour rebels started drifting back to the Government side. We urge you to keep the pressure up by phoning the number above. The sensational show of Sun reader power instantly turned the tide in favour of Mr Blair.

‘Near-record numbers’ may not be a lie. I’ve crunched numbers in this way before, and the Sun plays this game a lot. Perhaps, for them, this *is* a record response.

The rest… well, they look to be making things up to impress us, but you can’t really blame them for that, given the shocking complacency of their readers. After all….

97% of Sun readers either do not support the proposed 90-day law, or could not give a rat’s arse either way.

Page 3 swings into action!Perhaps it is this complacency that finally convinced them to bring out the Big Guns.

Yes folks, it’s time for yet another Page 3 editorial!

Today Krystle (23, from Manchester) ‘backed the Sun campaign to see the new terror laws pushed through’. She says: “It is so important the police are given the power they need to combat terrorism. Every reader must lend their weight to this vital campaign and call our hotline.”

Yes, by all means, call the hotline. Please stop emailing MPs, because – let’s be frank – it’s getting embarrassing.

If MPs got wind of this – if they put 2 + 2 together – well, it just doesn’t bear thinking about.

This is a poll of Sun readers, not the general population.

The Sun has backed Blair and his cold-hearted manipulation of terrorist atrocities since Day One.

Even when victims of terrorism are waved in their face, 97% of these readers do not support this draconian legislation enough to make a simple phone call.

So please, please do what the girl with the boobs says and call that hotline so that tomorrow, after the vote has taken place, the Sun can publish these new figures and… erm… hang on… something’s not right here…

UPDATE – Make that *eight* MPs I’ve spoken to about this. I have permission to quote this response verbatim; it was sent *before* this particular MP read my latest post…

Rt Hon James Arbuthnot: I have, as a result of the Sun’s list, received more e-mails supporting my view than opposing it.

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 8, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Another email from Charles Clarke! This one assures me that there’s widespread support for the proposed bill, and that there are many changes to the proposed bill (probably because it enjoys such widespread support), *and* that he wasn’t trying to diddle us with a fiddled poll (that also enjoyed widespread support):

Finally, I would like to apologise for the questionnaire which was attached to the message that I sent out to party supporters on Friday. It was not intended to gauge public opinion but to start a political debate around the proposals currently being debated in Parliament. Many people have raised with me perfectly valid concerns about how the questions were drafted. I can only say that I share those concerns and give my assurance that questions of this type will not used in the future.

(reaches for hypno-coin)

Ig-norrrre the striiings… you did not seee the striiiings….

UPDATE – He is so full of it. The start and end of the email that was ‘not intended to gauge public opinion but to start a political debate’ reads as follows:

I am emailing you today to find out your views on the action the Government is proposing to take to challenge the new terrorist threats that face all of us… Facing up to the challenges of the new terrorist threat is so important; we want to have your views as soon as possible. Please go the Labour website to register your views. Click here to go there now.

UPDATE – More from Chicken Yoghurt.

UPDATE – Recess Monkey: Oh that’s OK then, we weren’t supposed to answer the questions, just talk about them in the pub – a rhetorical questionnaire.

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 8, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Here it is; complete with video footage. Enjoy.

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 6, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Times – MPs unite for inquiry into Blair’s conduct over Iraq: Tony Blair is set to face an unprecedented parliamentary inquiry into his conduct in the run-up to the Iraq war. A coalition of Tory and Labour MPs is to table a motion to set up a Commons committee to examine “the conduct of ministers” both before and after the war. They believe they need the support of about 30 Labour rebels to succeed… The prime minister is the main target of the inquiry but in addition it will examine the conduct of Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, Geoff Hoon, then the defence secretary, and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general.

Contact your MP. Today. Tell them that you don’t vote for bystanders.

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 6, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

PS – Has anyone noticed that – at Gordon Brown’s web page – one can only email Tony Blair?

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 5, 2005

Category: Guy Fawkes Night, Tony 'King Blair

Burning Blair(For those who came in late: Burning Blair.)

As you can probably tell from his healthy glow, Tony’s ‘teflon’ coating has been completed without fuss or bother; but a little extra work popped up this morning…

This A.M. I went to a boot sale for some eye-food and happened across an early paperback copy of Tony Blair’s 1996 book; New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country.

The scan you see to your right is from the first page I saw as I leafed through it, before parting with my hard-earned 20p to buy it. The highlighting isn’t mine, but that of the original owner.

The book is now planted deep inside his chest, along with a few other items.

You may also note one final touch… the badge.

Our local line-up of Guys is traditionally an affair for the young-uns, so I needed to classify my Blair Guy as something other than an entry… so he is now officially a Special Guest Judge (Jury & Executioner).

Less than 6 hours to go now….

I have two cameras to hand, one of which has (limited) video capabilities. I will do what I can to capture the moment.

UPDATE (8:10pm)
– A full report will be with you on Monday, but I need to note the following for the record while it’s fresh in my mind:

– Torrential rain was forecast for this evening (across the whole of southern England), and this was the only thing that could have stopped Teh Burning… but that rain never eventuated.

– I didn’t hear a cross word all night; every person who saw Tony (and realised what he was there for) was happy – and vocal – about it.

– Tony was given the most prominent position on the bonfire.

– As people arrived, almost every electrical torch was trained on Tony.

– When it came time to throw the kerosene torches that would ignite the bonfire, the majority of people aimed for Tony and often spoke of their intent before they did so.

– When Tony collapsed into the flames… people cheered. Loudly!

Tony Blair, your time is up. Please hand in your pass at the desk before you leave… and don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.

Oh no! Oh dear God, no!

I talked to a few people with better cameras than my own. With any luck, they’ll get in touch and send in their pictures/footage. I have some further photos, video and sound of my own to share with you… later.

Meanwhile, I’d like to close by quoting James Brown:

Wow. I feel good. I knew that I would.

Posted by Tim Ireland at November 4, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

BBC – ‘Bad news buried’ claim Lib Dems: The government has been accused by the Liberal Democrats of using David Blunkett’s resignation as an opportunity to bury bad news. A report criticising the way police handle calls from the public had been scheduled for publication on Thursday. But it was released by the Home Office a few hours after the work and pensions secretary stepped down on Wednesday.


Posted by Tim Ireland at November 3, 2005

Category: Guy Fawkes Night, Tony 'King Blair

'Please consign me to the cleansing flames!'Reuters – Blair under fire after “day from hell”: Prime Minister Tony Blair was under pressure to reassert his authority on Thursday after he suffered one of the worst days in his eight years in office. Nearly six months after comfortably winning a third successive election, Blair faced a barrage of front pages saying his authority had slumped during his “day from hell”.

BBC – Blair seeks Blunkett row closure: Tony Blair will try to move on from the resignation of his ally David Blunkett when his Cabinet meets on Thursday. Conservative leader Michael Howard said Mr Blunkett’s departure was part of a “haemorrhage” in Mr Blair’s authority. But the prime minister’s supporters say that is nonsense and Mr Blair will just get on with reforms to public services.

Why oh why oh why do I obsess over Iraq so? Well, let me tell you about one thing that stops me from drawing a line under it anytime soon…

The only people Blair can appoint or count on in the pursuit of his reforms have to have backed him over the war on Iraq then and continue to back him to this day. And anyone who can do that with a smile on their face is duplicitous, stupid or woefully misinformed. It’s no longer a case of the best man or woman for the job. Take a look at John Hutton’s position as one very clear example of this at work.

There’s no drawing a line under an issue when people are still dying and a greater crisis looms… or when that issue colours and shapes almost every other issue.

The only way to start to move forward is to draw a line under Tony Blair, and on that note I’d like to change the subject to that of voodoo.

As I carefully formed Tony Blair’s face from shreds of the Sun newspaper and later prepared to form the body using that same tabloid as stuffing, it occurred to me that a few extra items were required to make my voodoo strong.

For this reason, the following extras have been added to my Blair Guy (or are due to be added later).

some objects– Pot Pourri was mixed with the newspaper stuffing for that sweet, sweet smell of the farts that stream from his bottom, bathed in glorious sunlight.

– The suit itself is special… it’s a shoddy, showy silver number that I used to wear when I was a DJ. It’s quite audacious. I used to wonder why I kept it all these years… but I don’t any more.

– A broken watch has been placed in his breast pocket to represent his corruptibility… and his dodgy ticker*.

– Print-outs of every email Pete Broderick thought he had sent to Tony Blair that included his concerns about the Catholic Church (of which there are many) have been stuffed into Blair/Guy’s chest to represent the often-neglected religious aspect of Guy Fawkes night… and Tony Blair himself (oh, and as a sly nod to people who might think that I’m beginning to lose my mind).

– A liberal application of hairspray will be added late on Saturday to represent Blair’s Teflon coating

Feel free to suggest extras. We have the luxury of time.

Now don’t go away just yet, because I’m going to ask you to join me in a short voodoo ritual today.

Instructions follow…

Today is a very special day. It marks the beginning of the end for Tony Blair.

I ask you, the good people of Britain, to join me in a short voodoo ritual:

Step 1 – Write down Tony Blair’s full name – Anthony Charles Lynton Blair – on a piece of paper

Step 2 – Draw a line under it

… and then pass this short message on. Thank you.

a quite frankly shocking act of voodoo

(*At this point, two wonderful ideas occurred. I do love this project. ‘Cathartic’ doesn’t begin to describe it.)

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