It seems very likely that Tony Blair will be confirmed as the Group of Four's Middle East Envoy later on today or tomorrow. We should ignore the deep irony of the man who invaded Iraq being an envoy for peace in the Middle East. In my opinion, it is a role in which is uniquely qualified to succeed. Anyone who brought peace to Northern Ireland has to be a candidate for such a post. He may have done it by some means with which I vehemently disagreed, but few can argue with the end result. In addition, whoever holds this post has to have the confidence of the United States President and the Israeli government, and we know he has good relations with the Jordanians and Syrians.
I for one wish Tony Blair well in his new job. At least he won't have that awful period of 'nothingness' which has afflicted most Prime Ministers when they leave office. Whatever the differences we may have politically he does have some unqiue achievements to his name over the last ten years and he has been a formidable leader of the Labour Party. But he has led a party which is glad to be rid of him. They know not what they have done.
UPDATE: The Reverend Ian Paisley has just asked a very moving question to Tony Blair at the end of PMQs. He expressed the hope that he could do for the Middle East what he did for Northern Ireland. When it comes up on Hansard I will post it here.
Don't you think it's rather mean to deny John Major's contributions to the NI peace process, Iain?
According to Huw Edwards, Tony Blair gave an "astounding and skillful" performance at PMQs. BBC spinning for him until the very end. Not that he was bad or anything like that, but it was actually rather flat and totally inconsequential.
Please do not attribute to me thoughts and views I do not hold. Elsewhere on this blog I have made my views on John Major absolutely clear. They are irrelevant to this post.
And I agree with Huw Edwards too.
It was quite flat apart from the cracking put down to Nicholas Winterton. That was quite entertaining. Though it would have been nicer if he had actually answered the question and confirmed the referendum we deserve!
I'd like to say a big thank you to John Howson, the man taking part in the anti-Blair demo at Downing Street, who's poster simply states in very large letters:
I so wanted to be there with a poster stating just that, but sadly couldn't take leave today.
So thank you John from the bottom of my heart for saying it for me!
As the man who has most debased British politics, at least since Lloyd George, he tried to cover himself with his closing comments on politics. His last bit of misdirection.
He has been a skilled actor, who has principle when it suits him and poor memory when it doesn't.
Few men have done as much damage to the democratic traditions and fabric of Britain as Tony Blair - just look at the election turn outs.
By the way does his new job fit with the ministerial code of conduct ? If he were taking a job with a company he'd been dealing with all hell would break lose. Instead the Americans are doing him a favour.
Blair is skillful, artful, mendacious and has cost us plenty. We should rejoice at his departure, but "what" will fill the void. There is NO real choice!! Brown is tarnished and flawed, his economic measures and policy's will haunt us for generations to come. I see little to cause rejoice.
Please forgive me for spamming, Iain, but I enjoyed that so much that I feel compelled to say it again:
GOOD RIDDANCE TONY BLAIR!
I detest you for destroying my country. Please, please leave UK and never ever return unless it's in handcuffs!
The Reverend Ian Paisley has just asked a very moving question to Tony Blair at the end of PMQs. He expressed the hope that he could do for the Middle East what he did for Northern Ireland.
I'm sure that Adolf Blair will continue to appease terrorist-killers in the Middle East just as he did in Ulster.
We should ignore the deep irony of the man who invaded Iraq being an envoy for peace in the Middle East
Is this not precisely the sort of thing that the opposition should take an interest in?
By applauding the man who led us to war on a false premise you abdicate your role as the official opposition and thereby leave the country in a very dangerous condition.
Well done Tories. Now we know just how safe we are with you.
Mr Dale, I'm very curious as to why deleted my entry at the very top of the comments? No profanties, and I suspect it reflected the views of many readers of this blog - yet you removed it. You have gone down in my estimations.
Speaking as a man with some knowledge of International Law I hope you realise he.as an envoy,has DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY !!
With one short step he is free of prosecution for anything including cash for honours etc !
Crafty eh ?
I am not a fan of David Cameron, but I think he rose to the occasion in a very mature and statesmanlike way.
He was going to have a difficult decision on how to play today's PMQ's and he called it perfectly.
A good job also that Quentin Davies was not mentioned. No cheap shots by either side and besides he is not important and is really a Gordon affair, so in retrospect, it was very unlikely he would get a mention.
You always fall for the emotional guff don't you Iain?
Get a grip.
It seems very likely that Tony Blair will be confirmed as the Group of Four's Middle East Envoy
Much better to have sent him to Chechnya...he could help the Russians empathise with the Chechens
Hasn't handed in his resignation to HM yet and already back on the taxpayer tit. Has the man ever earned any money? By which I mean, created any wealth? Certainly, he was such an obtuse, pedestrian barrister - although I'm sure he enjoyed swanking about in his wig and gown - that I am certain his only cases were paid for by Legal Aid - meaning people who work for a living.
I don't believe he's ever earned an honest penny in his cheap, sleazy existence. Who is paying for this grandiose,overwrought new non-job? Why the taxpayers in the Group of Four, of course!
Frankly, the Arabs will find him a pushover, and good luck to them. Look how he appeased and appeased and appeased muslims while he was prime minister. Trust me, he can't say no, as long as he gets his face on TV.
There is absolutely no reason for this position to be created. The four areas have seasoned,professional diplomats already.
I have never understood this self-regarding English fair-play, let's all be nice chaps attitude. The Americans are more realistic. Rather than receiving an undeserved and gratuitous paean from Iain Dale, Blair should have been thrown to the floor and held down while people took turns stomping on his throat.
I wish him great distress for what he has done to my beloved country, and would advise him not to fear going down the dark alleys leading off the souks at 3 a.m.
I'm with Auntie Flo'.
PS - What's the betting he defies tradition and refuses to give up the title prime minister? American presidents retain the title 'president' for the rest of their lives. Tony would just love that.
I'm with Boris on this peace envoy business - Blair should be our man in Baghdad...
It was all rather moving wasn't it? Good to see that even political enemies can recognise that their opponents have many noble qualities. It's a shame that some of your comment contributors can only see people in stark black or white; perhaps their own personalities are so one dimensional that they believe everyone else's must also be...
If Blair makes any kind of positive contribution in the Middle East it will largely wipe out the negativity of Iraq.
The deputy leadership contest perfectly illustrated the total lack of talent in the PLP. Consequently, if Labour get the kicking they deserve at the next general election, would Blair be able to resist calls for his return?
With that standing ovation now engraved on his ego, I doubt it.
Hughes Views - "It's a shame that some of your comment contributors can only see people in stark black or white; perhaps their own personalities are so one dimensional that they believe everyone else's must also be..."
Or some people have more clarity of vision and thought than others, and don't fall for vacuous, cheap, baseless sentimentality.
Blair didnt bring peace to northern ireland , Addams and McGuinness both decided that it suited them to stop killing as many people, and aquirre a veneer of legitamacey for their criminal empire .Of course the extortion , robbery , drug dealing and punishment beatings go on , but fair play to them.
They asked and Blair gave and received nothing in return.
Ken from glos said...
"Speaking as a man with some knowledge of International Law I hope you realise he.as an envoy,has DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY !!"
Not that much knowledge then. I presume your knowledge of "international law" comes from the French traffic police. A diplomat is granted safe passage ind immunity from prosecution and civil suits in foreign countries, but (a) not in his home country, (b) the immunity can be waived by his own country and (c) not all diplomatic staff are given full immunity.
I'm sorry to have to say it, but it seems to me that the best Blair should have hoped for was a fair trial.
Whatever is thought of him,he has been the Tories most formidable opponent since Asquith,and perhaps since Gladstone.No wonder they were cheering to see the back of him.
Rev Iain Paisley said "He expressed the hope that he could do for the Middle East what he did for Northern Ireland".
I share his sentiments. Most would.
But, Hamas, Hezbollah and others seek the destruction of the state of Israel. Sinn Fein and the IRA never intended to destroy the United Kingdom.
Until the Arab world accepts Israel as a fact, peace will never happen. That is Tony's first priority.
"Anyone who brought peace to Northern Ireland"
Brought or bought ? How about good old fashioned appeasement and surrender drip by drip to the revolting Adams & crew.
Kinda like giving Arafat a Nobel Peace prize come to think of it.
As a man the Conservative benches rose in a syncophantic standing ovation to the greatest showman in living memory to occupy No 10 . They would do well to remember that this is the man that has done more to destroy Parliamentary Democracy than any other Prime Minister.
"As a man the Conservative benches rose in a syncophantic standing ovation"
DC motioned to the members on his side, with a wide sweep of his arm, to get up and join in, so it is unclear how much they were up for it or merely following their leader.
Is it really true that Blair and his family have made their trip up North to the constituency by train!
Could they not afford a plane ticket? Oh how the trappings of power have drifted away so sudden.
Lets hope the train is not delayed. My goodness that is 6 hours to his constituency in a packed carriage. It cannot be true.
Well if Tony continues to screw up the Middle East as much as he has done already.... he will make a fine envoy for George Bush..
Wishing Tony Bon Voyage is sentimental twaddle of the highest order .. but what can we expect of politicians?
Load of cow excrement.
'But he has led a party which is glad to be rid of him. They know not what they have done.'
Sounds a lot like Lord Baker's 'we will not see her like again' back in 1990....
Anonymous said... "I'm with Boris on this peace envoy business - Blair should be our man in Baghdad..."
You missed out the preceding world tour in an open-topped submarine.
If he survives that I hope he gets taken hostage.
This is a totally crackpot, made-up non-job. We already have skilled envoys, some of whom actually speak Arabic.
This is a totally pointless position to safeguard Blair 'n' Cher's place on the taxpayer teat - now expanded, of course, to include the taxpayers of many more countries. Britain's just not big enough for such greed.
Blair did not bring peace to Northern Ireland. Only The Hitch on this Blog understands that.
The Americans brought peace to NI by telling the IRA they had become embarrassing because of 9/11 and could no longer raise money or buy arms in Boston as they had been doing since 1850 when the Fenians invaded Canada.
Blair believes his own spin and thinks his personality brought NI peace. Vain fool.
If the Americans tell the Israelis what they told the IRA - no more funds and support - then Blair will succeed. They won't, and Blair will fail.
Anonymous 6:26 - Well said!
Where's Brian Micklethwaite's blog?
So he sees himself as a 21st century Lawrence of Arabia, lets just hope he doesn't have his own Deraa moment, then again....
Good riddance to him. I saved a bottle of champagne for today.
He has dragged this country into a ruinous war on the basis of lies, and still cannot apologise or acknowledge error.
I hope he spends the rest of his life in fear of a terrorist attack. His decisions have caused the deaths of over 200 British Armed Forces personnel in two theatres and many more wounded. It is the least he deserves.
He will not be a credible Middle East envoy due to the Iraq debacle and also his inaction during last year's Lebanon crisis. The job is a vanity trip and will not outlast Bush's presidency.
Jess The Dog - I also saved a bottle of Champagne, but I'm not going to bother drinking it because it was dedicated to Blair being forced out in disgrace. I am going to hang on and save it in the hopes that Yates of the Yard will be having a word with him.
"Know not what they do" my ass. You seem to identify closely with the persecution complex that that bat Cherie Blair has been nursing for years--going by that--anyway. Actually, Labour do know what they do--they're trading someone who had fallen behind in popularity to a juvenile, insincere dandy for Brown and his (already) better poll numbers. Election by 2010 and all that.
You really think that Blair is going to break new ground diplomatically, actually make constructive changes happen? Maybe you're kidding--sometimes the timbre of that dry British humour can confuse me--but you're really expecting results when he travels to the Middle East because some MI5-run punk backed him at his last PMQ?
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