A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blair for President

I think readers would expect me to like the idea of Tony Blair being the "EU President" when the post is created.

What I don't get are the reports that the Tories are trying to stop this happening.

In any other country, partisanship about a domestic former political opponent would be offset by pleasure that someone from your country is getting a coveted and prestigious position, which must be in the national interest, whatever party they are from. Added to that, Blair's views on European integration are by the standards of almost all other EU member states Eurosceptic, so he represents the nearest views to the Tories' on EU matters with a realistic chance of getting the job.

Would they really rather have some ultra-federalist from Belgium or wherever get the job than a Brit who is fairly pragmatic on further integration, just because the guy beat them in a few general elections? The main opposition to Blair's appointment other than from UK Tories is from the Benelux countries who know he would be a block to federalist ambitions of faster integration.

The Tories are cutting off their noses to spite their faces and looking pathetically partisan and sectarian. I'd go so far as to suggest it is unpatriotic to try to block a Brit from becoming President. So much for their attempts to portray themselves as the "heirs to Blair", they don't even back the man when his appointment is a no-brainer for UK diplomatic interests, such is their paranoia about him.

23 Comments:

Anonymous Arnold said...

Perhaps they want the job left open for David Cameron just in case he loses next year's general election. You never can tell.

7:05 pm, October 26, 2009

 
Blogger Miller 2.0 said...

"Blair's views on European integration are by the standards of almost all other EU member states Eurosceptic"

www.maryrobinson.eu

7:34 pm, October 26, 2009

 
Anonymous Rob said...

Of course, almost as odd as the Tories not wanting a Briton to get the presidency is members of the Labour Party not wanting a former Labour Prime Minister to get the presidency ;)

9:23 pm, October 26, 2009

 
Blogger Jimmy said...

"The Tories are cutting off their noses to spite their faces and looking pathetically partisan and sectarian."

So what part of that don't you "get"?

9:26 pm, October 26, 2009

 
Anonymous Michael Edwards said...

No, Luke. You've got it wrong.
The Tories don't oppose Tony Blair.
Last time, I saw David Cameron debating Tony Blair, he led a standing ovation for him.
I saw him vigoursly waving to his own colleagues to stand up for him, in recognition of his service to the country.
Please don't tell me that was a stunt.
Love, light and peace - Michael Edwards.

2:46 am, October 27, 2009

 
Blogger Guido Fawkes said...

Personally I'd love to see the look on Brown's face if Blair was pres.

Howeverthe whole idea is of a president of Europe is ultra federalist. So it is no surprise that those who value national sovereignty oppose it.

7:43 am, October 27, 2009

 
Anonymous Frank said...

Arnold if you really believe that Labour will win a general election in this country while that idiot Brown is in charge then you are more stupid than most of your posts on this blog would suggest.

OK perhaps not that stupid but you are pretty close.

Bliar and his cohorts are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people overseas and should be under arrest in the Haig, along with George Bust, the president you New Labour types just loved.

8:09 am, October 27, 2009

 
Anonymous T_i_B said...

Tony Blair is not fit to be EU President for a whole range of reasons.

He did nothing to prevent Euro-sceptic politics taking over the UK for one. His record on issues such as Iraq also shows that he does not have the integrity required for high office.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=105161592117

8:17 am, October 27, 2009

 
Anonymous Billy The Kid said...

Hi Luke,

I know you guys are London Centric but just got some stats from Wales.

I know you like to be balanced...

snip>>

EMBARGO: 11.30pm Monday, 26 October 2009

Results of the first YouGov poll in Wales

Tomorrow (Tuesday) morning the results of the first Welsh poll by YouGov - one the UK's leading polling organisations - will be made public in a specially organised breakfast seminar in the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay. The results will be presented and analysed by Wales's leading political analysts, Richard Wyn Jones Director of the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, and Prof. Roger Scully, Director of Aberystwyth University Institute of Welsh Politics.

Among the results......

Westminster voting intentions in Wales (change since 2005 general
election)
%
Labour 34 (-9)
Conservative 31 (+10)
Lib-Dems 12 (-2)
Plaid Cymru 15 (+2)
Others 7 (+2)
Q. If a general election were held tomorrow how would you vote?

If the swings implied by this poll are applied uniformly across Wales, the parties would win following number of MPs (change since 2005 in brackets)

Labour 20 (-9)
Conservative 12 (+9)
Lib-Dems 2 (-2)
Plaid Cymru 5 (+2)
Others 1

The predicted results:
* Represent the worst Labour vote share in Wales since 1918
(3.5% worse than in 1983)
* Would equal Tory vote share in 1983
* Would be Plaid's best general election vote share and seat result ever

Richard Wyn Jones said:
"This poll serves to underline that the Conservatives are continuing to
make very significant progress in Wales. Having been wiped out
completely in 1997, they appear on course for one of their best ever
results at the next UK general election. For Labour, on the other hand, this is more dismal news from what was formerly its most staunch of heartland areas."

According to Prof. Roger Scully, "Labour is clearly in very deep trouble in Wales as in the rest of Britain, and the party that is benefiting most from that is the Conservatives. And while Plaid Cymru can be moderately pleased by their showing, there are not making the same impact as their sister party, the SNP, is in Scotland."

It's all been checked by YouGov and by the way as a Labour voter in Wales it's going to be WAY worse for Labour than this :-(

11:19 am, October 27, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

Thatcher won't be very happy either as she was a personal friend and advisor of Blair!

11:43 pm, October 27, 2009

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

There is going to be a president whether the Tories happen to like it or not

On one level Blair would do a good job. But there are two reasons why I don;t think he will get it.

1. Iraq - still a lot of questions unanswered, and not enough independence from the US

2. The UK is not in the Euro

Personally, I'd go for a Belgian federalist quite happily!

11:59 pm, October 27, 2009

 
Blogger opus said...

Strange concept - that it is unpatriotic to oppose a Brit (any Brit ) as President of the Commission. If Europe is to mean anything (which is a debate of it's own) then surely it should be stripping narrow nationalist chauvinism. If Brits all support the Brit candidiate, then the French presumably support the French candidiate, the Germans, Spanish etc ditto.
Where would this get anyone?
A more sophisticated Europe would be one in which some Brits supported the Luxembourger because they liked his policies. Some Belgians supported the Dane because of policy alignments and so on.

Actually none of it matters as the EU is not a demoocracy and this position will not be advertised, open to competitive application or even an election.
Instead a few European big shots will convene over dinner and fix what suits them.

11:39 am, October 28, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

He's the Idiot that took us into the Iraq and Afgan wars! Even Wilson did not drag us into Vietnam!

1:02 pm, October 28, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

The canvass starts at 10.30 from John’s office in Pump Lane, Hayes Middx. UB3 3NB. Tel 0208 569 0010. The office is a short distance from Hayes Station, 20 minutes by rail from Paddington.

Look out for a very overgrown garden in the front, thats where to go !



John McDonnell MP needs your support and solidarity. Our movement cannot risk losing John’s seat and the platform it provides. Bring as many activists and supporters as possible. Every fortnight from 18th October the Hayes Party will be organising a mass canvass and needs you help.

7:47 pm, October 28, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'In any other country, partisanship about a domestic former political opponent would be offset by pleasure that someone from your country is getting a coveted and prestigious position, which must be in the national interest, whatever party they are from.'

Come on Luke,cut the crap.

If there had been a similar position in 1980 would Labour have supported Margaret Thatcher as president of Europe?

angry voter

12:38 am, October 29, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For once I agree with everything Luke says. As a Tory I would support Blair as President. If there has to be one, why not a Brit. He is also a pragmatic politician and would probably work well with the Cameron Government, not being a tribal politician like Brown.

I find the Tories' opposition to him a bit depressing, although it appears today that it may all be a bit academic now anyway!

11:32 am, October 30, 2009

 
Anonymous Rich said...

As far as opening doors you couldn't get a better man than Tony for the job. However. if you are a man of principle then having a war wongering Bush puppet as an EU president isn't ideal.

Depends what you want from the EU....

9:04 am, October 31, 2009

 
Blogger kris said...

"Howeverthe whole idea is of a president of Europe is ultra federalist. So it is no surprise that those who value national sovereignty oppose it".

I'm somewhat surprised by Guido's comment.

It's not a vote on whether there should be a President of Europe - it's about now that there is such a position - who do you want filling it.

9:50 am, October 31, 2009

 
Blogger Newmania said...

It's not a vote on whether there should be a President of Europe - it's about now that there is such a position - who do you want filling it.

Blair is only in that position by lying about the referendum and conspiring to abolish Britain. If you think you can drape youself in the flag on nthis then you are a sick sick puppy .
We do not have to collaborate

11:12 pm, November 01, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Luke, we agree on something!!

Alex Hilton

12:35 pm, November 02, 2009

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

When will the nutters recognise that we are in the EU and staying there?

6:09 pm, November 02, 2009

 
Anonymous Stan Rosenthal said...

What worries me even more, Luke is the lack of support for Blair on the left and how they are using his role in the Iraq war to scupper his chances of the EU Presidency. I have just written a piece for the Progressive about their hate campaign, headed BAN BLAIR-BAITING at http://theprogressive.typepad.com/the_progressive/2009/11/ban-blair-baiting.html

6:34 pm, November 03, 2009

 
Anonymous Stan Rosenthal said...

That link for the Progressive article was cut short.
It's http://theprogressive.typepad.
com/the_progressive/2009/11/ban-blair-baiting.html

6:41 pm, November 03, 2009

 

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