Wednesday, August 09, 2006

If it keeps on raining, the levee's going to break

No, not Lord Levy (although I still think he's going to be in a spot of bother when the police are finished with their investigations).

It looks like there are signs that Blair's support within the Labour Party is finally starting to give way. Jim Sheridan has just resigned as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the defence team over Blair's policy on the Middle East. If his voting record is anything to go by, he's certainly not one of the usual suspects. Well, he's obviously not if he had a position in government. Well done Jim for finally finding your conscience.

Let's hope this isn't just a one off. Is it too much to hope that the PLP have finally had enough?

Please excuse the language but with the callous uncaring messianic bastard on holiday, now would be the perfect time to fuck him over.


The BBC page has a little more now. Bah, he's soft-peddling it a bit.

Interesting that this came on the same day that 130 MPs demanded the recall of parliament though. Perhaps I'm reading too much into that. (Of course, the ethics of waiting for Blair to go on holiday before trying to stop the killings in Lebanon, if that is what's happened, are pretty repulsive too.)

The government reaction to that demand?
[F]oreign Office Minister Kim Howells said summoning MPs back to Westminster would do little to affect the situation in the region.
In other words, parliament can no longer affect the policies adopted by the British government. We all knew this but to read a government minister candidly admit that parliament is so pointless under Blair's rule is quite something. Excuse my language again but Blair's ruling cabal really are a bunch of despicable fucks.

Update 2

Breaking the "don't blog angry rule" quite blatantly now but here's the reality behind Blair's platitudes of an imminent ceasefire. A deeper offensive which will take at least another month according to one Israeli cabinet minister. And our government refuses to demand that they stop.

There is to be no condemnation of a government which fires missiles at funeral parties for the victims of its previous assaults. No halt to the use of British military airfields by the US as part of the supply route to deliver those missiles. No request to stop the collective punishment of the Lebanese people.

How wonderful to live under a compassionate Labour government. Things can only get better...

These people make me sick to my stomach.

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Mark said...

Well, the Israelis are not so slow to react to unsatisfactory performance - at least if you can believe Fox News, the black hole in the galaxy of journalism. As indicated here -,2933,207518,00.html - the replacement of former Army Northern Command ramrod Major-General Udi Adam by the deputy head of the Israeli Army, Major-General Moshe Kaplinsky indicates the overall underwhelmingness thus far of the campaign to crush Lebanon.

What's Hebrew for, "if you snooze, you lose"? The Israeli Army is nothing if not goal-oriented. If you don't get results, you're sacked. They appear to be losing the PR war as well.

Steve said...

The UK Government could do the world a favor by publicly breaking with America over Israel/Lebanon. And, it could be accomplished with no damage to Anglo-American relations.

Bush is a failed president. His mideast policy -- such as it is -- has been a disaster. He's been in the absolute thrall of Likud since taking office (even former members of his father's administration are perplexed by that one) and barring a UK intervention, he will not be moved.

If the British say, "No, it has to stop now", Washington would be hard pressed to do otherwise. When it came down to relations with Britain or allowing Israel to continue its attack on Lebanon, I have no doubt that the choice would be made in London's favor.

We "bush"wacked Americans have grown used to most of the world hating us; in Bush's weakened position I don't believe that most "thoughtful" Americans would permit a public battle with the one ally we consistently rely upon.

I know that Blair is portrayed as Bush's poodle on your side of the Atlantic but respect for Britain is great here. You are the only people who could take us to task and have a real impact.

Mark said...

Actually, Steve, we're on the same side of the Atlantic, but I take your point. However, I think you overestimate the capability of any government or appointed body to influence Bush. As has often been pointed out, he lives in a bubble, and many informed observers question whether he knows what's going on at all or what he is talking about.

The American people likely do think a lot of the English, but Bush holds nobody in high regard except those who have gotten the better of someone else by slick talk or backhanded business procedures. He has as much in common with his countrymen as chalk and cheese; consequently, he is stubborn to a fault and unreachable by common sense. You're just going to have to ride this one out, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Jacques Chirac and the French will be the most likely movers towards a solution in the His(Hez)bollah/ Israeli war.

"Yo Blair" has no credibility anywhere on the planet.

It's about time the investigative press found out just what it is that Prescott, Mandy, AC et al know about Blair's dark past and publish it.

Davide Simonetti said...

I'm afraid I wasn't aware of a "don't blog angry" rule. I've done little else this past month and I don't see how anyone could write about what's going on without being angry.

Parliament being recalled might not change things on the ground in Lebanon, but if Blair can be held to account for his support for this slaughter that would be a small consolation. If nothing else it would ruin the bastard's holiday.

Steve said...

Mark, my apologies, I was directing my comment to the author of the post. If you're one and the same, my embarrassment is compounded!

I don't disagree with anything you've written but I would say that, at this point, influencing Bush is not as important as influencing the American people. He's given new definition to the term lame duck and while most Americans are happy to have the French hate us, I think they'd be significantly more concerned with a British finger wagging.

I continue to believe that a public split between London and Washington would force some action.

The neocon press would never be able to paint the Brits as "soft", "appeasers", "anti-American", "anti-Semitic", etc. And the White House would be hard pressed to explain why America's "best friend" was at odds with the administration. [George Bush at the post 9/11 address to Congress w/ PM Blair seated beside the First Lady, "America has no greater friend than Britain."]

I don't understand the reluctance of Blair to at least allow a little daylight to shine through the two governments' positions. It's said that prior to the Iraq war, Bush promised Blair that there'd be a full court press to solve the Israel/Palestine issue in exhange for Britains support in Iraq.

Which seems to indicate that Blair can't trust Bush's word any more than the American electorate can...

CuriousHamster said...

mark, yeah, he's been "moved sideways" today. Hard to resist a facetious observation on the disappointingly low Lebanese death toll.

The Israeli government really do seem to have been surprised by Hezbollah's durability. Given what Hez did during Israeli's last occupation of Lebanon, it's hard to understand why that should be the case.

Steve, I tend to agree with you. Respect for Blair in the US gives him influence. He's possibly the only one who could put useful pressure on the Bush administration on this. Sadly, it is enormously unlikely that he will. When he's asked about being the poodle to Bush on foreign policy, he sometimes replies that "it's worse than that, I actually believe this stuff". And the most worrying thing is, I suspect he's telling the truth. Over here, we've abandoned all hope that Blair will ever break with Bush in any way when it comes to the "war" on terror.

Anon, hopefully the French can do something. I was disappointed that they agreed to the first US draft resolution which the Lebanese government were obviously going to reject. That looked to be an obvious stalling tactic by the US to delay any real movement towards a ceasfire. Not sure why the French wanted to have anything to do with that.

davide, the rule is just something I try to do to keep a (relatively) clear head when writing. When I'm proper angry, things are all a bit of a blur. It is particularly hard at the moment. Like you, I've been permanently angry since this started.

Mark said...


The error is mine; I did figure out later that you were addressing your comments to the blog, not the more immediate comment. So you and the blog author are indeed on opposite sides of the Atlantic, but you and I are on the same side.

You're right, too, that influencing the American people still lies within Britain's grasp. Sadly, it'll be over Yo Blair's dead body. It's bad enough that he moves in lockstep with American foreign policy, but his servile groveling during the G-8 summit, when he didn't realize he could be overheard, was beyond embarassing. Shows how much influence he has over that strutting, preening alcoholic Texas yahoo.

You are again spot-on in suggesting Americans are happy to be hated by the French. I have a good friend who lives in Montana - ever a reasonable man, he goes berserk over the French, insisting they have always hated and envied America. He suggests American foreign policy has brought all the America-haters out of the closet. It's done considerably more than that, I'd submit - the last 3 weeks have made nearly 5 million more America-haters.

Steve said...


You know, it's strange but even though I was against the Iraq war before the invasion began, I still resented the French for "doing what the French do".

The sad thing is, Bush's fiasco has given them every right to gloat.