Tony Blair

Modern Germany,benign force for good or menace?

Angela Merkel sacrifices the EU to save the refugees, but will she be rewarded?

A knockout blow for the EU?A knockout blow for the EU?

Following the death of Günther Schabowski we were reminded that the Berlin Wall was brought down by accident. When reporting his death much of the press called him 'the blunderer', and 'former communist'. The Berlin Wall was started in 1961 and was by virtue of that mistake by Schabowski made redundant in 1989, that's 28 years. And then some 26 years later another German blunderer and also a former communist, Angela Merkel, makes a mistake on immigration policy and walls, of sorts, start to be built again by some EU countries. Beyond the notion of human frailty, stupidity and the like we don't really know why Schabowski made his mistake. Perhaps with Merkel it's different, but then perhaps not? She's not beyond frailty and stupidity herself; but it has been suggested she had her eye on what, following the example of Tony Blair, we might call her legacy. Perhaps the Nobel Peace prize beckons, time will tell? But for the moment she must make do with some minor reward from Time magazine, with gushing prose normally used to describe Hollywood stars they named her person of the year.

In some ways Blair and Merkel are two of a kind.

A quick look at the Guardian

Blair and Coulson, stung by a wasp or a bee?

Policy wonk being hacked? Policy wonk being hacked?
As a child I was told that a wasp can sting as much as it likes whereas a bee can sting only once, then it dies. Is this true? No matter; it could be the situation the Guardian is in. Apart from the BBC no section of the MSM has worked harder on the Andy Coulson case. So his departure from the Cameron inner circle at No 10 must have brought the Guardian joy, given them a buzz if you like, so what happens now? Following the successful sting, the very health of the Guardian comes into focus as well as the life of the political spinner. It's said that the sales figures of the Guardian are going down at an alarming rate; how long can this go on? It's wise to remind ourselves that Coulson denies any wrongdoing and would appear to be innocent until proven guilty. You may regard this as either a tiresome tradition that means nothing or a corner-stone of good legal practice, feel free to choose.

Also feel free to wonder at the lives of the assorted celebs and smart people who are not smart enough to live without a mobile phone. The Coulson case goes back years and is not the first case of this sort. It would seem smart people have yet to learn that mobile phones are not totally secure and have been leaking data for years. We also have to wonder why Cameron wanted to employ a house trained version of Alistair Campbell.

The Three Musketeers* turn to writing

The Prince and the people's party

The pen is mightier than the sword? The pen is mightier than the sword?
With comedians a sense of timing is vital, it appears to be the same with memoirs. As we see HERE Gordon Brown is still typing his and, recalling those speeches by Tony Blair, the ones he peppered with pauses for dramatic effect, perhaps his typing stops dead now-and-then too, for the great big book from Blair is rumoured to be still months away from publication. If as reports suggest Brown is typing 10,000 words a day, although the man was prone to fibbing, all eyes will be on the work by Peter Mandelson. For his book is the first to appear, first past the post if you like and no, this is not, for once, the main point. What is of real interest is the length of it and the estimated speed of typing, as the question must be-"when did he start writing it"?

When the dust settles?

Politics under a cloud

Old joke?Old joke?
The Icelandic volcano spewing forth ash has done its bit to derail Blairism. Tony Blair is unable to fly to London to promote his book or help on the election trail. The London Book Fair is badly hit by the ash cloud and we can imagine the publicity for Blair at this event might have been used by the living saint as a platform for a bit of glad-handing in key marginals. This however, would not have suited Harriet Harman. The Times tell us that-

Deputy leader Harriet Harman has played down Tony Blair’s role in the election, fuelling speculation he is being discouraged from playing a more prominent role.

With the election in the state it is, have you seen many posters, had a canvasser at your door? You would have thought that Nulabour would have been only too pleased for Blair to put up a show and liven things up. Indeed the Times also tells us -

Blair is expected to make at least one more high-profile appearance in the UK before polling day

Let's hope that Nulabour HQ are not banking on this event as Blair has lost so much credibility he could be more trouble than he's worth.

Is Stephen Byers following Tom Wise?

Byers' market for influencing government

Wise, in prison Wise, in prison

Two names, Tony Blair and Stephen Byers, are both in the news now. However, the glare of the spotlight is brightest on Byers. The Times has a story about Byers with a video clip showing Byers doing what Tom Wise did, remember him? Wise was the UKIP MEP who boasted to a journalist about his income and way of working the system. Eventually reality caught up with Wise and he went to prison, he's there now. If he is allowed newspapers no doubt there will be a booming laugh echoing around the building as he reads the detail. I've met both Byers and Wise. The latter a big booming bully ex-policeman, the former a small apparatchik prone, like his mentor Blair, to near permanent rictus smile. And of course for Blair that's the problem, Byers is like a stick of rock, he has the word 'Blairite' running all the way through his soul.

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