Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"At least I don't have to worry about her running off with the bloke next door."

Funny.

"Government isn't about protests or placards, shouting the odds or stealing the scene"

True

And the rest of his speech hit the right note too (though id query his claims on the home front and that refusal to admit unreformed Islam is part of the problem. He's right about the Tories though. I think overall he made his points well.)

"This terrorism isn't our fault. We didn't cause it"

... of course, the new anxiety is the global struggle against terrorism without mercy or limit.
This is a struggle that will last a generation and more.
But this I believe passionately: we will not win until we shake ourselves free of the wretched capitulation to the propaganda of the enemy, that somehow we are the ones responsible.
This terrorism isn't our fault.
We didn't cause it.
It's not the consequence of foreign policy.
It's an attack on our way of life.
It's global.
It has an ideology.
It killed nearly 3,000 people including over 60 British on the streets of New York before war in Afghanistan or Iraq was even thought of.
It has been decades growing.
Its victims are in Egypt, Algeria, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Turkey.
Over 30 nations in the world.
It preys on every conflict.
It exploits every grievance.
And its victims are mainly Muslim.
This is not our war against Islam.
This is a war fought by extremists who pervert the true faith of Islam.
And all of us, Western and Arab, Christian or Muslim, who put the value of tolerance, respect and peaceful co-existence above those of sectarian hatred, should join together to defeat them.
It is not British soldiers who are sending car bombs into Baghdad or Kabul to slaughter the innocent.
They are there along with troops of 30 other nations with, in each case, a full UN mandate at the specific request of the first ever democratically elected Governments of those countries in order to protect them against the very ideology also seeking the deaths of British people in planes across the Atlantic.
If we retreat now, hand Iraq over to Al Qaeda and sectarian death squads and Afghanistan back to Al Qaeda and the Taleban, we won't be safer; we will be committing a craven act of surrender that will put our future security in the deepest peril.
Of course it's tough.
Not a day goes by or an hour in the day when I don't reflect on our troops with admiration and thanks - the finest, the best, the bravest, any nation could hope for.
They are not fighting in vain.
But for this nation's future.
But this is not a conventional war.
It can't be won by force alone.
It's not a clash of civilisations.
It's about civilisation, about the ideas that shape it.
From 9/11 until now I have said again and again.
If we want our values to be the ones that govern global change, we have to show that they are fair, just and delivered with an even hand.
From now until I leave office I will dedicate myself, with the same commitment I have given to Northern Ireland , to advancing peace between Israel and Palestine.
I may not succeed.
But I will try because peace in the Middle East is a defeat for terrorism.
We must never again let Lebanon become the battleground for a conflict that neither Israeli or Lebanese people wanted though it was they who paid the price for it.
Peace in Lebanon is a defeat for terrorism.
Action in Africa is a defeat for terrorism.
What is happening now in the Sudan cannot stand.
If this were in the continent of Europe we would act.
Showing an African life is worth as much as a Western one - that would help defeat terrorism too.
Yes it's hard sometimes to be America's strongest ally.
Yes, Europe can be a political headache for a proud sovereign nation like Britain.
But believe me there are no half-hearted allies of America today and no semi-detached partners in Europe.
And the truth is that nothing we strive for, from the world trade talks to global warming, to terrorism and Palestine can be solved without America, or without Europe.
At the moment I know people only see the price of these alliances.
Give them up and the cost in terms of power, weight and influence for Britain would be infinitely greater.
Distance this country and you may find it's a long way back.
So all these changes of a magnitude we never dreamt of, sweeping the world, are calling for answers of equal magnitude and vision.
All require leadership.
And here is something else I've learnt.
The danger for us today is not reversion to the politics of the 1980s.
It is retreat to the sidelines.
To the comfort zone.
It is unconsciously to lose the psychology of a governing Party.
As I said in 1994, courage is our friend.
Caution, our enemy.
A governing Party has confidence, self-belief.
It sees the tough decision and thinks it should be taking it.
Reaches for responsibility first.
Serves by leading.
The most common phrase uttered to me - and not at rallies or public events but in meetings of chance, quietly, is not "I hate you" or "I like you" but "I would not have your job for all the world".
The British people will, sometimes, forgive a wrong decision.
They won't forgive not deciding.
They know the choices are hard.
They know there isn't some fantasy Government where nothing difficult ever happens.
They've got the Lib Dems for that.
Government isn't about protests or placards, shouting the odds or stealing the scene.
It's about the hard graft of achievement.
There are no third-term popular Governments.
Don't ignore the polls but don't be paralysed by them either.
10 years on, our advantage is time, our disadvantage time.
Time gives us experience.
Our capacity to lead is greater.
Time gives the people fatigue; their willingness to be led, is less.
But they will lose faith in us only if first we lose faith in ourselves.
Polls now are as relevant as last year's weather forecast for tomorrow's weather.
It's three years until an election.
The first rule of politics: there are no rules.
You make your own luck.
There's no rule that says the Tories have got to come back.
David Cameron's Tories? My advice: get after them.
His foreign policy.
Pander to anti-Americanism by stepping back from America .
Pander to the Eurosceptics through isolation in Europe.
Sacrificing British influence for Party expediency is not a policy worthy of a Prime Minister.
His immigration policy.
Says he'll sort out illegal immigration, but opposes Identity Cards, the one thing essential to do it.
His energy policy.
Nuclear power "only as a last resort".
It's not a multiple choice quiz question, Mr Cameron.
We need to decide now otherwise in 10 years time we will be importing expensive fossil fuels and Britain's economy will suffer.
He wants tax cuts and more spending, with the same money.
He wants a Bill of Rights for Britain drafted by a Committee of Lawyers.
Have you ever tried drafting anything with a Committee of Lawyers? And his policy for the old lady terrorised by the young thug is that she should put her arm round him and give him a nice, big hug.
Built to last? They haven't even laid the foundation stone.
If we can't take this lot apart in the next few years we shouldn't be in the business of politics at all.

4 Comments:

At Tuesday, 26 September, 2006, Blogger jonz said...

I've only had 1 bottle of beer, but already I feel like I'm seeing double.

 
At Tuesday, 26 September, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

LOL. err thanks j0nz. That was bloody blogger. They must have thought Blairs speech so good they published it twice.

 
At Tuesday, 26 September, 2006, Blogger Tom Tyler said...

Although hypocritical in some places ("Cameron's immigration policy. Says he'll sort out illegal immigration, but opposes Identity Cards, the one thing essential to do it" - oh yeah, like Labour has sorted it out? Come off it) in general I liked Blair's speech. He pretty much stands alone in his own Party, and I bet the people he was talking to will disregard his warnings once he's gone. Labour can't wait to see the back of the only person who has made them electable. Once he's gone, they won't keep winning elections by reverting to Kinnock-style policies. I'm just glad they're too dumb to even see that.

PS, did Blogger publish twice? That is ALWAYS happening to me.

 
At Wednesday, 27 September, 2006, Anonymous Maggie said...

Labour will miss Tony Blair, he is their one asset. Watch the party disintegrate when he finally leaves. But that is sad, very sad because we have no-one to take over. 'Hug a Hoodie' is useless, a joke please please let the old saying 'cometh the time cometh the man' come true - there must be someone out there male or female capable of leading us through these hideous times.

 

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