Left Out Liberal

A left-wing/liberal look at the UK's General Election of 2005.

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Dancing of Tony Blair

It's always a bore to watch any press conference with Tony Blair involved, and in particular, the monthly briefing of the press by the PM is nothing more than a quasi-presidential facade that largely goes against the principle of collective responsibility that Cabinet government was the architect of over the centuries.

In addition to that though, they are always a fruitless exercise. The PM deftly dodges, weaves and pirouettes much to the delight of the assembled media and to the chagrin of the public watching. Today was no exception, as Blair once more reiterated his favourite arguments on the same subjects. There is no point asking the same questions to which we are only going to get a politician-style answer to again and again. Yet, that does not stop the journalists, of which there are many tens there, asking the same question over and over but with a slight variation to try to catch him out.

We didn't hear anything new on "control orders" or the legality of the Iraq war. However, we did hear about the increase in the minimum wage, which is possibly the greatest achievement of the Labour government that gets my complete support, but this has not really been picked up by the media as it's caught in the latest "is the Pope dead yet?" media cycle.

Sure, those soldiers have been jailed, but it surely isn't right that they will be the only ones to pay for these crimes, when it was quite clear the orders came from above? The damage has already been done to the British army, and some justice has been issued, but there's going to be a lot more of this in the coming months, and if we weren't already hated in Iraq as much as the Americans are, we will be by the end of the process.

Normal service will doubtless resume shortly.


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