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View Full Version : Blair FINALLY announces his departure date


Pavlos
05-10-2007, 03:17 PM
So... Mr. Blair has finally announced his resignation date - the day he finally steps down as Prime Minister and hands his resignation letter to the Queen. What has Blair done for Britain... Europe... and the World? What do you think of the man who has dominated British politics for over a decade - a politician of such charismatic skill that he is still unrivalled in his ability to deliver a speech or capture the imagination of a crowd not even Blair mk. II (David Cameron) can challenge him fully at Prime Minister's Questions - what do you think?

Blair is not a god, though many thought he might well be in 1997 when he won that landslide victory and he's made mistakes but... let's look at some of the things he's done: London is now the world's economic capital, Britain attracts international investment like no other nation in the developed world. The minimum wage, paid holidays as a right for all people (including part-time workers), civil partnerships, peace in Northern Ireland, an attempt at ending poverty in Africa, some of the best benefits and rights for single mothers in the World, bringing the UK into the modern world and taking Britain from the fringes to the heartland of the EU. Not to mention that the NHS is still the largest employer in Europe with a reduction in waiting times that has been dramatic (not sure if the lavish spending has been value for money, though) and last but not least: Education, education, education - I've witnessed it first hand and I can safely say that the investment in schools up and down the nation is phenomenal.

That said, he's not perfect: University and further education fees, and the situation in Iraq. Many find Blair's close ties to Bush to be... annoying at best. He's fired the starting pistol in the race to privatise the NHS; for how long (especially under a Conservative government) will the NHS be free at the point of use? He perpetuates Thatcherism - albeit in a watered-down version that is tempered by Labour ideals like public spending. He's famous for these headline grabbing zippy ideas that have no long term benefit (something, I think, we will find less of under a Brown government).

There are other problems, other achievements that would take months to list. So... what do you think of Blair?

Dagobahn Eagle
05-10-2007, 03:32 PM
Save from his willingness to co-operate with Bush on the matter of the disastrous incursion into Iraq, I know very little about him. Here's hoping this debate will prove educational.

Darth InSidious
05-10-2007, 04:17 PM
Let's look at Labour's track record since 1997, shall we? Achievements? Let's see:

-A 'throw money at it until they shut up' approach to improving the NHS which has actually only increased the number of pen-pushers, not doctors and nurses.
-Selling off the country's gold reserves at a point when gold prices were at an all time low,
- The decline of our economy has increased in speed if anything. Yes, unemployment is down, but inflation is up, and the pound is markedly weaker than it was in 1997.
-Continuing to send out troops into dangerous situations while cutting military spending by vast amounts
-Effectively castrating the House of Lords even more than it was before.
-Banning fox hunting, screwing over the countryside,
-Iraq and the 45-minute claim (need we say more?)
-Trying to abolish the position of Lord Chancellor (without which the upper house can't sit >.<)
-The recent scandal with 'cash-for-honours'
-The various Mandy-Scandals
-That Incident With The Million+ Pound House Wherever It Was
-David Blunkett's Au Pair
-Tying us down to a lot of EU legislation that is inappropriate for this country,
-bringing about the effective abolition of Habeas Corpus
-Creating/exacerbating a situation where we don't know our own immigration figures
-A welfare system, which, I am informed by friends who are forced to use it, is far from friendly and more reminiscent of labour camps than help. One is actually being taken away from a degree to sit around filling out CV's to people who don't want them.
-The Natwest Three business

...Need I go on?

Good riddance to bad rubbish, and I only hope that he takes the rest of his cronies with him.

Not that I for one moment expect that anyone else would have done any better.

How is it democracy when, between three viable options, there's no choice?

SilentScope001
05-10-2007, 04:18 PM
Blair was a very leftist person, in some ways, a Democrat. His inspiration of "New Labor" came from Clinton.

Which is why I found it ironic for Blair and Bush to be working together. A right-winger allied with a left-winger...

Darth InSidious
05-10-2007, 04:20 PM
Blair was a very leftist person, in some ways, a Democrat. His inspiration of "New Labor" came from Clinton.

Which is why I found it ironic for Blair and Bush to be working together. A right-winger allied with a left-winger...
Mr. Blair's policy cannot really be described as 'left-wing'. Mr. Blair's prime policy seems to have been looking after the interests of Mr. Blair.

Pavlos
05-10-2007, 05:33 PM
How is it democracy when, between three viable options, there's no choice?

What you mean with the Lib Dems who stand for nothing but calling a referendum on everything and New Labour who stand for left-of-centre Thatcherism and the Conservatives who stand for right-of-centre tree worshipping, clouds and kittens, and David Cameron's expansive shoe budget?

Yeah... you're right... there actually isn't any choice whatsoever. I get the feeling that elections are no longer about whose ideology you like the most but more whose you dislike the least. I hear the sentence "I'll vote for the lesser of two evils" far too often these days.

Darth InSidious
05-11-2007, 03:09 PM
What you mean with the Lib Dems who stand for nothing but calling a referendum on everything and New Labour who stand for left-of-centre Thatcherism and the Conservatives who stand for right-of-centre tree worshipping, clouds and kittens, and David Cameron's expansive shoe budget?

Yeah... you're right... there actually isn't any choice whatsoever. I get the feeling that elections are no longer about whose ideology you like the most but more whose you dislike the least. I hear the sentence "I'll vote for the lesser of two evils" far too often these days.
Indeed.

I'm thinking of putting a bucket of my own vomit up on an independant ticket...

Pavlos
05-11-2007, 03:53 PM
Indeed.

I'm thinking of putting a bucket of my own vomit up on an independant ticket...

Well, I think it's quite safe to say that the Liberal Democrats made a big mistake by electing Ming as their leader and refusing to continue the trend that Charles Kennedy started of moving to the left. I think they could have captured the votes of those disillusioned with Labour. Right now, they're just a political tributary of New Labour.

Negative Sun
05-12-2007, 08:49 PM
London is now the world's economic capital
Good for London, but what about the rest of the country?

The minimum wage, paid holidays as a right for all people (including part-time workers)
OMG it's like having Santa as a PM!!!


peace in Northern Ireland
No wait he's even better than Ghandi!

an attempt at ending poverty in Africa
lol I think most anyone has attempted to end poverty in Africa, but it's still there isn't it...

some of the best benefits and rights for single mothers in the World
Which, with it's unfair policy is wide open to exploitation and is creating an even more extreme rift of poverty and youth criminality, binge drinking, ASBO's, etc...Costing the taxpayers even more money every day while the streets are less safer every day, nice work Mr Blair
Not to mention that that Law discriminates the right of the father enormously.


bringing the UK into the modern world and taking Britain from the fringes to the heartland of the EU. Not to mention that the NHS is still the largest employer in Europe with a reduction in waiting times that has been dramatic (not sure if the lavish spending has been value for money, though)
*Sigh*
Why is everyone expecting the NHS to be nothing else than a money drain when it is:
1) A free health service to everyone
2) Wide open to exploitation on countless fronts
3) A magnet for the rest of Europe (and even further away) to come and leech on...(Don't get me wrong, I'm from Belgium and registered with the NHS, but I didn't even know of the system before I came here, and since I'm not claiming benefits I'm not getting as much from the NHS as some others do...)

and last but not least: Education, education, education - I've witnessed it first hand and I can safely say that the investment in schools up and down the nation is phenomenal.
It's great when you see that half the people who are at Uni have no clue why they're there, and those who desperately want to get in get rejected on past achievements without further ado or enquiry into their motivation (which will be much higher thand mentioned half...)

That said, he's not perfect: University and further education fees, and the situation in Iraq. Many find Blair's close ties to Bush to be... annoying at best. He's fired the starting pistol in the race to privatise the NHS; for how long (especially under a Conservative government) will the NHS be free at the point of use? He perpetuates Thatcherism - albeit in a watered-down version that is tempered by Labour ideals like public spending. He's famous for these headline grabbing zippy ideas that have no long term benefit (something, I think, we will find less of under a Brown government).
THis list could go on forever, all I have to say is:
Good riddance, don't let the door hit your *** on the way out 10 Downing Street...

GarfieldJL
05-13-2007, 12:27 AM
You guys do realize that Britain really has next to nothing to gain by joining the EU, and quite a bit to lose, also isn't the British Pound worth more than the Euro still.

Pavlos
05-13-2007, 06:38 AM
That was a somewhat aggressive post...

Good for London, but what about the rest of the country?

Ok, what's good for London isn't necessarily good for the rest of the country, I know that. But look at the spending that's gone into other cities and other locations - it's probably not as good as it should be but at least money has gone into these places. Visit Manchester today and compare it to the one ten years ago. I am not saying that the situation is perfect, the gap of wealth is still too large but things have gotten better; whether that's due to a Labour government or because that's the way things have gone, I don't know.

No wait he's even better than Ghandi!

No, but it was under Tony Blair's premiership that devolution was finally restored to Northern Ireland and that the Good Friday Agreement was signed. There has been senseless killing in Northern Ireland for decades and it is only recently that we've seen it come to a halt. NI was seen as the British version of the Israeli-Palestinian feud.

Which, with it's unfair policy is wide open to exploitation and is creating an even more extreme rift of poverty and youth criminality, binge drinking, ASBO's, etc...Costing the taxpayers even more money every day while the streets are less safer every day, nice work Mr Blair
Not to mention that that Law discriminates the right of the father enormously.

Where'd you get your figures from? Crime is down since 1997 (http://www.crimestatistics.org.uk/output/page54.asp). What do you suggest we do with the benefits system, anyway? There is no way around people exploiting it; the people who want to will always do so. I think efforts should be made to introduce tighter regulations on benefits to reduce fraud but what you're suggesting is "It's open to exploitation so therefore doesn't serve any good purpose whatsoever. Let's get rid of it then."

*Sigh*
Why is everyone expecting the NHS to be nothing else than a money drain when it is:
1) A free health service to everyone
2) Wide open to exploitation on countless fronts
3) A magnet for the rest of Europe (and even further away) to come and leech on...(Don't get me wrong, I'm from Belgium and registered with the NHS, but I didn't even know of the system before I came here, and since I'm not claiming benefits I'm not getting as much from the NHS as some others do...)

I'm not entirely sure what you mean. Are you saying the NHS should not be free at the point of use? The idea is that everyone pays for it and then, no matter how often you use it it will be free. I fail to see how a modern, civilised nation could do without a system like the NHS.

It's great when you see that half the people who are at Uni have no clue why they're there, and those who desperately want to get in get rejected on past achievements without further ado or enquiry into their motivation (which will be much higher thand mentioned half...)

I'm not quite sure what university you're talking about but I'd imagine that most people who decide to take on an extra three or four years of hard study do so because they want to, or believe it will further their career chances. The university you are talking about must be incredibly oversubscribed... which makes no sense seeing as how half the people don't know what they're doing and thus won't try very hard - causing the university to slip down the league tables into nothingness, until no one applies to them.

You guys do realize that Britain really has next to nothing to gain by joining the EU, and quite a bit to lose, also isn't the British Pound worth more than the Euro still.

It's an economic community, it makes sense to take advantage of the tariff free movement of goods around the continent and a significant portion of Britain's trade takes place in Europe (most of it, I think). Yes we are paying to subsidise other nations but I feel we have a "duty" to further their economic growth and move their standard of living closer to ours.

Edit:

OMG it's like having Santa as a PM!!!

You don't think there should be a minimum wage, or paid holidays? These are some significant improvements that took place under Blair.

Darth InSidious
05-13-2007, 11:17 AM
Given that in Europe now, a British degree is effectively worthless - indeed, in Italy for certain you have to get a second degree from an Italian university - I would say that it is quite clear what the impact of the insane 'education' drive is. Also, most students go to university now because to get any kind of job above working in McDonald's you need a degree now. The market, however, is saturated with graduates, and so only the absolutely exceptional and very lucky get in.

As for our duty to bring other nations up to our standards, I assume you mean to the level of a nation with the highest rich/poor gap in Europe, with a huge proportion of the people below the poverty line, etc?

Pavlos
05-13-2007, 12:45 PM
As for our duty to bring other nations up to our standards, I assume you mean to the level of a nation with the highest rich/poor gap in Europe, with a huge proportion of the people below the poverty line, etc?

Heh, touché.

I am really rather dissatisfied with New Labour... it's just I don't like this view that they've done absolutely nothing, when they have. But then again I'm ridiculously optimistic about everything.

Negative Sun
05-13-2007, 01:22 PM
I didn't mean to offend you Pavlos, but it doesn't seem like you live in the same country, and if you do you're probably way better off than I am, maybe that has made me a bit cynical, but I'd rather underestimate and be pleasantly surprised, than horribly disappointed all the time...

It has been a struggle for me and my fiancée for like over a year now, and we're finally starting to catch up, but I've lost faith in anything the current government has to offer...Whether it's education, employment or public transport, and the list goes on...

Pavlos
05-13-2007, 01:38 PM
I didn't mean to offend you Pavlos, but it doesn't seem like you live in the same country, and if you do you're probably way better off than I am, maybe that has made me a bit cynical, but I'd rather underestimate and be pleasantly surprised, than horribly disappointed all the time...

Oh, no I wasn't offended :) - don't worry.

It has been a struggle for me and my fiancée for like over a year now, and we're finally starting to catch up, but I've lost faith in anything the current government has to offer...Whether it's education, employment or public transport, and the list goes on...

I understand :). My friends never tire in telling me I'm a "bloody lefty" when I complain about the division of wealth or how there should be a 50p band on the income tax for super-earners, so I can see all the faults of Labour's years - from the point of view of social projects. But I do genuinely think that things got better under Tony Blair - even if they're not as they should be.

Next election, I will be guilty of the "I'm voting for the lesser of two evils" and ticking the New Labour box on the ballot - I'd rather see a Labour government (for all their ills) running the country than a Conservative one.

Edit: Labour's first term, I think, was a good one. They did what any centre-left party that wanted to stay in power could do. The second term was lacking and overshadowed by Iraq and this third one has so far consisted of nothing aside from Blair saying "I'm going soon" - and I mean that literally (I'm rather fond of this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1vwKZiDsY4)).

Dagobahn Eagle
05-13-2007, 07:19 PM
Banning fox hunting, screwing over the countrysideFirst of all, according to the University of Bristol, it has been proven 'conclusively' that fox hunting has no effect on fox population in the first place [IFAW] (http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw/general/default.aspx?oid=158534), and secondly, it's not a black-and-white question of 'either we hunt foxes in today's barbaric fashion, or we don't regulate population at all'. There are far more humane ways of killing foxes than to chase it through the woods and have a pack of dogs butcher it.

London is now the world's economic capital
Good for London, but what about the rest of the country?[woefully ignorant] Wouldn't it be good for the entire nation when one of the cities grows richer? You know, more money from taxation? [/woefully ignorant]

OMG it's like having Santa as a PM!!!You do realize that the better you treat workers, the better they work, right? England can afford a welfare system, and should provide one. Doesn't mean people shouldn't get off their butts and help out with some healthy widespread volunteering, though.

Negative Sun
05-13-2007, 08:01 PM
[woefully ignorant] Wouldn't it be good for the entire nation when one of the cities grows richer? You know, more money from taxation? [/woefully ignorant]
lol, you're funny


You do realize that the better you treat workers, the better they work, right? England can afford a welfare system, and should provide one. Doesn't mean people shouldn't get off their butts and help out with some healthy widespread volunteering, though.
*Sigh* (for the record)
England = Not the same as the UK
Blair = PM of the UK (Which includes Wales, N Ireland and Scotland, unfortunately)

And for every decent thing that has been listed here, a dozen worse things have happened under Blair, yeah the NHS and Welfare system are a must in a civilised society, except when it doesn't do what it's supposed to...
This country is being torn apart because people leech of these systems...15 year olds get pregnant on purpose to get a free council house and all expenses paid by the tax payer, while other teens leech off the welfare system by getting money to feed their alcoholic needs...The tax payers are getting sick of this and are investing their money abroad rather than here, etc etc...

This is something that needs to change now, but no one has the bollocks to do something about it, I'm not talking about privatising the NHS or anything, I'm talking about actually cracking down on all these leechers and fraudsters and sort this country out!

It's obvious the UK government won't do it, because they're full of Labours and Tories...The Scottish government is attempting to sort stuff out by going on our own, which I really hope happens, let the English keep their Westminster PMs for all I care, we deserve a chance on our own...

Pavlos
05-13-2007, 08:26 PM
I'm only just responding to this because I obviously didn't read Darth's post properly *sighs*.

Given that in Europe now, a British degree is effectively worthless - indeed, in Italy for certain you have to get a second degree from an Italian university - I would say that it is quite clear what the impact of the insane 'education' drive is.

Interesting that Italy should have that view given that according to QS Top Universities (http://www.topuniversities.com/worlduniversityrankings/results/2006/top_200_universities/) - commonly regarded as the world's leader for the international league tables - only one Italian university is in the top 200, as opposed to the 29 UK universities that are there. The UK has more universities in that list than France, or Germany, or Japan, or China... in fact, that list seems to be dominated by the UK and the USA, as far as I can see (mostly the USA - as always, America seems to be the place to be for higher education, if you have the money, of course).

Negative Sun
05-13-2007, 08:37 PM
I think you're missing the point there Pavlos...What I think DI means is that it's worthless outside the UK, no matter how prestigious it is...While on the other hand the rest of Europe is switching to the Bachelor/Master system which is applied in the States if I recall correctly...Which means you can effectively use your Master from Italy or wherever in Europe in another European country or even the US, whereas the UK degree is something totally different, perhaps even worthless in some countries...

Darth InSidious
05-14-2007, 06:41 AM
First of all, according to the University of Bristol, it has been proven 'conclusively' that fox hunting has no effect on fox population in the first place [IFAW] (http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw/general/default.aspx?oid=158534), and secondly, it's not a black-and-white question of 'either we hunt foxes in today's barbaric fashion, or we don't regulate population at all'. There are far more humane ways of killing foxes than to chase it through the woods and have a pack of dogs butcher it.

I referred to the local economic issues brought up by this.

Pavlos
05-18-2007, 01:41 PM
I referred to the local economic issues brought up by this.

What economic issues? I may be terribly ignorant of the true ramifications of stopping people from hunting foxes but no particular problem jumps out at me.

Darth InSidious
05-18-2007, 03:26 PM
Given that important functions such as taking care of dead farm animals, for example, were only allowed to be taken care of by the hunts, that should give you some idea of the problems...