Friday, July 18, 2003

Blair at home and abroad ... and why we will attack the enemies of the US, but appease our own

Harry is impressed by Blair's Congress speech, but wonders why he's so much more inspiring internationally than domestically.

"What I find bizarre is that many of those on the left who would broadly back Labour on the domestic front, are reviled by Blair's actions on the international scene.

I find myself in the other camp. I'm not enthused by the domestic agenda but I am very glad we have a radical and progressive leader on the international scene."

I think I have the answer, given me by Libby Purves, and given to her by one of her mates.

"You see, the trouble with Tony Blair is that he's terribly good when it isn't his problem."

I speculated at the time I read this that "had Al Quaeda put a couple of 737s through Canary Wharf rather than the WTC - Bin Laden would probably still be living in Afghanistan and doing the occasional 'Thought For The Day' on Radio 4, while Blair would be negotiating for Sharia law to be introduced into some British cities - after all, shouldn't the law reflect the diversity of modern Britain ?".

And on Tuesday in a Times (T2) Andrew Billen interview, ex-Northern-Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlem pretty much confirmed this.

I can't find it on the Web, so here's the relevant bit verbatim.

"Her fundamental quarrel with Blair and Campbell over Iraq, however, is not over the extent of Saddam's specific weapons programme or even over whether the nation was misled, but the philosophcal question of how to defeat terrorism. "You don't defeat terrorists by bombing and shooting. They can always bomb and shoot worse than you can as a civilised country". She has an alternative approach ... her second thought was reinforced by her previous 29 months in Northern Ireland. It can be summed up in the word 'talk'.

But, I say, Osama bin Laden was never going to get round a table and discuss his demands ?

"Well, you never know. Why do you always assume that bombing will be better ? Bombing won't be. Bombing will put Osama bin Laden's back up."

Of course, Mowlem is criticising Blair here for fighting terror abroad - but he appointed her to fight terror at home !

How Adams and McGuinness must have loved her !

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