UPDATE : Real picture here.
UPDATE : Real picture here.
The speech he should have given is on GuyNews.TV.
“the Prime Minister was not announcing his resignation as Prime Minister next week. That is not what he would be doing. What the Prime Minister would be doing would be setting out his intentions but he would not be resigning as Prime Minister next week. Asked if he was resigning as leader of the Labour Party, the PMOS said it was a Party, not Government matter and the question the PMOS had been asked was about the Prime Minister’s role as Head of Government. After the Prime Minister has announced his intention he will remain Prime Minister. Asked if the Prime Minister would not go and see the HM the Queen next week but after the leadership contest has been concluded, the PMOS said at last the penny had dropped.”
“I think what is important now is that we understand that it’s the interests of the country that come first and we move on. I would have preferred to do this in my own way… The next party conference in a couple of weeks will be my last party conference as party leader, the next TUC conference next week will be my last TUC – probably to the relief of both of us.”
Blair can argue that he gave a commitment to the people at the general election to serve a “full term“ and the voters gave him that mandate. He can also argue that he gave a promise to give the next leader of the Labour party “time to bed in“. If he stood down as Labour leader but not as PM he could keep both promises. It would also let him keep his grip on power as he tries deserately to get radical Blairite policies and reforms implemented.
José María Aznar lost the support of the people who had voted for the Partido Popular in 2000 and had to pledge not to run again. In January 2004 Aznar called new elections and designated his candidate, Mariano Rajoy, sticking to his pledge of not seeking office for a third term.
Is the Aznar option in Britain so outrageous? Has Blair given up the fight for Blairite policies and accepted his legacy will be Iraq and criminal corruption charges against his aides?
Nick Robinson has been weighing up Blair’s semantic choices. His PMQs answer to Cameron this week implied that he had not made up his mind when to go. Did he just say that to wind up the Brownites?
Most think he’ll make an announcement after May 3. Presumably he’ll wait until after returning from Stormont on May 8 to bask in the afterglow of perhaps achieving peace in the six counties. (We should not quibble that it is a strange peace that sees the two most extreme parties in power.) So it is possible that he could go see the Queen and tell her of his intentions sometime in early May.
For political punters whether or not it is before or after May 13 is crucial. The leadership process takes 7 weeks. Bets on the timing of his leaving hinge on the date he is no longer leader of the Labour party. If the process starts on May 12 bets will be settled for June, if May 13 bets will be settled for July. Knife edge…
UPDATE : The Mole’s big “exclusive” this morning is the claim that Blair will say he is going on May 9. Could be… but never say never with Blair and our Brownite Mole might be indulging in wishful thinking.
To help them get along better Guido has compiled some handy Hungarian political phrases for Tony to use:
|“No European country has done something as boneheaded as we have. Obviously, we lied throughout the last year-and-a-half, two years.”
||“Európában ilyen böszmeséget még ország nem csinált, mint amit mi csináltunk. Nyilvánvalóan végig hazudtuk az utolsó másfél, két évet.”|
|“I almost perished because I had to pretend for 18 months that we were governing. Instead, we lied morning, night and evening.”||“Majdnem beledöglöttem, hogy másfél évig úgy kellett tenni, mintha kormányoztunk volna. Ehelyett hazudtunk reggel, éjjel meg este.”|
“When the Labour Party got in it was all about children and education and yet 10 years down the line there’s people saying that kids are better off in Poland… I don’t really think there’s anything left to vote for. That’s why people don’t vote… why people would rather vote for celebrity talent shows than would vote for politics.” says the Oasis front man today.
Don’t look back in anger Noel, roll with it. He clearly won’t be supping champagne at No. 10 any time soon…
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Nigel Farage hits the nail on the head:
“This olive oil ban was virgin on the ridiculous.”
Ned Flanders – Clegg
Lisa Simpson – Natalie Bennett
Milhouse – Hilary Benn
Martin Prince – Andy Burnham
Edna Krabappel – Luciana Berger
Crazy Cat Lady – Glenda jackson
Comic book guy – John Prescott
Carl – Chucka
Lenny – Philip Hammond
Willie – Eric joyce
Poochie – Gordon Brown
Reverend Lovejoy – Tony Blair