Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Profundity of the Punditry : the President Blair Delusion

It was only a few weeks ago that the papers were full of punditry warning that Tony Blair was about to become the President of Europe.  He would, we were assured, stop the traffic…

The Thunderer front-paged the news that “Tony Blair is in line to be proclaimed Europe’s first president within weeks if the Irish vote “yes” in today’s referendum. Senior British sources have told The Times that President Sarkozy has decided that Mr Blair is the best candidate and that Angela Merkel has softened her opposition” written with authority by the paper’s chief political correspondent, Philip Webster.

“Tony Blair’s star in the ascendant as presidency chances grow.” “EU prepares to welcome President Tony Blair” wrote David Charter in Brussels for The Times. Blair “is now a front-runner to become the second most powerful man on the planet after President Obama” claimed a breathless Andrew Pierce. “Number 10 believes that Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, will add her support to the move if she is allowed to choose a German for the other new role created by the Lisbon Treaty, the high representative for foreign affairs” said Porter, also in the Telegraph.

The idea that Tony Blair was the favourite for the job was taken as read by most of the serious broadsheet pundits from across the political spectrum (and James Macintyre).  A form of parochialism that was much more than just a collective fantasia of social-democratic and europhile wishful thinking.  How did the pundits get it so wrong?

Broadsheet pundits are quick to dismiss bloggers, but the error of their ways was pointed out here:

“…overlooked by our somewhat delusional and europhile media elite is one glaring inconvenient fact; centre-right parties are politically dominant in Europe currently, the President is likely to come from their ranks.”

And what happened?

UPDATE : Co-conspirators have pointed out some more missing names from the directory of the deluded; even Fraser Nelson succumbed, Simon Richards frothed Blair is The Only Man for this Job, Oliver Kamm, Jackie Ashley, Matthew d’Ancona (“the former PM is certainly the best candidate available”), John Rentoul “Yes, Oui, Ja”.  Who called it right?  The Telegraph’s Dan Hannan, who has a day job as a eurosceptic MEP.  Perhaps he understands the EU reality better than his chattering-class critics…

UPDATE II : The Indy’s John Rentoul emails to protest “I said he SHOULD be.  I said he WOULDN’T be.  Get me out of that list of losers.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

James Macintyre shows his political judgement..

“I am going to stick my neck out and say that — contrary to conventional wisdom — Tony Blair will emerge as the unexpected winner of the race to become EU president tonight.”

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Blair Delusion

Splashed across the opinion pages of Britain’s lower-circulation, loss making newspapers the punditocracy claims Blair is The Only Man for this Job. Steve Richards, Oliver Kamm, Jackie Ashley, Matthew d’Ancona (“the former PM is certainly the best candidate available”), John RentoulYes, Oui, Ja, and most of the rest of the Islington chattering classes are agreed:  Blair should be president.eu-blair

For a reality check let Guido quote the Süddeutsche Zeitung

The chances of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair going to the post of President of the European Council’s are zero…  At the meeting of Socialist leaders before the start of the EU summit, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was not listened to in his plea in favour of his predecessor… Thus Blair is in fact out of the race, because for this task no one wants to trust him.

Also overlooked by our somewhat delusional and europhile media elite is one glaring inconvenient fact; centre-right parties are politically dominant in Europe currently, the President is likely to come from their ranks.

Yesterday Brown fibbed in Brussels that “People would be pleased if a British person became president. I think most people would prefer a British person taking this job rather than citizens of other countries.” Polls show that less than a third of Britons support ‘President Blair’.  Brown has perhaps the worst case of delusion, out of touch with the will of his own people.  Guido knew that Blair would definitely not get the job once Brown cursed threw his backing behind him

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Has Tony Gone Non-Dom to Dodge the 50p Tax?

When was the last time you saw Tony Blair in the UK? Billionaires yachts in the med, sure, US TV chat shows, sure. Six figure speaking engagements in the Far East, of course. “Peacemaking” in the Middle East, allegedly. Is he seen in the UK? No, not much.

Guido’s theory is that he is keeping under the 90 day residency limit for non-domiciles for tax purposes.  Didn’t Cherie mention that the kids all have Irish passports?  Why pay 50% tax to Gordon on all that filthy lucre he is earning overseas?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Blairs Avoid Negative Equity

playboy_tonyGuido enjoyed reading the speech Tony Blair made to the Communion and Liberation conference in sunny Rimini, where he warned that the “case against a purely individualistic or materialistic philosophy has to be made”. Tony spoke on a stopover after enjoying being a guest on the $150 million Rising Sun, a five-deck mega-yacht owned by American software billionaire Larry Ellison, anchored off the Sardinian coast.

c_sqSo the news that Connaught Square properties are down some 20% since the Blairs paid £3.5 million for their mansion terrace, and another £1.5 million for the house behind, won’t worry the materialism rejecting Tony.

He’ll just do another half-a-million quid speech and take another million quid investment bank directorship…

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blair on Powell

When Enoch Powell died Tony Blair led the tributes:

“He was one of the great figures of 20th-century British politics, gifted with a brilliant mind.”

February 9, 1998

Now what was it Mandelson was saying?

Via Mark Reckons

UPDATE : Here is what Hannan wrote for the Telegraph in 2007 on the subject of how any reference to Enoch Powell provokes huge controversy

For what it’s worth, I think Enoch Powell was wrong on immigration. The civil unrest that he forecast, and that many feared in 1968, didn’t materialise. Britain assimilated a large population with an ease that few countries have matched. Being an immigrant myself, I have particular cause to be grateful for Britain’s understated cosmopolitanism.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

President Blair

We are briefed that Blair is the official unofficial candidate of the FCO for permanent President of the Council of Europe.  Of course as an opponent of a European supra-state, Guido is an opponent of a permanent European President. But, well, wouldn’t it be fun to wind-up Gordon? William Hague is incredibly strident in his opposition to a permanent European President, yet even he recognises the fun value:


At least President Blair, unlike Prime Minister Brown, wouldn’t be a national embarrassment…

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blair : We Paid to Shred His Evidence

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cherie Blair to Fight Greed and Hubris

Cherie BookIs Guido the only one amused at the news that Cherie Blair has been hired to help fight a legal case against RBS management?  The papers presented to the Court in New York allege greed and hubris on the part of the RBS board.

Like Guido calling for temperance…

Monday, February 16, 2009

+++ Blair Wins $1 Millon +++


Seen Elsewhere

Uber Needs to Mind Its Manners | CapX
Sun Victory in Court | MediaGuido
UKIP Gains Coming at Labour’s Expense | Elections Etc
Farage’s Migrant Muddle | Indy
Tristram Should Stop Bashing Independent Schools | Toby Young
Journalists in the Dock | David Banks
Let Them Eat Gay Cake | Laura Perrins
May v Javid | ConHome
Politicians Never Safe From Being Recorded | Stephen Pollard
Superstar Carney | Alex Brummer
Gulf Dividing Labour | Mary Riddell


Find out more about PLMR AD-MS


Tony Blair threatens Ed:

“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority…  If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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