May 27, 2006


Blair beefed up his Iran speech to please Bush (Toby Harnden in Washington and Patrick Hennessy, 28/05/2006, Sunday Telegraph)

Tony Blair made significant changes to one of his most important foreign policy speeches after bowing to American objections, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

The Prime Minister changed key passages on possible action against Iran, climate change, and a proposed shake-up of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Objections by President George W Bush's inner circle played a key role in the alterations, which were made just before Mr Blair delivered his landmark address at Georgetown University in Washington, on Friday, British sources have revealed.

No wonder Tony likes George, the last Blairite (Matthew d'Ancona, 28/05/2006, Sunday Telegraph)
Gordon Brown must surely have had what senior ministers call "one of his little moments" last Thursday when George W Bush was asked about Tony Blair's departure date. "My attitude is," Mr Bush said, gazing fondly at the Prime Minister, "I want him to be here so long as I'm the President."

That would give Mr Blair till noon on January 20, 2009 (teatime in Downing Street, allowing for the time difference). "Well, what more can I say?" said the Prime Minister, with one of his 1,000-watt grins. To which the Chancellor doubtless growled inwardly: "Say you're going tomorrow, you idiot!"

The President, meanwhile, could only beam satisfaction. It is just possible that he is the one true Blairite left, the last politician who will say publicly that he, for one, wishes the Prime Minister could go on, and on, and on. Who is this Scotch guy, anyway, and what's with all these girly-man "deals"? Where Mr Bush comes from, Granita is the name of the Mexican housekeeper.

It is hard to exaggerate the affinity that has arisen between the President and Prime Minister.

Folks who ponder how it just so happens that folks as similar as an FDR and a Churchill, a Thatcher and a Reagan, and a Blair and a Bush happen to be in office together at just the moment we need them tend not to give enough weight to the seemingly obvious idea that the reason they're in office is precisely because of the similarities.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 27, 2006 8:22 PM
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