How long have you known?

In The Guardian, Steve Bell provides his unique interpretation of the latest revelation from the ongoing Process™


  • Yoda

    That’s actually quite beautiful and disconcerting all at once. Love it.

  • susan

    A pitch perfect cartoon, right down to the burnished sunset.

    I feel like opening a window after reading Paul Bew’s swooning description of Blair’s campaign to convince Paisley to just say yes:

    “Blair is brilliant at seducing Paisley,” Lord Bew said. “This is the most amazing love affair, the last great Blairite romance.They are even exchanging books on religion. It is fantastic stuff. It is religious; it is romantic. It is brilliant. You have to hand it to him. Once again, when we thought the old maestro was fading, his capacity to seduce, politically speaking, is phenomenal.”

  • willis

    Can I inaugurate the

    “Ian and Tony Book Club”

    You pray we pay!

  • reminds me of Dylan’s song:
    With God on our side
    Bell’s a good ol Brighton Boy


    Bell’s brilliance as an artist is without question, but the message is puerile claptrap. Spitting Image suffered from a similar problem.

  • susan

    Tafkabo, I’m not sure Bell’s target is Paisley and Blair, or Bew’s rather breathless spin on Paisley and Blair, which you have to admit is rather…remarkable.

  • james orr

    Jesus wants me for a sunbeam
    To shine for Him each day
    In every way try to please Him
    At home at school at play

    A sunbeam, a sunbeam
    Jesus wants me for a sunbeam
    A sunbeam, a sunbeam
    I’ll be a sunbeam for Him

  • Ermintrude

    From the second link:

    “Asked whether he shared an interest in religion with the prime minister, the DUP leader said: “We shared books that I thought would be good for him to read and I’m sure he read them. He always takes books away with him.””

    Oh, glorious thought – some nonplussed Downing Street aide ploughing through piles of Paisleyite tracts, picking out the saner bits for Tony and wondering why they wasted their youth studying politics.

  • Pete Baker

    Worthwhile keeping in mind what Seamus Mallon had to say.. from the third link

    “Here was a guy [Blair] with a moral dimension to everything. And I’m not sure at what point I began to realise that in his political dealings he was amoral and didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘honesty’.

    “I don’t know whether that came all in one go, how quickly it came. At a point I came more and more to the view that this man’s word was worth nothing. I still don’t think it’s worth anything, by the way.”

  • wee slabber

    When did Paisley go from being a moonbeam to a sunbeam?

  • susan

    Pete, Mallon’s personal sense of betrayal by Tony Blair is palpable and justified.

    I hope in time Mallon finds both solace and pride in the fact that while his party may be in a shambles, the ideas and ideals it originated do not — they now hold centre stage. Bit forlorn, that. I’m reminded of Galileo forced to recant all he knew to be true about the order of the solar system and bow to the authority of the Church, but muttering “Eppure si muove”, “And yet it moves” as he walked out the door. Eppure si muove, Seamus, eppure si muove.

    Back to Blair and his morality. I’m squeamish evaluating politicians’ morality, as I’m squeamish evaluating anyone else’s. You cannot say any means justifies the ends, but it is equally useless to separate the ends from the means.

    Just as a point of discussion, as I have no real time to do it justice, it is interesting to compare and contrast the ends of Blair’s policies in Iraq versus the ends of his policies in the North. In Iraq, Blair backed and still backs Bush’s decision to act unilaterally and invade. Yes, Saddam is gone, but hundreds of thousands are dead, terrorism is up, those in the Middle East who believe terrorism (or armed conflict) justified are up, the threat to British citizens from Al Quaida terrorists is increasing, and no end in sight.

    Contrast that with the changes seen in Northern Ireland during Blair’s time in office. There is no threat to the British mainland from republicans, PIRA has decommissioned, there is near universal commitment that politics and politics alone is the way forward. The toll in human lives, never acceptable, is not a fraction of what it once was.

    Blair of course cannot take single handed credit for any of that. But another PM pursuing very different courses of action might have made any of those accomplishments seem as impossible now as they did when Blair took office.

    His legacy in Iraq is another matter, of course.

  • Greenflag

    Tony Blair is the only British Prime Minister since Gladstone to make any serious attempt to find a workable solution to what is called the ‘Irish problem’. It’s not surprising that he gets no plaudits from Unionism in Northern Ireland . Some elements within political unionism in Northern Ireland would have preferred another generation or two or three of IRA ‘violence’ .

    As to his exchange of books with Paisley ? All of Paisley’s 20,000 books still can’t prove there is a God . We should remind ourselves that ‘religion’ is the most common form of superstition. And Paisley for all his so called theology and biblical learning is when all is said and done just as superstitious as a medieval monk or an Anglican/Catholic Bishop !