Blair campaigns for Fianna Fail…

PAT Rabbitte must be wondering what solidarity means today. While the Bertie Show at Westminster at least had the appearance of a non-Irish-election post-peace-process backslapping event, this Fianna Fail party political broadcast is more shameless, featuring the British Prime Minister campaigning directly for FF, rather than his sister party. In Blair’s defence, socialist ideology is probably as alien to him as it is to Ahern, and Irish Labour’s impact on the peace process has been more as a cheerleader than influencer.

  • person

    underneath the clip and the youtube users info to the right hand side of the clip there should be an embedding code underneath the url.copy it,paste it and bertie and tony are your parents brothers….

  • SuperSoupy

    In Irish politics the European Socialist link is flexible. The SDLP while being a sister party of Irish Labour get electoral support from the UEN and EPP/ED (FF/FG) – the right and the righter.

    As always it’s about keeping SF out. It still ain’t working. Hence the fact the SDLP are never asked to return the favour – being tied to losers and being one at every turn.

  • also

    You must remember the only Irish Labour member in the European Parliament came via IRA membership to SF to the WP to DL to Labour.

    But we all have to forget about that?

  • Belfast Gonzo


    Couldn’t argue with that.

  • Belfast Gonzo


    Thanks for that.

  • SuperSoupy


    Aren’t APNI a sister party of the PDs?

  • SuperSoupy

    Just checked. APNI and the PDs are members of the same European group.

    Shared ideology? Ford and McD? Bedfellows?

    You canvassing for these reactionaries?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I haven’t canvassed for anyone in a long time. But I doubt if Ford would be asked to appear in a PD video, and McD would probably consider it beneath himself to appear in a APNI one.

    I just thought the Blair appearance for FF was unusual, and possibly unique. Can’t recall a serving British premier appearing in a party political broadcast for a foreign party ever before.

    Maybe he’s de-mob happy.


    Gonzo, aren’t you ignoring the even more significant Prime Ministerial involvement? Paisley in an FF election brodacast – whoda thunk?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Perhaps Pat Rabbitte should consider why he, Ruairi Quinn and the editorial writer of the irish news decided it was ok to rain on Blair’s and Bertie’s parade over the peace process, particularly the invitation to him to speak at Westminster. The peevish outburst of the Labour men was one of the only blots on what was a brilliant fortnight for ireland and for the relationship between this country and Britain.

    Then he might be able to figure out what solidarity means in the context of solidarity between the different labour parties on these islands…..

  • gallonprunk

    Isn’t the real question not about party solidarity, but about a serving prime minister of one country directly intervening in the election campaign of a neighbour? Isn’t that normally frowned on?

  • Hogan from County Tyrone

    I don’t particularly give a sh!t about political alliances but as a party broadcast its very good stuff.

    But then again having the greatest political communicator of the past 20 years in it was always going to be a good start!

  • seanzmct

    For years British Labour Party bosses refused to open party membership to people resident in the North of Ireland on the grounds that the party was a “sister” to the SDLP in the Socialist International. The SDLP supported this undemocratic ban on the same grounds.

    Now we see how spurious this excuse was. On the one hand we have the SDLP considering merger, not with its SI sister , the Irish Labour Party, but with Fianna Fail- thereby confirming that its nationalism takes precedence over any “socialism”. Next we have the BLP playing electoral footsie with Fianna Fail rather than supporting Irish Labour. What next, the British Conservatives merging with Sinn Fein?

  • It is a surprising intervention on behalf of FF – does Blair actually realise there’s an election going on in the South? But I doubt it’ll damage Irish Labour – whereas Tony Blair’s endorsement might have done.

  • abucs

    I knew Blair was leaving Westminster but i didn’t think he was that “hard-up” for a gig ???? :o)

  • Fergus D

    Who can be surprised about this, apparently New Labour were pleased that Sarkozy won the French election against the Socialist Pary candidate. “Labour” and “socialism (of any sort)” means squat to Blair, and many others in New Labour.

  • IJP


    I’d have thought you were aware that the PDs have also canvassed for the SDLP in recent elections? McDowell-Durkan?

    They also chose to invite (and point out from the platform) a pile of Ulster Unionists to their 2006 National Conference. McDowell-Empey?

    I’d love to wish them well, as there are some exceptional people in their youth wing, but they do make it difficult…!

  • joeCanuck

    I’d be grateful if one of you experts could point out to me where exactly Tony Blair endorsed FF or their policies rather than simply paying tribute to the enormous contribution Bertie personally made to the recent political progress.
    No, I’m not stupid. I know that this will put Bertie in a positive light (which was the point of this very professional broadcast) but do the Irish elect parties based on the leader’s personality rather than on partry manifestos?

  • I’d have thought you were aware that the PDs have also canvassed for the SDLP in recent elections?<?I>

    Back in the day, some of them used to canvass for Bob McCartney as well. Along with a few members of Fine Gael.

  • IJP


    McDowell-McCartney for bedfellows it is, then!

    Believe me, I’ve met them both, and one of them’s actually a very nice man…

  • gallonprunk

    Joe@18. Gosh – I think you’re right. Blair does not actually say “Vote Fianna Fail.” And neither does Clinton or Mitchell.

    So why on earth did FF want these people to appear in a party election broadcast, weeks before a general election, gushingly praising the party leader? Beats me.

    If Blair appeared in a broadcast praising, say, the BNP leader, would you also think it had no particular political significance?

    So I’m a little sceptical about your second sentence.