Tony Blair on Northern Ireland…

Tony Blair’s book has a site where you can download the text from the net… The section on Northern Ireland is here (thanks to Kate for the heads up)… He outlines ten principles he used in developing his policy in Northern Ireland (hint: the process was the policy)…

  • Dewi

    Quite liked this:

    “2 – Then to proceed to resolution, the thing needs to be gripped and focused on. Continually. Inexhaustibly.
    Relentlessly. Day by day by day by day. The biggest problem with the Middle East peace process is that no
    one has ever gripped it long enough or firmly enough. The gripping is intermittent, and intermittent won’t
    do. It doesn’t work. If it was gripped, it would be solved”

  • Dewi

    Enjoyed that immensely – thanks for posting.

  • Alan Maskey

    I see Tony’s book is only 154 in Amazon. I have read the top three (the Larrson Trilogy) but might give this a miss. Tony writes well (good stroke having it on the Internet to read) but he says a two nation solution is acceptable in the Middle East. I thought au contraire, that the Palestinians, unlike our own dear PSF, understood game theory and that one cannot be a little bit pregnant. And I hardly think he is an honest broker. Still….
    Tony’s book is no 1 in amazon uk so he probably will not need Bertie’s help to market it. I am sure it will sell well all the way to Christmas. Lucky RBL. I am sure they will need the money – what with Tony’s policy in Iraq etc.

  • Michael Shilliday

    This is a poorly written sermon. I can’t really think of any other words to describe it. There is little in the way of useful insight, no useful structure to the delivery, and is of limited historical value. Powell’s book is better on all counts.

    Worst of all, the chapter is a dmaning inditement of Blair’s judgement:

    “the marvellous women’s coalition whom I used to see just to
    remind myself there were normal people in Northern Ireland.”

  • Alan Maskey

    To be fair Michael, as a politician, he was more than used to dealing with abnormal people.

  • Mick, Hi,

    Can you provide the full text download link from the net, please. That would be a great public service. Thanks.

  • ThomasMourne

    Why would any sensible person wish to buy Blair’s book, even with 50 percent discount?
    A man who could not distinguish fact from fantasy while in No.10 could hardly be expected to give us the whole truth now.

  • Wilde Rover

    If there were any justice he would be in the Hague right now, not peddling his memoirs.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Think the people of Kosovo would probably take issue with that Wilde Rover; at least he did in the Balkans (not soon enough, mind) what Major, the UN or the EU had simply not the balls to do to about facing down naked fascist aggression.

    The way in which the intervention in Iraq was positioned with citizens and with parliament was appalling, and in all honesty the way it has been prosecuted – at least in the early stages – was lamentable. It doesn’t speak terribly highly of the opposition that it slid through in the way that it did. In principle though I feel that an intervention there – and the awful state of Afghanistan, which was an affront to civilization – was justified morally, the process of going about it was wrong and its execution has been problematic and regrettable as a result.

  • Wilde Rover

    Nunoftheabove

    “The way in which the intervention in Iraq was positioned with citizens and with parliament was appalling,”

    ‘Do as I say or your kids will be dead in 45 minutes’ isn’t that appalling when you consider that threatening people’s children is a standard play for any tyrant.

    “and in all honesty the way it has been prosecuted – at least in the early stages – was lamentable.”

    Whenever I read comments like that I recall the two Black Ops Brits that were caught dressed up like Laurence of Arabia driving in the direction of a mosque in a car Iraqi police claim was loaded with explosives. The image the British Army driving a tank through the wall of their allies’ jail to spring their buddies is one that will stick with me for a long time.

    “It doesn’t speak terribly highly of the opposition that it slid through in the way that it did.”

    At least the Tories are more honest about it when it comes to charging into other people’s countries and shooting up the place. Might is right and all that.

    “In principle though I feel that an intervention there – and the awful state of Afghanistan, which was an affront to civilization – was justified morally,”

    Justified morally? Really? Then why was Britain giving aid and moral support to Saddam when he was fighting Iran? There’s no morality here, just the Great Game. Where is the intervention in Saudi Arabia?

    As for Afghanistan, that has suffered 30 years of war as a pawn. Maybe if the west was so concerned with the rights of women they shouldn’t have given weapons and training to religious fundamentalists during the 80s.

    “the process of going about it was wrong and its execution has been problematic and regrettable as a result.”

    Regrettable? Hundreds of thousands to millions dead, the destruction of infrastructure, education, turning once friendly neighbours against each other, the instillation of a permanent American colonial outpost, allowing the birthplace of civilization to be raped of its historical artifacts while the oil fields were guarded, and the best you can do is regrettable?

    Either he ends up in the Hague or everything that goes on there is no better than a Stalinist show trial.

  • Nunoftheabove

    So your position on the morality of it is that it would be plausibly moral if they intervened in Saudi too ?(!) (or Iran ?) ; Saudi is an evil, sexually repressed brutal sectarian regime however they are not in the same league as the saddam Hussein regime and I’ll take any challenges you want on that (think genoicide against its own people, use of chemical weapons, attempted annexation of Kuwait, etc).

    The thing about blaming ‘the west’ in this is that governments change, where you’re going with this puts david cameron in the frame for the famine and the death of the hunger strikers etc etc; he can represent the state in respect of its record in that but neither he or his government are not responsible – it’s really not that complicated, see. Would you have preferred that the British and Americans had left the Nazis to it in WW2 for example ?

    If you’re being non-interventionist (which is oxymoronc anyway, since in many respects when to comes to some regimes taking a non-interventionist position is in itself just an indirect form of intervention in itself) as a matter of principle then you’re simply an isolationist. Think about the sort of company that puts you in and how that feels.

    Re. Afghanistan, just so I understand, you feel that the soviet (effectively) annexation was worse ? Or that the taliban should just have been let be ?

    You haven’t mentioned the Balkans in your response, which based on what else you’ve said may imply that you diagree there too – unchecked naked fascist aggression and a Greater Serbia in which the biggest concentration of european muslims would have been wiped off the map – happy about that model of non-intervention ?

    No problem with Blair going to the Hague to answer any number of questions incidentally, I think it would be healthy. For me the issues in debate are on the how rather and the what rather than the why, that’s all.

  • Wilde Rover

    Nunoftheabove,

    “So your position on the morality of it is that it would be plausibly moral if they intervened in Saudi too ?(!) (or Iran ?)”

    No. I’m saying that the “humanitarian” spin is just that, spin.

    “Saudi is an evil, sexually repressed brutal sectarian regime however they are not in the same league as the saddam Hussein regime and I’ll take any challenges you want on that (think genoicide against its own people, use of chemical weapons, attempted annexation of Kuwait, etc).”

    If we are talking about leagues then let’s extend the sporting analogy. President Clinton was responsible for the deaths of half a million children alone in Iraq during the so called no fly zone period. The death toll since the most recent war is just as staggering. If we are talking about who has scored the most goals in the season then Saddam should not have been the only one executed, if one were to be consistent.

    As for the Kuwait reference, I seem to recall that East Timor was having a lot of difficulty around this time too. No massive international coalition invaded Indonesia then though. I think we can all see the difference between these two.

    “The thing about blaming ‘the west’ in this is that governments change, where you’re going with this puts david cameron in the frame for the famine and the death of the hunger strikers etc etc; he can represent the state in respect of its record in that but neither he or his government are not responsible – it’s really not that complicated, see.”

    There is an argument to be made that the Tories were in the dark when this fiasco began, I accept that.

    “Would you have preferred that the British and Americans had left the Nazis to it in WW2 for example ?”

    I was waiting for what I call the Reverse Godwin. The Nazis were evil, ergo, Anglo-American forces have the right to invade any country anywhere anytime.

    “If you’re being non-interventionist (which is oxymoronc anyway, since in many respects when to comes to some regimes taking a non-interventionist position is in itself just an indirect form of intervention in itself) as a matter of principle then you’re simply an isolationist. Think about the sort of company that puts you in and how that feels.”

    I honestly don’t know how I should feel. Less bad than those who stand side by side with war criminals?

    “Re. Afghanistan, just so I understand, you feel that the soviet (effectively) annexation was worse ? Or that the taliban should just have been let be ?”

    The Taliban were allied with the Anglo-American bloc and I don’t accept that they are occupied with attacking other places. According to US estimates there are around fifty Al Qaeda in Afghanistan now. Maybe there would be more, but I suppose a lot of them moved to Iraq now that it has been made safe for them to roam free following the removal of their arch enemy Saddam.

    “You haven’t mentioned the Balkans in your response, which based on what else you’ve said may imply that you diagree there too – unchecked naked fascist aggression and a Greater Serbia in which the biggest concentration of european muslims would have been wiped off the map – happy about that model of non-intervention ?”

    I hate to sound crass but if you wish to talk merely about pure numbers then those Serbian guys are Sunday League compared to the Premier League offenders who roam free, giving speeches and lecturing people about peace.

    As for the “naked fascist aggression” do you also think that this is the case in Greater Israel?

  • Nunoftheabove

    • So you don’t think it’s a humanitarian-based. You think that the humanitarian position would have been to have left Saddam in charge ? And don’t you think it’s in the broader interests of humanity, if it comes to it, to bring rich energy reserves into democratic control rather than have it in the hands of an expansionist psychopathic dictator with more than a passing interest in chemical weapons that he’s already used on his ‘own’ people and a track record of provable interest in the procurement of components for other weapons of mass destruction ?

    • So you opposed the sanctions but aren’t keen on intervention either – so your position is entirely a conservative one, i.e. for the pre-intervention status quo. Is that it ?

    • So you opposed the liberation of Kuwait ? I’m not saying there are massive contradictions in international relations, you appear to be saying that such interventions are ALL wrong and that those states are nobody’s business but their own or have I got that wrong ? If so, then why is the west bothering to help in ‘overseas’ disasters or are those purely opportunistic and imperialist adventures too ?

    • “I was waiting for what I call the Reverse Godwin. The Nazis were evil, ergo, Anglo-American forces have the right to invade any country anywhere anytime” – I didn’t say that, I don’t believe it and don’t know anyone who does, at least no-one I esteem or would esteem; do you ?

    • …“I honestly don’t know how I should feel” – that’s what I thought.

    • “I hate to sound crass but…” – Well avoid being so crass then, your reference to the Sunday League in relation to Serbian aggression in the conflict in the Balkans is contemptible and offensive and I think speaks volumes for the extent to which you give a shit about humanity.

    • As for the “naked fascist aggression” do you also think that this is the case in Greater Israel? – I wouldn’t say fascist but I am utterly opposed to illegal and immoral Israeli expansionism and undisguised use of state-sponsored terrorism, I would dearly wish that muscular democratic states would face them down and move matters speedily towards the two state semi-solution that everyone knows is the only game in town and could work if the religious fanatics were legitimately challenged from within Israel and from within the Palestinian constituency too. The Palestinain nightmare must end and it’s to the shame of the international community that the most vile, dangerous and sectarian elements within Israel continue to be deferred to, cow-towed to and conceded to. Again, another clear example of where intervention is necessary and in my view it’s very long overdue.

  • Wilde Rover

    “So you don’t think it’s a humanitarian-based. ”

    No.

    “You think that the humanitarian position would have been to have left Saddam in charge ? ”

    To have left? You must forgive me, I’m afraid I don’t look at the world in terms of deciding the leaders of countries.

    “And don’t you think it’s in the broader interests of humanity,”

    Again, I do not presume to know the broader interests of humanity.

    “if it comes to it, to bring rich energy reserves into democratic control”

    And now we reach the nub of it. Democracy via puppets.

    “l rather than have it in the hands of an expansionist psychopathic dictator ”

    Well, now that we are getting down to the nitty gritty of it all, why the hell was Saddam, evil bastard that he was, not to mention his sadistic son Uday, ever put out? The Ba’athists were sworn enemies of Osama bin Ladin. Remeber him? Now all Osama’s buddies are knocking around Iraq with a captive audience of angry people.

    “with more than a passing interest in chemical weapons that he’s already used on his ‘own’ people”

    Again, while he was supported by the west.

    ” and a track record of provable interest in the procurement of components for other weapons of mass destruction ?”

    Please do not peddle your jaded soundbites here. The folks that roam these parts have a good sense of smell.

    “• So you opposed the sanctions but aren’t keen on intervention either – so your position is entirely a conservative one, i.e. for the pre-intervention status quo. Is that it ?”

    Again, as a lowly citizen of the RoI I don’t presume to decide the governments of other people’s countries.

    “• So you opposed the liberation of Kuwait ? ”

    No, I no longer beat my wife.

    “I’m not saying there are massive contradictions in international relations, you appear to be saying that such interventions are ALL wrong and that those states are nobody’s business but their own or have I got that wrong ? ”

    In an ideal world…The truth of the matter is what Eisenhower called the military-industrial-congressional complex (before the editors were called in) is good money. Wars are good when they last a long time.

    “If so, then why is the west bothering to help in ‘overseas’ disasters or are those purely opportunistic and imperialist adventures too ?”

    Apples and oranges.

    “• “I was waiting for what I call the Reverse Godwin. The Nazis were evil, ergo, Anglo-American forces have the right to invade any country anywhere anytime” – I didn’t say that, I don’t believe it and don’t know anyone who does, at least no-one I esteem or would esteem; do you ?”

    Yes. Yes I do. It’s a common meme.

    “• …“I honestly don’t know how I should feel” – that’s what I thought.”

    I really don’t know how to feel about it all. It’s very troubling.

    “• “I hate to sound crass but…” – Well avoid being so crass then, your reference to the Sunday League in relation to Serbian aggression in the conflict in the Balkans is contemptible and offensive and I think speaks volumes for the extent to which you give a shit about humanity.”

    Bald stats don’t lie. My original point was that Tony Blair, (while he did a lot for Ireland), has done some terrible things.

    “• As for the “naked fascist aggression” do you also think that this is the case in Greater Israel? – I wouldn’t say fascist but I am utterly opposed to illegal and immoral Israeli expansionism and undisguised use of state-sponsored terrorism, ”

    Me too.

    “I would dearly wish that muscular democratic states would face them down and move matters speedily towards the two state semi-solution that everyone knows is the only game in town ”

    Yeah but that isn’t going to happen.

    “and could work if the religious fanatics were legitimately challenged from within Israel and from within the Palestinian constituency too. ”

    A tall order.

    “The Palestinain nightmare must end and it’s to the shame of the international community that the most vile, dangerous and sectarian elements within Israel continue to be deferred to, cow-towed to and conceded to. ”

    So, invasion?

    “Again, another clear example of where intervention is necessary and in my view it’s very long overdue.”

    That will never happen.

  • Alan Maskey

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0904/blairt.html

    A few hundred people in Dublin saved Ireland’s face. He also described Gerry Adams as tough and clever. What did he mean by tough? Surely not a tough, or a good former pugilist like Alec? I hope Gerry’s solicitors are onto this.

  • Eamonn Mallie is tweeting his interview with Tony Blair is available on Slugger, where is it please???

  • Alan Maskey

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11187486

    Will Bliar, the RBL and Eason’s refund the Irish taxpayer the cost of this cheap publicity gimmick? Will thy f–k?

  • Alan Maskey

    For once we are in agreement! I hope the shoes and the damn eggs found their target…

  • Alan Maskey

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN18EOCL7kI

    Some good videos on youtube of democrats being hemmed in to allow the Butcher of Baghdad enter the notoriously anti Republican, pro British Easons. No sign of Gerry “bit of rough” Adams or the Provos at this.
    Did Bliar do psecial signing at 44 Parnell Square?

  • Sky News main headline: Tony Blair receives a hostile welcome in Dublin! Is it possible he expected anything more?

    Perhaps he believes his own lies and ahem, omissions…

  • Greenflag

    ‘A few hundred people in Dublin saved Ireland’s face.’

    Actually they made right eejits of themselves . Four times as many people lined up to have their copyof Mr Blair’s book signed . Mr Blair also got a very warm welcome on the Late LAte Show and despite some tough grilling from Tubridy I thought he acquitted himself very well .

    Ireland -all of it owes Mr Blair a depth of gratitude . Not since Gladstone has any British Prime Minister put so much effort into trying to resolve the ‘Ireland’ question . Some people have obviously short memories . Without a ‘cunning’ politician like Tony Blair the Northern gobshites of both traditions would still be killing each other in the streets and their politicians would still be spitting at each other instead of sharing power and trying to achieve some degree of normalcy .

    A couple of hundred demonstrators in a city of over 1.5 million says it all . Most of Ireland stayed at home and watched the Late Late and the vast majority of us 99.9 % are grateful for Mr Blair’s efforts at trying to find a solution for NI .As for the egg and shoe throwers ? Childish tantrums .

    As for Sky News ‘hostile welcome’ -They obviously were’nt inside Eason’s or at the Late Late – shower of lying shites as per usual 🙁

  • joeCanuck

    Tut tut, Pippakin.
    I thought you were against violence. What if someone, a police officer, say, gets their eye put out?

  • joeCanuck

    Agree, Greenflag.

  • Greenflag

    As for Sky News ‘hostile welcome’ -They obviously were’nt inside Eason’s or at the Late Late – shower of lying shites as per usual

    Agreed about Sky, what do you expect from a Murdoch rag, considering their main rag fully supported TB.

    Tony Blair jumped on a band wagon as it was about to take off, thats all he did.

    Throwing eggs and tomatoes is the time honoured, traditional way of registering political protest on these islands.

  • Greenflag

    Dewi ,

    ‘The biggest problem with the Middle East peace process is that no one has ever gripped it long enough or firmly enough. The gripping is intermittent, and intermittent won’t
    do. It doesn’t work. ‘

    Mr Blair is right not just of course with regard to the current Middle East process but that comment is so ‘right ‘ about British ‘policy’ in Ireland ( 1700-1998/2007) .British policy has always been ‘iffy’ neither here nor there both sugar (land rights ) and the whip (penal laws ) both pro Home Rule under Gladstone and opposed to it vehemently under the Tories .
    No wonder we Irish eventually said -shag this for a lark we can do better ourselves alone 😉

    I thought the diamond shaped table innovation facilitate face to face negotiations was brilliant . Apparently necessary to assuage the sensitivities of unionists and republicans 🙁

    Had the talks come to nothing and bloodshed again stalked the streets I suppose the DUP /unionist politicians and their Republican /Nationalist opponents could have blamed any new round of mass carnage on the lack of a diamond shaped table ;(/

  • joe

    What can I say, Tony Blair brings out the worst in me. Just you hand me those tomatoes…

  • Greenflag

    pippakin ,

    ‘Throwing eggs and tomatoes is the time honoured, traditional way of registering political protest on these islands.’

    Perhaps to you . IMO it’s a waste of good food .I’ve no problem with them waving placards or even raising their voices but throwing good food onto the streets ? The idiots should be fined and made to clean up the mess . The antics of both the 32 CSM and the Palestinian /Irish solidarity movement outside Eason’s will not have done any of their causes any good . In fact it will have just reconfirmed for most Irish people that these people can throw food and that’s about all 🙁