Exclusive Interview with Tony Blair

Interview with Tony Blair – Dublin Sept 3 ‘010.

0n publication of his autobiography ‘A Journey.”

EM. Why did you write Peter Robinson out of history? He only gets two passing references in a tome of this size?

TB. “When he got two references, that’s pretty good I would say.”

EM: He’s our Prime Minister. Is that all you think of him?

TB. “It’s not what I think of him. I think he is fantastic but it’s a book about my ten years as PM.”

EM: Ian Paisley was always ‘the no man’. What changed him?

TB. “It was very simple because the IRA gave up violence and it was always his position that if they did he would share power.
I think also there was a mellowing happening that went on with Ian. He also listened to the people. I remember him very clearly saying towards the end putting together the final agreement that led to power sharing, him saying I have been listening to the people. I think they want this and I think it is my duty to make it happen.”

EM: Did he ask you if God wanted him to do the deal?

TB. “It was a conversation really – we often used to talk about religion actually but I said frankly I think he you should make up his mind about that.
” When you are in politics in Northern Ireland people have very strong views about, whether it is Gerry Adams, or Ian Paisley or David Trimble, when you’re from the outside you actually often see the best of people more easily.”

EM:’ The couple’ – a strange term for Adams and Mc Guinness – when you were speaking with them did you see them as Unionists portrayed them as killers, the leaders of a killing organisation?

TB. “I saw them as people, political leaders of an organisation. Whatever the past but you don’t have to forget or forgive indeed. They wanted a different future.”

EM: Why did you say that you got to like them probably too much?

TB. “Partly because you can’t ignore what happened in the past but on the other hand they did exercise considerable political courage in making the changes necessary to get peace and to get power sharing where we are now. Northern Ireland, the peace process, sometimes we have got to lift our eyes up a little bit. Around the world, I was in the White House the other day with President Obama in the Middle East process. Around the world the Northern Ireland Peace Process is a symbol of hope and encouragement for people trying to make peace.”

EM: In terms of politicians you have known how would you calibrate Adams and Mc Guinness as leaders?

TB. “They were strong leaders, good leaders. That isn’t to forget anything that happened in the past or necessary to forgive. In the context of Northern Ireland they showed considerable courage in leadership so did David Trimble, so did, in the end Ian Paisley.”

EM: When Robert Mc Cartney (killed in Belfast city centre bar, Jan 30 2005) how bad was that? Did you consider chucking it all in at that time, walking away from it all?

TB …”It was very bad but in a sense the thing that gave you heart was the reaction of his family and of the local community who decided in a sense said we’re not having this and that which probably wouldn’t have happened 10/15 years ago gave us heart.”

EM: Unionists are hammering you for your overt declaration that you were in the business of bending the truth at times, stretching the truth, indulging in creative ambiguity, how do you square that in terms of your morality, your catholicism? They’re hammering you for this.

TB: …” I think my response is come on guys let’s all be a little bit honest with each others. I actually talked a bout creative ambiguity at the time . When I made the ‘acts of completion’ speech in 2002 I actually said creative ambiguity had been our friend but now was the time for acts of completion. That was what we were struggling for. What are they really saying that they were never been in a political situation where they were trying to manoeuvre their way to get what they thought was right.”

EM: Paint this picture for me. Bertie Ahern and yourself and De Chastelain in Hillsborough Castle that famous day( Oct 21/ 2003) when I undid Mr De Chastelain, come on tell me the story …

TB. “We remember you Eamonn” (Blair roars with laughter).

EM: I was blamed for wrecking the Peace Process but I didn’t. What actually happened in there in that room?

TB “What happened was basically was that General De Chastelain who is someone of the highest integrity he felt he couldn’t say more than the IRA had allowed him to say which really wasn’t enough to get the thing done.”

EM: What did the herald say? Give us that lovely description …

TB ..” I think you are going to have to go and read the book”

EM: I’ve read it. You said “the herald was forbidden to say with whom the king had been abed the night before.” Was that how exactly how he felt himself?

TB.. “Put it like this we needed a lot of detail and didn’t get much.
He was being true to himself to be fair. ”

EM: Were you shocked when he talked about the IRA decommissioning tanks?

TB: “Yes because (“laugh) we hadn’t actually appreciated they may have ever had such things. Through the Peace Process the one thing you have got to do is keep a sense of humour.”

EM: What about ‘ah Jasus Bertie? What was it between the two of you that worked?

TB. “We were both modern examples of our own country’s culture in a way. Bertie was steeped in Irish history but was prepared to move beyond and I couldn’t believe as we approached the 21st century we couldn’t get peace among people in Northern Ireland.”

EM. How important was John Hume? How important in local politics in world politics?

TB: “Fantastically important. Even in America today John Hume is one of the most respected people. In many ways he was the person who first saw the prospect for peace and was prepared to act when it was really really very difficult to do so.”

EM: Did David Trimble let you down?

TB. “No. On the contrary he justifies his place in history and his Nobel Peace prize.”

EM: I always considered you a very controlled disciplined individual. I was shocked to learn that you hit the bottle. What is that all about?

TB: (Roars of laughter). ” The thing that I love about my description there is that John Reid …

EM ‘I loved it. What you were drinking he feeds to the budgie.’

TB “I think it is an interesting thing when you approach middle age you’ve got to be careful.”

  • Alan Maskey

    UDI? Rhodesia? Robinson a Prime Minister?
    Great to see everyone from Martin McGuinness to Ian Paisley are nice guys and part of the team. Good too of Robert Mc Cartney to be killed to show the “community” that kiling members of the “community” is “wrong”.

    Is Tony doing Podge and Rodge too?

    Anyway, good interview Eamonn. I hope he gave you a few free books for your work. Quid pro quo and all that.

  • joeCanuck

    Many people, rightly or wrongly, hate Tony Blair. But without his vision, energy and perserverance, aided and abetted by Bertie, we would not be where we are today. Terrorist violence, worrying, but at a very low level. The vast majority of the population accepting the current status quo. Two hated enemy parties governing together and becoming more used to and comfortable with each other.
    That you Tony and Bertie.

  • The peace would have happened without Tony Blair. He wants the credit but the peace was started by John Major. Tony Blair wants the credit but he does not deserve it. Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, David Trimble and of course John Hume are the ones who put themselves on the line for peace. Tony is still patting the hand of destiny on his shoulder, although that hand has probably shifted a bit along with his halo.

    He was pelted with eggs and shoes etc in Dublin and that is the good news of the today.

  • Sorry for the ‘errors’ I really miss the preview option…

  • joeCanuck

    The news says that the numbers lining up for his signature on his book vastly outnumbered the cretins who think that pelting someone is harmless fun. It isn’t.
    As for Major, he may have theoretically started the process but he never was serious, always finding new ways to exclude SF.
    Blair forced the pace to make those others you name move forward.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Still don’t know what to make of TB personally, but for the effort he put into here we owe him quite a bit, I think history will be kind enough to him and even Iraq might look different after a decade or two.
    The two things that bugged me most about his reign was the relience of spin and his constitutional tinkering, that and lettin El Gord muck up the economy towards the end.

  • joan

    protesters outside threw eggs & shoes at the war criminal while inside eamon gave him a blow job – blair mentions importance of robert mccartney killing but if you read his sister, catherine’s memoir what comes across was the utter indifference of blair’s government to the murder.

  • Charminator

    Pippakin – I’m inclined to agree that Tony’s more than eager to take his share of the credit for the peace process, especially post-Iraq as his legacy has truly taken a battering.

    However you comment that “The peace would have happened without Tony Blair. He wants the credit but the peace was started by John Major. Tony Blair wants the credit but he does not deserve it.”

    Very, very big question there. I wouldn’t at all consider idle speculation on whether the GFA would have been possible without Tony Blair (or at least a Labour Govt), never mind reach your degree of uncertainty in dismissing the role played by Blair.

  • joe

    Sorry, but Tony Blair has lied too often and for too long to be taken seriously on anything, especially the north. Peace happened because it was obvious it was the logical next step and Major for all his faults (and no way was he as good a liar as Adams or Blair) set the ball rolling and was prepared to go the distance.

    Oddly Blair who since leaving office, is despised as a leader everywhere within these islands compares badly with Major, who whilst being relatively unknown outside the UK and hated when he left office, is now accepted as an, within the usual political boundaries, honest leader.

    I have nothing but contempt for Tony Blair. he lied about everything up to and including his own religion.

  • Charminator

    You leave out all the other ‘players’. Peace was not TBs to deliver. It took all the people involved and was most definitely not a ‘one man band’. John Hume and David Trimble hardly mentioned anymore, arguably sacrificed their own careers and indeed their parties positions to bring peace. Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have put their own futures, literally, on the line and their party has lost, in many ways, as much as it has gained.

  • joan

    Agreed. Typical.

  • Tinger

    I am extremely surprised to see that Peter Robinson only gets two fleeting mentions in Tony Blair’s book, particularly given the role Robinson has played in the course of the Troubles and the Peace Process. Although I am not a fan of Peter Robinson I do find it annoying to see such much praise lavished upon Ian Paisley for saying yes when it was Robinson who fueled the DUP’s ultimate acceptance of power-sharing, it was Robinson who made the DUP into the electoral force that they are today and it was Robinson who guided Paisley towards the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The focus upon Paisley and the praise reserved only for him is quite extraordinary because it completely ignores the role played by, of all people, Peter Robinson. I really cannot fathom how Blair could only briefly mention Robinson twice in the course of what is a huge account of Blair’s political life and of the peace process in Northern Ireland, of which Robinson has been a huge player. In recent years Paisley has been wined and dined by everybody, and praised beyond that of which is deserved – even Paisley has swallowed the hype by suggesting that Sinn Fein did not become the largest party on his watch and that he had ensured the growth of the DUP when everybody knows, including David Gordon who wrote about this recently, that it was Robinson who made the DUP – he was the brains and Paisley was the heart. Robinson deserves greater credit rather than being, as Eamonn suggested, written out of history!

  • lover not a fighter

    Would there be a whole lot of difference Tony Blair and David Cameron.

    Tony Blair was/is a Tory in Labour clothing.

    The question to ask Tony is, does he regret not becoming leader of the Tory party.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I am not sure that I agree. Tony Blair brought an aspect of “hands on” to the whole thing that wasn’t there before. He also showed a degree of determination that I don’t imagine John Major would have been able to show. Finally, I don’t think the Tory establishment would have tolerated a Conservative prime minister signing off on prisoner releases.

    To me the peace process is just about the only worthwhile contribution to history that Blair made.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Joe, I think it is a bit unfair to say that Major was trying to find ways to exclude SF. I think he understood that they couldn’t be excluded, but due to his thin majority (which the unionists used to maximum effect) there is no way that he could do anything but accede to their demands. Republicans often say that he should have taken risks and shown leadership, but I find that typical of the kind of over-inflated sense of self importance we have here where people seriously believe that it would have been appropriate for a Prime Minister to sacrifice his entire government just to stop the unionists from roadblocking things.

    I have a lot of time for John Major these days and I respect what he did to get the process started. I don’t think his contribution is really accorded with the credit it deserves. But I don’t think he would have had the kind of single-mindedness that Blair had, which was ultimately required to get the deal sealed.

  • Mixed views about Tony Blair. On the one hand, there is no doubt that the GFA could not have been achieved without the British PM and others going out on a limb, commiting themselves to finding an all-party agreed solution, and refusing to go behind that agreement.

    On the other hand, cannot understand why a Social Democrat could become a fawning and compliant supporter of a barely literate right-wing US President in his desire for overseas military adventures. Britain would have been admired internationally had it acted more independently with a policy of its own, more in touch with its European neighbours and friends, and the thoughts and thinking of its own peoples. My tuppence worth.

  • Do you agree with Tony giving his money for his book back?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Trimble did sacrifice his career, but I don’t think he did it out of some sort of act of altruism. He did it because the British, ie Blair, put a gun to his head and said that if you don’t start dealing we’re going to make your life a living hell. It was the first time since partition, IMO, that a British government really laid it on the line to the unionists. I think that in itself is probably more responsible for the success of the enterprise than any other single aspect of the process.

    John Hume didn’t sacrifice his career, he carefully machinated things to ensure that he had a place in the history books despite not really doing anything in particular. I don’t buy the idea that he persuaded the IRA to stop using violence, the IRA had already realised by the mid 1980s that the war couldn’t be won and that they needed to find a way out. Hume’s role was to provide a leg up for SF, and it was his party, not he, who paid the price.

    Gerry and Martin did take risks, I would not want to diminish that, but I think they were rather calculated risks and I don’t think there were many points were they were in really serious danger, except for that period around the Canary Wharf bombing where they carefully backed out of the limelight and waited for the trouble to pass. They didn’t make any big moves until all the ducks were in line first and they took care not to get too far ahead of their followers.

  • DC

    Nice try but the style of Tony was certainly not that of a Tory.

    You’ll see soon enough.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes; it will always be an unanswered question as to why he totally supported Bush. Simple payback for the help when the UK once stood alone. A mystery.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Whilst I disagree about Tony Blair, you have to be aware most of his ‘hands on’ commitments cost lives. I do completely agree with you about Major. His last year or so in office was a nightmare for him (and this is a socialist saying it) but he did try and was prepared to move forward.

  • joe

    I think he did actually believe in the war, not the WMDs but in the need to get rid of Saddam and I think there is a kind of evangelical (odd applying that word to him) streak that fully supported Bush.

    He thought getting rid of Saddam was, in the long term, worth any lie or any deed, which is pretty much par for the course for his entire premiership.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I agree with much of what you say, but as regards Trimble not so much. I don’t think Trimble would have been risking as much as you think in refusing Blair. Blair had to get unionists on board, without them the democratic process would not work, and without the democratic process he might not have bought the rest of the UK with him. The English don’t like the north but they don’t like blatant disregard of people and democracy either.

    John Hume was on his way out, having not achieved much, but he must have known he was sacrificing himself and the SDLP when he agreed to the deal.

    Everyone thinks the Brits cared so much about Canary Wharf but it, apart from risking the talks, was not such a big deal, there had been worse. The risks Adams and McGuinness took was in the sense of betrayal their own hardliners felt and still feel. In some ways they are still at risk.

  • Sorry, Pippa, can’t agree with your last contribution. I don’t believe he was by nature a war monger. Although it is true to say that alleged WMD were used as a pretext for the war, both by the US and Britain, despite their being no objective evidence to support the false assertion, it would have enhanced Britain’s standing in the world had it taken a more independent position based on the actual reality on the ground.

    Remember, it was only a short time before that Saddam was the great ally the West was glad to have in the Iraq/Iran conflict. When Colin Powell saw how misled he had been in presenting bogus picture evidence to the UN he had no hesitation in resigning. And the French to their credit never went along with the fraudulent WMD ‘evidence’.

    Your view, Pippa, that he was driven to get rid of Saddam is hard to accept given the prevalence around the world many equally obnoxious rulers and dictators. Was it necessary to cause the deaths of so many just to kill one man ?

    Yes, Blair and Bush were practicing Christians and perhaps this religious bond may have, or not, drawn them closer. What I find hard to understand is how an otherwise clever man was so suppine to the extremist thoughts of Bush and his neocons n this issue. By doing so, a real opportunity was lost to display an independence of thought and action.

  • Westsider

    Blair’s role in Northern Ireland was nothing if not overwhelmingly positive. He drove the process through and we have to thank him (and Adams and Trimble) for where we are today.

    All three did the heavy lifting.

    Paisley was only ever going on one direction once he took over the leadership of Norn Iron’s unionists.

    Only instead of going the way of O’Neill, Faulkener, Molyneaux, and Trimble – he could close the deal because there was no Paisley breathing down his neck.

    AND, crucially, he created the fear and then, when the crown was offered, extinguished it.

    Those might would come after, and ride the same tiger, should ponder the fate of Jim Allister: much more intellectually robust than Dr P, maybe didn’t have the same cunning, but he couldn’t sell or exploit that ‘traditonal’ unionist fear.

    That ship has sailed, despite what you might read in the Newsletter.

  • Warren Poynt

    Oh Im not excusing Blair not at all. He was totally wrong to take the British into a war they did not believe and did not support. I have heard and read some extraordinary reasons for his support for the US, but I do think it may simply be that he agreed it was right to get rid of Sadam Hussein. Or perhaps one of the conspiracy theories are correct. It makes no real difference. Tony Blair lead his country into a war that was completely disastrous for Iraq. The outcome is likely to be yet another US approved dictator and the Iraqis will continue to suffer.

    Some say it was all about oil but Im not so sure of that, it seems a stretch, there are other easier oil rich countries which would almost certainly be more welcoming to the US than any Arab country.

    Hussein was yet another US stooge, like Bin Laden and the Taliban who grew in power and turned on their benefactor. Perhaps that was the real reason for US action. You do not bite the hand that feeds you.

    It will need another, more honest person than TB to set the record person straight.

  • TB What a load of bull shit .Listenning to him , We had the same trash on RTE last night, Soft Interviews, soft answers and then the War Criminal thinks they /he has the right to go into Iran, what a fucking mad killer.Last night on RTE he spoke about how the Mortality rate in Iraq under Saddam was on par with the Congo and how now so many children are now living becuase Saddam is gone, what a load of shite, Remember he and his cohorts brought in the sanctions and that ruined a Country that in 1980 had problem one of the best Educationl and Health Systems in the World.This is one mad mother killer.Iran a great Country and he thinks they can walk in just like Iraq .Crazy Crazy. Have we now say

  • joeCanuck

    Who could argue with your apparent belief that pre-Saddam Iraq was a paradise on earth? cough cough, excuse me for a moment…

  • joeCanuck

    Pre-Saddam’s overthrow, that is. I don’t know what it was like before the Baathist coup.

  • Saddam was a Killer and should have been dealth with , Simple easy enough.. Israel or the CIa could do that without a thought. To invade to cause sanctions that is a differet matter It suited everyone that SH was there, Rumsfield met him 2 days before the invasion of Kuwait and basically told him to go ahead invade.,

  • Jay

    He assisted with the launch of an illegal war on a sovereign state.

    Crimes of aggression are defined by the Nuremberg principles as “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties”

    Pasted from wikipedia.
    The most serious crimes are termed grave breaches, and provide a legal definition of a war crime.
    Also considered grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention are the following:

    * taking of hostages
    * extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly
    * unlawful deportation, transfer, or confinement. – extraordinary rendition.

    Blair violated the Nuremberg principles and Geneva conventions.

    // You had a war criminal and served soft ball questions.

  • joeCanuck

    I don’t think getting close enough to kill him was easy. There were a number of failed assassination attempts.

  • lamhdearg

    I hope he is right (in religion) and he burns in hell, a man more close to the word evil in my time and close to me in time i have not known.

  • Wilde Rover


    “// You had a war criminal and served soft ball questions.”


    What is it the Americans say, a circle jerk?

  • Prionsa Eoghann


    I think that you are being subjective over Major rather than objective. I am more than happy to accept differing opinions but nevertheless he lost the poison chalice that was his Prime Ministerial office without much honour for ‘doing the right thing’ over a peace process that he was prepared to stall, the reality of which dissolusioned others and could have have resulted in a disastrous split in Irish nationalism……………and to what end?


    I agree Blair is a liar, something of which he has freely admitted but anyone looking in from the outside must give him credit for his stewardship.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    I would argue that if Blair did not start as the leader of the Tory party, he certainly left as the leader of a ‘tory party’ Even years after Blair left they are still churning out policies that are to the right of the tories.

  • Oracle

    “Simple payback for the help when the UK once stood alone.”

    Joe what is that daft statement about??? when did the UK ever stand alone?

    Was it when they were fighting the Romans!

  • Oracle

    You are so right Joe…. Iraq today with it’s 1.7 million dead civilians (you know women and children) the secterian violence killing tens of thousands of ordinary people.
    The road system ruined the rail system fucked all the bridges that are not on an oil route still destroyed, the health system worse than Africa’s, army corrupt, police corrupt, officials corrupt, and they countries assets being raped and plundered by forign multi nationals…

    you’re so right Joe Iraq of today is sooooo much better, Jesus it’s easy to see that you’ll swallow any propaganda bullshit so long as it emminates from a western culture preforably American

  • Oracle

    Not by professional agents from super powers, or guided missiles, oh great western propaganda swallower.

    it was an invasion the yanks wanted not a new Iraqi president

  • Alan Maskey

    Gentlemen: I think we have to be fair to George Bush and his fellow Americans. International war crimes legislation do not pertain to them. There is currently no provision to bring any American servicemen in front of international war tribunals. So, as in Vietnam and elsewhere, they do what they like.
    Remember the great Springsteen song: “Out killing the yellow man”. The Yanks are good at that, killing that is. So don’t be jealous as tht is one of the cardinal sins.

    Tony Blair merely helped secure the stability of Israel, which is a nuclear power because it needs nuclear weapons and which is the world’s fourth largest power because American tax payers (those old chestnuts) have to cough up for them, and which launches huge attacks on Palestinians because, let’s face it, they’re f-g Arabs, and which can do anytihng it likes because God told them all they see is theirs and smiting Arabs is kosher.

    Let us also remember that Tony Balir brought peace to the savage Irish, who should, in fact, replace the Spike with a statue of PIRA Volunteers shooting Jean McConville as Bertie and Tony look on.

    Finally, please rmemeber the sycophants who queued up to get their book signed (witt a few arrested exceptions) far outnumbered the protesters. More so if we take Garda numbers into account. This just shows that those with no principles will always outnumber the conscienscious. Thank God for democracy. It is worth killing (others) for.

  • Oracle


    You had Tony Blair were he couldn’t walk away or ignore you and the only line of questioning you could come up with were the weakest of weak questions.

    Really a wasted opportunity that any junior reporter just out of journalist school would have made better use of.

    And really asking questions about your own percieved role in history are extremely tacky Eamonn, but when the role is more immaginary than real it can be a little off putting

  • tacapall

    Blair rightly or wrongly recieved the kudos for cementing in the peace process but like the decision to go into Iraq he was only doing what he was told by his pay masters, the same people who encouraged him to cover up one of the biggest peadophile scandals in British history involving members of his own cabinet. If he had not been PM someone else would have done the same job maybe not as deviously but nevertheless they would have been following the same path that was laid out for Blair. He has been well paid for his troubles, £20 million in the last few years from his contracts in Iraq, Im sure he sleeps well in the knowledge that he was part of the old fashioned, modern day land grab that has resulted in the deaths of 100s of thousands of innocent people in the pursuit of profit for the global elite.

  • Alan Maskey

    To be fair to our esteemed blogger, he is not Louis Theroux and Dr Strangelove was only going to give him so much time. He did well to get Robert McCartney into the frame.

    As regards the dead: he can confess his sins (if he has any) as he is now a Catholic. The Pope should have put him in front of the British tour. I wonder how much that would have cost.

  • tacapall

    Ive read the sites containing those allegations and there is absolutely no evidence, never mind proof! Just rumour and hearsay.

    There are, I think reasons for suspicion and on another subject have argued suspicions should be investigated, you disagreed!

    II those spreading the rumours cannot find a ‘D’ notice, they have a problem. Im still looking and if I find anything worth repeating I will indeed repeat it.

    As for the Blair was blackmailed by the US rumour, Hmm, I would have thought he would have been relieved to get rid of a thorn in his side.

  • Prince E

    No, no credit due. He did not start the talks, John Major did, the peace process worked because the time was right and because braver men than him put themselves on the line to do it.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Be that as it may, how much space exactly do you think our region should be given in a book about a man who was prime minister for 10 years? We are 1.7 million out of 60 million, indeed out of 6 billion. We need to get over ourselves a bit here.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    sorry that went into the wrong section, I was replying to the apparent surprise that Blair hadn’t devoted his book to a dissection of the life and times of P Robinson Esq

  • Mainland Ulsterman


  • tacapall

    “II those spreading the rumours cannot find a ‘D’ notice, they have a problem. Im still looking and if I find anything worth repeating I will indeed repeat it”.


    Maybe you’re not looking hard enough Pippakin as theres a wealth of information out there regarding this. Of course if you’re one of those people who only believe what the established media are allowed to publish or allowed to tell us then you wont find anything as its all been pulled. like this

    Child porn arrests ‘too slow’

    But try this one.


  • Prionsa Eoghann


    Is it written that Major is due credit just for being there in the right time and place yet astonishingly you ignore what his subsequent involvement………………which apart from stalling all but ending to suit his own survival was what exactly? I am intruiged about Majors involvement especially since the good tovarich writes so warmly of him……………..should I go and read his autobiography.

    I’m afraid until you elaborate I have no clue why Blair shouldn’t be givern credit for his stewardship of the peace process. And this is coming from someone who would have been with the demonstrators in Dublin and not the sychophants.

  • Prionsa Eoghann


    Context ma man. Really would he have got the interview if it were otherwise.

    Stage managed theatre.

  • PE

    I suggest you take your biased blinkers off and look again at the times.

    The truth is Major started the talks which, bearing in mind the opposition from his own party and the lying little toe rag in the opposition, took some courage. He took it as far as he could before the GE which the Tories flushed down the toilet.

    Do not let your understandable bias blind you to merit where it is due. All Blair had to do was see an opportunity and grab it.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Having a go at me is silly Pip as if I’m being honest you are using it to cover your now obvious bluster.

    I suppose my quest for you to elaborate was too much to ask and repetition will have to do. Just dwell if you will on what you mean by ^^He took it as far as he could before the GE which the Tories flushed down the toilet.^^

    I’m not sure by which standard you assess the “as far as he could” lark…………..but it is perhaps not the same one as I would use.

    Toodle ohh the noo pip.

  • Greenflag

    ‘My tuppence worth.’

    I’d say there’s more than tuppence in it 🙂 As JC says its a mystery . Bush was not the kind of President anybody could ‘half support’ . As the ex president made clear in one of his rants -‘If you are not with us then you are against us ‘

    A trillion dollars later and probably a total of over 500,000 lives Iraq still has’nt got a functioning government . Sunni minority rule by the 20% has been replaced by a uneasy tyranny of the 60% majority Shiites with the apparent acquiescence of the Kurds .

    Overall the winner in the USA ‘adventure ‘ appears to be Iran whose Shiite theocracy has many friends and co religionists in Iraq . And they will get their hands on nuclear weapons sooner or later . I cannot see the people of the USA or the UK stomaching another Middle East adventure this time against a country with a 65 million population . A nuclear weaponed Iran might even encourage the Israelis to conform to international norms and refrain from killing thousands of civilians whenever they feel like it 🙁

  • PE

    I was not ‘having a go at you’ How absurd.

    I suggested it was natural to suspect the Tories. I don’t need to repeat myself the facts are almost boringly well known.

    It seems in order to credit TB (how well those initials suit him..) you are prepared to ignore the long, slow march to suicide of the tories. Major did not have the huge majority or the freedom of a completely subdued party to work with.

    Remember the headlines of the so called socialist Labour party? “what Tony wants Tony gets” and that was with reference to his own party!

    Given the huge majority, the complete subjugation of his own party and the spade work already done by others, he could hardly fail.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Yep how absurd eh Pip that I should get the idea that being told to “biased blinkers off” was having a go.

    So in essence after a roundabout way you are simply repeating what I said earlier that Major was prepared to sacrifice the peace process to save his job. And this is somehow a defence?

    Also you have now repeatedly implied it was Blairs fault that Major to save his skin bowed to intransigent orangemen/Unionists and set conditions on Republicans that they were in no position to meet at that time. Again not to defend Blair but he was as near a cert for the following election as you are likely to get he would not have upset the bipartisanship that was agreed over the peace process. So I am not sure where you are coming from using that.

    How about apart from giving the peace process British government legitimacy you spell out what Major done to help it along rather than just excuse.

  • PE

    But you are wearing blinkers! You must know what happened to Major in the last year or so. The man was beset with problems but he still managed to get the talks going and even though the unionists were being a pain in the rear he, rather than simply giving in, kept the peace process alive.

    The ground had been set and the wheels were in motion before TB grabbed the limelight, what is so hard to believe about that!

    Its exactly the same as Gordon Brown saying when told Ken Clarke had left the country in pretty good nick. His response: ” what do you want me to do – send him a thank you letter”

    Labour inherited the peace process. All I say is the peace process did not need Tony Blair. He needed it. He still does.

  • Munsterview

    “…….Major for all his faults (and no way was he as good a liar as Adams or Blair) set the ball rolling and was prepared to go the distance…..”

    With the help of Canary warfe of course…….and the threat of another to keep him moving! Yeah…… great guy !

  • MV

    Why, oh why after all the bombs London has dealt with over the years do you place such emphasis on Canary Wharf? It was not a big deal to the Brits. The process had started, a dozen bombs would not have stopped it, nor would they have made a difference to the conclusion.

    The peace process worked the only way it could and all credit to those who risked so much to make it happen. I just don’t believe that Tony Blair was one of them.

  • Munsterview

    Forgotten Falklands?

  • Alias

    “And really asking questions about your own percieved role in history are extremely tacky Eamonn, but when the role is more immaginary than real it can be a little off putting.”

    Tacky would be the clear plastic raincoat that Eamonn was wearing over his striped sports jacket at Leonard Cohen concert in Sligo. 😉

  • lover not a fighter

    Two of Tony blairs best attributes

    Gettng lots of folk killed without getting any of the bloody stuff on his own hands.


    Getting good and rich while the gap between the rich (himself included) and the poor grew bigger than its been for the long time.

    Not attributes one would be aspiring for in a Labour Leader.

    Interesting that no matter how the British vote they end up with a Tory Prime Minister (can that be a democracy),
    Clegg has come over all Tory now that British “democratic” power has engaged him.

  • tacapall

    As I said earlier I have seen these claims and they are interesting! but they contain no actual evidence.

    I completely agree there are grounds for suspicion but why would he protect one who was such a pain in the rear and another who had buggered off to Europe.

    As far as I understand it TB was not implicated in any of the rumours and I cant think of one good reason for him protecting someone who was to all intents and purposes his political enemy.

    BTW Sunday Herald link cannot be found, they say it may because they have changed their system…I may already have it in my checks on Kincora etc.

  • joeCanuck

    I take it you missed the guided missiles used the night before Bush’s deadline and which killed a whole bunch of restaurant workers and diners while leaving Saddam and his murderous sons free to carry on as usual, for a while.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Pippakin, I am not arguing that Blair’s hands on approach is an inherently positive thing in it’s own right, it clearly isn’t as we saw with Iraq. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it was this quality that saw stuff getting done.

    Prionsa, I don’t accept your insinuation that Major voluntarily and wilfully blocked progress in the peace process. It’s a bit like claiming that Gerry Adams/SF wilfully blocked progress by failing to obtain IRA decommissioning on demand. We both know that IRA decommissioning did not happen at the time because of the “realpolitik”, simple as. And if you can’t see that then you’re not capable of making a rational judgement and you certainly have no basis on which to accuse other people of being subjective.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I don’t see any evidence of any personal sacrifice by John Hume, sorry. Yes, the SDLP were sacrificed, and that’s because Hume didn’t give a damn about anything other than his personal desire to see himself recorded in Irish history as a father of the peace process. Which is pure bunk.

    I don’t think Hume was “on the way out”. It was SF and the IRA who were on the way out, they were more or less defeated in military terms, and they had nowhere to go except politics. Hume’s actions lent SF the credibility they needed to be treated as serious statesmen.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I agree with Pippakin, there is an “evangelical” element to Blair’s single-mindedness over foreign policy. Any time he is asked to justify himself he explains that he did it, simply, because he thought it was right. That’s not quite invoking God but it gets close.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I dont know about Hume, was he so vain? I had not thought so. If he was why have not the SDLP called him out, they are not tarred with his brush in anything but a good way. Just as importantly what did Hume gain, he is never spoken of except on threads like this one. I see no real gain for him.

  • Alan Maskey

    Eamonn: Next time throw a potty at him. Shoes are passe.

  • latcheeco

    You are right, there is no need to be jealous. Europeans are no slouches when it comes to the old killing lark either, so I doubt anybody is going to be taking any lectures from them; especially those who delayed the German take over of Europe by 50 years and put the Ruskies off stealing your lunch.

  • Munsterview


    “…..Everyone thinks the Brits cared so much about Canary Wharf but it, apart from risking the talks, was not such a big deal, there had been worse……”

    You are wrong….. so wrong in fact that we are not in the same political planets, so there is no point in explaining why. The dust had not settled in Canary Warf when the spooks came running with orders to communicate to republicans from the Brit politicos …..enough, no more…. we will do the business, we have ,learned our lesson.

    However yet again you seem to be more expert and knowledgeable on Brit governing mentality and indeed republican thinking than those who at the time had a direct participation in these events.

    Opinion is just that, opinion ! Facts of history are something else ….. even if they are inconvenient truths !

  • MV

    I have no special expertise or knowledge, but you should look at the facts instead of peering at everything through those rose coloured glasses you keep for anything to do with PIRA,

    The fact is London has been bombed by just about everyone. To think Canary Wharf made a difference is unrealistic. Canary Wharf didnt even stop the traffic. Did they go running to the Taliban after 7/7, even though everyone knows they will end up talking.

    Canary Wharf was no big deal, there have been other bombs, many others. Im not praising the Brits. Im just saying be realistic: bombs didnt and wont, work.

  • Munsterview

    Then why the hell did the Brits suddenly resume business, having stalled up to the explosion ?

    There were two distinct differences in Brit attidutes in the immediate ‘before and after’ Canary Warf.

    Perhaps you can explain why nothing further was possible for the forseeable future…. take it or leave etc….. the week before and the week after the word was …..every thing is possible but for F sake do not do another….we have got the message right ?

    If you can explain the where the dynamics of the events that got everything mooving immediately the week after the bombing, without the bombing being a factor, then you have my undivided attention for as long as it takes !

  • MV

    They never stopped talking, and what was on the table was whatever worked, just the same as always.

  • Oracle


    Perhaps you forgot that the Nepalese mercenaries fought in the Malvinas for Britain and that American satellites provided intelligence pictures all through the conflit for Britain

  • Oracle

    Rubbish Chenney wanted the counrty as a unit destroyed,
    The Yanks could have eliminated Saddam at anytime…. absolutely anytime.
    The missile attack you refer to would not have stopped the destruction of IRAQ even if successful the tanks and aircraft were always going to roll.

  • Munsterview


    It is a very easy matter to preface a proposition with …… in my openion.

    It is not a question of ‘they never stopped talking’….. in as much as that means anything.

    It is a question of what was on the table and what was ‘possible’ the week before the bombing and the week after.

    Republicans, and indeed most historians and press and other commentatiors credit Canary Warf with gettings things moving any compelling the Brits to stop stalling. I asked you to provide an alternative to the broken ceasfire and bombing to as the dynamic that got everything back on track.

    Four possible responses, no comment, yes there was, no there was not or I just do not know.

    The never stopped talking with respect is just waffle……. and no, I am not having a go at you, in fact for everything like this I pick up on with you I probably leave ten go. There is an issue here I say that the Bombing provided a progressive dynamic in relation to moving the Peace Process forward and forcing the Brits to engage.

    You disagreed…..Ok then you identify the dynamic that brought about the sea change in attidute in one short week….sans the bombing of course!

  • joeCanuck

    Sorry for the delayed response.

    when did the UK ever stand alone?

    To all intents in 1940 when France surrendered. Had it not been for Roosevelt’s imaginative Lend-lease, you and I might possibly be conversing in German.

  • joeCanuck

    And not that it matters, but to set the record straight, I did not swallow any propaganda. I opposed the invasion of Iraq; the U.N. should have been given time to finish their search for WMD. They came too close for Bush to demonstrating that they no longer existed although the Iraquis did have intensive programs of research and production previously (cough, cough).
    You quite rightly condemn Cheney. He and Bush and Rumsfeld felt the need to demonstrate that they were real warriors to hide the Vietnam draft dodging of all of them.

  • sammymehaffey

    El Gord mucked up the economy from the ebginning not the end and TB didnt have the balls to stop him. Bottom line Blair was afraid of |Brown which makes Blair a pathetic PM. The only honest thing he has done is to admit that he is a liar.

  • Greenflag

    JC ,

    ‘He and Bush and Rumsfeld felt the need to demonstrate that they were real warriors to hide the Vietnam draft dodging of all of them.’

    Well said JC . Ironically when the USA had a President that actually fought in a war I.e Kennedy the latter had the gumption to stand up to and face down the ‘warmongers’ in his cabinet . General Curtis Le May wanted to spark off World War 3 at the time of the Cuban missile crisis and he was supported by most of the military brass . I’ve been reading Tony Judt’s ‘Reappraisal’s ‘ reflections on the forgotten twentieth century – which makes one reflect on how critical it is particularly in a time of crisis for those who have their hands on the lever of power to have the requisite intelligence not to lead their countries into a ditch !

    From what we now know of the 2003 Iraqi invasion General Colin Powell was very much against the invasion and probably against his own better judgement was forced into the ‘war mongering ‘ party of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld .

    Several trillion dollars later both in expenditure and accumulated war debt can anybody say that it was worth it ?

  • Prionsa Eoghann


    ^^.. he, rather than simply giving in, kept the peace process alive.^^

    This has now become a circular argument, where you repeatedly say things like the above and I ask for an expansion or to elaborate. All we witnessed after the heady days of calling the ceasefires and the positivity was Major putting the brakes on at the behest of orange unionists who were helping him keep his job.

    Now if you can provide examples of Majors contribution beyond assenting to tbe British governments initial public involvement please let me know. Otherwise I need to get off this roundabout as I am dizzy.


    I have already mentioned to Pip aspects of the ‘realpolitik’ which is well known, so how can I stand accused of not accepting it……..jeez. What I do not accept that his job was more important than the process. Comparing the room Adams had to play with to Major is apples and oranges and perhaps verging on bluster. Major potentially may have lost his job without support of his rebelling tories and new ‘friends’ from Ulster. Without Adams being able to bring the Republican movement would have sunk the peace process. I was originally looking for you to provide a revelation about Major (regarding my first contribution) as I am more than happy to change my mind on things provided with sufficient evidence. Until then I cannot but believe that Major deliberately hampered all but scuttled it to save his job. Of course after Manchester and Canary wharf the game was up, and those in the British establishment who agreed whith my current perspective saw to that.

    Telling me that you have more time for Major nowadays etc is fine but hence my subjective versus objective comment, which you really shouldn’t get so touchy about.

  • Munsterview


    One thing about your analysis that I find a bit surprising and indeed from some other commentaries also who seem otherwise informed on most aspects of politics is the absence of any reference to the New World Order or what is the Big Picture for these guys.

    Admittedly there is an IRB background in my extended family most were IRB, one was head centre in Killarney, another hid the American ex US Union Army in charge of Kerry until he was smuggled out of the country ( all now a matter of historical record from RIC files) so my Grandfather who died in the mid 20th century may have been a bit more informed than most.

    The First WW split one branch of cousins…. three, the grandsons of an IRB leader fought as officers in the British Army, two died and one went on to become a General in the British Army that also fought in WW 2. One of this mans brothers back in Ireland was a respected Senior Council that had written several books on Irish history and Irish was the home language of his house.

    My grandfather was against Irish participation in the First WW and in my childhood I heard from him how English girls and women made barbed wire during the war that was sold to Germany while the Germans sold chemicals for gas and shells to the British. He told how young British soldiers left their guts strung out on English made wire while German soldiers were blinded and choked by poison gas their own women made.

    This information is now on the internet and similarly he was not impressed by the second WW believing that ‘ the same people that starved Ireland could have stopped Hitler any time they wanted to’ . Anyone with a half a day to spare on the net can find these things out for themselves nowadays. Henrymarkow.com and our own Jimcorr.com are just two sites with dozens of documents posted.

    In the mid-nineties a senior republican expressed his doubts regarding England’s intent to end the Low Intensity Warfare in Northern Ireland. at a US Washington meeting ……. he was told in no uncertain terms that this was the real thing as ‘ British troops were needed for a war in the Middle East and Afghanistan ‘ While that conversation is privileged the facts of it are known to leading republicans.

    There was an agenda for this war scripted long before the Twin Towers…..many believe that the Twin Towers were part of that script not the cause of the conflict. Some years back I had a short stay in hospital; in my ward there was a Pashtun fighter who had flown in to see his doctor son here and to have a medical check. Both of us had the same specialist and were introduced.

    That man had played a leading part against the Soviet army and we had some very interesting talks on the NWO etc. He was under no doubt that the Soviet War and the War against the Western forces was against Evil Incarnate. He had a religious philosophy contextualizing his actions and he was equally aware of how Western Christianity had been infiltrated and compromised from the bottom to the top, too afraid to publicly defend its values verbally much less to fight for them.

    In the early seventies I was passing through the West Cork Gaeltach, I already had two Swedish hitch hikers in the car when I saw a local man thumbing and picked him up, he was going to collect a car in town He asked me in Irish if I had been North lately, I said that I had just come back and told him of what I had seen in West Belfast. He considered it for a minute and then exclaimed ” Na sean F****rs arist! ……. The old F’r again…..he could recognize the patterns of intimidation, harassment and attempted subjection from his own local history.

    Likewise with this man….. It was the same evil forces they always fought, they were spiritual warriors who wanted Independence for their people, the Western Devils had linked up with their own Warlord Devils to instutionalise corruption…… there could be no compromise with evil……just eradicate it !

    It was a few very interesting and instructive days for both of us. He did point out a major difference in East West thinking…….. most Islam’s peoples were informed about NWO activity while most peoples in the West with information at their fingertips were ignorant of it.

    Perhaps a article and thread by somebody like Jim Corr about the play and its contents, commissioned by Mick would throw a little more light on the subject rather than as we are doing here, essentially we are but reviewing how some of the principle actors performed.

    Lets see what those who scripted the play intended!

  • Neither Blair or Major went out on a limb over the peace process, as it was agreed UK State policy designed to maintain the status quo, i e with the north ending up remaining within the UK. It did not fall out of the air but was carefully constructed by the British state over a long period of time.

    Releasing political prisoners from jail on the completion of their war has never been a problem for UK governments, whether Tory or Labour. The history of the British empire set the bench mark on this.

    Blair was more important than Major within the peace process as he accepted and understood the importance of and need for, smoozing Gerry Adams and his closest associates. (Hence all those phone calls to Clinton to smooth their way in the USA.) John Major would probably have been unable; possibly unwilling to do this, he is just not that type of man. He certainly would not have been prepared to belittle himself by making out he had great admiration if not friendship for Gerry Adams.

    Blair he is actor-politician who works to a script, if you loose sight of this you will loose sight of Blair.

    The UK State set in for the long haul, having realized they were unable to defeat the Provos military, but understood clearly the Provos were in a worst position, as whilst they had the stamina to fight a long war, they lacked the means to move it forward. Thus it was only a matter of time before they would come to the negotiating table and when they did they developed a plan which had them by the balls. As the Provos main negotiating break off point was the release of the prisoners and the Brits did not give a fig about that. After all these men were not being released onto the streets of Finchley.

    True the Provos got their volunteers home, but the sad fact is not a single one of them had gone to war to maintain the status quo of the UK State.

    I feel if anyone fails to understand why millions of us hate Tony Blair, they lack a heart, let alone empathy with his victims.

  • Munsterview

    What the blazes do you think my ‘Forgotten Falklands’ meant…… that someone should go down there and count the penguins ?

  • Alan Maskey


    Tom McGurk has a good piece on war criminal Blair, who will have to live the crest of his life in a security cocoon. He finishes with the good point that the big criminals get away. James Connolly said something similar.

  • Greenflag

    ‘but the sad fact is not a single one of them had gone to war to maintain the status quo of the UK State.’

    It was’nt the status of the UK they were opposed to it was the status of the quasi fascist one party Unionist state of Northern Ireland as established in 1920 .

    In that they succeeded . Northern Ireland is no longer ruled by a simple majoritarian vote . Power sharing is mandatory and the UK government has stated it has no selfish reason for maintaining NI within the union and that if the people of Northern Ireland ever vote themselves out of the UK they will not find the British Government preventing their departure .

    Now prior to 1969 the people of Northern Ireland had no such right -neither had they proportional representation – and neither had they power sharing .

    We forget the many achievements of SF and the SDLP over the past 40 years . The fact that they have not achieved a 32 county UI is neither here nor there . Nobody else and no other party on this island could have achieved that either . If the Eirigi and 32 county Sovereignty think they can then good luck to them. From where I am they will only succeed in pushing any prospect of any UI back another century

  • Greenflag,

    Your wrong about this, it was the status of the UK which made many volunteers go to war, i e they fought for a reunited Ireland which if achieved in itself would have changed the Status of the UK, possible irreparably.

    Nevertheless you make a valid point about the north no longer being a protestant statelet for a protestant people. The problem for SF is they have never really found a way to push this point successfully to their core electorate, as were they to do so it would also highlight the limitations of what they achieved after 30 years of conflict. Instead they made the mistake of talking up the likelihood of reunification by 1916, etc.

    It is a difficult one for the shinners I agree, but the dissidents have done little better by concentrating on fighting the last war. Perhaps what Republicanism needs is a period of refection about just where they are and what opportunities the present situation offers them to push their beliefs forward. By republicans I mean all and anyone who considers themselves as such.

  • Alias

    They’d then have to point out that Home Rule for NI was rescinded in 1972, and that all they achieved after that date on behalf of the state that sponsored their campaign was the consolidation and legitimisation of that state’s rule. So let’s look at what the state-sponsored murder gang did achieve: 1) It have led the community that supported it to formally renounce its right to national self-determination, downgrading it to the status of an aspiration that is subject to the veto of another nation and its state. That was a core demand made of that community by the British state since partition. 2) They have legitimised British sovereignty, and constitutionally accepted that the legitimate ownership of the territory of Northern Ireland resides with the British nation and not the Irish nation. That was another core demand made of that community by the British state since partition. 3) They have accepted that they are rightfully born as British citizens in a British state and that British nationality is their default nationality under international law. That was another core demand made of that community by the British state since partition. 4) They have encouraged the Irish state to renounce its constitutional claim to Her Majesty’s territory of Northern Ireland. That was another core demand made of that community by the British state since partition. 5) They have encouraged the Irish state to grant sovereignty over key institutions of the Irish state to the British state via the NSMC, thereby establishing the principle that all Irish citizens should subject their national affairs to the veto a foreign state and that they have no inalienable right to determine these affairs for themselves. That wasn’t a core demand made by the British state since partition but it is a bonus that ensures that the veto that is now legitimised in NI should also be legitimised in Ireland. None of that would have been possible if the state-sponsored murder gang was directed by the British state to cease activity after Home Rule for NI was rescinded in 1972. Historic compromise and all that…