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Old 05-06-2006, 03:00 PM   #1
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Blair - should he stay or should he go?

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Pressure on Blair to step down grows


Saturday, May 06, 2006 08:36:12 pm


LONDON: Pressure on British Prime Minister Tony Blair to resign following his Labour Party's stinging defeat during local elections this week, grew as supporters of prime minister-in-waiting Gordon Brown were reported on Saturday to be calling for a clear timeline for Blair's departure.

The BBC reported that Blair and Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown, long considered his designated successor, had agreed to meet for talks this weekend, while the Left-leaning Guardian newspaper reported that a letter calling on Blair to step down had been circulated among a group of Labour MPs.

"If Mr Blair does not bow to the pressure backbench MPs intend to publish a letter, possibly by the end of next week," wrote the Guardian, which is considered an authority on Labour party matters.

As many as 75 Labour MPs may have signed the circular calling for Blair either to issue a clear timeline for an "orderly transition" or face a formal challenge to his leadership, the Guardian added.

On Friday, Blair responded to Labour's losses of 319 seats in the local elections with a radical shake-up of his cabinet.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke was sacked in the wake of a scandal over his failure to deport foreigners who had served time in the country's prisons, while Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was demoted to the post of leader of the house.

In all, 13 cabinet and senior party posts changed hands in the reshuffle.

The Conservative Party under its new leader David Cameron turned out big winners of the election. The Tories won 40 percent of the vote to take 316 council seats, making it the strongest party at local level.

The Liberal Democrats took 27 percent of the vote, ahead of Labour's 26 percent in the election that saw a voter turnout of only 36 percent.

For the good of the Labour party -
he should go.
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Old 05-06-2006, 03:24 PM   #2
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Considering that the Labour Party has a heavyweight in Gordon Brown, it would probably be smart for Blair to resign.

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Old 05-06-2006, 03:46 PM   #3
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I agree he should go soon 'cos it just seems now as if the pressure will continue on him 'til he does.
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Old 05-06-2006, 04:03 PM   #4
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I think he should go as well. I can't see any good coming of him staying. And I actually think Brown will make a very good PM.

There's been so many reshuffles lately that I have no idea which minister is doing which job. So many of these new appointments smack of Blair trying to consolidate his position rather than who's appropriate for the job that it's sickening. Or maybe Tony's just been sampling Reid's secret stash...
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Old 05-06-2006, 04:18 PM   #5
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I agree about Gordon Brown - i like him somehow plus he's Scottish!

I can't help agreeing however with one column writer who thought that he might not be very poular with voters down south, unfortunately
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Old 05-06-2006, 07:10 PM   #6
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Speaking as a moderate conservative, this presents an opportunity for David Cameron.

Of course the right wing conservatives hate Cameron - which in my view is a point in his favour.
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Old 05-06-2006, 07:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Considering that the Labour Party has a heavyweight in Gordon Brown, it would probably be smart for Blair to resign.

Melon
Brown is pro-big government, an old style socialist / interventionist at heart. I personally think it would not be a good thing for Britain if he were to accede to power.
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Old 05-06-2006, 07:21 PM   #8
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Originally posted by financeguy
Brown is pro-big government, an old style socialist / interventionist at heart. I personally think it would not be a good thing for Britain if he were to accede to power.
Well, I'm not judging whether he's a good candidate or not. I'm merely talking party strategy. I may be semi-adept at Canadian politics, but I'm semi-"semi-adept" at UK politics...lol.

Anyway, from what I know about Gordon Brown (he hired Greenspan as a consultant...and Greenspan is doing it for free methinks) and David Cameron (his social stances make the U.S. Democratic Party seem like fascists in comparison), I think it would be a very interesting election campaign between the two.

I've always wondered what a bigotry-free election campaign would look like.

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Old 05-06-2006, 07:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Well, I'm not judging whether he's a good candidate or not. I may be semi-adept at Canadian politics, but I'm semi-"semi-adept" at UK politics...lol.

Anyway, from what I know about Gordon Brown (he hired Greenspan as a consultant...and Greenspan is doing it for free methinks) and David Cameron (his social stances make the U.S. Democratic Party seem like fascists in comparison), I think it would be a very interesting election campaign between the two.

I've always wondered what a bigotry-free election campaign would look like.

Melon
Yes, in terms of social stances the mainstream modern day Conservative party in Britain is a lot more tolerant and inclusive than it used to be.

One thing that's interesting to note - comparing Britain to the US - is that the Christian conservative movement isn't really a significant factor in British politics - it does exist, but it is largely a fringe group, with limited influence on politics.
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Old 05-06-2006, 08:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
One thing that's interesting to note - comparing Britain to the US - is that the Christian conservative movement isn't really a significant factor in British politics - it does exist, but it is largely a fringe group, with limited influence on politics.
Indeed. You sent all your religious fanatics onto boats destined for North America.

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Old 05-06-2006, 08:19 PM   #11
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Old 05-06-2006, 08:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


Indeed. You sent all your religious fanatics onto boats destined for North America.

Melon
It's time to send them back!
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:42 AM   #13
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I can't believe Jack Straw has been demoted by the way. I always thought he was regarded as being very good at his job. And to replace him with Beckett is an absolute joke. I have no faith in her capabilities as foreign secretary whatsoever.
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:09 PM   #14
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That's a coincidence 'cos i thought that too about Jack Straw since he seems to be one of the best people in the government!

He had a good partnership with Condaleeza Rice apparently so that makes it even more strange

I can't imagine Margaret Beckett fitting in with that position
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:57 PM   #15
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All very dramatic on ITN tonight. Headline story of "Labour rebels urged not to stage a coup on Blair". He's going to find it very difficult to get legislation passed after this latest Cabinet reshuffle I reckon.
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