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Old 07-27-2005, 11:18 AM   #1
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Mr Blair PM

I'm curious, what's everyone's opinion of Tony?

And my other question is, (I suppose this is more one for the Brits but others can answer too) what are you judging him on? What do you look for in a good PM? Are home issues or foreign issues more important to you? For example, could you live with a questionable foreign policy if that same PM was delivering a superb NHS?

And what do you think about Blair's more 'radical' policies? The reforms of the House of Lords (was it really creating a fairer system to balance out the 'Tory cronies' or was it merely filling it full of New Labour enthusiasts so legislation could be passed?), the creation of the Welsh assembly and Scottish parliament (it may not sound controversial but remember the tution fees scandal? Why should Scottish MPs be allowed to vote on something that was not coming into effect in Scotland? W/o their votes it may not have been passed!). And don't forget his nickname of President Blair and reputation as Bliar...

So thoughts anyone?
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Old 07-27-2005, 12:08 PM   #2
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Version one (during Clinton’s term and the guy that supported Gore)

Is someone that would have gone down in history in the highest regard.


Version two

The guy that hitched himself to G W Bush only survives because there is no viable alternative. This version will go down in history poorly. He recently said there is no connection to London bombings and Iraq War. Well, when suspects are caught and
they say there is, will he say they hate "freedom" and "long for 72 virgins"? The British people are not as stupid as W’s supporters. Britain had no real trouble with mideast terror before, because their Israeli/ Palestinian policies were seen as more even handed than W’s blatant one sidedness.
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:03 PM   #3
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I don't have any facts behind my opinion but this is the first time Britain has been attacked since the World War 2. And I find it strange that since Blair has been backing Bush on the "War On Terror" (In real life: War On Saddam) London gets attacked by terrorists. Coincidence?
I think Blair is a superb PM but he made a mistake in backing Bush.
I was scratching my head at the Weapons of Mass Destruction, and even more puzzled at Bush attacking Saddam Hussein rather than trying to find members of Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.
The real enemies are being ignored, let into our countries with bombs, and letting them take our airplanes and crashing them into our skyscrapers- that is more of a threat to me than WMD. And I'm just a mere mortal that lives in Anchorage, not a Prime Minister or a President. So that's why I find Blair was confused about this whole situation, and now that he got a wake up call (July 7) he is now accusing us of "Falling Asleep after 9/11", which in my opinion he is right.
Let's sing: "NO MORE!"
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Old 07-27-2005, 06:07 PM   #4
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Actually the IRA bombed London a few times, killed around 70 people total I think. But that's besides the point.

I don't really know about his domestic policies, so I can't really comment. He's further to the right than whatever socialist party you have, so I suppose that's good in my eye. I dunno.

I didn't support the war, so I suppose he's to his country what Bush is to ours, but I honestly find his support of the US refreshing to say the least. I appreciated that after the bombings in London he made a point to say that terrorists are not going to convince them to distance themselves from any allies, including the US.
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
I don't really know about his domestic policies, so I can't really comment. He's further to the right than whatever socialist party you have, so I suppose that's good in my eye. I dunno.
Do you mean he's further to the right than the Labour Party (Social Democrats) of which he is leader, or further to the right than socialist parties like the SWP and SSP?
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Old 07-28-2005, 03:37 AM   #6
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did you lie to us tony
we thought you were different
now you know we're not so sure
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Old 07-28-2005, 06:06 AM   #7
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Blair has been too close to Bush as per foreign policy. I really don't know that much about his domestic policies, being from the U.S.
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Old 07-28-2005, 07:51 AM   #8
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Originally posted by xtal
puzzled at Bush attacking Saddam Hussein rather than trying to find members of Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.
RATHER THAN trying to find members of Al Qaeda and Bin Laden? If you think the US has stopped hunting Al Qaeda Bin Laden, you are mistaken. US and its allies have found most of the people on the Al Qaeda most wanted list, and are still searching.
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Old 07-28-2005, 08:20 AM   #9
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Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees


Do you mean he's further to the right than the Labour Party (Social Democrats) of which he is leader, or further to the right than socialist parties like the SWP and SSP?
Oh. err, shows how much I know about British politics! I just thought in general the UK was further to the right than countries like France and Germany, and I think that's a good thing.
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Old 07-28-2005, 08:31 AM   #10
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Oh. err, shows how much I know about British politics! I just thought in general the UK was further to the right than countries like France and Germany, and I think that's a good thing.
I'm not so sure. Jacques Chirac, the current president of France is the leader of France's more right-wing political party and in fact in the 2002 election the Socialist Party didn't even make it to the second round of the election, instead Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the extreme right Front National was Chirac's opponent. In Germany it's widely expected that the centre-right party will win next year's election. And if you look at the rest of Europe, Berlusconi, hardly a left-wing politician by anyone's standards is Prime Minster of Italy, I think Denmark has a liberal/conservative coalition and there are numerous other right/centre-right governments across Europe.

However, in the UK the Labour Party (centre-left) defeated the Conservatives (centre-right) in the 2005 election. Of course while that would suggest the UK has a more left-wing government than the countries above, many of Blair's policies are seen as being little different to those of the Conservative Party so perhaps the simple fact that he leads the Labour Party shouldn't be taken as evidence that he's truly a centre-left politician.

But out of curiosity, why is simply being "further to the right" a good thing in your eyes?
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:01 AM   #11
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Thanks for clearing that up for me, I definitely need to read up on my European politics.

Most of my ideas (misconceptions?) stem from a conversation I had with my French teacher last year about the taxes and other economic policies there, which were so different from the system we have in the US. I mean, that the government decides how many people "get" to study to become doctors, things like that.

In the future I'll keep my mouth shut on these things unless I know what I'm talking about.
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
Most of my ideas (misconceptions?) stem from a conversation I had with my French teacher last year about the taxes and other economic policies there, which were so different from the system we have in the US. I mean, that the government decides how many people "get" to study to become doctors, things like that.
I'm not really sure what your teacher was talking about there, but I assume it referred to the fact that in most European countries universities receive a significant amoung of state funding and the cost of attending university is subsidised by the government. So at the most utterly simplistic level, that means the government has some control over how many people can attend university, and yes how many people can study to be doctors.

In reality the system is far more complex. Universities receive funding from the government each year which they then use to pay for lecturers, libraries, laboratories, in short all the things needed to provide a degree course. It's up to the university to decide how to spend that money -- for instance if one year they have twenty applicants for every place on a particular course they're free to decide that next year they'll allocate more money to that department and thus expand the number of places available. Similarly, if a course becomes less popular they're free to decrease funding to that department. The government doesn't have absolute control over this, although it does sometimes offer special grants to universities to fund places on particular courses when there is a need for graduates in that subject.

Medicine is perhaps somewhat more complex because it requires cooperation between universities and the health service to provide clinical training. But the same principle applies - the government provides funding and universities determine how many places to make available.

Do universities in the US not receive any form of public funding?
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:26 AM   #13
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Well, we've got state universities which are a little cheaper to get into (unless you go out of state), and then private ones which are extremely expensive. He described the French system to me as the government looks at their projections and decides how many people even get to study medicine. In the US, if you can manage to get accepted somewhere and you can afford it, you CAN become a doctor. You're not garunteed a job, of course. He also mentioned other things, such as a girl he knew who gets government compensation because she quit her job to go live with her boyfriend in another city. I just feel like these kind of policies restrict personal ability/responsibility.
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
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In the US, if you can manage to get accepted somewhere and you can afford it, you CAN become a doctor. You're not garunteed a job, of course.
It's exactly the same in European countries - if you get accepted to medical school you can attend and become a doctor. You don't have to ask permission of the government or something! In fact you could argue that medical school is far more accessible in European countries because the cost of university education is subsidised.

Quote:
He also mentioned other things, such as a girl he knew who gets government compensation because she quit her job to go live with her boyfriend in another city. I just feel like these kind of policies restrict personal ability/responsibility.
If someone leaves a job voluntarily they can still claim unemployment benefit although normally they have to wait a period of time before they're eligible. Besides, you can't stay on unemployment benefit indefinitely without looking for a job - people are required to look for work and risk having their unemployment benefit taken away if they fail to do so.
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Old 07-29-2005, 09:07 AM   #15
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Blair has been too close to Bush as per foreign policy.
I don't know about that to be honest, sure there has been a lot of co-operation on the War On Terror but there is an awful lot of Foreign Policy where Blair administration is incredibly pissed off with the Bush adminitration.
Publically Africa and the Environment are probably the most obvious but there is also Libya (for which the British foreign office worked very hard and patiently while the Bush adminstration came on board at the last moment and congratulated itself very publically), there's differences on Iran similar to Libya whilst I believe the Bush administration has been pretty disgusted by the EU's (and therefore the UK's) lack of action on Burma. In private the Blair administration hasn't exactly standing shoulder to shoulder with Bush on the Guantanamo issue.
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