Will Blair still be Prime Minister at the end of the week? - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-27-2004, 06:27 AM   #1
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Will Blair still be Prime Minister at the end of the week?

Blair Faces Damaging Defeat as Hutton Report Looms

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LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair could suffer his first major defeat in parliament Tuesday, less than 24 hours before a potentially explosive report into a weapons expert's suicide poses a further threat to his government.
This might be the end of him. It looks like even the people in his own party want him to go. If this college tuition proposal doesn't come through, and if the Hutton inquiry concludes that he lied about Kelly. It might be tubby-bye-bye for Blair.
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Old 01-27-2004, 02:56 PM   #2
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He'll still be there at the end of the week, unfortunately. They government have just won the top-up fees vote, mostly due to bullying Labour MPs into voting with them. Let's all express our gratitude to Tony Blair for ensuring that poorer students are going to be priced out of attending university.

That said, the government has a majority of 160 and it had to resort to every trick in the book to get this bill passed with a majority of 5. There's no doubt that Blair's government is seriously weakened and if Hutton throws up any suprises (unlikely, IMO) he'll be in trouble.
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Old 01-27-2004, 06:41 PM   #3
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The Turkish press is claiming that this is "Blair's toughest week" as PM and is facing a "revolt" of Labour MP's.
Maybe they are being too melodramatic.
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Old 01-28-2004, 06:04 AM   #4
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IMO they're not being melodramatic. He did face the biggest revolt in parliament since he's been PM. When he has a majority or 160 and yet only wins a vote by 5, that's definitely a tough week and whe you combine it with the release of the Hutton Inquiry report it all adds up to make one of his toughest week since taking office.
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Old 01-28-2004, 07:10 AM   #5
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As a grad student dependent on student loans/ grants/ scholarships etc, albeit in Canada, I think the issue regarding university accessibility is a crucial matter. Please see my signature quote re: what happens when society only nourishes the minds of the rich.

As for the Hutton inquiry, a man lost his life over this matter. It cannot be white washed or covered up in anyway. A full investigation with accountability all round is the only ethical way to go.
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Old 01-28-2004, 08:52 AM   #6
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I've just watched the press-conference of the Hutton inquiry. It conludes that the 45 minutes claim was indeed a real theory at the time even though doubts about it's credibillity had been left out of the Iraq WMD report, and that there was no evidence that the government forced the JIC to sex it up or that they leaked Kelly's name on purpose.

It seems as though Blair is in the clear for now, but I still think he won't make it untill the next elections. Not just because on many issues he seems to have a significant part of his own mp's against him, but I also heard a lot of labour mp's would like to see him go. And the conservatives seem to be gaining in the polls.
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Old 01-28-2004, 09:03 AM   #7
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Blair wins, opponents lose, again.
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Old 01-28-2004, 09:21 AM   #8
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That's right Sting. Right or wrong, the man seems indesctructible.

SD
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Old 01-28-2004, 09:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
He'll still be there at the end of the week, unfortunately. They government have just won the top-up fees vote, mostly due to bullying Labour MPs into voting with them. Let's all express our gratitude to Tony Blair for ensuring that poorer students are going to be priced out of attending university.
.

You should hear the proposals for the assembly here on Top up fees, our largest political party led by Ian Paisley wants to charge us on how many classes we attend, so the more we go to the less our fees are, we also have to go to the libraries and spend the 40 hours a week at uni studying and there will be like role calls in the libraries and stuff, you also have to get good marks and the worse they are the more your fees are.

It's like being a caged animal, people watching everything you do, having to report to the library and go for a role call.

And if you don't get ajob when you leave and are living off benefits they take money out of that to pay for your debts.

If that really did happen, Id probably have to leave university, I don't know if I could aford that.

It has frightened me so much Im going to work really hard this semester.

The thing that really iriitates me though is that when I leave university I will have done my PGCE and be qualified to be a teacher - so Im paying all this money to become a teacher something that the government really needs, all my friends go to a university that is only for people doing teaching, if those fees were all put up think how many people would be put off going to university or couldnt afford to go, what will the government do then if there arent enough doctors, teachers etc.. and we are already in need of teachers here as it is.
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Old 01-28-2004, 10:47 AM   #10
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Damn. This is certainly not the kind of thing I think of when I think of a Labour government. I've always wanted the equivalent of a Labour Party in the U.S. so I can at least vote for what I believe. But I wouldn't vote for this fee stuff.
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Old 01-28-2004, 01:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by LCK
As a grad student dependent on student loans/ grants/ scholarships etc, albeit in Canada, I think the issue regarding university accessibility is a crucial matter. Please see my signature quote re: what happens when society only nourishes the minds of the rich.

As for the Hutton inquiry, a man lost his life over this matter. It cannot be white washed or covered up in anyway. A full investigation with accountability all round is the only ethical way to go.
I agree with you. It's disgusting to think of all the intelligent children who are going to be denied the opportunity to get a good quality university education because they won't be able to afford it once these top-up fees are introduced. Access to higher education should be based on one thing only: ability to learn. Ability to pay should not be a factor.

As for Hutton, the inquiry wasn't anywhere near far-reaching enough (not that it was necessarily intended to be). IMO there should be a further investigation into the whole circumstances surrounding Blair's decision to go to war. There are a lot of people already saying they consider Hutton to be a "white-wash" and having completely failed to take in certain pieces of evidence.
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Old 01-28-2004, 01:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
It seems as though Blair is in the clear for now, but I still think he won't make it untill the next elections. Not just because on many issues he seems to have a significant part of his own mp's against him, but I also heard a lot of labour mp's would like to see him go. And the conservatives seem to be gaining in the polls.
Yep, he's definitely got a significant number of MPs opposing him now. It's not just the people who have opposed him since he won the leadership of the party either, it's even people like Frank Dobson, Clare Short, Robin Cook...not exactly your "typical" rebel MPs. I think he alienated a lot of MPs, even those who voted with him, over top-up fees. I heard several MPs being interviewed, who had voted with the government but who were saying basically that Blair better not try anything like this again, and they're furious to have been put in this position in the first place.

To be honest, the Tories have an awful long way to go before they're seen as a viable alternative, but it could be over two years until the next election so they've certainly got time to pull themselves together and go into that election with a real chance of beating Blair.
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Old 01-28-2004, 01:30 PM   #13
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Originally posted by STING2
Blair wins, opponents lose, again.
Yep, like Sherry said, he's starting to look indestructible. Unfortunately there were plenty of losers last night. Students, who are going to be priced out of attending universities like Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, LSE, etc. Universities who are going to get a pathetic 1/10th of the money they really need. And in fact, democracy is the loser in this situation: Blair pledged in his 2001 manifesto that his government would "not introduce top-up fees and legislate to prevent them" and yet now he's gone ahead and introduce them anyway. There are a lot of people who feel absolutely betrayed by the Labour party and disgusted that they've gone back on such an explicit manifesto pledge.
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Old 01-28-2004, 01:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aralitia
You should hear the proposals for the assembly here on Top up fees, our largest political party led by Ian Paisley
Yeah, Paisley's just an idiot and it's hard to believe the DUP are actually the largest party now. (Sorry to any DUP voters out there.)

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The thing that really iriitates me though is that when I leave university I will have done my PGCE and be qualified to be a teacher - so Im paying all this money to become a teacher something that the government really needs, all my friends go to a university that is only for people doing teaching, if those fees were all put up think how many people would be put off going to university or couldnt afford to go, what will the government do then if there arent enough doctors, teachers etc.. and we are already in need of teachers here as it is.
I agree 100%. Where would this country be without doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers and the like...and yet here's the government making it harder for people to train for those careers.

Besides which, once you've qualified as a teacher you'll be paying more income tax than someone who didn't go to college and consequently didn't get such a good job, so you'll be paying for the cost of attending university through the general taxation system.

Of course that's ignoring the fact that teaching isn't one of the better paid jobs a graduate could get, so there more debt a person is likely to get into whilst attending university, the less likely they are to take a public service job which is usually less well paid than a private sector job.
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Old 01-28-2004, 01:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
Damn. This is certainly not the kind of thing I think of when I think of a Labour government. I've always wanted the equivalent of a Labour Party in the U.S. so I can at least vote for what I believe. But I wouldn't vote for this fee stuff.
Seriously, Blair isn't at all representative of the Labour party as a whole. I'm a member of the Labour party and I know hundreds of other Labour party members and I can think of all of about five people who supported top-up fees. There were at one point over 150 Labour MPs who signed an EDM against top-up fees, but some of them gave into government bullying to vote with the government. Even my local MP has acknowledge that he doesn't really think top-up fees are a good thing, but he voted for them anyway because he likes his job in government.

The same over the Iraq war, the majority of Labour party members were absolutely opposed to it, but Blair's destroyed the internal democracy of the Labour party to the point where he doesn't have to take any notice of the party's opinion.
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