Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Tony, Tony, Tony...

Did I hear right? I had to flick through 4 different news channels before I could take seriously tonight's headline: Tony Blair tells chatshow host Parkinson that he prayed to God over whether to go to war with Iraq

Much to the chagrin of his party members it has been no secret that Tony is a big Christian. He was reportedly advised against ending his first address to the nation at the start of the war in Iraq with "God Bless You". Advice that he apparently heeded. So where are his advisors now?

Has he completely lost the plot? Despite his strong faith and narcissistic belief in himself as the world's modern day saviour, is he not aware that he's Prime Minister (not for much longer) of a secular nation?

He is no doubt confused by the US example where so many public figures (notably his prayer buddy) regularly court the support of the churchgoing section of the population by touting their religious affiliation. But the US has a churchgoing contingent. The average Brit goes to Church once a year, and that is for a wedding or a funeral.

We were all aware that his religious beliefs influenced his opinions on social policy - some of us have more of an issue with that than others - but the decision to go to war? Even the religious among us had hoped that we were being led by a man who could differentiate his political obligations from his spiritual shenanigans. (I am obviously not included in that group being neither religious nor under any illusions about Mr. Blair's competence.)

Tony has surely just committed political suicide. The buzzwords tonight are 'Crusade' and 'Gordon Brown'. He's been on his way out since the WMD fiasco became public knowledge. The noose has been around his neck for some time now, but I think (hope) he just kicked the Prime Ministerial bucket.

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  • At 8:08 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Heh, until 3/4 of the way through this I thought our proud atheist AH was the author. I hope your reaction is indicative of most Britons'. There always did seem to be a disconnect between Tony's gushily religious rhetoric and the understated beliefs (whatever they are) of most of the Brits I know.

    Don't you think the real indiscretion is the showiness of it all? That's what Brits usually hate about Americans, how full-on and tacky we are about our feelings and beliefs. I guess that's just the surface, but I would think it would especially offend a lot of Brits.

    Also, is Gordon Brown any good? I really haven't followed his career much. I'm still crossing my fingers for the election of George Galloway. I for one wish I lived in a country where my leader could crawl on the ground impersonating a cat in heat, meowing and nuzzling into the folds and wrinkles of that witchy Polish baroness, on Celebrity Big Brother.

  • At 9:06 PM, Blogger Neda Cole said…

    Hehe. Fortunately George Galloway is way too much of a sand-nigger lover to ever be accepted in national politics as anything more than a light-faced representative of the darkies. (I have serious questions over the man's integrity and his relationship with Saddam Hussein was way too chummy-chummy)

    Gordon Brown is a toughie. While he's obviously preferable to Tony and has been a strong advocate for the readdressing of Third World Debt among other nobler causes than blowing up Babylon, I'm not sure its anything more than the New Labour spin we've come to know and love.

    He's still tentatively the darling of the British Lefties, boosted by his reputation as a tough-talking Scot that prioritises the reduction of poverty. But his contribution to the economy as Chancellor has done little to improve the lot of the most underprivileged and I think his reputation owes a lot to his friendship with the late John Smith who perhaps was a man with honourable convictions.

    My main bugaboo with him is his zeal for patriotism. He harps on endlessly about British national identity and makes no secret of his admiration for American-style patriotism that I just don't think is something that will take on over here. And the prospect that it might quite frankly gives me the chills.

    His biggest blunder to date in my eyes (he'd never get my vote) is his statement 'I think the days of Britain having to apologise for our history are over'. Um no Gordon they're not.. by a longshot..

    And yeah, Tony's gush has been sickeningly theatrical. I keep expecting him to burst into 'Jesus Christ Superstar'.

  • At 10:52 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Heh, that would be truly frightening.

    That does sound like Brown has a tin ear, at the very least. I guess it's probably easier for a Scot to want to stop thinking about the British Empire (which reminds me, I wanted to blog about something our co-blogger joancrawfordsface wrote me about how bias against toffs and "proper" accents is in reaction to the legacy of British imperialism).

    Joancrawfordsface also recently emailed me upset about Blair or maybe Brown's benefits reforms. I gather that New Labour is picking apart the social safety net...

  • At 10:54 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Sorry, I'm getting tired. That one sentence about imperialism was very convoluted.

  • At 6:29 PM, Anonymous k1ss0ff said…

    how daily star...

    i find it amusing how everyone's picked up on the headline without actually watching the interview... i just finished watching it and in reality it was far less sensational. the actual gist of what he was saying was that in the end it comes down to a question of your own conscience and for a religious person that means your conscience is influenced by your faith... snooze fest... talk about stating the obvious..

    i'm not a big fan of tony's overall public persona but in this particular interview he came off very well, self-deprecating and funny...

  • At 1:42 AM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    I just like him because he married Harry Potter.

  • At 7:41 AM, Blogger Neda Cole said…


    Well obviously i posted this before seeing the interview because it wasn't screened until last night.

    I watched it too, and while you're right that he came off as self-deprecating and made a few attempts at being humourous, those are qualities i'd appreciate in a dinner guest maybe, but i want something else in a prime minister.

    Its interesting how differently people are reacting to what he said about God and judgement with regard to going to war in Iraq. While he didn't quite say he was on a mission from God to kill terrorists, he did strongly imply that God is on his side if you will.. and in a war where 100,000 civilians plus have already been killed, not to mention the total destruction of a country and wanton use of torture and other human rights abuses I still find that really offensive. As have the parents of our soldiers who have died in this war and most of the Arab world.

  • At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    when a prime minister is on newsnight i'd want to see him serious and thoughtful - when he's talking about his rockstar wannabe college life, on a chat show then serious would just be stupid..


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