Saturday, February 07, 2009

Kettle on Blair/Obama

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Martin Kettle is one of our finest political commentators. Here he does it again. I would never have thought of this but it's obvious once you read it.


  1. I love how the comments below it prove his point about British views of Blair are spot on.

  2. It's a strange thing, but after about 8, the more comments there are on a blog post the smaller the chance of finding one worth reading.

  3. So Bams finally replaced Rev. Jeremiah Wright, with the Vicar of Albion? A marginally better choice of pastor.

  4. A fine article, but I did chuckle at kettle's lines-

    "That is one very good reason why Blair already has Obama's ear. Let us hope it bears some fruit."

    The mental image it evokes for me is delightful.

  5. So let me see if I have read this correctly. Kettle thinks that Obama, the leader of the free world, is going to use Blair, modern political histories most busted flush as a litmus test of his own projected performance, because Blair has been there, has the tee shirt, has made the mistakes therefore Obama, learning from those mistakes, will not make them himself. Were it anyone other than Blair I might have half believed this story. If true it speaks volumes about Obamas judgement.
    The fifth comment Brit, just sneaked in under the rubbish line.

  6. I'm suprised you haven't thought of it. However, I suspect Blair realises the opportunity he squandered in the UK and he may well be urging Obama to execute his aims more succesfully than Blair himself managed.

    Daniel Finklestein has said that he believed Blair's instincts were sound at the end, but that ultimately he was constrained by the visually impaired Scottish person and the interest groups that attached themselves to Brown. Problem is, the stimulus package recently announced by Obama hardly inspires much confidence. The House democrats have written the bill, and they've done what comes naturally. I fear it may be deja vu all over again.

  7. Here is an excerpt from The White House: Press Office: Press Briefing 2-5-2009:

    Q Can I follow on the breakfast -- thank you. He referred to Tony Blair as his good friend, Tony Blair. How close is the President with former Prime Minister Blair? Does he consult with him on a regular basis?

    MR. GIBBS: I don't know the last time that they spoke. I know they've met several times when the President was overseas during the most recent campaign and also when the President traveled with Senator Lugar to -- overseas and back through London in 2005. I don't know if they've spoken most recently, but obviously Mr. Blair is somebody who has enormous experience in dealing with problems not just as the leader of a country, but now in his involvement in trying to get peace in the Middle East, like George Mitchell is working on and, like the President has said, that this administration will be engaged on each and every day.

    Q Is there still a special relationship between the U.S. and England?

    MR. GIBBS: Say that again?

    Q Is there still a special relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain?

    MR. GIBBS: Absolutely.



  8. I don't mean that 8 is a cut-off between good and rubbish comments, Malty. Hmm, I need to refine this theory.

    I meant that when you see a thread with 8 or so comments, you can expect to read something worthwhile. Whereas when a post has, say, 120 comments, you can be pretty certain that all of them, including the first 8, are rubbish. Mostly insults, statements of the bleedin' obvious, or variations on 'f**k off'.