Andrew Allison

Archive for the ‘Blair’ Category

Speaking in Japan

In Blair, Brown, Clinton, Reagan, Thatcher on November 9, 2007 at 5:51 pm

We have all seen the internet adds and had spam e-mail telling us how we could be worth a small fortune in just a few months if we click here and hand over some of our hard earned cash for this report or another. Well, Tony Blair does not need to try this. All he had to do is turn up and speak to some property developers in China and pocket an estimated £237,000.

As a free marketeer, I say good luck to him. I just wish someone would pay me a thousand pounds for speaking to them, but you do wonder why on earth anyone would think he was worth that sort of money. Not that he is the only one. According to The Times, Bill Clinton has pocketed $40 dollars since he left the White House. Margaret Thatcher got a cool £60,000 for one after dinner speech and Ronald Reagan raked in $2 million in Japan after he left office.

After Gordon Brown leaves office, do you think anyone will pay him for his speeches? The International Insomnia Society, perhaps?

Blair’s Memoirs

In Blair, Brown on October 28, 2007 at 4:13 pm

Tony Blair has struck a deal for the publication of his memoirs. No doubt this will make him millions of pounds and set him up perfectly to run for President of Europe as and when the time arrives.

I will be interesting though if he goes in to detail about his relationship with Brown. He probably won’t and the whole thing will be a damp squib. I imagine he will do he same as Alistair Campbell and gloss over everything. Or maybe Campbell missed them out of his book to pave the way for Blair? We’ll just have to wait.

What does the future hold for Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems?

In Blair, Brown, Cameron, Chris Huhne, Conservatives, labour, LibDems, Ming Campbell, Nick Clegg on October 16, 2007 at 4:39 pm

The past two and a half weeks have been the most politically volatile anyone can remember for a long time. The opinion polls are not to be trusted. They are jumping everywhere and yesterday we saw the first casualty of Brown’s ‘non-election.’

Now is a good time to pause and think. This is what the Lib Dems will have to do to make sure their new leader is the right one, and this will give them a problem.

When John Major became Foreign Secretary after the departure of Geoffrey Howe, the country said, ‘John who?’ He was in the cabinet, but the post of Chief Secretary to the Treasury is not a prominent job, but by the time he became Chancellor of the Exchequer a few months later he was a household political name. This gave him the springboard he needed to go for the leadership after Thatcher was pushed out.

Tony Blair was a leading light in the Labour Party long before he became leader. He had made quite a name for himself as Shadow Home Secretary. The electorate – at least those even with a passing interest in politics – knew who he was.

The same can also be said for Ming Campbell. We should not forget his performances in the House of Commons as Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesman. He has a fine grasp of world affairs and he made a name for himself before, during and after the invasion of Iraq.

When it comes to Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg, the same cannot be said of them. They are known to people who are actively involved in politics; but not to the public at large. If you are not well known, you have to be a natural leader, good at getting your point of view across. You have to be able to command a stage. David Cameron wasn’t really known when he became leader of the Conservative Party, but he is proving himself to be strong, cool under fire and has built a very strong team around him who look and sound like ministers; not shadows.

The future of the Liberal Democrats relies on either Huhne or Clegg doing a Cameron. From what I have seen, I don’t think they have it in them. They are both ambitious – which is not a sin – but they don’t stand out from the crowd. For the first time in over ten years the government has real opposition from the Conservative Party. Gordon Brown is right to be worried. What goes through his mind when he looks at his ministers and how they perform, and then looks across at the opposition front bench? Brown has to shoulder the responsibility though.

If he had allowed his ministers more than a few minutes to speak at the party conference, instead of pouring all the attention on his very dull speech, one or two of them may have shone. He didn’t and they didn’t which gave George Osborne, Liam Fox, David Davis, et al, a head start. And they took advantage of this with devastating effect. It was a coming of age for many of the Conservative front bench team and the public can also see that David Cameron isn’t threatened by the talent he has around him; unlike Gordon Brown, who would rather be surrounded by ‘yes’ men. You can see this by his choice of Chancellor of the Exchequer and how he performed last week. We know who is in charge at the Treasury and his name isn’t Alistair Darling.

When all the dust settles and the Lib Dems have their new leader, we will see three party leaders who will lead their respective parties into a general election. David Cameron and his team are the strongest now and I can’t envisage that changing. Gordon Brown’s dithering has cost him dearly and judging by his body language of late, he knows it better than anyone.

Pre-Budget Report

In Alistair Darling, Blair, Brown on October 10, 2007 at 4:35 pm

After Gordon Brown’s last budget on March 21 I wrote THIS. After Alistair Darling’s pre-budget report yesterday, all I can say is nothing has changed. After listening to the report you have to delve through all the facts and figures and try and work out what he has actually said. The devil is in the detail.

Basically, if you own a small business, you are going to get clobbered. Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of the British economy and this government sees them as fair game.

If you are a married couple your joint inheritance tax allowance will go up to £600, 000. If you already have a lawyer or an accountant, you and your partner can split your estate and claim that today.

At our conference last week, the Conservatives proposed simple, easy to understand, tax reforms. Alistair Darling took some of our ideas, added to them, and in true ‘New Labour’ style complicated them and then tried to hide tax increases in mountains of hyperbole.

What Darling and his mentor still don’t realise is the electorate are sick and tired of being lied to. They are fed up with the spin. They are fed up with tax increases being presented as tax reductions. They are beginning to realise that Brown’s tenure at Number 11 Downing Street was not as fantastic as he makes out it is. After nearly 15 years of uninterrupted economic growth, why are we still borrowing so much? Where has the money gone?

Gordon Brown had a very good start to his premiership. In just a few days all of this has unravelled. We have them on the ropes now. Roll on the next Conservative government.

Things are better? Pull the other one

In Blair, Brown, labour on May 10, 2007 at 11:39 am

I am just watching Tony Blair’s departure from Trimdon Labour Club. If I had returned to Britain from a desert island and happened to watch these scenes and listen to Mr Blair’s speech, I would be excited. Britain must be a fantastic place to live in these days. Unfortunately, I have not been on that desert island and we all know the realities of the previous ten years.

What Labour forgets, as it dismisses the Thatcher years, is that if it was not for her, things far from being better, would be a hell of a lot worse. I am proud to be British and I know the people of these islands are special. It is where my heart it. So why are so many of our citizens escaping this country in their droves? Why do I know so many people who cannot face retirement in Britain and are moving to France? Britain is less British now than it was ten years ago. Our freedoms are being constantly eroded. Thousands of new offences on the statute book. The Home Office in an utter mess. Our young people being put in to crippling debt if they want a university education. The NHS in crisis. Nurses qualifying and then being told there isn’t a job for them. Junior doctor’s revolting in their masses.

This has been a sleazy, corrupt government. They have wasted every mandate they received and things will only get worse under Gordon Brown, not better.

Tony’s announcement

In Blair, Brown, labour, resignation on May 10, 2007 at 10:27 am

It’s all happening in Trimdon Labour Club. Apparently the prime minister is going to make an announcement. I wonder what he is going to say?

UPDATE: This really is sick making stuff. All the party faithful are singing, ‘Things can only get better.’ With Gordon Brown replacing him, I hardly think so.

UPDATE: Now they’re reaching for the stars! 11.53 and still waiting.

Reminiscing

In Blair, Prescott on May 8, 2007 at 10:11 am

As we all know, Tony Blair and John Prescott will announce their resignations this week. I therefore cannot resist having another look at ‘Two Jags’ (or should it be ‘Two Jabs’) on the election trail in 2001. Just watch his reflexes!

Blair interviewed again

In Blair on February 1, 2007 at 1:38 pm

I have just got this from the BBC news website.

If Mr Blair was interviewed under caution or indeed arrested, his premiership would be over. He would have no option but to resign, and I wonder if that is the real reason why the police are behaving in such a way? As prime minister he must be a suspect and the police have not been frightened to arrest others. My prediction is as soon as Blair leaves office – voluntarily – he will be cautioned and charges will indeed be brought against him. Watch this space.

Cameron backs cannabis for medicinal use

In Blair, Cameron, cannabis on January 22, 2007 at 9:48 pm

I got this one from Ellee Seymour.

This is a subject close to my heart. A few years ago a vicar friend of mine was diagnosed with MS. ITV followed him to Amsterdam where he smoked cannabis – legally – in a bar. He continued to use cannabis until he died. He said it was the only thing to give him relief from his pain. We should not be criminalising a section of society. MS sufferers are not drug dealers. They do not peddle their wares on street corners. They are simply coping in the best way they can with a terminal illness.

It was also good to see David Cameron give a straight answer to a straight question. I can’t imagine Blair doing the same.

Calling Planet Blair

In Blair, Cameron, Home Office on January 10, 2007 at 10:20 pm

After hearing the exchanges between Tony Blair and David Cameron today, I couldn’t help wonder what planet Blair is on. The Home Office is a massive, sprawling department, with so many responsibilities. When Cameron asked him on whether he agreed with Conservative policy on a having a minister – with cabinet rank – as a homeland security minister, Blair said no again.

When it is suits him, the PM can’t stop talking about security issues. If it is so important, why not have a cabinet minister responsible for it? It would ease the Home Secretary’s workload and – you never know – might help in getting the Home Office fit for purpose again.

If Blair is serious about homeland security and sorting the Home Office out, then why does he not do something practical?