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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:24 AM
Original message
Blair defends Scarlett appointment
Tony Blair today defended the appointment of John Scarlett as the next head of MI6 after the Conservatives described the move as "inappropriate".

<snip>

Mr Scarlett was a relatively obscure figure, little known outside Whitehall, prior to the Hutton inquiry. He was head of the joint intelligence committee, the cabinet office body that prepares intelligence assessments for the government.


Can anyone here say quid pro quo?

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs/story/0,1102...
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. Generally speaking, if the Tories don't like him, that's a great endorse-
ment.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Normally I would agree
but its hard to escape the conclusion that he is being rewarded for the dossier and his stance during Hutton.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. But what happened in the Hutton Inquiry?
I think history will look back on the Hutton Inquiry and see that it got it exactly right.

They should be rewarding the people who helped that to happen, if I'm right.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. After reading that
I had to pinch myself. The Hutton enquiry got it right? Got what right? That he comitted suicide - well almost certainly yes he did. That was about where their getting it right ended. I remember reading the full report of the enquiry after it was published, and being amazed at the level of junk in it. 'Subconcious' influence? A lot of people said at the time that Hutton was a whitwash, but in my opinion no whitewash ever came close to denying objective reality as well as Hutton. Admittedly half the problem was the scope given to the enquiry, but then that was mostly due to Hutton's reading of the scope.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I listened to some of it live, I read some of the report, and I read
a lot of the media coverage, and I know I'm not going to convince anyone here, but I really think that at worst it was a murder intended to sabotage Blair (which it almost did, but didn't do in the end, good) and at best, it was a guy who realized that he was being manipulated by the media to further RW political goals who then committed suicide.

I really think Blair didn't have any choice but to participate in Iraq, and he's doing for ultimately progressive ends -- if the US dominated Iraq without European oversite, they'd use it to strangle European economic development, which would result in fascits getting elected across Europe, just as the same set of circumtances led to the rise of Hitler 70 years ago -- I'm SURE this is Bush's plan for Europe, and I know Blair isn't blind to it.

I think that Blair has to walk a fine line to justify participation, but I think he's done it more or lesss as lawfully and ethically as possible. Walking a fine line creates opportunities to exploit inconsistencies, and I think Doctor what's his name got cought in a battle over the gray area, and didn't realize which side he was batting for until the end. I think the press was upset that Blair was getting the progressive job done, and was looking for other ways to punish him and get the fascists elected, which is where Gilligan cane in. I think the Hutton Inquiry put up a brick wall to prevent that from happening and did it fairly.

I know someone who knows someone who works at the BBC (I know, hearsay, but reliable hearsay) who knows Gilligan and says he has a terriblle reputation among his colleagues. I have little doubt that that the inquiry hit that nail square on the head.

As I said, I know I'm not going to convince anyone here. But I'm more than willing to leave it to history and I'm pretty confident that my interpretation isn't too far off the mark.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. As far as Gilligan goes, you are probably right
as for Blair - I don't think there is a way to justify his involvement, regardless of the realpolitik. Europe is still by and large not involved and Blair's stance has done spectacular damage to Anglo-European relations. I too am willing to leave it to history - with any luck Blair will join its dustbin soon.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. France is probably happier not being involved if it means
fascists get to take over Europe some day. Germany was in the most precarious position. There's probably no way Schroeder could have stayed in office if he stood up to the plate to defend Europe's interests. I'm sure that Schroeder is the one telling Blair he really owes him a favor.

As for damaging Anglo-European relations, I'm not sure.

Europe is moving forward with integration, much to Bush's displeasure, and the governments Bush was looking towards to intefere -- Spain and Poland -- have gone down the crapper.

The left -- which includes Blair -- is winning in Europe.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 05:14 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. It will be integrating minus the UK
Edited on Fri May-07-04 05:15 AM by Vladimir
when Blair loses the referendum. And it was the fascists in Europe - Berlusconi, Aznar - who were most vociferously for the war. Spain and Italy just don't have the same relationship with the US as Britain, so they get less publicity for it.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. The press doesn't want to sabotage those governments like they want to
sabotage Blair, so they get a free pass.

But it looks like they didn't/won't survive the public scrutiny even though press gives them a pass.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. But that's my point
you say that had Blair not gone into Iraq, the fascists would have taken over. But Blair went into Iraq and suddenly he looks like losing an election that few would have dreamed he could lose goven how strong his domestic performance has been (tuition fees and foundation hospitals would never have lost him the election on their own). And who will replace him - Michael fucking Howard. I mean, bloody hell, how much more of a fascist do you want? Had Blair stayed out of Iraq, Britain would be in a healthier state vis-a-vis the EU, and he would be looking a lot safer domestically.

PS the press doesn't have nearly as much power as you ascribe to it - it called Hutton a whitewash because almost everyone in the country called it a whitewash, not to set some kind of agenda.
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 06:10 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. If Blair is winning in Europe...
Edited on Fri May-07-04 06:16 AM by Thankfully_in_Britai
Then pray do tell us why he has just had to capitulate to the tories on the matter of the referendum on the EU constitution?

The very reason the tories wanted a referendum on this is because they know that it will be nigh on impossible for Blair to secure a Yes vote.

Here's a thread on the offending text of the constitution in the meeting room downstairs, just so you know what's on the table here.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Completly wrong in fact
Here's a good article to explain just why Hutton is a whitewash that only the most craven of Blair cronies belive is anything else but a whitewash.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/focus/story/0,6903,11364...

At the heart of the process is a mysterious lack of logic. On the one hand Hutton spent weeks listening to evidence about the preparation of the Government's case against Saddam in the September dossier, but when it came to writing his report he rejected the need to address the issue of the dossier's truth. 'A question of such wide import ... is not one which falls within my terms of reference.'

Two points need to be made:

1. If he was not going to rule on this, why go into the facts at such length?

2. The truth of the dossier's contents is the essence of the circumstances of Kelly's death because that issue propelled the BBC and Campbell to escalate their running battle to open war. Owning the truth was what that was all about.


Was it their lack of judgment, or a failure of process, that caused the report to appear without, for example, giving due weight to Newsnight reporter Susan Watts's evidence that Kelly had made allegations to her - as well as Andrew Gilligan - about Campbell's role in preparing the September dossier; without underlining Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon's inconsistent testimony; without highlighting the grave doubts expressed by Kelly's colleagues at defence intelligence about the dossier; without asking the Prime Minister to account for his remarks on a plane trip immediately after Kelly's death; and without inquiring to any significant degree how Tom Baldwin of the Times acquired Kelly's name? Are we mad, or is it Lord Hutton?
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Spentastic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
15. Hmmm
Yes, but only generally speaking. The Tories may just have finally rumbled what Blair is up to.

This is not an ideological difference. It is about Blair continuing his habit of securing his position by filling positions of power (Falconer anyone?) with his buddies. This would be unhealthy under any leader and I firmly believe that contrary to your view that Blair is a conservative both ideologically and functionally. One of Labour's major complaints about the Tories was QUANGO appointments and now Blair is doing exactly the same thing, but more blatantly.

Huttons self declared remit was so narrow as to be useless. Gilligans actions were obviously questionable but compared to lying a country into a war on the basis of fundamentally flawed intelligence it pales into insignificance. From memory I believe that Hutton even used a load of weasel words to say that indeed the intelligence had been sexed up but it was inadvertent so it does not matter. Scarlett has been rewarded for not rocking the boat. If you honestly believe that Alistair Campbell is the angel that Hutton portrayed him as, you are mentally ill.

Blairs sop to the right on a euro referendum will be viewed as the final betrayal of his liberal leanings. Blair will lose the referendum. He knows this, He is only interested in maintaining power. Hell look pained when the results are clear but hell always be able to avoid personal blame.
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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
7. Link to BBC story/Evening Standard update:
Edited on Thu May-06-04 11:35 AM by emad aisat sana
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3689779.stm
http://www.thisislondon.com/news/articles/10618015?sour...
Poodle appointing the Dodgy Dossier genius is the last act of a desperate madman.

He might as well have Donald Duck running Diplomatic Security.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. That ****** Dearlove
Edited on Thu May-06-04 11:37 AM by Vladimir
is now coming to Oxford to be master of Pembroke... another spook college is born!
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mmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Terrible choice
Tony just needs big shoes and a red wig to round
out his clown act. O how the just have fallen.
When it was his time in history to stand against Bush, he broke like a shell.
I despise him more than I despise Bush because he is
an intelligent man with an intelligent, and I believe
well-intentioned, wife.
History will not be kind to Tony the turncoat!
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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Intelligent? Highly. The wife: accomplished fraudster hiding
behind official No 10 priviledge.

Both of them spawned in the same BFEE hellhole as Bush.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. He was with Bush all along
the Blairite project and the PNAC project are removed from each other not a bit, they are just occuring in different countries. Faced with a different status quo a wrecking government must adopt different measures to demolish it, but in intent... Blair, Bush, CIA - how many kids did you kill today!?
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