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Briar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 02:59 AM
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Olympic Victory Helps Fuel Blair Comeback
LONDON (AP) - Two months ago, Prime Minister Tony Blair was a chastened man.

British voters had returned him to office for a third term, but with a sharply reduced majority in Parliament. Every day, newspapers raked over the unpopular Iraq war and the faulty intelligence Blair's government used to justify British participation.

As he headed into a term he says will be his last, Blair seemed like a leader trapped in the past.

But on Wednesday, as a beaming Blair basked in London's successful bid for the 2012 Olympics and prepared to host a summit of the world's most powerful political club, the G-8, he was full of confidence and verve...,1280,-512...
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 07:19 AM
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1. Blair is left stronger after toughest week of his career
If you ask me he would have had a very good week indeed had it not been for the bombings.

For a brief period, lasting from 12.49pm on Wednesday to 8.50am on Thursday, Mr Blair, and the whole country, basked in a warm glow which a Downing Street insider compared with the heady few days (as he saw it) after May 1, 1997 when Labour was elected. The Prime Minister, boosted by the extraordinary luck with which his time in office has been struck through, appeared to have secured his longed-for legacy. His more-hardline Government allies, to the intense fury of supporters of Gordon Brown, began speaking privately of Mr Blair going "on and on", not only serving out his full third term but possibly beginning a fourth.

This pleasant fantasy for the Blairites was shattered when reality intervened in the shape of four bombs in London. This was something that the Prime Minister had long warned was inevitable. The timing of the attack, however, put him on the spot in a way that he could scarcely have predicted.

Mr Blair had to respond to the worst peacetime attack on British soil, both as the host of the G8 and as the Prime Minister of the country that had just been awarded the Olympic Games, a security nightmare at the best of times.

His immediate reaction would, as always, be critical, and he drew on his experiences of events that shook the nation and the world, specifically the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 and the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
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Briar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 04:10 PM
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2. On the contrary
one could argue that the bombs did Bliar a favour. The G8 talks failed to make progress on climate change because of Bush's moronic attachment to the free market and his cronies' oil-fuelled profits. While the Bliar friendly Guardian began the week by speculating that Bliar might find the guts to "snub" Bush and leave him isolated as the only member of the G8 not to sign up to a bolder communique on the environment, in the event he folded. The communique might have been written by the texan polluter himself. But before that news could break in the papers, the bombs had gone off and Bliar was on familiar territory, articulating (as it is his genius to do) the most popular emotion of the day. Instead of figuring as the coward who let the Americans stamp all over the environment, he was elevated to People's PM yet again.
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-05 06:45 AM
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3. I think Labour could spin the situation in their favour...
Edited on Mon Jul-11-05 06:46 AM by Thankfully_in_Britai
...very well indeed without the Bombs. The $50 billion aid package to Africa would have made up for Bush's usual intransigence in Global Warming (which nobody other then big oil seems able to move anyway).

Plus a lot of people were VERY happy about the Olympics. Not just because we won the bid but because we beat the French to it. Even though I don't think that hosting the games is a good idea I know I'm in the minority on that one and that most people were well chuffed about it.

So I would have to say that Blair did not need the bombs to go off. Maybe Chirac going off but not explosions in Central London. If anything his long pauses during his address to the nation might have worked against him as people implore him to hurry up a bit!
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