Blair must await Irish politicians’ decisions (SBP – 28th May 2006)

It is hard to think of a time since Irish independence when the political situation on this island dictated the very shape of the British government.

But as November 24 draws closer, this year is shaping up to produce such an event. As pressure builds on British prime minister Tony Blair to make way for his successor – almost certainly chancellor Gordon Brown – it is increasingly clear that this decision rests in the hands of people on this island.

Read the rest at sbpost.ie

I don’t think it’s cynical to think that Blair wants a strong legacy, I’m sure most people in his position would and frankly it’s not always a bad thing. The actions of Blair, especially in recent days, suggest to me that he is trying to draw a line in Iraq, start a fresh and move on. In Northern Ireland his decision to spearhead talks alongside Bertie Ahern on devolution suggest that he has quickly realised his original plan can’t work without a push; who ever believed that putting Unionists and Republicans in a room together would end in them setting aside differences? It will take more than that, and time is indeed running out.

3 Comments

  1. Hmmm. Highly speculative and somewhat meaningless. Everybody wants a legacy, but there is no indication that he will be able to cobble together a resumption of stormont in the north in the timeframe.

    The actions of Blair, especially in recent days, suggest to me that he is trying to draw a line in Iraq, start a fresh and move on.

    This is the meaningless bit. Are you suggesting that Blair is going to pull out of Iraq? If so, you are wrong (name your odds). If you are just suggesting that he wants the public to ignore his disasterous record in Iraq to date in Iraq and “look towards the future”, well d’uh.

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  2. Administrator 29/05/2006 at 12:37

    Are you suggesting that Blair is going to pull out of Iraq? If so, you are wrong (name your odds). If you are just suggesting that he wants the public to ignore his disasterous record in Iraq to date in Iraq and “look towards the future”, well d’uh.

    No, not pull out, but any future criticisms of policy RE: Iraq will be answered with a “but that was before we had a unity government there, things are different now and we should all support them”… it’s obvious that Bush/Blair want people to ignore their record, this is the opportunity they will use IMO.

    As far as their being no indication of a return to devolution in NI, that’s just it; Blair is now spearheading talks aimed at doing this and there seems to be a renewed rush to get things sorted ASAP, the big threats of Irish influence and no pay are being used for the first time since the Sunningdale Agreement.
    It is somewhat speculative but it’s not something Blair would admit to; politicians do want a legacy but Blair is sure to realise that he will lose the one he’s worked for if things don’t go his way

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  3. “but that was before we had a unity government there, things are different now and we should all support them”… it’s obvious that Bush/Blair want people to ignore their record, this is the opportunity they will use IMO.

    I recall “that was before we caught Saddam”, “that was before we had elections” and there are probably a few other “milestones” which I forget. In any case, while the rhetoric might change (albeit within the narrow framework of “that was before x”) the actions remain entirely consistent.

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