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  1. #1
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    Rand's Avatar
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    Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1865107,00.html

    New Labour MPs to call on Blair to quit

    PM faces pressure from ex-loyalists

    Patrick Wintour, political editor
    Tuesday September 5, 2006
    The Guardian


    Tony Blair's position has been further undermined by the drafting of a private letter from a majority of the 2001 intake of Labour MPs urging him to resign.
    The letter has been coordinated by two formerly ardent Blairite MPs, Sion Simon and Chris Bryant. Its contents were being kept secret yesterday. However, its existence suggests the prime minister is by no means free from the political pressure that grew last week for him to stand down before his preferred, though unstated, private date of 2007.

    It is understood the letter was organised at the weekend in the wake of Mr Blair's decision to announce that he would not give to the Labour conference this month a date, or timetable for his departure. It was not clear last night whether the letter had been sent.
    Last night, the BBC reported that a second, similar letter from the 2005 intake was being prepared. Others may be being drafted in what could be seen as a pincer movement against the prime minister.

    Mr Simon refused to comment yesterday, saying: "If such a confidential letter existed, its existence and contents would remain confidential." Mr Bryant was not available last night. However, one of the MPs involved in the letter said: "If the prime minister has decided that to set a timetable will undermine his authority, and his authority is already undermined, the obvious thing is for him to go now."

    A total of 38 Labour MPs were elected for the first time in 2001. Not all of them have signed the letter, but No 10 will have been struck that it has been organised by two MPs who had seemed to be an integral part of the New Labour project.

    Critics will claim the signatories are disappointed MPs who failed to achieve ministerial office, and may hope for preferment under the premiership of Gordon Brown. The impact may depend on the numbers of signatories. If 80 MPs rallied behind a call for a leadership election, the ballot would go ahead under party rules.

    Mr Simon, the MP for Birmingham Erdington and a journalist, has supported many of Mr Blair's most controversial policies, including the Iraq war, student top-up fees, anti-terror laws and identity cards. But at the weekend he warned of New Labour complacency and said: "Except for serving ministers, I do not know a single Labour member or supporter who thinks it is in the public interest for us to carry on like this any longer."

    Mr Bryant, the MP for Rhondda and an advocate of an elected second chamber, recently resigned as private parliamentary secretary to the constitutional affairs secretary, Lord Falconer.

    Mr Blair was yesterday on a two-day tour to highlight the government's fight against social exclusion. It will culminate in a speech at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in York today designed to show his commitment to core Labour issues. It will come on the day that the former home secretary Charles Clarke sets out his criticisms of New Labour in his first major speech since leaving the cabinet.

    At the weekend, cabinet support for Mr Blair's stance did not seem to erode, and it was agreed that his supporters should participate in the debate about the party's future with policy speeches.

    In a further development yesterday, the education secretary, Alan Johnson, pointedly refused to rule himself out as a candidate for the Labour leadership. He has already said he will be a candidate for the deputy leadership when Mr Blair and his deputy, John Prescott, stand down.

    Mr Johnson yesterday strongly defended the prime minister's decision not to set a date for his resignation, saying he believed the party understood that it would be "a gift to the opposition parties".

    Mr Blair might travel to Israel as early as this weekend in an attempt to play a role in restarting Palestinian peace talks. Reports from Jerusalem said he would be meeting the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, on Saturday, but Downing Street declined to confirm this. The prime minister's spokesman said: "A visit is not an end in itself. A visit would be to try to get people to start the process of re-engagement. The ambition is no higher than that."

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  2. #2
    Ranting Ideologue! sparky95's Avatar
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    I think his close association with Bush must be eroding his support more than anything else!
    " Lets blow this fascist popsicle stand!" C.Montgomery Burns

  3. #3
    joeslifeyork
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    ^ that is definately true. People here cant stand Bush, and by association, Blair is suffering too.

    But its not the only issue.

    There is the simple issue of democracy, major issues affecting us all should be put to a national referendum - so far Tony has refused to give us one time and time again.. because he knows that he will fail.

    He's pushing ahead with the flawed I.D Card policy, again, a certifed failure in its own right and a massive potential white elephant of a project - of course, tax payers money!

    Then theres the sleaze, the scandle, the spin.. Labour are corrupt. Sure, most parties are - but some firmly beleive that the reason Labours ratings are taking such a hammering, is because of Tony. If they can get rid of Tony, they MAY stand a remote chance of turning the party around before the next general election and winning a 3rd term.

  4. #4
    lancshotpot
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    The sooner Tony goes the better. Whether you like him or not all this instability and in-fighting is just going to tear the Labour party apart. Time for a new start...

  5. #5
    joeslifeyork
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    ^Agreed - preferably NOT under Labour.

  6. #6
    schiri
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    Mr Blair has well and truly outstayed his welcome. He made a critical mistake in announcing he would quit but not saying when, and the golden years of Labour rule are now over. I am disappointed however as a Liberal Democrat that people are looking to David Cameron now, as it is the same old Tories still in government and a new Tory leadership would take the country backwards instead of forwards. Its a shame the forward-thinking, positive Lib Dems lack a credible leader. Bring back Charles please.

  7. #7
    Ginge
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    Quote Originally Posted by schiri View Post
    Mr Blair has well and truly outstayed his welcome. He made a critical mistake in announcing he would quit but not saying when, and the golden years of Labour rule are now over. I am disappointed however as a Liberal Democrat that people are looking to David Cameron now, as it is the same old Tories still in government and a new Tory leadership would take the country backwards instead of forwards. Its a shame the forward-thinking, positive Lib Dems lack a credible leader. Bring back Charles please.
    Well said. I would have voted for Charlie boy with or without a glass in his hand. I certainly won't be voting Labour if Gordon Brown takes the leadership. when was the last time anybody heard of him. The last Budget day in March. He was certainly not very prominent and vocal on the attempted terrorist attacks of late. No support whatsoever to his colleagues or the country.

    Ming the Merciless what has he done ever since he took over the leadership of the Lib Dems. hes about as much use as a working female prostitute in a gay club.
    As for the Tories getting back in. No I don't want to think what would happen if those sleaze-bags get back in.

  8. #8
    schiri
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    Ming Campbell has destroyed the Lib Dems. They had a real chance to capitalise on Labour's downfall, but people are switching to the Tories instead. Chris Huhne would have been the best choice, and the less said about Mark Oaten the better! lol

  9. #9

    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    To be honest, Tony Blair was a very popular young leader when he first came to power and in time since the Iraq war began people are screaming for his blood. The idiotic masses are once again spurned on by the media frenzy. I remember when he was re-elected last year and the papers all ran front pages "He'll be gone in a few months." Oh right.
    In my point of view, Britain has never had it so good than in the last 10 years under his leadership and no one acknowledges that. Who would you prefer? You wanna go back to the 80's. yeah? or the 70's? No I didn't think so.

  10. #10
    HazeMaster
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    As a Yank (and one time British colonial ) I find this type of Parliamentary government much more "grass roots" than the American system of making the country wait 4 years to get rid of an incompetent president

  11. #11
    Love is in the air Ramindra's Avatar
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    I am a long way from the UK. I lost a lost of the respect for Tony Blair when he started to be Bush's Euro mouthpiece. His mantra seemed to be "wherever you go, I will follow!" The bright shining light that was T Blair at the end of the 20th century seems to have dimmed and Tony is being asked to leave because he is seen by many of his party to be an electoral liability.

    And Gordon Brown isn't??????

  12. #12
    schiri
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    Quote Originally Posted by beafous View Post
    Who would you prefer? You wanna go back to the 80's. yeah? or the 70's? No I didn't think so.
    No we don't want that, but at the same time we don't want a PM that is ruled by the American president and who takes our country into illegal wars and lies about the reasons in order to justify it. We don't want a PM who does not even have the backing of his own MPs never mind the electorate. The only reason he got back in last year was because there was no real challenge, I mean Micheal Howard was possibly the worst Tory leader for some time. And despote having Charles Kennedy as leader the Lib Dems simply didn't have the support base to put in a serious challenge.

  13. #13
    joeslifeyork
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    Quote Originally Posted by schiri View Post
    Mr Blair has well and truly outstayed his welcome. He made a critical mistake in announcing he would quit but not saying when, and the golden years of Labour rule are now over. I am disappointed however as a Liberal Democrat that people are looking to David Cameron now, as it is the same old Tories still in government and a new Tory leadership would take the country backwards instead of forwards. Its a shame the forward-thinking, positive Lib Dems lack a credible leader. Bring back Charles please.
    ROFLMFAO!!!

    You what!?

    Forward thinking?

    Positive?? HA!

    Obviously you've had no experience of what REALLY happens when Lib Dems get into office and are let loose on an electorate!

    Let me tell you. They've been in York for some years now and they are USELESS!!! Dont beleive me, just speak to any resident of a City which has them in Council.

    Even IF Lib Dems had a credible leader, they would never get into power as their policies are just pie in the sky.

    Wasnt it them who had one point were saying "We'll reduce taxes!" Woohoo people thought... then Lib Dems said: "Yea.... and then we'll increase NHS spending!"

    How you gonna do that then? Your sums dont add up!

    Lib Dems would be fantastic in an ideal world.. but we all know we dont live in an Ideal world. If Lib Dems got into power it would be a disaster of every description.

  14. #14
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    British politics seems to have reached one of those rock and hard place scenarios, i don't like Tony Blair, but equally i don't like any of the others either. I don't want Gordon Brown, I don't want another Tory government, and since they elected a pensioner to be in charge i don't want the Lib Dems. Perhaps i'll just vote green, then just go and hide somewhere and wait for it all to blow over.
    "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time" Bertrand Russell

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  15. #15
    joeslifeyork
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    ^ Exceptionally well put Kank!

  16. #16
    schiri
    Guest

    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    [QUOTE=joeslifeyork;1747509]
    Wasnt it them who had one point were saying "We'll reduce taxes!" Woohoo people thought... then Lib Dems said: "Yea.... and then we'll increase NHS spending!"

    How you gonna do that then? Your sums dont add up!
    QUOTE]

    Actually you're wrong there. What the Lib Dems propose is reducing taxes for those on the lowest wages, making many people exempt from income tax, while increasing the rates for thos on top wages. If you look at the manifesteoes from the 2005 General Election, you will see that the Lib Dems were the only party to fully explain how their proposals would be funded.

    I don't have personal experience of Lib Dems in power as in live in a Labour stronhold, but having spoke to people from a neighbouring council which is run by the Lib Dems it would certainly seem they are doing a pretty good job. They also have a Lib Dem MP and I once had the plaesure of speaking to her. She is a very down-to-earth person who shows genuine concern for the needs of her constituents, unlike many Labour/Tory members who care about nothing other than their own personal gain.

  17. #17
    joeslifeyork
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    i live in a labour strong hold too... its only by a pure fluke they got in...

  18. #18
    -live-
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    Re: Labour unrest - - MPs call on Blair to quit

    i cant belive people would actaully want tony blair to go! hes made life better in england! and just one example for how hes helped gays is the fact hes legalised the whole gay marriage! not that im into that sort of thing but people seem to forget that they do good!

    and then one more good thing he supported the war and no matter what anyone says it was right because it overthrew saddam and in time iraq will become sorted!! and it may be taking years but it took our country thousands of years to get were it is today!

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