Posts tagged ‘Tony Blair’

Mini rant!!!

I feel a mini rant coming on! evil mad evil mad evil

Part one

Lots of annoying little things have been happening at the moment. Some of the things have no major bearing on my life. These include:

  • Alonso winning the Singapore Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton crashing out (again!).
  • Manchester United dropping two points against Bolton at the weekend, thus failing to capitalise on Chelsea losing to Manchester City.
  • Ronnie O’Sullivan losing the World Open final to Neil Robertson.

Some of them might have a bearing on my life:

  • Ed Miliband becoming the new leader of the Labour Party.
  • Ed Miliband entering the race in the first place!
  • The Labour Party losing David Miliband from front-line politics.

Part two

The other things are really irritating!

I have to find a new flat by 6th October. I started looking for places on Gumtree, but one of my friends recommended MoveFlat. He said that Gumtree was used by “time-wasters” and people from two countries in particular (let’s just call them ” Country A” and “Country S”).

I checked MoveFlat in the morning, and realised it was much better than Gumtree. The adverts seem a lot clearer and they were all displayed neatly on one page. I went away to clean my flat (as you do), and tried to use MoveFlat in the afternoon. No joy! It had crashed!!!!

Blog editor: It’s September. It’s probably all those new students out there.

Moja: %£@#$! students!!! 😡

I kept trying it, but it failed to load, so I used Gumtree. I know Gumtree works well, and I’ve used it in the past. I was just frustrated that I couldn’t use MoveFlat. I called an estate agent about an ad I saw for a place in the docklands, but the property had already gone. They told me about another place, so I went over to see it. There were two places actually. One was too expensive (even though they knew my budget) and the other place was way too dirty. It was frustrating.

Part three

There are other annoying things happening at the moment, but I’ll leave them for another day. I planned to watch The Hangover to cheer me up, but I ended up watching a couple of programmes on BBC One instead.

The first one, Ask Rhod Gilbert, was a comedy show in which Rhod Gilbert and other comedians give funny answers to questions that are given to them. For example:

  • ‘Tony Blair’ asks what people think about his new book ‘A Journey’
  • ‘The Pope’ asks what people thought of his recent trip to the UK, and
  • A panel member asks how many animals the average person eats in a lifetime (Ans = 2,400 animals)

I also watched the first two episodes of Damages. It’s an excellent TV series about a brilliant lawyer called Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), a young lawyer she is training Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) and the other lawyers who work at Patty’s law firm. Patty is very scheming and very ruthless, but she gets the job done. The case they’re working on is big and complex, and according to Wikipedia, lasts for the whole of the first series. It’s really good, and I highly recommend it.

Part four

Blog editor: Don’t you think the title of today’s post is a bit inappropriate? It’s not exactly ‘mini’, is it?

Moja: Good point! Let’s end it here.

Blog editor: Did you just hear what I said?

Moja: Good night!

The Special Relationship

I’ve just watched The Special Relationship, a film about the close relationship between Tony Blair (the ex-prime minister of Britain) and Bill Clinton (the ex-president of the United States).

The cast

The film starred Michael Sheen as Tony Blair, Dennis Quaid as Bill Clinton, Hope Davis as Hillary Clinton, and Helen McCrory as Cherie Blair.

It was directed by Richard Loncraine and is the third and final film of Peter Morgan’s ‘Blair Trilogy’, which includes The Deal (2003) and The Queen (2006).

Special resemblance

I really enjoyed it. I have to start by saying that Hope Davis looked exactly like Hillary Clinton, and her portrayal of the former first lady was amazing. She has been nominated for an Emmy Award for her role, and I very much hope that she wins it. The other actors played their parts very well, and I was impressed with how authentic their accents were. They all got the mannerisms right too.

The background

The film dealt with the Northern Ireland peace process, the war in Kosovo, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In the beginning we see Tony Blair in Washington, speaking to Bill Clinton’s special advisers. They are giving him lessons in how to win an election.

Clinton is excited by Blair because he thinks they are both alike (progressive, centre-left politicians) and sees Blair’s victory as part of a growing trend of centre-left dominance which is spreading around the world.

Politics alert!

Centre-left politicians believe in universal healthcare, stronger rights for employees, more regulation of the financial market, more environment-friendly policies, and (in America) they believe in the woman’s right to have an abortion.

Tony Blair

Blair is portrayed as a highly ambitious person (naturally) who either decided to move to from the centre-left to the centre-right, or was secretly a centre-right politician from the start. Maybe he just liked befriending powerful people? He struck up a wonderful friendship with Bill Clinton at the beginning, but to Clinton’s disappointment, he did the very same thing with George W. Bush once he became president.

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The special relationships

I loved the relationships between Tony and Cherie, Hillary and Bill, Tony and Bill, and Tony and his advisers (Alastair Campbell & Jonathan Powell).

Tony and Cherie

Cherie is portrayed as a smart, funny woman who isn’t too impressed with Bill’s infidelities; she is, however, impressed with the way Bill consults Hillary before he makes any major decisions. She has strong opinions and is always sharing them with Tony. They are both portrayed as adoring each other.

Hillary and Bill

Hillary trusts her husband when the Monica Lewinsky scandal begins, but feels betrayed once the truth eventually comes out. She is portrayed as being dignified and supportive.

Tony and his staff

Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell seem to know about every story in the media before it’s published, and they know about all the minute details of Blair’s trips and meetings. There is one scene where the three of them are sitting in a car as it enters the White House. Blair is seated on right side of the car, but they tell him to move over to the left side, because they know that the left door will be opened first.

Bill and Tony

Bill intervenes in the Northern Ireland peace process when it looks like Sinn Fein and the IRA are about the wreck the deal. Tony returns the favour when he publicly stands by Bill at the start of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The strength of their friendship, however, is tested by the deteriorating situation in Kosovo.

Blair believes that the NATO airstrikes are not effective, and tries to convince Bill to send in ground troops. Bill is reluctant to invade another sovereign country that has not launched any attacks on the United States. The film was showing us how Blair’s way of thinking (on Kosovo) was similar to George W. Bush’s way of thinking on Afghanistan and Iraq.

Betrayal?

Blair gives a speech to the Chicago Economic Club, and he outlines a “doctrine of the international community” (which has come to be known as the “Blair Doctrine“). He said there were times when the international community had no choice but the intervene in the affairs of sovereign states.

He called for intervention in Kosovo, and was received with a positive response from the American politicians and the American media. According to the film, Bill Clinton was forced to increase America’s involvement, and eventually the Serbian leader, Slobodan Milosevic agrees to peace talks.

The end

The Clintons visit The Blairs at the end of Bill Clinton’s second term as president. Tony Blair apologises to Bill Clinton for giving the speech in Chicago, but Clinton says he doesn’t believe his apology is genuine. He also questions Blair’s true political ideology, and warns him against befriending George W. Bush.

In the last scene, we see the real footage of the Blair-Bush press conference in Camp David, where it’s obvious that Blair has ignored Bill’s advice.

Decisions

****** This is NOT about football! ******

Manchester United drew 3-3 with Everton today. We were winning 3-1 after 90 minutes, and had to hold on for a further 3 minutes of extra time. Somehow, we managed to let Everton score 2 goals in 3 minutes and ended up dropping two valuable points. It’s annoying, but hey, that’s football for you.

I’d like to talk about the decision our manager Sir Alex Ferguson made before the match. He decided to drop our star striker Wayne Rooney because of the amount of pressure Rooney had been under. After we scored the third goal to go 3-1 up, it seemed like our manager had made a good decision in dropping Rooney. However, at the end of the match, it seemed like he had made bad decision. 🙂

It’s interesting how a decision could change from ‘good’ to ‘bad’ in just 3 minutes. For the record, I think he made the right decision, but that would just complicate things. Anyway, this particular decision is being judged on the outcome, rather than the intention. When we look at decisions other people make, do we  focus more on their intentions or more on the outcome? It’s easy to see an outcome, but impossible to see a person’s intention.

One of the biggest decisions made in this country in the last 10 years was Tony Blair’s decision to send British troops into Iraq. A very large number of people told him he was wrong at the time, and they still believe he made a huge mistake. I’m not going into the rights or wrongs of the war in Iraq, but I would like to consider Tony Blair’s decision. If he says he had the right intentions, do we just have to take him at his word, no matter how much we disagree with him?

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