Saturday 2nd of December 2023

"aussie tony" reveals the way forward .....

‘The fragile truce between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown was dramatically shattered yesterday when supporters from the rival factions mounted attacks on each other, dashing any prospect of a peaceful handover.

Past and present ministers lined up to warn Mr Brown he could not assume he would inherit the premiership unimpeded. Mr Brown's supporters retaliated, saying Mr Blair should resign before Christmas. And in a move destined to add fuel to the fire, the Prime Minister will today make a speech on the "way forward" for the country, in what Labour insiders believe is a deliberate attempt to tie Mr Brown to the Blairite agenda.’

Labour's Fragile Peace Is Shattered

"aussie tony" & the value of keeping-up appearances .....

‘Tony Blair will quit Downing Street "within weeks" to avoid a prolonged and bloody battle for the leadership of the country, according to his closest Cabinet allies.

The Prime Minister is being urged by some of his most trusted confidants to relinquish power before Christmas, to give him the best chance of leaving office with his dignity intact.

Yesterday, Blair publicly repeated his promise that he would step down next year, warning that the "spasm" of last week's Labour infighting would cost the party at the next election.

But the relaxed and joke-filled speech masked a serious split among Blair's closest advisers over how to deal with a crisis that still threatens to bring a rapid end to his nine-year term in office.’

Prime Minister Will Quit 'Within Weeks' Say Allies

Not only in Aussieland...

From the Guardian CBI to Brown: Don't extend workers' rights · Employers resist input on pensions and training · Annual survey highlights concerns over red tape Phillip Inman Monday September 11, 2006 The Guardian Employers' leaders warned the government yesterday to resist demands at this week's TUC conference for improved workers' rights, arguing that they risked harming Britain's improved record on industrial relations. The Confederation of British Industry said ministers were under pressure from unions keen to exploit a period of "turbulence" in the Labour leadership. The CBI said demands for laws that would extend collective bargaining rights to include pensions and training were irresponsible and would "undermine the partnerships approach" adopted by many employers.

exit, stage right .....

‘Tony Blair is facing calls from union bosses to stand down immediately, as he braces himself for a hostile grilling at the Trade Union Congress today.

The Prime Minister will make what he has declared will be his last speech to the conference today, after unions called for strikes to mark his legacy of privatisation.

Mr Blair is expected to face some tough questions from delegates in Brighton as Unison, the country's biggest union, warned that hundreds of health staff had agreed to strike over what they believe is the privatisation of the NHS.

Anticipating today's frosty exchanges, Mr Blair said last week that it would be his final address to the unions, probably "to the relief of both of us".

Blair Faces Calls To Go Now As He Addresses The Unions

"aussie tony's" mojo .....

‘Tony Blair yesterday urged the rest of NATO to pull its weight. "It is important that the whole of NATO regards this as their responsibility," he told a news conference in London.

He reminded members that troops were in Afghanistan because that was the country that spawned the "terrorism of 9/11".

But the lack of support for the operation yesterday triggered calls for a "fundamental reassessment" of Britain's involvement in Afghanistan.

Alex Salmond, the Scottish National Party leader, told The Scotsman that the government should rethink its commitment if British troops continued to be overstretched and under- resourced. The only way to rebuild the country was to occupy it, but the UK did not have the numbers or a coherent strategy.

"If we are going to reconstruct Afghanistan, we have to have the resources. The problem has been that the resources have been desperately stretched by the invasion of Iraq. Instead of finishing the job in Afghanistan after 2001, the West went blundering into Iraq," he said. "We took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan and are endangering the lives of our soldiers."’

NATO Pleas For Help Rejected

meanwhile ……

‘Tony Blair's Middle East policies were called into question by his own government yesterday, as Foreign Office ministers expressed doubts over the Iraq war and Israel-Lebanon conflict.

Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, told the Trades Union Congress she had "regrets" about the handling of the invasion of Iraq, while Kim Howells, the minister responsible for the Middle East, told MPs the government had failed to explain its Lebanon strategy properly, and even conceded the Prime Minister could have been wrong not to call for an immediate ceasefire.

Whitehall insiders make little secret of the fact the Foreign Office has harboured doubts about Mr Blair's personal command of British foreign policy, and, as his political authority wanes, ministers appear to have fewer qualms about expressing their doubts.’

Ministers Break Ranks On Middle East