Tuesday :: May 10, 2005

Thanks, Tony! We'll Call You

by pessimist

Last week, Bu$hCo lap-poodle and unindicted war co-conspirator Tony Blair led his party to a pyrrhic victory last week as British voters expressed their concern over his connections to King George Warmonger and their lack of confidence in him by reducing the number of seats held by Labor while retaining his party as the majority in Commons. Their votes expressed to the leaders of the ruling Labor Party that it is time to take action and replace the Prime Minister if they expect to retain their majority. Some of the Labor Party leaders clearly understood the message:

Blair faces growing chorus to quit

Labour MPs have engaged in a fierce war of words over Prime Minister Tony Blair's future in Downing Street. Mr Blair's position has been called into question by several MPs since last Thursday's General Election, when Labour won an historic third successive term in power but saw its majority cut from 161 to a projected 66.
Asked how long Mr Blair should stay on, Ian Davidson, the Glasgow South West MP, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It seems to me 18 months to two years is a reasonable time."

Personally, I find that a very generous duration under the circumstances.

I suspect that the 18-24 months' grace period offered by MP Davidson is a recognition that not everything Tony Blair did as PM was bad. Certainly, had he not tied his horse to King George's War Wagon, he probably would have been remembered by history at a level attained by the likes of Gladstone, Disraeli, and Churchill.

But instead, Tony's future prospects took a tumble when he chose to wager them against the empty Bu$hCo promises of an easy Iraqi oil conquest. Now it's time to pay the tab to the House.

Knowin' When To Fold 'Em

New calls for Blair to quit

The chorus calling for him to step down continues to grow. Labour backbenchers have ignored appeals from Cabinet ministers to rally around Prime Minister Tony Blair and issued new calls for him to quit Downing Street sooner rather than later.

John Austin, the Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead, said that if Mr Blair sought to hang on to his position, he might face a leadership challenge from within the party. Asked whether he was prepared to stand as a "stalking horse" candidate - a challenge designed to demonstrate the extent of concern within the party and encourage Mr Blair to go - Mr Austin said that if he was asked to fulfil that role by his colleagues, he would. He added, however: "I think there would be more plausible candidates. It (standing himself) is not a likely proposition - I'm not offering myself as a candidate."

Earlier Ian Davidson, the Glasgow South West MP, said Mr Blair should start planning his departure now. "We have won three terms of a Labour Government - we have got to be immensely grateful to Tony for that - but we have got to look forward, not back," Mr Davidson told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

Former minister Clare Short said: "I think it would be best for him (Mr Blair) and for the Government and for the Labour Party if he announced that he was going pretty soon and we agreed a process for selecting a new leader around the time of conference."

Blair backers reject quit calls

A bid to oust Mr Blair as party leader would require a challenger to have the backing of 20% of Labour MPs - 71 out of the 355 elected on Thursday. A vote would then take place at Labour conference involving an electoral college divided into three - MPs, constituency parties and unions. Former Cabinet ministers Frank Dobson and Robin Cook have joined the roll-call of MPs calling for him to stand down.

One Labour MP, John Austin said Mr Blair could go after the G8 summit at Gleneagles in July with 'some considerable credit, having won three elections'. "Mr Blair's reputation can only be damaged by staying on too long," he added.

On Monday former international development secretary Clare Short told BBC Radio 4's Today programme she thought it would be best for the party if Mr Blair announced soon that he was leaving, but added: "I don't think he'll do it." She said: "The whole story of the government is going to be: 'When is he going?'. We can't think afresh because he's still there.

"There's a real danger the government looks divided, doesn't renew itself, we lose seats in the local government elections and get weaker and weaker. I'm afraid that's the likely story."

Democrats take note. This could happen to you - and should happen to Tom DeLay.

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pessimist :: 10:05 AM :: Comments (7) :: Digg It!