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Happy 60Th Birthday Tony

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All the best to the psychopath war criminal & his wife.

Tomorrow Tony Blair turns 60. Gyles Brandreth (65) who lost his seat as a Conservative MP when New Labour swept to power in 1997, sends the former prime minister a birthday message...

Dear Tony...

Happy birthday. You’ve reached an interesting age. Men can go off the rails at 60. They get their first intimations of mortality and begin to ask themselves: “Is this it?”

How are you feeling right now? I must say that when I saw you the other day at Baroness Thatcher’s funeral, you looked pretty perky: fitter, slimmer and less obviously perma-tanned than I have seen you for a while. I know that one of your several homes once belonged to one of our finest thespians, Sir John Gielgud, and, as you arrived and left St Paul’s and heads turned in your direction, there was undeniably something of the international star about you – more George Clooney than John Gielgud, of course. I watched you during the service. (Like any good actor, you do draw the eye.) You appeared reflective. Were you pondering your own destiny? A funeral at Westminster Cathedral, perhaps? With your ashes scattered on the Mount of Olives? (The notion is not entirely fanciful. You once claimed Jerusalem as your “home”, didn’t you?) At St Paul’s last month, as you sat gazing at Margaret Thatcher’s coffin draped in the Union flag, were you thinking about the future or brooding about the past?

The last time I saw you before that was in Egypt, at Sharm el-Sheikh, being swept by bullet-proof limousine through streets cleared for your passage. You are leading this curious portfolio life now: Middle East peace envoy, international speaker, adviser to banks, philanthropist. It’s exciting – a touch of the Bill Clintons with a bit of Bono, Bill Gates and Mother Teresa thrown in – but how satisfying is it?

The last time I saw Margaret Thatcher was in South Africa, when she was visiting her son, Mark. Without politics and Denis, her life was empty.

Your life is full. You are busy-busy-busy, but what does it add up to? Representing the UN, the EU, the US and Russia, you have visited Jerusalem 87 times in 10 years, but, honestly, where has all your frantic diplomacy got us? Advising J P Morgan brings you millions (well done), but you don’t need the money.

I have read your autobiography. I was struck by the advice you got from a policeman who said: “If you are attacked, whatever you do, stay standing. Once you’re on the ground, you’re done for and they’ll go on kicking.” It’s clear from your book that your “legacy” matters to you. In the UK, let’s face it, the nature of that legacy is uncertain. Now you are 60, I sense you know it and it troubles you. In 1997, at just 43, you became our country’s youngest prime minister in 185 years. Day-to-day, you managed the job with extraordinary skill. It isn’t as easy as you made it look, as Gordon Brown, helpfully, went on to demonstrate. (Gordon is flat on the floor now and we’re all kicking.)

Remarkably, you won three elections for New Labour. But New Labour is dead and buried, so it seems you didn’t break the mould. In office you followed through on the Northern Ireland peace process and devolution, building successfully on the work of others, but beyond introducing civil partnerships (good) and bouncing us into the Iraq war (the jury’s out on that one), what was your unique and lasting contribution to our national life? Mrs Thatcher changed the country: did you?

I don’t want to be a party-pooper on your birthday, Tony, but I don’t think I am alone in finding you likeable but a bit strange. I remember the time when we were alone together before the 2001 election and, with your eyes gleaming, you held my shoulders tight and murmured: “The Third Way, Gyles. It’s for real – and it’s for you.” It’s a life of gnomic utterances now, at £1,000 a minute. You are revered overseas, especially by Americans and people for whom English is a second language, but at home most of us find you a hard one to fathom.

There is still this “disconnect” with the British people. Do you remember the day we shared a platform at Wembley Arena? We were both there to address 15,000 members of the WI. They booed you, when I assumed they’d cheer you to the rafters. You are a natural charmer, but that day they didn’t “get” you. And more to the point, you didn’t “get” them. They still don’t.

Five years ago, in New York, you launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation with another gnomic utterance: “Our aim is that idealism becomes the new realism.” You said that working with the Foundation is “how I want to spend the rest of my life”. Around the world you do so much that’s worthy – promoting understanding between different faiths, encouraging good governance in Africa, introducing the Chinese to the realities of climate change – but at home none of it registers. You have the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Thomas J Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights and goodness knows what other glittering prizes, but in the land of your fathers (even in the North East, where the Tony Blair Sports Foundation is doing so much for so many), it means barely a dickie bird.

So what’s to be done? You described your autobiography as “a letter to the country I love”. You want to be loved, Tony – and understood. But you aren’t and you know it. Before it’s too late, can you find a way to connect with your party or the people?

Perhaps not. And, if not, don’t worry. Accept your fate. “Is this it?” Yes, it is and it could be worse. You are hugely rich and hugely famous. The leaders of the world are united in their admiration for you, even if your countrymen and women aren’t. And you are still standing. Settle for that and give Cherie a cuddle.

In fact, now you’re 60, I think my advice to you would be: strive less, travel less, do less and cherish Cherie and the family more than ever. The rest of us will never quite understand you. As the years go by, you will need to spend more time with those who do. Happy birthday.

Love, Gyles

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/10037268/Happy-60th-birthday-Tony-Blair.html

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Giles' bittersweet assessment. Could have simply been you are a ****.

I was seduced by TB and New Labour in the beginning, in the 90s the country was jaded by all those years of Conservatism, yet I feel things have actually got worse since then. The self-serving, hypocritical, connected but not the people politician is how it is now.

He's done very well in an uber-troughing sort of way (how many homes is it now?). Much money for not much. A victory of spin and presentation.

Worse of all, he inflicted the economic madness of Gordon Brown on us, when had he been a man, he could have spared us that, at least cut it short. He's done OK, shame about the rest of us.

Edited by tinker

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he is one 'baby boomer' pensioner who does not need his winter fuel allowance or bus pass - hope he behaves accordingly and gives one away and does not apply for the other :P

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Giles just sounds jealous IMO, but I can`t understand why anyone would want to pay Bliar for consulting, or why anyone would want to listen to him give a talk on anything? The smile just makes my skin creep, and that is his real smile, unlike Brown who was sad and desperate enough to attempt to be coached in the basic gestures of empathy :lol: Bliar is the classic movie psycho who did a deal with the Devil for fame and riches and turns to dust at the end, he personifies "empty".

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Giles' bittersweet assessment. Could have simply been you are a ****.

I was seduced by TB and New Labour in the beginning, in the 90s the country was jaded by all those years of Conservatism, yet I feel things have actually got worse since then. The self-serving, hypocritical, connected but not the people politician is how it is now.

He's done very well in an uber-troughing sort of way (how many homes is it now?). Much money for not much. A victory of spin and presentation.

Worse of all, he inflicted the economic madness of Gordon Brown on us, when had he been a man, he could have spared us that, at least cut it short. He's done OK, shame about the rest of us.

Yes, when New Labour swept into power to the strains of 'things can only get better' you could certainly be forgiven to thinking they ought to have done.

I would think no other PM has in history has demonstrably lied to parliament as frequently as Blair did.

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I'll bet the Queen had to have a long bath after she shook his hand! :unsure::o

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  • 242 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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