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Politicians with nothing to lose telling it like it is.

(24 Posts)
varian Sun 02-Jun-19 13:44:42

Retired politicians may be written off as "yesterday's men" but they do have an understanding of international affairs and the freedom to speak the truth. They are no longer jostling for position and can be brutally honest.

Tony Blair is much derided. His decision to take us into the Iraq War was extremely damaging and I am proud that the LibDems opposed that. However he also did introduce many beneficial changes which are a stark contrast with the appalling Tory governments we have had since 2015.

Everyone who thinks that any kind of brexit, let alone a disastrous "no-deal brexit" could possibly enhance the UK's place in the world should listen to Tony Blair and then they might understand just how dangerous and unpatriotic it is to support us leaving the EU.

MawBroonsback Sun 02-Jun-19 13:49:21

A good point varian
Politicians I didn’t necessarily have much time for when they were in the H of C - Kinnock, Blair, Healey even Major, suddenly seem to start talking sense, even showing glimmers of wisdom when they reach the “other place” presumably because they have nothing to lose.

varian Sun 02-Jun-19 13:57:46

Another ex-Tory MP who is able to speak out honestly is Chris Patten.

"There are few figures in British politics quite as divisive as Boris Johnson, who is staking a claim to succeed Theresa May as leader of the Conservatives and prime minister. Many in his own party are openly critical.

For the pro-Brexit flank of the party, he’s their last chance to get Brexit done right. But for Tory europhiles like Chris Patten he’s a “disaster.”

The Tory grandee, a former cabinet minister and last governor of Hong Kong, used candid language to describe Johnson’s qualifications for the top job and his track record as foreign minister.

“He’s lied his way through life, he’s lied his way through politics, he’s a huckster with a degree of charm to which I am immune,” Patten said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in London. “As well as being mendacious he’s incompetent.”

But Patten also thinks that Johnson has a good chance of becoming prime minister: “I think he would be a very, very bad choice indeed but I suspect it may well happen.”

trisher Sun 02-Jun-19 16:50:24

I do think Chris Patten (much as I dislike the party he stands for) has a right to speak out. He is I think a fairly honourable man. I don't think anyone should trust a word Tony Blair says. His fortune building, extortionist and self aggrandising behaviour makes me question the motive behind everything he says. The money he made whilst pretending to be a Middle East Peace Envoy, the huge amounts he has received from the UAE and Saudi Arabia not to mention the links with Colombia and other places all indicate a man who will do anything for a dollar.
Statesmen speaking out is fine, war criminal, money grabbers should keep their mouth shut.

M0nica Sun 02-Jun-19 17:04:04

Chris Patten was interviewed on 'The World at One' on R4 today. I thought his summing up of the candidates was very fair. He used slightly more nuanced words to describe Boris, but essentially he said what we all know that the man is a liar and he changes sides according to which side is in ascendance. A worthy candidate for a modern Vicar of Bray.

Nonnie Sun 02-Jun-19 17:56:59

Yes, when you have no need to say what the party expects of you it is good to air what you really think. Such a shame that so many in the H o C are so busy trying to say what they think will keep their jobs open.

Anniebach Sun 02-Jun-19 18:17:08

Well trisher you have no fear of Corbyn being called or regarded as a statesman. But in fairness his Spanish is very good as we hear him congratulating President Maduro of Venezuela

trisher Sun 02-Jun-19 18:21:55

Ah Annie diversion again slagging Corbyn off again. So do you approve of money grabbing Blair?

Elvive Sun 02-Jun-19 18:39:59

Maw, signs of the times when the list of names you suggest seem extremely attractive to me now.......any of them would do!

Day6 Sun 02-Jun-19 18:44:21

should listen to Tony Blair

Gave up reading at that point. I find him obnoxious. His judgement is also faulty imo.

Anniebach Sun 02-Jun-19 18:49:45

trisher you are amusing, I slag off Corbyn , you criticise Blair, ?

varian Sun 02-Jun-19 18:55:59

You don't have to like Tony Blair, or to approve of many things he did, to see that his analysis of international politics holds true.

Day6 Sun 02-Jun-19 18:58:10

Varian, in your opinion.


lemongrove Sun 02-Jun-19 19:00:33

Of course they are now free to say what they think......which doesn’t automatically make them right, it’s simply their opinion.
I think they enjoy the bit of limelight as well.

trisher Sun 02-Jun-19 19:21:03

varian So you don't think he adjusts his words according to how much he is paid? His time as Middle East Envoy certainly indicates that.

varian Sun 02-Jun-19 19:24:03

You may well be quite cynical about TB but I think that he has in depth knowledge of international power politics and on this occasion he is telling the truth.

trisher Sun 02-Jun-19 20:06:00

Of course he has in depth knowledge varian but he uses it to benefit TB first.
His latest initiative is the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, a “not-for-profit organisation dedicated to making globalization work for the many, not the few.” The Institute hopes to “articulate a vision of liberal democracy that can garner substantial support and to push back the destructive approach of populism,” thereby renewing the center. As part of this project, it will “inform and support those in the active front line of politics.”

But Blair’s whole post-prime ministerial career has been one big advertisement for the failure of his particular brand of globalization. He is precisely one of those “few” for whom the new hyperconnected, globalized world has paid handsome dividends, thanks to grotesque corruption and obscene private wealth. And far from advancing a vision of “liberal democracy,” he’s used his privileged position to bolster countless authoritarian regimes, all for a price.

When he left office ten years ago, Blair promised to use his global connections to heal the world. Instead, he worked to make himself fabulously wealthy. Now he’s making the same promise again. As a dear friend of his might say: fool me once, shame on you.
You can read all about it here

Callistemon Sun 02-Jun-19 20:22:51

I agree with much of what trisher has posted about Tont Blair.
He may have introduced some good policies but the Iraq war will always overshadow any good he may have achieved.

After hat, his Peace Envoy job was just a self-seeking travesty.

Callistemon Sun 02-Jun-19 20:23:40

Tony - sorry

Callistemon Sun 02-Jun-19 20:24:43

I am trying to post with left hand - excuse typos.

Joelsnan Sun 02-Jun-19 20:32:59

Retired politicians tell it like it is according to their own narrative. They tend to exist in a sphere of sycophantic or like minded people who massage their egos to convince them that thay are still relevant. Just like pop and rock stars who still thing 'they have it'.

eazybee Sun 02-Jun-19 20:38:23

Retired politicians should be very careful in what they say, content themselves with the general rather than the specific, and not launch into personal attacks about other politicians in newspaper interviews.

Tony Blair is the last person whose opinion one should trust, re The Iraqi war, a proven liar. He is desperate to keep us in the EU because he still harbours ambitions to be President, despite them rejecting him roundly before.

Day6 Sun 02-Jun-19 20:49:55

Joelsnan - exactly. Well said.

M0nica Sun 02-Jun-19 21:39:55

Thinking that Corbyn is a complete waste of space does not mean that you do not have the same opinion of Tony Blair.

I thought Tony Blair was a lazy and unprincipled Prime Minister, only too eager to ride the gravy train and surrounded by similar minded people, including his wife and Peter Mandelson.

I nearly voted for him in 1997, just to get the Conservatives out, but thank God, couldn't bring myself to do it, I just didn't trust him enough, even then.

It is a shame that more of the people who nominated and then voted for Jeremy Corbyn, not because they supported him, but because they wanted all sides of the party to be represented in the leadership election, didn't have my perspicuity.