Tuesday, July 18, 2006


'Yo Blair' says it all

That overheard conversation between George and Tony seems to sum up the one-sided relationship for me. Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian today does a neat deconstruction job which helps elucidate the exchange. My own reading prompts one or two additional points:

1. The form of address definitely seems patronizing; Freedland even discerns a hint of 'fratboy bullying'. Whatever happened to their first name relationship? Has familiarity so quickly bred so much contempt?

2. How come Blair does not use any form of address when speaking to Bush? He is disrespected by the surname only use but seems to be too awed by the most world's most powerful man to find any 'George' or even 'Mr President' in his personal lexicon.

3. Blair seems desperate to please, to do something for the leader of the western world- just like he trawled the world for him seeking that UN mandate before the invasion of Iraq.

4. Blair also seems nervous, tongue tied, as if he's a bit thrown to be speaking to such a mighty personage.

The whole conversation resembles one between a master and a servant. And giving Bush a personal gift- a sweater it would seem- simply adds to the humiliation. Blair is demeaned by it and, as citizens of the country he is supposed to be representing in that G8 meeting, we are all demeaned. What an insight into how things really are!

I'm not really convinced, I have to say. Would the same implications have been drawn if we hadn't known the identities of the two individuals?
Well, of course not. The information is only meaningful if you know who they are. That's the context which allows us to interpret the dialogue. But of course, a different interpretation is possible.
Hmm, it certainly doesn't sound like Bush has that much respect for Blair.
I have yet to see, in the mainstream press, any analysis of what "this shit" is exactly. My bafflement at why Syria should be seen by these two intellectual giants as a principal actor in this affair has been given a persuasive interpretation by Juan Cole here
Sonomantex(any relation to Roy Johnson?)
Thanks for the link; I may be wrong but it looks like a bit of disinformation. It was, surely Hizbullah which kicked the whole thing off?
any relation to Roy Johnson?
Indeed yes - son of. Hi ;-)

It was, surely Hizbullah which kicked the whole thing off?

Well, the point is that the opinion given asserts that, unsurprisingly, wars are planned in advance, including this one.
'Who started it' is usually a little unfruitful an enquiry. In this instance, the first hostage/prisoner taking was done by Israel according to Chomsky, who is usually accurate:
son of mantex
Thanks for the link to Chomsky- very interesting and persuasive too. All he says about people in Gaza iving like in a prison is right I think which puts much into a different perspective from the one we have fed to us via media over here. Hadn't heard about the abduction of two civilians by Israel which would again change the perspective. But whilst jewish lobby and the religipous right have Bush in an arm lock these things are not going to change. But it is important that Britain keeps a distance from all of this and that is something Blair is not prepared to allow. Irony is that it's Brown who'll pay the price politically for all this just as he will for the sleaze and incompetence.
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