Blair And The Death Penalty


Remember just before and after Saddam Hussein was lynched how both Tony Blair and Margaret Beckett droned on about Britain's opposition to the death Penalty? The lynching was tricky for them as they helped bring it about so all they could do was reiterate some tired old rhetoric about it being a sovereign Iraqi decision and justice being done, Saddam held to account etc. It's worth looking at a recent statement (16 January 2007) by Margaret Beckett just so we are left in no doubt about Britain's position:

My hon. Friend will know that the British Government strongly oppose the death penalty and continue to make representations where we see that it is being carried out. The events to which he referred only highlight one of the many reasons that I think lay behind the wise decision of this House to abolish capital punishment in this country.

Fast forward to today and surprise surprise this appears in the Independent: Britain blocks Italy's bid to ban death penalty

Italy's latest attempt to galvanise the world into rejecting the death penalty began when Marco Panella, an MEP and civil rights campaigner, went on hunger strike after hearing that Saddam Hussein was to be executed. Abolishing capital punishment is one of the few issues on which all parties in Italy's ruling centre-left coalition agree, and Mr Pannella's campaign prompted Mr Prodi to take up the challenge of putting the proposal before the UN's General Assembly. But when his Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Massimo D'Alema, tried to obtain backing for the proposal at the EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels last week, Britain shot it down.

British diplomats said privately that they did not wish to create difficulties for the United States at a delicate time and they did not believe it was possible to do it now. Holland, Denmark and Hungary subsequently took the same view.

It is the second time that Tony Blair's government has torpedoed Italian efforts to spread Europe's confirmed aversion to capital punishment across the world. The first was in 1999, when a last-minute British "no" killed the initiative.

So not just once but twice since Blair has been in power has he stopped efforts to abolish capital punishment world wide, the first time being before 'The War on Terror', the Iraq war and the London bombings which prompted his "rules of the game are changing" speech in 2005. Even if Blair is about to stand down, isn't it about time he was questioned a bit more thoroughly on the issue so we know exactly where he stands?

Still, at the very least,

Still, at the very least, one has to say that they are being consistent - in their actions if not their rhetoric.

In a similar vein, after

In a similar vein, after Millibands cringing Q&A session with the independent the other day he proclaimed "you cannot be "green and eurosceptic".

Angela Merkel - President of the EU

"Creating difficulties... at

"Creating difficulties... at a delicate time" .

I like it . All times are delicate for poodles to criticise their master.

We all remember Goldsmith getting Air Miles repeatedly going to Washington to lobby to get back the Britons in Guantanamo. A coupla times a year for three years.

" No Poodle -- these are the worst of the worst, now fuck off."

To create a little difficulty, circulate the Peace Train, Cat Stephens.

"you cannot be "green and

"you cannot be "green and eurosceptic"

which will come as a surprise to the Green Party, which is extremely Eurosceptic.

Tom - please distinguish

Tom - please distinguish between the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) and the Scottish Green Party (SGP). We're entirely seperate entities, and I wouldn't describe the SGP as "extremely eurosceptic".