The prime minister made clear that he is a leader who won't reverse. We are not worried about him going back - we are worried about where he is going.
Tony Blair says that there is 'no turning back', but this speech shows he is turning his back on the British people. [..] The prime minister seems to believe that listening to people's concern is to retreat. It is not. Tony Blair should lecture less and listen more.
It will be remembered as the speech when Tony Blair almost cried. It was a classic New Labour moment: the leader moved to tears by his own rhetoric. [..] He mentioned the courage of Neil Kinnock (twice-losing Labour Party leader, 1983-1992), and got the biggest cheer of the day. It's a sign of an important shift when a leader needs to sprinkle the electoral stardust of Mr Kinnock over a speech.
"So what shall we do?" Tony said, brutally. "Give up on it? Or get on with it?" He waited. [..] "Exactly," he replied. "That's what we do." You're staying. Thank God. I knew you would; after all, without me, you'd still be stuck in that rented basement flat in Peckham, photocopying CND leaflets, reading the Socialist Worker, eating brown rice. [..]
It was the old Tony, the charming Tony, the man who made Labour feel so good about herself. She felt as though he was parting the Red Sea for her. And you know what? She fell for it. Pity she'll hate herself tomorrow morning.
He is exceptionally courageous when faced with his own supporters, organised trade unionists, fractious health service patients, troublesome pensioners, rowdy schoolchildren, prisoners or asylum seekers. But as soon as he comes up against private health insurers, university chieftains, generals, intelligence spooks, industrialists, Rupert Murdoch [..] or the US president [..], Blair the Steadfast is miraculously transformed into Blair the Meek, as pliable as any Labour leader in history [..]. He is, in short, for turning. In this respect he is indeed just like Margaret Thatcher: courageous and unbending when facing up to the weak, the workers and the poor; grovelling and sycophantic to the rich, the strong and the powerful.
Posted by: PURITAN
A spineless wanker, who'se running the Country into the ground.
Posted by: Manta7
Yeah, get rid of him and the rest of the brainless zombies that sit behind him on the Government benches.
Let's get the Conservatives back in, yeah baby! They're better now, no really they are.
Posted by: PURITAN
oh god, not the tories, that'll be like out of the frying pan and into the fire.
oh bugger looks like we're left with tony "the gimp" blair.
Entitled "Wait, I Forgot My Son", the [sequel] movie marks the return of depressing actress Sally Field as well as all the Jewish actors originally hired to play Muslims in the original. "I felt that the world needed to be reminded of how horrible the Muzlamic religion is," stated Field. "We also felt the need to show Muzlims that their method of prayer is wrong."
What Field was referring to was the numerous prayer references in both the original movie and the sequel that depict traditional Islamic prayer as a random sequence of standing, bowing and loudly shouting various Arabic phrases in a rapidly repeated fashion for approximately twenty minutes. [..]
News of the pending release of the movie has been met by much opposition and criticism from various Islamic groups such as CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations) and ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) as well as the TDU (Taxi Drivers Union) and most Dunkin Donuts.
Dr. Robert A. Cook, head veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo [was] visibly angry over the cramped conditions in which the tiger prowled. "If he had escaped it would have been a very bad thing," he said.
the Northern Grasshopper Mouse. The first cool thing is that this creature (they failed to fully classify it) is carnivorous. The really cool thing is that this 4" nocturnal rodent routinely stands on its back legs, eyes towards the moon, and howls like a wolf.
[M]any of the Democrats who cheered Clark's entrance into the race don't particularly care [about his have-it-both-ways position on Iraq]; for them, Clark's resumé is the message. Once again, the Democrats are trying to solve an ideological problem with a biographical solution.
it's hard to conclude at this point that Clark's showing in the poll reflects anything more than the combination of his novelty as a candidate and widespread dissatisfaction with the incumbent. And, as the Perot experience taught us, when it comes to "media-created" candidates, it's really only the latter that tends to be lasting. *
"I appreciate people's opinions, but I'm more interested in news.... And the best way to get the news is from objective sources, and the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world."
--George W. Bush, in an interview with Fox News, September 22, 2003
America's intelligence community used outdated, "circumstantial" and "fragmentary" information with "too many uncertainties" to conclude that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaida, according to the intelligence committee of the US House of Representatives
[S]enior members of the committee concluded that [the intelligence community] had to rely on past assessments, dating to when UN inspectors left Iraq in 1998, and on "some new 'piecemeal' intelligence", both of which "were not challenged as a routine matter" [..]
"The absence of proof that chemical and biological weapons and their related development programs had been destroyed was considered proof that they continued to exist. [..]"
[..] Regarding Iraq's alleged ties to al-Qaida, the letter argues that the agencies had a "low threshold" or "no threshold" on using the information they gathered. "As a result, intelligence reports that might have been screened out by a more rigorous vetting process made their way to the analysts' desks, providing ample room for vagary to intrude".
After the leader's entourage had passed, the delegates were left to talk to each other. This is no easy task. One experienced delegate talked me through the ideal technique for mingling. Apparently, only two topics of conversation are appropriate on first acquaintance - the weather and the quality of the Blackpool hotels. After spending a couple of minutes discussing each subject, you should move on and meet someone new.
It worked brilliantly. I'd explain, time and again, that the shower cubicle in my B&B contains a vase full of silk flowers and each time, on the conclusion of my story, I'd receive a faux guffaw. Everyone seemed familiar with my technique and was happy to play along. But then I realised the horror of it all: the room was full of Tories complaining about their hotels - no wonder they call us the nasty party.
In the Ukraine Andrej dealt in food stuffs and industrial appliances and made a good living for himself and his family with that. [..] When the mafia discovered his prosperity, Andrej started being extorted. He was beaten up repeatedly, and his right eye was damaged at one of those times. When Andrej couldnt bear the pressure anymore, he left with wife and children to the Netherlands. They travelled on a Spanish tourist visum because that can be relatively easily obtained for Ukrainians.
Andrej had had depressive complaints in the Ukraine, but in Leeuwarden he really went crazy. He wanted to attack people, started to smear the walls with excrements, started screaming in the middle of the night. He was interned in a psychiatric institution. [..] His wife and their little son were replaced to a different asylum-seekers centre.
In November 2002 the family Donorov lost its legal appeals. Jurist Theo Wijngaard of the Foundation for Legal Aid Asylum Issues [..] had always emphasized to the IND that the psychological state of his client made it impossible to deport him, but the Raad van State [rejected his claim].
The Donorovs would be deported on 19 August. About two months before that, Wijngaard received a letter from Andrej's psychiatrist saying that the imminent departure to Spain contributed to Andrej's suicidal tendencies. On the basis of this letter Wijngaard asked the IND to renege on the deportation. The IND refused, at which Wijngaard went to court. On August 12 he was told by phone that the IND was "inclined" to wait with deporting Donorov until the case would be brought before court.
Wijngaard now assumed that the journey to Spain would not take place for now. According to Emilia, Andrej was extremely relieved. But on August 19 she got a phonecall from Madrid. It was Andrej. That day, he had been transported in a barred van, with hand- and feetcuffs on, to Schiphol Airport, where he met his wife and son.
Andrej yelled, so papers about the deportation note: "I cant go to Spain, I'll die there." Wijngaard realises that more rejected asylum-seekers yell such things. "But his dossier is full of suicidal inclinations. The Aliens Police should have known that". [..] The IND has confirmed that [..] no doctor was called on during the deportation.
Emilia Cretu [..] gets a[nother] phonecall on August 30. A crying Anna Donorov is on the line [..] "Andrej is dead", is the only thing she can utter. Andrej has hung himself in the bathroom of their hotel in Madrid.
An IND spokesperson disputes that medical guidance had been promised. Shortly before [the deportation] it would be evaluated whether guidance would be necessary, but this would not necessarily need to be medical guidance, said the spokesperson. "And [when saying] 'shortly before that': what stage would we be talking about then? Its possible that a doctor was asked for advice one or two days in advance. Then nothing is the matter. I still want to seek that out."
Traumatised asylum-seekers have to leave within 48 hours
The asylum-seekers centre de Klencke in [Amsterdam] was to host asylum-seekers with psychological and physical problems until 2005. Now its closing down. Without guarantee of medical care, the families will have to move elsewhere soon. When, is unknown.
He sleepwalks again, eats badly and cant concentrate. Ludmila's 16-year old son [..] has all the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. Again. Since the day, June 16, on which he heard that [de Klencke] is closing. Now he has to move for the fourth time in a few years. [..]
Every day the social-psychiatric nurse Helen Volmer listens to such stories from the residents [..]. The COA [..] has decided to close this small reception centre in December. But this centre is different from others. It has a special function; over 80% of residents suffers from physical or psychological complaints. [..] Ludmilla was sent to de Klencke because she and her son suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder. Four experts from [the local mental health centre] treat the family. amongst whom Volmer.
Now that the centre is closing, the COA is not taking the complaints of the residents into account. The 228 residents all received a letter that specifies that a medical indication will play no role in the transfer. The residents will hear 48 hours in advance where they will have to go. This can happen any day. "So we cant even hand over a patient properly", says Volmer.
Hand over, that is, if the patient doesnt first get placed on a waiting list for psychiatric help in another province. Because it's not at all clear whether the residents will even be able to stay in Amsterdam. [..] Ludmilla has already gotten to hear that [other centres in the region] wont have a place for her. "Whereas just recently, fifty asylum-seekers from Nijmegen were sent to Amsterdam".
33-year old Marina from Azerbajjan doesnt understand any of it. After many transfers from centre to centre she ended up in de Klencke with her two, ill children of 3 and 5 years old. Both have a heart defect, and are treated by a steady team of specialists at the Academic Medical Centre.
[..] She dreads the forcible move she will have to make by train. "We will get a day ticket from the National Railways and a note with our new address. We cant even take most of the posessions we have come to gather these last few years."
The specialists of [the local mental health centre] observe how the complaints of the residents are increasing again. "A psychological treatment of people with traumas costs a lot of time", emphasises Volmer. "First they have to feel safe, before you can start treatment. Safe in their environment and safe with their therpaist. The forcible transfer sets Ludmilla and her son far back". [..]
Volmer doesnt get much information from the COA either. "we, too, are left in complete uncertainty". She doesnt even know whether she'll be able to [..] take leave of her patients properly. "We are powerless, we cant do much".