There is much talk over here in the States of Tony Blair; of how well he gets along with Bush, and of course of his recent speech presenting the case against Iraq. No stauncher ally than the Brits. Yeah.
Well, or at least, none stauncher than Tony Blair. Andrew Sullivan’s article on the friendship between the two men says more than he realizes, I think. “Blair’s second intuition was that with George W. Bush, the most important element is always personal rapport and trust. He sensed almost intuitively that an intimate bond with Bush would give the British prime minister more influence than any other world leader in the post 9/11 world.” Yes, indeed. How much is that influence worth? Is it worth the trust of Blair’s own Labour Party?
53 Labour MPs rejected Blair’s speech on Monday, and 80 more may follow suit. Labour’s been downplaying the problem, but why else would Blair allow Monday’s vote to go through if he wasn’t leery of forcing the issue?
So it’s all very well to blithely wave off China and Russia’s criticism. Germany opposes Bush’s plan, and so does France? Well, at least the British support us. Except that polls show only about half of England thinks Bush is on target, and Blair’s own party is restless.