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Cincinattus [Sep. 13th, 2004|09:37 am]
Tony Grist
Tony Blair misled parliament and the nation and took the country to war on a false prospectus. How is this not a resigning issue?

There's a nightmare quality about it. The evidence against him is overwhelming, no-one trusts him, no-one likes him, but there he is, day after day, smiling that patronizing smile and doing his "I'm just a regular bloke" act. He's as unkillable as the monster in a Hollywood horror franchise.

Living under a dictatorship must feel like this.

Power is a drug. No-one who has it resigns it willingly. But its deleterious effect on character is plain to see. Men and women in positions of power get progressively madder and stupider. The last two prime ministers, Thatcher and Major, seriously damaged their reputations by clinging onto office long after they'd ceased to be effective. And now there's Blair. His reputation is in tatters. But one of the delusions of power is that if you hang on long enough everything will eventually, magically, turn to your advantage.

Cincinattus: He did the job he was appointed to do (defeating the enemies of Rome) then resigned the dictatorship and returned to his farm. That's the way to do it. That's the way to win the gratitude of your people.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-09-13 02:59 am (UTC)
In 1997 Blair was young and fresh-faced and promising us a wonderful new future. And we were overjoyed to be getting rid of those stale old, sleazy old tories.

The Americans have the right idea I think- limiting their Presidents to two terms.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-09-13 04:30 am (UTC)
The Americans have the right idea I think- limiting their Presidents to two terms.

If only it were one.

Bush is gaining in the polls. I have less hope for Kerry these days.

The Bush campaign is attempting to convince Americans that, without Bush and his militaristic stance, we'll be overrun by terrorists scaling our walls with knives in their teeth.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-09-13 04:33 am (UTC)
I was listening to Erica Jong on the radio this morning. She was saying that politicians have always used war as a way of getting their populations to back them. And in evidence she cited an example from ancient Greece.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-09-13 04:47 am (UTC)
...politicians have always used war as a way of getting their populations to back them. And in evidence she cited an example from ancient Greece.

Americans are still traumatized by our first outside invasion on 9/11/01, and so we're still looking for strong parents to protect us. Fundamentalist churches are on the rise, and I think it's partly due to their rigidity and tendency to have authoritarian leadership and black-and-white doctrines. And we've got Bush, who shakes his fist at the skies and says we'll not back away from war, no matter what it takes, no matter how long it takes, no matter how many people are killed.

And Americans, for the most part, are saying: Just take care of us, somehow. We don't want to think about the details. Just make sure we're safe.

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[User Picture]From: qos
2004-09-13 05:32 am (UTC)
strong parents to protect us. . . just make sure we're safe

All too true. For a nation that likes to insist on butting our noses into everyone else's business, we are all too willing to stick our heads into the sand when it comes to our own.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-09-13 06:40 am (UTC)
I try to understand how Bush could seem like a strong parent when the facts- the dodging of military service, the neglect of intelligence about 9/11, the failure to find Bin Laden, the pally relationship with the Saudis, the prosecution of a war unrelated to terrorism- all point the other way. It puzzles and frustrates me.

These things are a matter of public record. How do people manage to avoid coming into contact with them?
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-09-13 06:52 am (UTC)
These things are a matter of public record. How do people manage to avoid coming into contact with them?

There's such a barrage of conflicting information, and by denigrating the accuser rather than denying the charges, the Bush campaign adds to the confusion. Their smoke and mirrors are working, mostly because we don't want to think and reflect deeply or study political issues. And we are rather gullible and naive and trusting as a result.
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From: morrison_maiden
2004-09-13 10:20 am (UTC)
Very true. I think he just likes to hang onto the title more than anything, even though he'd be helping his people by leaving...Oh well :\

And here's the little survey thingy from my journal, that I shall do for you now :)

01. Give me a nickname and explain why you picked it. Maybe "benevolent bloke" because you're a Brit, and you're very kind lol
02. Am I lovable? I think so; you're kind and intelligent, so yes
03. How long have you known me? Probably several months
04. When and how did we first meet? I believe it was in darkvictoria
05. What was your first impression? "Wow, this guy's really intelligent, and thinks that I'm talented? That's gotta be a good thing :)
06. Do you still think that way about me now? Yes, but I see now that you're a lot of fun. I didn't really know much about you then, so now it's really refreshing to see.
07. What do you think my weakness is? Feeling troubled about the state of the world.
08. Do you think I'll get married? Aren't you, already? ;)
09. What makes me happy? Good films and literature, tales of heroes
10. What makes me sad? Tense situations in the news, America snatching up all the good Brits (sorry ;)
11. What reminds you of me? Sir John Gielgud, The Doors/Jim Morrison
12. If you could give me anything what would it be? Maybe a photo/drawing of yourself
13. How well do you know me? Rather well, through your entries.
14. When's the last time you saw me? Well, I've never actually seen you, hehe
15. Ever wanted to tell me something but couldn't? Nah
16. Do you think I could kill someone? I think everyone is capable of that, but I think you're much more logical than just wanting to kill someone.
17. Describe me in one word. nifty
18. Do you think our friendship is getting stronger/weaker/or staying the same? Stronger
19. Do you feel that you could talk to me about anything and I would listen? Yes. You're very nice, and much more open-minded than most adults I've met.
20. Are you going to put this on your livejournal and see what I say about you? It's already there! ^__^
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-09-13 10:42 am (UTC)
Thanks Jess. You're very kind.

You're right- I should worry less about the state of the world. After all, there's nothing I can do about it. :)
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[User Picture]From: kaysho
2004-09-13 02:12 pm (UTC)
Politicians rarely have the sense to quit while they're ahead, but I suppose that may arise in part from the sheer number of hoops they had to jump through to get the job in the first place. :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-09-13 02:24 pm (UTC)
Good point. I'd not thought of it that way before.
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