Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
You say, on balance, a No.

I say, on every single account, a big big NO!

I admire Frank's boldness to play contrarian, but what do you and he mean by Bliar's stature? That some Very Important Men think he is a Very Important Man? That just cuts to the core of Bliar's shallow mind, something that alone would make him unfit for any leadership post.

I should add that this 'stature' of Bliar in large owes to the fact that politicians in the rest of Europe don't think about the British political system, and are impressed by repeated wins with large parliamentary majorities -- that just wouldn't happen in their own systems. (Schröder lost in 2005 with barely less votes than Bliar won the same year...)

And what about the opinion of EUropeans (not to mention non-EUropeans!...) other than Very Important People?

FT.com / In depth - EU citizens want referendum on treaty

Tony Blair, the British prime minister, is also regarded by many Europeans as the wrong person to be EU president, if the job were created. Italy (27 per cent) was most supportive of Mr Blair as a possible candidate but only 16 per cent of French backed him - a disappointment to President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has proposed his candidacy to other European leaders.

I also note that Bliar wants the post himself, it's not like it's pushed on him, and the idea is not new.

Even apart from stature, Bliar would not promote Europe's best interests. He would push the Anglo Disease upon us instead.

Schröder may have sold himself to GAZPROM, but Bliar sold himself to Murdoch, Berlusconi, JP Morgan, dozens of campaign contributors, not to mention all acting US Governments. Which reminds me, the EU should cut itself independent from the US, because an alliance with it in its current state is not only a practical and moral bad decision, but no alliance really: more vassaldom. For Europe to have credibility with the rest of the world, it must act on its own.

Juncker may not be well-known to you, but I at least know him, he plays an important role at EU summits for years, and he is better suited than Bliar in every respect. If you want someone else better known, there is still former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer.

The Euro and Schengen are, on one hand, meant to eventually include all countries, on the other hand, both already involve the wide majority of the EU's population (and the absolute majority of EU member countries). Even most of those still outside weant in (new ex-East-Bloc members who aren't yet it), what's more, we could soon see a second Danish Euro referendum resulting in a Yes vote.

I most vigorously deny that Bliar can build consensus. What Bliar can do is build up a power base, and then run roughshod over opposition, to showe down things people's throats when he has a government bureaucracy and a propaganda war machine at hand. He has no clue how to get something done when he is not in control. That marks his entire history in the EU, trying to build power blocks which then always falter on just as determined opposition. He is NOT a clever strategist, NOT an excellent tactician, and most certainly NOT a political maverick.

Re Iraq, he not only has a disastrous legacy and a bad image, but he is a war criminal who would belong to Hague, not Brussels. Now would that be a way to build European credibility with people in the rest of the world...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 05:09:16 PM EST

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series