‘They have given me somebody else’s voice – Blair’s voice’

When Tuesday’s Sun featured one of the iconic images from 7/7 alongside the headline ‘Tell Tony He’s Right’, the implication was clear: the victim backed the PM’s tough anti-terror measures. There was just one problem: John Tulloch doesn’t. In fact, he tells Ros Coward he is angrier with the politicians than the bombers

On Tuesday, the Sun’s front page evoked memories of the July 7 London bombings in a shocking way. A huge picture of a blood-soaked victim dominated the page. Under the banner “Terror laws” was a large picture of the victim with the words: “Tell Tony He’s Right.” The implication was clear: this victim had spoken to the Sun and was calling on the public to back Blair’s tough terror bill, defeated in the Commons last night. The Sun’s strong and emotive front page was mentioned several times on other media including BBC Radio 4′s Today programme and the World at One. It was widely recognised as a key element in sending a message to Labour waverers that those whose opinion on the bombings is unimpeachable – the victims – were strongly in favour of the government’s hardline stance.

Full article: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2005/nov/10/media.media

A green light to the developers

New planning laws bypassing environmental concerns make a joke of Blair’s vision of sustainability

Next September Tony Blair will be going to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg to teach the world about saving the planet, just as his government completes the greatest assault on environmental protection this country has ever known. With his customary messianic zeal, he’s said he “wants the UK to lead the world on sustainability”. So why is his government trying to hustle through reforms in the planning system which rip away current protections?

Full article: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2001/dec/18/localgovernment

Foreign fields

Blair is very fond of the countryside – as long as it is in France or Italy 

Sophie Wessex, like all those Tory tittle-tattlers, is wrong about Tony Blair not liking the countryside; he does. The question is whether it’s the British countryside or somebody else’s.

From the evidence of their holiday destinations, it is clear the Blairs prefer holidays in rural Tuscany or France. John Smith could think of nothing better than climbing Scottish mountains. Blair, pleading for the resumption of the cream-tea trade, looks even more out of place in the UK countryside than Nick Brown (and that’s saying something).

Full article: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/apr/10/greenpolitics.politicalcolumnists

Slurring the proles

There was a build-up to yesterday’s crime summit between Downing Street and the Association of Chief Police Officers. Using emotive rhetoric, government representatives have been talking about the “shame” of Britain’s “yobs”, about “drunken louts”, “thug bars” and the need for zero tolerance on “yobbery”.

Tony Blair’s language was particularly florid, revealing his anxieties about drunken thugs who kick down gates and hurl traffic cones. But when the rest of us worry about violent crime, do we also worry about louts, yobs and thugs or something different and more complex?

Full article: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/jul/04/ukcrime.comment

A revolt against the male

Ros Coward looks at why the WI’s forces of decency unleashed ‘crone power’ against a decent man

Most commentators have overlooked the fact that what happened between Tony Blair and the Women’s Institute last week had a deeply personal element.

They have downplayed what happened as a spin-doctor fiasco or a confrontation between Left and Right. The Daily Mirror has managed to present the WI as ‘Blue Rinse Tories’, more evil than the November 17 group.

Full article: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2000/jun/11/labour.labour1997to991