Blair’s wife attacks bush

Good for Cherie:

CHERIE Blair has criticised the policies of the US President George W Bush, attacking his stance on terrorist prisoners and gay rights.

The Prime Minister’s wife was condemned by supporters of the US President, after a speech to Harvard law students which contained a stinging rebuke to Bush, while on a lecture tour of the United States.

She attacked the manner in which the White House has dealt with the human rights of UK citizens detained at the US-run Camp X-Ray prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Blair said the decision by the US Supreme Court, fiercely opposed by Bush’s government, to give legal protection to two of the Britons detained at the camp was “profoundly important” and a “significant victory for human rights and the international rule of law”.

She took a sideswipe at Bush’s record on gay rights, condemning the arrest of a homosexual couple in the President’s home state of Texas, for defying a ban on gay sex. The US Supreme Court’s decision to throw out the law, which had been backed by Bush, was a “model of judicial reasoning”. Blair also called the US legal code an “outdated grandfather clock”.

The controversial speech was seen as flying in the face of long-held tradition that British political figures, and those close to them, do not criticise other countries during foreign visits.

Doing so just days before the US elections makes the intervention all the more embarrassing for Prime Minister Tony Blair as well as Bush.

Aren’t you tired of the whole world looking at shrub’s policies with a mixture of revulsion and disbelief? I am. Even our so-called allies share the disgust, even if most are too afraid of bush to speak up. So what’s next? Will Ronald Reagan rise from the grave to make an endorsement? Nothing can surprise me over the next three days, absolutely nothing.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

“The controversial speech was seen as flying in the face of long-held tradition that British political figures, and those close to them, do not criticise other countries during foreign visits.”

Have you ever listened to Prince Philip the Queen’s consort. He has critisized everybody during official tours, from the Scots and Chinese to the Indian and Australians.

October 31, 2004 @ 12:24 am | Comment

Prince Philip is not a political figure – thank goodness. Also, if Cherie Blair could actually persuade her husband to stop following Bush’s policies, then I’d have some respect for her.

October 31, 2004 @ 12:45 am | Comment

Reading this post and the one about Bush voted the Villain of the year made me smile. Brits really think Bush is scary. ;)

October 31, 2004 @ 10:54 am | Comment

Langee, I read the new UK survey — they hate bush! It’s quite beyond belief, as they are our No. 1 ally in the world. God forbid something really serious happens where we need international support. It just isn’t there, at least not for shrub.

October 31, 2004 @ 11:36 am | Comment

Cherie Blair made such comments because she’s a lawyer; that’s what she gets paid to do. In the past her law firm (and by implication her) has lambasted her husband for a number of policies. Wait a minute, doesn’t her husband have holding camps where people have been arrested and held without charge under new anti-terrorism laws too? What does that say about the weight of her comments regarding the US?
She holds no post in the government and is accountable to no one but her firm. I think it’s irresponsible to use a private citizen’s comments and hold it up as representative of the views of “an ally”.
Of course, everyone in the UK agrees with her, but still….

October 31, 2004 @ 7:04 pm | Comment

Keir, I hold it up precisely because everyone in the UK seems to agree with her, except her husband (who also agrees with her, or course, but is too beholden to shrub to say so). Usually the wives of political leaders are more reserved, and they tend to keep in line with the views of their husbands (whether that’s right or wrong is another story; it’s just how it is). So when Blair’s wife speaks up like this, it’s big news.

October 31, 2004 @ 7:08 pm | Comment

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