Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html en-gb 30 Mon 29 Dec 2014 08:16:05 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html Felmar Rowell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=99#comment195 We Asians want to engage with Europe, and for a true Europe to be headed by a true European, Europe must also consider the wider world. For us Asians, Europe must be headed by a President who is not only a true European, but who is also expansive, outwardly looking, and has an international stature. And Tony Blair is the only European right now who fits this good picture. We Asians will not want a too European, inwardly looking, provincial President for Europe like Juncker, it will be too stressful and wary for us. If you ask us, we will be most comfortable with Blair being Europe's first President, who is open and expansive. Sat 31 Oct 2009 15:09:24 GMT+1 Charleswalther http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=98#comment194 I was incredibly pro EU and Lisbon treaty before I heard that Blair would be a viable option for the EU presidency. I do not wish to be represented by a controversial figure such as Tony Blair, a man that has been in a very powerful position for too long, has too many vested interests and is the cause for much hatred throughout the world.And I just don't understand why we can't find some new talent? The EU's future President should be a strong and charismatic leader, but it needs one that is a more unifying figure in European politics than Tony Blair. Thu 29 Oct 2009 19:41:59 GMT+1 YetAnotherGeek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=98#comment193 In case you have all forgotten, TB is currently doing a very important job at the moment bringing peace to the Middle East;-) Surely he should be allowed to finish that off first? Thu 29 Oct 2009 17:53:34 GMT+1 meninwhitecoats http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=97#comment192 @121 EH...are you absolutely sure?It's like a bad dream - you think no one could possibly consider this man seriously but he is still there with his cheesy grin and bulging pockets. Thu 29 Oct 2009 12:17:44 GMT+1 Floronimus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=97#comment191 The European Council needs a president; a simple statement that causes a great deal of controversies. There are not many candidates, one in fact: former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, unfortunately a man with several friends and enemies as well. It can be argued that Blair made a mistake by forming an alliance with former American President George W. Bush in his war on terror. But does not everyone deserve a new chance? Past performance does not necessarily predict future actions.Another, more reasonable argument is the non-adoption of the Euro as currency by Great Britain. Can Europe be represented by a man from a country that does not support the European unity?On the other hand, it is self-evident that if the European Council wants to achieve a dominant and important position in the world, they should elect an eloquent and powerful leader. In this point of view, Blair’s appointment as “Special Envoy” of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia, charged with propagating the “Roadmap for Peace”, is certainly an advantage. Hopefully, after the longstanding ratification problem, the European leaders will come soon to a correct decision, wherefore the world can see a coherent Europe with an undisputed president at its head. Overall, Tony Blair might be the person where the European Council is looking for. Wed 28 Oct 2009 22:25:55 GMT+1 ishrimaharaj http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=96#comment190 I am from the Commonwealth and cannot see merit in Mr Blair's candidacy in this current search. Mr Blair's credentials were tarnished since his capricious entry into the Iraq war. The justification for which at the time was proven to be baseless and tendentious. Any claims to him being statesman or whatever, in my opinion is falacious and specious. Wed 28 Oct 2009 17:01:47 GMT+1 Mathiasen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=96#comment189 #188 EuNLSPThank you for your contribution. Interesting to know what people around in the union think. I have not seen that Juncker has announced his candidacy, but I found this statement in "Financial Times Deutschland" (Germany):When we agree on the job, it was the informal understanding that the first EU president should not be a representative from a large country, Premier Jean-Claude Juncker said in the interview. Wed 28 Oct 2009 15:43:23 GMT+1 rg http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=95#comment188 188. EuNLSP(I wish I could vote on this one)¡Hola Spanish socialist! I agree we should all have a vote. Wed 28 Oct 2009 12:21:25 GMT+1 EuNLSP http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=95#comment187 I don't think anybody in the UK would be surporised of the huge amount of Europeans (including me) who don't want Tony Blair or any other British to become president of the European Council. And to be honest, since Juncker has put his candidancy forward, Brair has less than cero chances. Juncker has my vote (I wish I could vote on this one). He is by far the smartest politician in Europe (including UK).Spanish socialist Wed 28 Oct 2009 12:01:34 GMT+1 Paul Papadopoulos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=94#comment186 People who hear voices in their heads may have schizophrenia. And those with such grandiose ideas as becoming the President of the EU without any relevant experience may be having a manic episode caused by bipolar disorder. Wed 28 Oct 2009 10:56:50 GMT+1 paul jordan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=94#comment185 If Blair gets this(whatever 'this' is supposed to be ?)it will be a case of nero fiddling while rome burns.If you want your President to have a history of lies and deciet this is your man.He even had the skill to foist an un-elected replacement with all the qualities he displayed so well himself,arrogance and ignorance.Using a declaration of war as 'smoke and mirrors' to distract from the total failure of his domestic policies,disgraceful.Do we really want someone in any kind of office with so little respect for human life.The sooner He and his cronies sink without trace the better. Wed 28 Oct 2009 08:31:22 GMT+1 rg http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=93#comment184 184. T1m0thy"…You don't think that they could work out that there would be nearly five years before they would be in office and the chances of having to hold a referendum were marginal if not non-existent?.."The Conservatives hoped they'd win in 2005. At least they have been true to their word and voted in parliament for the referendum.Not so Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Wed 28 Oct 2009 08:22:26 GMT+1 U4466131 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=93#comment183 #180 rgYou don't think that they could work out that there would be nearly five years before they would be in office and the chances of having to hold a referendum were marginal if not non-existent? They don't want to hold a referendum, no Parliamentarian wants referendums. It was just a cynical ploy to garner UKIP and other anti EU votes. Wed 28 Oct 2009 08:09:09 GMT+1 descurrie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=92#comment182 No. For the sake of honour and all that is honourable, no.Liars have no place in the leadership of the world.Deceit has no place over Europe.Des Currie Wed 28 Oct 2009 04:59:51 GMT+1 Stewart Edwards http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=92#comment181 I still think that I would make a very good president, if nothing else a good blogging world hype about the benefits of a man of the people could open minds and lead to a realisation of the simple fact that citizens matter. Tue 27 Oct 2009 22:27:53 GMT+1 WojtekCh http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=91#comment180 I think, the best candidate is present president of EU Parliament , Jerzy Buzek - former Prime Minister of Poland . How do you think ? Tony Blair ....no, not yet :) Tue 27 Oct 2009 21:26:39 GMT+1 rg http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=91#comment179 179. T1m0thy"…As I understand it the Conservatives have committed to a referendum in the UK on the Treaty of Lisbon if all the other 26 members have not ratified the treaty at the time they (the conservatives) take power. I think it's about as cynical as it gets…"I disagree. This is in line with their 2005 manifesto. You seem to ignore the fact that they voted for the referendum in parliament whilst Labour & the Liberal Democrats voted against. I don't call cynical what the Left did; an affront to democracy is closer to the mark.Of course once Lisbon is law it's a whole new ball game. Tue 27 Oct 2009 18:38:52 GMT+1 U4466131 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=90#comment178 #176,177,178I repeat my comment go and do something about it then, put your name on the petition at http://stopblair.eu/Don't complain and do nothing, do something, if enough of us sign they will take notice.#177 rgAs I understand it the Conservatives have committed to a referendum in the UK on the Treaty of Lisbon if all the other 26 members have not ratified the treaty at the time they (the conservatives) take power. I think it's about as cynical as it gets and think that they are probably all on their knees praying now that the Czech supreme court don't provide any late hurdles for ratification. Tue 27 Oct 2009 17:40:45 GMT+1 acceptablerobertcox http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=90#comment177 WHY BLAIR SHOULD NOT BECOME PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNIONThe job of European Union President wants a man or women, with capacity to organise, with firm European credentials, able to create confidence momentum towards lasting results. It wants a consensus-builder who can create confidence with other leaders but knows when and how to hammer heads together at the right moments. It does not want a self-promoting high-flyer.From the outset Blair, as British Prime Minister, was a dilettante over Europe. His initial apparent enthusiasm soon waned to indifference as the going got tougher – as it always does when hard choices have to be made in European affairs. He dazzled the European Parliament in the summer of 2005, on the eve of the British presidency, with a speech high on rhetoric and low on content. He drifted into inaction – the Euro, Schengen, the let-outs, especially in the social field. Finally he yielded over the Lisbon Treaty, appearing to accept a referendum when there is no tradition of referenda in British constitutional practice where Parliament is supposedly sovereign. On all these issues he submitted rather than led. Not that this has gained him kudos in eurosceptic Britain.He has since shown his dilettante streak over the Middle East. Dramatic and dire things have happened and continue to happen in the Middle East since Blair became Special Representative for the region. But Blair has kept his head well below the parapet. Was media indifference at fault? No, the media would have picked up whatever Blair might have said or done.He gave much vent, with the equally disqualified Gerhardt Schröder and others, to the so-called “middle way”. One social democrat regime after another now tumbles before voter hostility about dilution of substance of politics. A fat lot of good that has done to the social democrat ideal.He uncritically, together with Gordon Brown, embraced laissez-faire economics, which soon slid into acceptance of the theory that the market always self-corrects and denial of the proper role for public authority. Now look where we are.Last but not least he swallowed hook, line and sinker the philosophy of the War Against Terrorism, the enthusiastic lurch into war in Iraq, and all this at the behest of the most reactionary U.S. Administration in recent American history. This man will not put Europe’s interests first against those of Washington.He had the opportunity from his position of power and influence to coalesce Europe’s political class around furthering the European Project – especially the Lisbon Agenda, with all its faults – and he failed to do so. Why then should we trust him to have had some European conversion on his political road to Damascus that empowers him to assume the European Presidency? Or does the lassitude of many European heads of state and government make them prefer this as an easy option? Worst of all the whole process is being conducted behind the closed doors of traditional European diplomacy. There appears to be no room for any act of democracy in this process. Here, surely, is an opportunity to be seized by the European Parliament both to act and to demonstrate its key role as the manifestation of Europe-wide democracy.Robert Cox, Brussels, October 27, 2009.[Personal details removed by Moderator] Tue 27 Oct 2009 16:25:40 GMT+1 rg http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=89#comment176 174. T1m0thy"…I hope equally that they take into account the cynical ploy of the conservatives whereby they promise a referendum knowing that, almost as a certainty, they would not have to hold one…"Where was this "promise" made? I agree there wouldn't be much point in holding a referendum after Lisbon became law. To do so would undermine UK standing and allow a future Labour Government to renege on any subsequent Treaty a Conservative government were to sign.By the way the Conservatives voted for a referendum in parliament. They were outvoted by Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The latter were liberal with selling out the public's trust and undemocratic in action. Tue 27 Oct 2009 16:05:35 GMT+1 NIMBLEWORTH http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=89#comment175 If anything better demonstrates the futility of the common man,then this is it. Our voices are lost in the Desert of silence that surrounds our screams of frustration and impotency imposed by Politicians who realise our existence only once every 4- 10 years. If Blair is eventually elected as EU President, then, I will truly know that there is an anti-christ! Tue 27 Oct 2009 16:05:28 GMT+1 NIMBLEWORTH http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=88#comment174 If there is a God,then now is the time for him to step forward. "Never in the field of Human existence, was so much ruined and destroyed by one HUMAN BEING in modern times, as that achieved by Tony Blair." If he becomes the new President of Europe, I will join the BNP. He sold the culture and the history of Britain to the highest bidder,and would have sold our Hertage had he the chance. Tue 27 Oct 2009 15:31:52 GMT+1 U4466131 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=88#comment173 #171 rg"I can only hope the great British public remembers till 2010 the game the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties played to get themselves elected."I hope equally that they take into account the cynical ploy of the conservatives whereby they promise a referendum knowing that, almost as a certainty, they would not have to hold one. I admit I am pro EU there's quite a bit wrong with it but it can be made to work. Government by referendum is crazy why bother to have politicians at all? On second thoughts though!!!I hop0e you have signed the stop Blair petition Tue 27 Oct 2009 15:13:31 GMT+1 ABDELKADER EL HAMDAOUI http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=87#comment172 "Tony Blair has the drive, vision and pragmatic sense of mission to shock Europe out of its ideological slumber. Can't think of anyone in Europe anywhere near suitable or enthusiastic enough to take on the task with new ideas and not stifling the Union with idealistic hang-ups, except perhaps Barack Obama. People in Britain who are so out of touch with Bruxelles are not qualified, in view of their Anglo-Celtic mindset, to make judgement on the kind of leadership most needed to strengthen Europe and make it a superpower to be reckon with." Tue 27 Oct 2009 15:07:35 GMT+1 DisgustedOfMitcham2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=87#comment171 #169:"but I can't see what the EU would gain from having him in the job"The EU would gain nothing, and indeed lose plenty in terms of its credibility. However, it's not the EU that gets to decide. It's (assuming that #159's information is correct, which I have no reason to doubt) the 27 EU heads of government who decide. They will have plenty to gain if they vote for someone who is likely to reward them for their loyalty with invitations to posh parties on yachts and the like.So I guess there is a real risk that Bliar may actually get the job. Tue 27 Oct 2009 14:49:25 GMT+1 rg http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=86#comment170 170. T1m0thy"...Why do all of you of the sceptic tendency continually go one about lack of democracy. The democratically elected parliament of the United Kingdom debated and voted and the UK signed up to the Treaty of Lisbon..."Why? It's very simple. There was a General Election in 2005 wherein the majority of victorious candidates stood on a platform calling for a referendum on the Constitutional Treaty. After this morphed into the Lisbon Treaty the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties changed their policies and voted against a referendum. Thus the UK electorate was denied a vote. This by those the public elected with a referendum mandate.Democratically elected yes, true to their word no. A Native American in a movie might have breathed "white man speaks with forked tongue".Of course the pro Lisbon side are happy because they got what they want. The anti Lisbon side is unhappy that this was achieved through undemocratic means.I can only hope the great British public remembers till 2010 the game the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties played to get themselves elected. Tue 27 Oct 2009 14:46:22 GMT+1 U4466131 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=86#comment169 This blog is holding up remarkably well I must say.#151 SalfordmanWhy do all of you of the sceptic tendency continually go one about lack of democracy. The democratically elected parliament of the United Kingdom debated and voted and the UK signed up to the Treaty of Lisbon. What is undemocratic about that? You all constantly complain about lack of democracy, Ireland having two referendums so what, the Irish like to vote on legislation by referendum it is not and never has been the practice of the UK to govern by referendum. If you want to see the terrible and logical conclusion of government by referendum go and take a look at California wher a successions of referenda have made it almost impossible to run the state.There is, however, one democratic voice you may have at this moment and that is to got to http://stopblair.eu/ and sign onto the petition. That is true for everyone else posting to this blog who does not want the man to be president of the EU. Now is the hour, go and cast your vote, tell your friends, we can stop him. Tue 27 Oct 2009 13:48:44 GMT+1 Parish Spinster http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=85#comment168 If Blair is appointed to this unelected Presidency, the EU leaders will essentially be putting two fingers up to their electorates. There is no way that he would be elected to the position, if we were asked. I can see what he would get from another fancy title on his CV, but I can't see what the EU would gain from having him in the job. Indeed, can they afford him? I assume that he'd have to give up all his commercial activities (eg "Tony Blair Associates")? Tue 27 Oct 2009 11:15:09 GMT+1 DisgustedOfMitcham2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=85#comment167 #163:"Indeed Mr. Miliband's support for Blair as EU president is so evidently wrong-headed as to cast doubts on his qualifications as Foreign Secretary."What qualifications? I think it would be necessary to have at least some prima facie evidence of qualifications before you could cast doubt on them. Miliband is so ludicrously out of his depth as Foreign Secretary I don't think his latest pathetic toadying tells us anything we didn't already know. Tue 27 Oct 2009 08:53:53 GMT+1 the_Sluiceterer http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=84#comment166 If Europe want a strong leader it certainly isn`t Blair. I voted for him 1996 and was shocked by how he became a poodle of the USA. The fact that he respects Thatcher shows him up as an intellectual lightweight. Visiting the UK recently I was amused to see how latest opinion poll showed that of the 3 parties, most people thought Brown would win Mastermind but Cameron would win big brother. Fact that most said would then vote for Cameron says it all. The Politicians & Media have turned UK into extremeley ignorant,celeb obsessed, nationalistic `society`. Would take 50 years of a Socialist police state to turn thîngs around. That`s not going to happen so lets just sign up as another state of the USA. Yee-Ha. Tue 27 Oct 2009 08:44:00 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=84#comment165 #135, kuergun wrote:"Who wants a 33 deg free mason who is part of the Illuminati, who is responsible for the deaths of many innocent people, who died in an illegal war in Iraq."Not me as I can't stand the clown, but on one point, if my memory serves me correct he would (in theory) not be allowed to stay a mason if he has a criminal conviction so if charged and convicted he should be expelled. However the Socialist leaning 'Grand Orient' that is so strong in Benelux and France seems to give 33 degrees to everyone as I knew some members a few years back, so if Tony is a member of that it means very little as its a typical Socialist talking shop with meaningless debates from what I was told (a bit like the EU eh!). Tue 27 Oct 2009 06:56:05 GMT+1 brownjohnny http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=83#comment164 Please next time you mention Tony Blair add "war criminal" and "mass murderer" before his name. I think if we Europeans have Tony Blair as our president, it would be an incredible disappointment to all those of us who want a Europe that is peaceful and respectful of others. Or do we want a European Union that is just another USA? Not me, thanks. Tue 27 Oct 2009 06:04:16 GMT+1 ikamaskeip http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=83#comment163 Blair does not have anything like an 'estate' near Aylesbury or up north.He has a 4 bedroom house with relatively small front garden and an extensive rear garden. Some additional building has been done - - apparently to accommodate 'security' - - other than its rural setting and usual personal refurbishments inside there is nothing special about it.No, I can't say how I know. Mon 26 Oct 2009 22:36:28 GMT+1 dipconsult http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=82#comment162 20.45 26 Oct - I just watched an item on BBC World News on the suitability of Mr. Blair as EU (appointed, unelected President). No time was given to mention the views of those like Lord Rees-Mogg and so many distinguished Britons that, no matter how well known he is in the world (which Mr. Miliband seems to think the key qualification for the EU presidency) Mr. Blair has so damaged the UK and Europe he must be stopped. Indeed Mr. Miliband's support for Blair as EU president is so evidently wrong-headed as to cast doubts on his qualifications as Foreign Secretary. For no European has done more harm to Europe and indeed to his own country's position in the world than Mr. Blair. He divided Europe, gravely weakening its voice - a voice for sanity and peace - by following the hapless G W Bush into Iraq. He undermined NATO and Western chances of stabilising Afghanistan creating the two "Vietnams " (Iraq & Afghanistan) we face today. The predictably (we too, predicted it in 2002) disastrous Iraq war cost the West its worldwide support after "9/11", and lost Afghanistan its priority for funds, expertise, and forces in favour of Iraq. That neglect ruined the prospect of a successful, brief occupation. Blair is a hypocrite and deceiver: he, more even than Cheney, was responsible for falsifying intelligence and misleading politicians and peoples into the carnage in Iraq. [for full details see our www.dipconsult.eu]Yes, "Blood on your hands Blair" must be stopped! (Forgive such strong talk from professionals in diplomacy!) Mon 26 Oct 2009 19:58:03 GMT+1 saltfordman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=82#comment161 I am not a new member, I registered in January 2007. Mon 26 Oct 2009 15:47:29 GMT+1 saltfordman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=81#comment160 The perfect riposte to Blair becoming President of Europe would be for the UK to hold a referendum on Europe - In or Out. I believe the result would see the UK out of Europe leaving Blair to wreak his havoc without it affecting the UK. We have suffered enough already when he was PM without being subjected to more talk without action and him grandstanding above our lawfully elected government. Unfortunately, there is little chance of Brown (or his replacement) or Cameron holding such a referendum. It beats me why these people want to be the UK PM when they seem content to give powers that affect UK citizens away to an undemocratic institution. It seems that once we have been signed up to anything in Europe we are not allowed to change our minds. In the UK, we can change our minds and vote in a different government to remove/change laws that we no longer think appropriate, why can this not be done in Europe?If Norway can trade with Europe without being run by Europe then the UK should also be able to do so perfectly well. We still have ties with ex Commonwealth countries and in future trade will be with the likes of China, India, Brazil, Japan etc. Whey do we need Europe to negotiate with those countries. As for a common European Defence force, it is likely to mean British troops doing the fighting but controlled by the European Defence Minister not our own UK government.The same goes for Foreign policy, it would be set out by the European Foreign Minster and the UK would have little influence, even less than we have now.A federal Europe means less influence for the UK in world affairs, more expense since we contribute more financially to Europe than we receive in return and less ability to control our own lives. Just reflect on the original NO votes by France and Holland who were then not allowed to vote again, Ireland voting twice until they voted the right way and no say by the UK people about the largest change in the constitution of Europe since the EEC was born. Of course once it is decided by these dubious means, then no country will ever be able to change it. Nothing can be reversed. Mon 26 Oct 2009 15:41:43 GMT+1 Exiledscot52 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=81#comment159 Can he afford the salary cut? What are morgan stanley paying, is the mid-east peace envoy a mere sinecure?For a barrister who got out and turned to politics he appears to have amassed quite a fortune with the help of various deals in Bristol and elsewhere. What would he bring to the job? Perhaps he could ruin the EU as he has done Britain. The executive are no longer questioned, the PM behaves like a President, (you tube, announcements) what about parliament, PMQs once a week......Yes perhaps Tony Blair in as Prresident of the EU would be good for Britain!!!!! Mon 26 Oct 2009 15:07:24 GMT+1 I am not a number http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=80#comment158 #156. DisgustedOfMitcham2It's the head of governments that will decide who's going to be the president of the European Council. Mon 26 Oct 2009 14:37:19 GMT+1 Brownloather http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=80#comment157 I confess that I am not sure what Europe needs or whether or not it should even have an unelected President. I am certain however, that Europe does not need a man whose lazy mendacity and bludgeoning greed caused such terrible damage to the UK during his ten years in power. Mon 26 Oct 2009 14:15:53 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=79#comment156 151. At 11:16am on 26 Oct 2009, excellentcatblogger wrote:142. At 09:33am on 26 Oct 2009, SuffolkBoy2 wrote:Is it true that Blair has an estate in Buckinghamshire?If so, where?=================================It is near Chequers (the PM's country place) which is just outside Aylesbury. Odd though that the toff Blair did not want to go back to live in his homeland of the North East.SB2:Thank you for that! Mon 26 Oct 2009 13:54:23 GMT+1 DisgustedOfMitcham2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=79#comment155 Forgive my ignorance, but who gets to decide whether Bliar becomes EU President? I assume that for an organisation that is not really into democracy in a big way, an election in which we ordinary people get a say is out of the question? But that still leave various options. Is it decided by the European Parliament (that would at least have some democratic legitimacy)? Or is it a bunch of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels?The idea that Bliar might be EU President horrifies me. I've always been quite a fan of the EU as a concept in the past, but I could rapidly change my mind about that if Bliar really does become president. Mon 26 Oct 2009 13:26:40 GMT+1 StrongholdBarricades http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=78#comment154 Please let him become PresidentThen if he is indicted for war crimes he can be dragged off to the Hague for trail, and sequestration of his assets Mon 26 Oct 2009 13:14:09 GMT+1 The_Oncoming_Storm http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=78#comment153 One of the arguments put forward in favour of President Tony is that Europe needs a heavyweight figure who can play hardball with countries like Russia to stop them turning off Europe's gas supply.Well let's consider Blair's record as a negotiator, this is the man who meekly signed away much of Britain's EU rebate for a worthless promise to "review" the CAP which will come to absolutely nothing! He is also the one who slavishly acquiesed to Bush over Iraq when he could have put a much higher price on Britain's support.I don't think Putin is likely to be quaking in his boots at this prospect! Mon 26 Oct 2009 12:09:35 GMT+1 neiljamesh http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=77#comment152 #5 - Bring on the Referendum - and put the question Do we want to stay in Europe at All?Blair will provide the biggest boost to a 'No' vote there is. ------------------------------------------------------------I completely and totally agree..!! Mon 26 Oct 2009 12:03:55 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=77#comment151 Friendlycard #115."There is also a 10 Downing Street petition to have Blair indicted for War Crimes. I've signed that one as well."lucky you, when I tried I got:"This petition has been closed to new signatures at the author's request." Mon 26 Oct 2009 11:39:45 GMT+1 excellentcatblogger http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=76#comment150 142. At 09:33am on 26 Oct 2009, SuffolkBoy2 wrote:Is it true that Blair has an estate in Buckinghamshire?If so, where?=================================It is near Chequers (the PM's country place) which is just outside Aylesbury. Odd though that the toff Blair did not want to go back to live in his homeland of the North East. Mon 26 Oct 2009 11:16:03 GMT+1 Tony North West http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=76#comment149 I do not want Blair as European president - yes, he is a 'big beast' politically but ask yourself why ? Illegal wars and missed opportunities for public sector reform, and he is neither a moral man or a successful one - why would the EU want him? Why can't the citizens of the EU have a ...... vote? Mon 26 Oct 2009 10:58:19 GMT+1 Mike K http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=75#comment148 NO, Not in my name, he belongs in the Hague, not Brussels. LOL, Could you imagine, as EU President what his judgement of Trident would be under the control of the Tories? Weapons of mass destruction pointed at where exactly? Paris, Berlin, Brussels, - a 45 minute warning! Similar to Iraq the US could hunt a weapons system they sold to a leadership they are no longer keen on. Stupid I know but the notion of Blair as EU President is just as stupid.Signed all the petition on go 41k against only 168 for an counting! Mon 26 Oct 2009 10:41:39 GMT+1 Andy-in-France http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=75#comment147 #147 stevepeers"when Blair does not get the post, the next UK Commissioner will get a really good job."Ah! Gordon Brown, presumably -following in Tony's footsteps (and unelected) yet again? Mon 26 Oct 2009 10:35:08 GMT+1 stevepeers http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=74#comment146 I have a different take on the whole debate. I think the UK government realised a while back that there is probably insufficient support for Blair to get appointed to this post. The only reason they keep banging on about his candidacy nonetheless is to ensure that, as compensation when Blair does not get the post, the next UK Commissioner will get a really good job. This would also help to limit protectionist continental influence on key posts in the Commission concerning the internal market or competition. If I am right, this is a clever tactical game by the government that is in the broad national interest, and should be applauded. If I am wrong and Blair somehow sneaks into office, God help us all. There is not enough accountability and democratic legitimacy for the EU to have a strong personality, instead of some bland chair-polisher, in this post - which it was not really necessary to create in the first place. Mon 26 Oct 2009 10:13:57 GMT+1 Wonthillian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=73#comment145 '143. At 09:37am on 26 Oct 2009, SuffolkBoy2 wrote:Are we getting near the time for a pan-European, peaceful, anti-Lisbon march on Brussels?'Bit late for that now. People don't get that excited about the extension of Qualified Majority Voting. Even in Ireland, with all the hype over the last few months, 41% of the eligible population didn't bother to vote in the referendum. In the UK, people are more interested in Gordon Brown's favourite biscuit than they are in the LT.Time to move on. Mon 26 Oct 2009 10:12:55 GMT+1 mindxavierbloggz http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=73#comment144 Just a small reminder that all kinds of rotten fish can slip through the net. Remember Kurt Waldheim? Secretary General of the UN and ex Nazi! Mon 26 Oct 2009 09:54:52 GMT+1 Thomas_B http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=72#comment143 I can´t believe that the UK would not have to offer another and probably even better candidate for EU Presidency than Mr Blair. On Times Online I´ve read in an article, that the backing up of Blair´s candidancy is not without to have an way open for Mr Brown when he will lose the general election in the UK next year to take a job in the EU administration by the help of Mr Blair. Such thinking proves once more that the EU is for many member states just something like a "playground" to get rid of worn out politicians from their country and give them posts for the sake of having them away. In my opinion, it doesn´t counts whether the UK will have the Euro or not. It counts more on the matter how serious the UK Gov. will take the chances to bring an British candidate to become the first President of the EU. As long as this job has not being set up yet with the task and aims it has included, this theatre brings just more distrust to the public and proves them, that they are right to be more than sceptical towards the EU at all.In regard to either the Presidency or the Minister of foreign affairs of the EU, the UK Gov. should also think about how an British candidate will fulfil one of these jobs not only according to the advantages and disadvantages for the UK, but according their duties for the whole of the EU, because this should be the meaning of those jobs, the EU will have to offer.I would prefer an strong EU President than just someone for representitatives, because the EU will need such an strong President to tackle the challanges in that global world for Europe. Mon 26 Oct 2009 09:49:21 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=72#comment142 Are we getting near the time for a pan-European, peaceful, anti-Lisbon march on Brussels? Mon 26 Oct 2009 09:37:30 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=71#comment141 Is it true that Blair has an estate in Buckinghamshire?If so, where? Mon 26 Oct 2009 09:33:11 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=71#comment140 123. At 10:51pm on 25 Oct 2009, DistantTraveller wrote:" ... People will either stop voting altogether ..."I almost have done. I will only vote for UKIP or another acceptable anti-"EU" party. Otherwise I spoil my ballot paper. I will not vote for the BNP. Mon 26 Oct 2009 09:27:51 GMT+1 Andy-in-France http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=70#comment139 # 135 kuergun I think you have been reading too much Dan Brown! Mon 26 Oct 2009 09:20:25 GMT+1 RCalvo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=70#comment138 The important thing about the opposition against the Blair candidacy is that it is so broad. Pro-EU continentals are against it, as are anti-EU Brits (except the most cynical who see it as yet another way of discrediting the EU). Left-wingers are against it, as are right-wingers. Usually, opposition from both extremes is a good signal that a compromise is well-centred. But in this case, the "extremes" are so broad, that it's difficult to believe there is any centre ground left to defend. The only argument that the (scarce) defenders of the Blair candidacy can put forward is that the president of the EU Council must be a "Big Beast". Apart from the fact that this is arguable, this disingenuously presumes that Blair is the only big political beast available. Mary Robinson and Mahti Ahtissari, to name but two other potential candidates, are both better qualified and far less controversial. And if you are looking for a consummated political operator, then arguably Jean-Claude Juncker is your man (also, his sarcastic wit is far more quotable than Blair's inane management-speak. For instance, about bankers: "They hold me in about as much regard as I hold them.") Mon 26 Oct 2009 09:19:52 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=69#comment137 128. At 00:09am on 26 Oct 2009, Ys1980 wrote:" ... Britain and France are like sisters , they share a lot of things , values , interests and history "If they are like sisters then they are like sisters who get on better from a distance and should never go on holiday together, especially not sharing a room.What people in the UK and elsewhere in Europe say about the French police is not nice. What British policemen say about the French police and continental policemen in general is not nice. What French people who live in the UK say about the French police is definitely not nice.Don't ever let them send French policemen against us here in the UK. It is in nobody's interest, especially not that of the French policemen.The "EU" creates more sources of friction than we need. That Monnet bloke was wrong about European unity. Nice paintings though! Mon 26 Oct 2009 09:18:14 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=69#comment136 132. At 06:18am on 26 Oct 2009, mimpromptu wrote:" ...It wouldn't be right then to have the President of Europe being dragged through the courts, would it?"I presume he would have immunity form prosecution. Don't they all? Mon 26 Oct 2009 09:07:50 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=68#comment135 129. At 00:14am on 26 Oct 2009, unclegiblets wrote:' "Britain wants a powerful big hitter as president..."I know I'm not everyone in Britain but can I say "Not in my name" please? ...'No! They won't let you, at least not through the ballot box. They may stop this sort of stuff eventually. Mon 26 Oct 2009 09:06:17 GMT+1 kuergun http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=68#comment134 Who wants a 33 deg free mason who is part of the Illuminati, who is responsible for the deaths of many innocent people, who died in an illegal war in Iraq. This murderer who sent our sons and daughters, husbands and wives to fight a war in Afghanistan because the Taliban would not allow Rockefeller to lay an oil pipe line across there country. This liar who claims the Taliban is a threat to Britain is now wanting to be president of Europe. Is this a joke? How can any of us allow such a criminal to walk our streets never mind be a president!!! Mon 26 Oct 2009 08:51:37 GMT+1 Andy-in-France http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=67#comment133 #116 Friendlycard - enough said!# 125 Tim0thy - done it! Thanks for the link! Mon 26 Oct 2009 08:32:47 GMT+1 moriaeencomium http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=67#comment132 What? What's going on? What in the world is this? Is he still at large?! Mon 26 Oct 2009 06:23:46 GMT+1 mimpromptu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=66#comment131 If I were Angela Merkel I would not only strongly oppose Tony Blair's election for the Presidency of the EU but would put my foot down and reject the idea outright. He ain't neat on basic human rights with regard to peace loving British residents which may go as far as him being challenged by the Law Lords in Parliament Square, London.It wouldn't be right then to have the President of Europe being dragged through the courts, would it? Mon 26 Oct 2009 06:18:12 GMT+1 HarryLake http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=66#comment130 I congratulate thegangofone (comment 25) on his succinct summary of my thoughts. Spot on, on every count! Mon 26 Oct 2009 00:32:07 GMT+1 unclegiblets http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=65#comment129 #124 - hear hear Mon 26 Oct 2009 00:28:26 GMT+1 unclegiblets http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=65#comment128 "Britain wants a powerful big hitter as president..."I know I'm not everyone in Britain but can I say "Not in my name" please?Cool, I guess I just did.I don't want an EU president, I don't want a United States of Europe (since this is where we're so obviously headed), I don't want Britain in the Euro, I don't want Britain in Iraq or Afghanistan either for that matter.Sadly, I don't think I'm going to be in luck with any one of them. Mon 26 Oct 2009 00:14:34 GMT+1 Ys1980 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=64#comment127 We should get a vote for the EU president . I'm French , i want Europe to be more transparent & democratic , i want a vote and thus have a say about who gets the job , he will talk and decide in our names after all . I also hope the British people will get the vote they want , whether it is about Lisbon or about their very presence in the EU . It's not good to have reluctant members although i would prefer the UK to remain in it (for symbolic reasons mainly as despite the past rivalry , Britain and France are like sisters , they share a lot of things , values , interests and history ) . Mon 26 Oct 2009 00:09:07 GMT+1 unclegiblets http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=64#comment126 #2 Boilerplated said "...to put the EU on the world stage". Does anyone (that matters) in the world not know that the EU exists then?#9 Boilerplated said "...and that has what relevance to the position of EU president?" Duh, I think only you and #70 might miss the problem there. He (apparently - let's not forget his previous job!) not just lied to us, he lied knowingly. I consider this a major failing in my democratically elected* leaders.If other EU nations started spouting the same 45-mins malarkey could it be because our govt said: The Americans, would they lie to you?" and they thought "The UK, yeah, they've been standing up for honesty, freedom and democracy for a couple of hundred years now. We'll trust them if they say so (sadly forgetting the UK was under new management). Thousands of troops dead, tens of thousands of civvies dead, country smashed to bits, thousands of new enemies and the only ones who seem to have gained are the US businesses who "won" contracts to A) supply the military with weapons to pound Iraq to rubble withB) supply the military with bases for the troops while they were thereC) provide security (!!!) to the army bases, and thenD) rebuild the country once the military had finished demolishing itAnd let's not forget the US and UK businesses whoE) are busy hoovering up the oil, to the financial detriment of the Iraqi people (and the planet, of course).#20 DavidBLydd - I'm speechless too ;-)#67 Boilerplated said "...there to do parliaments bidding". Are you having a laugh? Like he did when he was in No.10 you mean? Yeah, upholding democracy and following the rules laid down for the job, they were his strong points weren't they?#70 Blair Supporter - You're blair himself, aren't you? Can I have some of what you've got please? Your reality's far nicer than mine. On second thoughts, it might be Alzheimers so I'll pass actually.Things can only get better? Only if what you've currently got is really, really cack. Maybe it was meant to be prophetic, as in, after Blair things will improve. LOLZ to that.#86 Democracythreat - well done for getting that posted. Could possibly've said it better (well, more graphically) but that'd never have passed the mods.The deluded #70 notwithstanding, most of the comments here seem along the lines of: criminal who deserves a cell more than a high office, not the person any right-minded person with the remotest grasp of recent history would want for the job (notice how everyone's talking about the holder of the office now whereas just a few weeks ago there wasn't even a potential EU Presidency in the offing? That's that hurdle crossed now, isn't it - get everyone so busy arguing over who's going to do the job no-one notices none of us were actually asked if we wanted the position to be created in the first place?). My cynicism and lack of faith in human nature seem as well placed as ever.The mere fact no-one wants him to do it because of previous experience of letting him run things (and you'd expect better attention to detail from a barrister really) means he's a dead cert for the job. Forcing things through that no-one wants to happen, and against the wishes of elected parliaments, should be listed under "skills and abilities" on his CV. And charge-sheet.* The elections he "won" in the UK (much like his ol' country-invading buddy George over in the US) were done so with not much more than 50% of the electorate voting, and not much more than 50% of them voting for Bliars party. Isn't half of a half a quarter? So, although this is a democracy we're in, the ruling party is now being run by a man who wasn't leading the party the last time anyone voted for it, and the last time anyone did vote only a quarter(ish) of the population actually voted for that party? Did the rules for, or definition of, democracy change and I missed that meeting? Should I now go and get a new dictionary?Do you now see why President Blair is an inevitability? Mon 26 Oct 2009 00:02:06 GMT+1 Clive of India http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=63#comment125 Some EU governments better be careful, lest they get what they think they want. A man with a first class degree in deceit and deception whose marriage to vanity would make Narcissus blanch. Anyway, happily, I can't believe that he can have time to be EU president. Surely, all his current energies are being expended on advising the pope on how to shaft the Anglican church? Sun 25 Oct 2009 23:20:59 GMT+1 U4466131 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=63#comment124 #119 & 120 SuffolkBoy2Just for once we are on the same side, please stop the rant and vote. Go to http://stopblair.eu/ and make your voice count. To be sure we all know that Blair is a Sociopath but we have to make the so called 'professional politicians' understand that we know that. Sun 25 Oct 2009 23:19:46 GMT+1 andrew http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=62#comment123 What a sad and significant comment from the colleague of Gavin Hewitt: 'the white working class was probably the only section of society that could be openly abused. They could be called "trash" or "chavs"' and no one objected'.This would be unacceptable under a Tory government. Under a so-called Labour government it is utterly despicable. Blair and Brown should be ashamed of themselves for creating such a country under the banner of 'Labour'. Though we should have seen it coming.Andrew Rawnsley quoted Blair early in his premiership: 'I've taken away from my (sic) party everything they thought they believed in. What keeps them together is success and power'. Yup, that's it in a nutshell. 'I'll give you (i.e. 'me') power if you give up all you believe in, including respect for the ordinary people, (and integrity, and honesty, and decency, oh and truth....) Sun 25 Oct 2009 23:18:24 GMT+1 DistantTraveller http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=62#comment122 Gavin, you report "David Miliband said today it was very important for Europe to have a strong figure"Is a having a 'strong figure' more important than a democratically elected figure?Let's not forget that the leaders of the European member states shamefully and disgracefully conspired together to deny their own citizens a vote on whether they wanted an appointed 'president' in the first place.Having pushed this treaty through without any democratic legitimacy, foisting an unelected President upon us now seems par for the course. Apart from Gordon Brown, it's hard to think of a more unpopular choice than the slippery Tony Blair.The EU is not merely undemocratic - it is anti democratic. People will either stop voting altogether - or may switch to extremist parties on the fringe in protest. The European leaders have much to answer for. Sun 25 Oct 2009 22:51:27 GMT+1 Andy Wood http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=61#comment121 Notlimah: "Most of Britain does not wish to be associated with Blair"LOL - there's a reasonable chance we wouldn't have voted to ratify the Lisbon Treaty at all, if we'd been given the chance we were promised, let alone be associated with Blair!What with Brown hanging on to the last to ensure there's no time left for us to have that referendum - it's all far to Machiavellian for my liking!But surely, as Blair has wangled Irish passports for his family so they no longer have to travel under their British ones he'll be an Irish EU President anyway, which is fair as they voted for it - the second time around ... but presumably they'll have to vote on it again next year to make it best of three? Sun 25 Oct 2009 22:39:10 GMT+1 Electric Hermit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=61#comment120 No! No! No! No! No!Hang on! Let me think a moment.NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! Sun 25 Oct 2009 22:19:45 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=60#comment119 "My understanding is that the former prime minister would not be interested in just chairing summits and seeking out consensus."I am sure that Gavin is right."Consensus?" That would surely mean that he would be interested in something somebody else said or thought and actually listened rather than pretending to listen!Presumably he just want to be a lousy dictator in Brussels as he was in the UK. Sun 25 Oct 2009 22:16:20 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=60#comment118 "Britain wants a powerful big hitter as president..."We have an arrogant anti-democratic clique running the country because we have a lousy voting system. They want a ...I doubt it the country as a whole does given that they do not even want the Lisbon Treaty. Sun 25 Oct 2009 22:11:48 GMT+1 threnodio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=59#comment117 "Britain wants a powerful big hitter as president, so does France, Italy and probably Spain". I think you probably mean the British government Gavin. Judging from some of the posts, the only thing a good many people want in Britain is 'out'. However, I can see the virtues in Milliband as High Representative for Foreign Affairs. It will be a lot easier for the Europe to accept the British perspective if none of them have a foreign policy. And what about Mandelson for Lord High Commissioner for Defence? Sun 25 Oct 2009 22:03:42 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=59#comment116 A few days ago I turned on my radio to hear the BBC news and caught the end of a programme about the end of the communist East German regime in 1989.I heard an interview from 1989 with a young East German man.He said something like:"We want to choose our own leaders. We don't want people who are foisted on us."Whether it is Blair or a chimpanzee he or she will be foisted upon us just like in the good old GDR. Sun 25 Oct 2009 21:58:09 GMT+1 Friendlycard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=58#comment115 88. HJvanderBlom:".....an Englishman will never get a high position in Europe as long as Britain is not in the Euro".Actually, Bliar is Scottish, not English. Sun 25 Oct 2009 21:53:58 GMT+1 Friendlycard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=58#comment114 111. T1m0thy:Thank you for the link. I've signed the petition, and urge others to do so. There is also a 10 Downing Street petition to have Blair indicted for War Crimes. I've signed that one as well. Sun 25 Oct 2009 21:46:20 GMT+1 Jericoa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=57#comment113 #110sorry i meant to say thanks to the courts, alaistair campbell, Rupert murdoch and all similar privately owned and leveraged media. Sun 25 Oct 2009 21:45:06 GMT+1 Stewart Edwards http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=57#comment112 #108 So get blogging about me - see http://chkrpavement.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=recent and http://www.davidicke.com/forum/showthread.php?t=88169 Sun 25 Oct 2009 21:42:55 GMT+1 Friendlycard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=56#comment111 At first thought, even the possibility of Tony "The Phoney" Bliar becoming EU president seems surreal. This is the man who promised to put Britain "at the heart of Europe", and then sided with Bush - and against Germany and France - over the illegal invasion of Iraq. But international politics CAN be surreal - Bliar led the invasion of an Arab country, yet somehow got appointed as a Middle East 'peace' envoy!He's plausible, let's admit it. But let's hope against hope that he doesn't get the EU presidency. Hasn't he done more than enough damage already? Sun 25 Oct 2009 21:42:04 GMT+1 U4466131 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=56#comment110 #109 abdulmismailBut we can vote do it now go to http://www.gopetition.com/online/16745.html and register your protest. That applies to everyone on this blog do not just complain take action. Sun 25 Oct 2009 21:40:22 GMT+1 Jericoa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=55#comment109 #108But he is being considered and what is more he will be voted for by fellow professional 'career politicians' who will respect him more for his political skill than his actual actions. he is incredibly charming and engaging in the flesh and most of those who will be voting for him will have met him.It may seem very strange to you and me but the political system is such that it has been learnt and it is now being manipulated, there is only the illusion of choice for voters.It is almost certaqin that he will win unless there is some kind of blog uprising or similar which it the only true free space now thanks to the courts. Sun 25 Oct 2009 21:38:52 GMT+1 Stewart Edwards http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=55#comment108 Just remember Edwards for president.The man who has a proven track record of:- 1. Helping people move their lives forward.2. Inspiring people and being peer recognised for it.3. Standing up to powers that be (and being thumped down for it on occassion)And who doesnt trust politicians as far as he could throw them. But who is willing to step up to the task. Sun 25 Oct 2009 21:33:29 GMT+1 abdulmismail http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=54#comment107 Why is it that we, the European citizens, cannot vote for who the EC President should be? What ever happened to democratic values?Blair should be in the dock for treason for lying to the British people and taking us to war which has led to our soliders killing innocents, our soldiers being put in harms way against an 'enemy' which wasn't a threat to the UK and for creating an army of volunteers (both here at home as well as abroad) willing to attack us like on July 7th.Blair's government also allowed the transportation of cluster bombs via British territory when the Israelis were in clear violation of their use during the 2006 Lebanon War.To then be appointed representative of the Quartet as Middle East envoy is like appointing a serial arsonist responsible for the deaths of thousands as the Head of the London Fire Brigade.His actions are despicable and he should not even be considered as the President of the EC. Sun 25 Oct 2009 21:28:22 GMT+1 findegorgorito http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=54#comment106 You don't need someone able to stop cars on the roads of Moscow or Beijing, there are already plenty of road police on duty doing just that... We need someone we can trust and someone who can represent Europe with honesty and respect to its principles (including thou shalt not kill), and not someone who would betray his own country for his own interest. If he is able to put Britain to shame under the command of the worst president in the history of the USA and send his men and women in the Army to death only for his own benefit, what would he not be prepared to do in the European Union. I am gradually becoming a Eurosceptic and I am aware of many others in Europe like me, Blair being the President would be the final blast to a short lived dream... Sun 25 Oct 2009 21:20:24 GMT+1 governments lie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=53#comment105 What ever we may think of the EU surely it doesn't deserve to be stuck with Blair. He tried, and very nearly succeeded, in turning the post of Prime Minister into that of President, he has a record of being a control freak, he managed to break up the UK and no doubt would try to do the same with the EU. He lied to us and took the UK into an illegal war on Bushes' coat tails. With that track record how could anyone could think he is the man to head up the EU. Sun 25 Oct 2009 21:12:05 GMT+1 Stewart Edwards http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=53#comment104 #104Sadly I dont think that it would be physically possible for me to apply, given that it appears to be a jobs for the boys role. If I could I would however apply. First glance at my cv would probably have people in stitches, but a deeper rumage would show that I do have what is required to make Europe work more effectively. I would however be unpopular as I did my job. I would have to watch the knifes that is for sure as I rocked the boat and shook the tree. Sun 25 Oct 2009 20:57:15 GMT+1 Jericoa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=52#comment103 #103No point applying as you are clearly overqualified for the position.we are ruled by 'career politicians' who have learnt the system to serve their ambitions. The system needs to be upgraded regularly to avoid the ingenious darker side of human nature from exploiting it for self interest purposes. democracy v 2.0 is needed. Sun 25 Oct 2009 20:48:48 GMT+1 Stewart Edwards http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=52#comment102 Europe needs a Peoples president who stands apart from the established rulers. Someone who isnt afraid of standing up to powers that be and who is able to open hearts, and understands that Europe needs to become more relvent to its citizens. A common man. I in all seriousness put myself forwards for the job. Now where do I apply? Sun 25 Oct 2009 20:39:15 GMT+1 Jericoa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=51#comment101 #98Ou contraire he is incredibly convincing, that is what makes him so succesful and so dangerous.#96As has been exposed by Nu- labours disastrous love in with the banks (tax receipts in return for GB's light touch tripartite banking regulation system), he is in fact very much centre right.he will win it as night follows day.#94 please dont quote me out of context (see my post #87). It is a testament to his sublime skill as a politician that he got the tories to givehim a standing ovation on his last day in parliament. I happen to think he is an incredibly dangerous man as I explained earlier.Jericoa Sun 25 Oct 2009 20:35:19 GMT+1 cnutblair http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=51#comment100 I have now read the whole of democracythreat's comments and while I would agree with much of the anti Blair sentimentl I would not agree with everything he/she said. Be that as it may, it is good to know that a lot of people, and certainly the majority of people posting their comments on this blog, are strongly opposed to Blair's candidacy for EU President. I trust that the people posting on this blog represent a reasonably broad cross section of society, be that British European or whatever, and are not part of some small cult or sect (i.e. not all Daily Mail readers) because that would be quite depressing. I suspect the majority of people, however, could not really care if Blair becomes EU President because they do not really care about that sort of thing though that does not mean that they would want him to be EU President, and if they thought about it enough would probably agree that he really ought to be facing war crimes charges along with his old mucker George Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Straw, Hoon etc. Of course, if someone out there would like to put a compelling case across as to why Blair is not a war criminal I would be happy to hear it but so far I have not heard any reasoned argument. Sun 25 Oct 2009 20:34:14 GMT+1 AntonfromLancs http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=50#comment99 O please not Blair - a consummate politician in every bad sense of the word. I hated having him in authority over me as PM and I don't want it again. Sun 25 Oct 2009 20:31:48 GMT+1 Mack2009 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=50#comment98 There is no way that Blair should be even considered for the post. He was rejected by the electorate in the UK through the various MPs who kicked him out, he seems to have failed as the Middle East Envoy, and should be investigated in relation to the reasons for the involvement of the UK forces in the war in Iraq.One plus though is that he doesn't seemed to have been adversely affected by the expenses scandal ........ because the paperwork was burned/shredded/lost?Tony Blair as President of Europe ...... NEVER, NEVER, EVER! Sun 25 Oct 2009 20:30:48 GMT+1 nottoonear http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=49#comment97 Blair is a gormless, slimy, stomach-churning coward. Wake up # 70; he's not even convincing. An absolute pathetic excuse of an immature man. Sun 25 Oct 2009 20:23:22 GMT+1 U4466131 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/the_fight_over_a_blair_preside.html?page=48#comment96 From post number 74 onwards you nearly all say the same thing NO BLAIR and I repeat my suggestion. Go to http://www.gopetition.com/online/16745.htmland register your vote on the petition then tell all your friends. It's less than two weeks ago that a mass of postings on twitter changed a high court ruling. Everyone on this blog is bemoaning the absence of democracy so let's put a little people power into action. Sun 25 Oct 2009 20:16:28 GMT+1