Tony Blair in Los Angeles

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair came to Los Angeles yesterday to give a lecture within driving distance of my home.

I had every intention of going, but due to being flooded my first day back at work, by the time I picked up the telephone to call the people putting on the event, they had left (several minutes early I might add). So I did not meet Prime Minister Blair, and I did not directly hear him speak.

I have had such bad luck with the Blair family. I attended a conference in 2006 where his wife Cherie Blair was speaking, and I saw and met every speaker except her (caught in traffic, I am not a morning person).

A dear friend of mine attended Tony Blair’s speech, and he transcribed the event specifically at my request. Although he is (like me) a fierce partisan, I asked him for 100% description and 0% analysis. Based on his integrity, I can say that Prime Minister Blair’s remarks below are accurate, and in their proper context.

In March, I will be going with this same friend to hear Australia’s former Prime Minister John Howard. For that one, I will be there in body, not just in spirit.

There was a question and answer session afterwards, but due to length, that will be covered later in the week.With that, I bring you the comments of Prime Minister Tony Blair .

“Good evening

It’s a pleasure to be with all.

This is an important time for the United States.

There are challenges to Global Security

This week I was in Oman, had dinner with the Sultan, then Jerusalem, then London, then I took the Eurostar train to France, and then a plane to LA.

There are 100 languages spoken in LA. It represents the world today.

I tried to do a press conference in French. I once meant to say I liked many positions
of (former socialist leader) Lionel Jospin. Instead I said that I desire the French Prime Minister in many different positions. This brought a new meaning to “entant cordial (cordial intent).”

In the world today,  We all live our lives in an increasingly global community.

a)  There is increasing interdependence. The U.S. subprime mortgage issue can lead to a Euro recession.

b)  The internet. I never had a mobile phone while in office. I got one day after I left office.
I sent my first text message to a friend. “Who are you?,” they asked.

Changes happen fast. Genetics, science…revolutionary diagnoses for treatment of disease…healthcare will change.

The scale of globalization is changing. The pace is ever increasing.

Politics has not yet caught up.

There are 6 challenges the world faces today.

1) Global terrorism–

Post September 11th, we still do not yet understand the depth of extremism. Not just the Taliban and Saddam. This situation will not resolve itself. This will take a generation or more to remove.

Iran, Iraq, Pakistan…it is all of them. All of the issues are related. Madrassas in Pakistan    reach one million plus children, who aretaught all day strict Koran instruction and nothing
else. Extremism is now quite deep.

The Execution of a teacher in Afghanistan for teaching girls recently is another occurrence.

They frame the debate on terrorism as Islam vs. the West 

Modern and moderate people vs. the extremes is our frame.

How do we take on the challenge?

We fight military against military.  We must not back away from threats.  We must
be prepared to fight. Yet we must also fight the ideological battle of ideas. The level of ideas we must fight.

As the special representative for the Middle East…if we can create a lasting peace…Israel secure and Palestine democratic and indepedent….that peace will symbolically express a coming together.

There is vital importance to the Middle East peace process. I enjoys being there and working the issue. The Holy Land is extraordinary. Jericho is exciting. Where are the walls?  They fell down! 

2)  Poverty

In Africa and elsewhere ,3 million children die a year from famine  conflict or disesase. This is preventable, and to prevent it is amoral imperative. Extremists are exploiting poverty.

Education about preventing disease and  conflict is in our self interest. Africa is important therefore. We should not just donate money. We need partnership and responsibility and better governance.

3)  Climate change

Precautionary principles are the keys to protecting the planet.

Kyoto expires in 2012.  Only a few countries met their targets.

The world needs the U.S. and China. They will only each do it if the other gets into it.

The G8 plus China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico totals 75 percent of emissions.

Our energy dependence on unstable parts of world hurts our security.

This is a huge challenge. We need a global deal on climate change within 2 years.

We must cut greenhouse gas emissions…rollback…give the planet a chance for sustainable

4)  Immigration

This is a big issue everywhere.

With globalization, growth in the global economy drives climate change and economic migration. 200 million people every day are on the move. The West cannot absorb all the numbers. Asia and South America face this too.

Massive patterns of migration lead to tensions. Immigration plays a beneficial role in the world economy, but also needs to be controlled, not unlimited.

Ellis Island is great but must be controlled too.

5)   The global economy and trade.

This is linked to oil and energy.

How do we improve trade? World trade talks are now stalled.

People fear workforce displacement…economic downturns…oil wealth…sovereign wealth
funds…Arabs buying the world. How do we open up global trade?

Are we able to succeed or not is key. The last world trade round helped the global economy.

6)   China

The scale is tilting towards China and India. Each will have a population greater than the  USA and Europe combined and doubled.

Behind the numbers lie creativity. Shanghai is 1st world. Southern India’s bio tech industry is first world. The USA is 4 percent in agriculture.

China has 65 percent of their work force in agriculture…we need to figure out how to get them all into industry.

How do we deal with them on climate change? China has doubled their consumption of coal. Every 4 days a new coal plant is being built. Will China development be benign ?

Solutions will require collaboration. Partnerships will be required Unilateral action is ok if necessary but multilateral action is needed for solutions.

There is hard action and soft action. Hard action is people using their military to protect their self interest. Soft action is people using diplomacy to achieve peace through economic investment.

We need a muslular multilateralism. We need republican minds and democratic means.

The United States and Europe must work together. The world needs this.

We need the hard and the soft, based on certain values.

The only way to solve problems is through our superior way of life, our convictions and beliefs, that the people will choose freedom,  democracy,  justice,  and fairness.

We are in it together.

The world is interdependent and moving fast.

We need values based solutions.

We need to be optimistic about our opportunities. What a world of possibilities can be opened up to our children.

We must move past constainsts and prejudices to make the world a better place.

The Good Friday accord came about only because we were relentlessly optimistic. The Irish are people great—the world is better because of this.

Are you open to the new world?”


18 Responses to “Tony Blair in Los Angeles”

  1. Chris Naron says:

    His remarks on poverty and climate change are chiling. Andrew Stuttaford at NRO’s The Corner has a pretty good read on the Punk Prime Minister:

    This guy and his ilk want teenagers to vote. I’m sitting with about thirty of them right now and the thought nearly leads me to panic.

  2. Jersey McJones says:

    Blair ruined his place in history when he got on the GWOT bandwagon. The Brits will never forgive him.

    “We fight military against military.”

    Military against what military???


  3. Chris Naron says:

    That’s the only area I might halfway agree with him, JMJ.

    You’re telling me his statist, soverignty selling side isn’t disturbing to you? I might have to let the Mickey Mii whup your behind. ;)

  4. Jersey McJones says:

    LOL! I worked with the Brits quite a bit over the years. Even the conservatiove Brits (granted, they’re not quite like conservative Americans) thought Blair was out of his mind to get in bed with Bush in the GWOT. HEck, I remember when Bush was reelected in ’04, a British conservative friend of mine got back into town a few days later, and te first thing he said to me was, “What the h*ll happened?”

    What exactly is a mii anyway? (I’m a PS guy…)


  5. micky2 says:

    Your own personal character player you develope on your Wii.

    I wanted to make one of you on my Wii but unfortunatly they have to inclide a head.

  6. Jersey McJones says:

    What, couldn’t you fit yours on it? LOL! ;)


  7. micky2 says:

    Yes its rather large. theres throbbing veins bulging out of my forehead and I can tell what anyone thinks before they think it, even our enemies and politicians.
    I have a 62′ flat screen.
    I downloaded the character and then photoshopped your head pic from your blog onto it. I’ve never seen my son and wife laugh so hard.

  8. micky2 says:

    I’ll give Blair much deserved thanks for helping us in the GWOT and Iraq.
    After that I’m beggining to get really confused with this guy.
    I cant keep up with all the conflicting positions, or should I say actions and lack of

  9. Jersey McJones says:

    I am making a funny face there, ya’ know!

    Well, Micky, look at it this way: Before the terrm “neo-con” came along, they used to call pols who endorsed aggressive foreign intervention and revolutionary democratization as “neo-liberals.” Think of Blair as sort of a neo-liberal.


  10. micky2 says:

    Would that be the same as lesbian male sex change recipient ?

  11. micky2 says:

    Obviously Blair and Bush dont see eye to eye on Kyoto. That didnt work out so well. So now they have a new and improved version just unveiled in Bali.

    Blair is supposedly a staunch hawk on the GWOT. But at the same time has allowed his country to be infused with more radical islamist movements then Pakistan. (maybe not) And at the same time wants teenagers to vote. Kids today are the ones who understand radical islam the least. And as thearticle Chris mentioned , they will vote for all the freebees. As if the Brits need to be taxed any more than they already are.

  12. Jersey McJones says:

    “Would that be the same as lesbian male sex change recipient?”

    Now you’ve got it! ;)

    Well, I think Blair kinda got stuck with the old British Empire immigration issue. Pakistanis and Indians have been liberally allowed to immigrate for many years, well before Blair. Actually, until the terrorism problem, these people were welcomed as skilled labor. Now, there are obvious problems with that. Terrorists, after all, are usually not poor, unskilled workers who drag down wages. They tend to be well educated. Thus this new problem.

    As for British kids, they are probably more politically astute than American kids. I would think that a Britich 16 year old, on average, has more poltical accumen than an American 18 year old, in all honesty.

    And from what I understand about the Brits, they’re understand of taxation is a little different than ours. Not to say that they love taxes – noone does – but I think they look at the bigger picture more than we do. That is to say, the purist “lower taxes” ideology is less prevalent in Britian.


  13. micky2 says:

    The problem is not having the muslim population that they have. Its how they have secluded and isolated themselves from British culture and custom. They are allowed to get away with Sharia law on levels I believe the US would never tolerate. The geographics and demographics make the terrorist threat in Britain one of major concern going back at lweast 10 years and Blair really did little to stem the growth of undergoung movements, sleeper and splinter cells. Britain is like fly paper and the radicals are the flys. God , I would hate to think of all the undiscoverd activity in that country.

    Brit kids may be more astute than American kids. But they both still have the entitlement mentallity intact. Younger people tend to vote liberal or Democrat, in their case socialist (yuk yuk) Thats the last thing they eed with terrorism today and their large muslim population.

    The Home Office estimates between 10,000 and 15,000 British Muslims support Al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups.

    Jersey says that the british muslim pop. is educated and not dragging down wages.
    But the are the most unemplyed in that country, thats dangerous and makes them susceptable to frustration on many levels.
    Posted by: Bilaal Aug 1 2007, 01:11 PM
    Unemployment rates for Muslims are higher than those for people from any other religion, for both men and women.

    In 2004, Muslims had the highest male unemployment rate in Great Britain, at 13 per cent. This was about three times the rate for Christian men (4 per cent). Unemployment rates for men in the other religious groups were between 3 and 8 per cent.

    As far as Brits understanding their taxes goes, so ?
    That doesnt mean they like it.
    And they’re going up again soon

  14. Jersey McJones says:

    The British are handling a far larger internal Muslim problem than we are, Micky. So far they’ve been very good at it. There’s no denying that. That the Muslims have become underclassed is a matter of dynamic social changes, amongst themselves and amongst the Bristish society at large. It’s also a matter of the importation of less skilled labor. They used to import Irish, then later Spaniards, but their economies grew and there was no one left to import. So they imported from the greater empire, and still do to this day. Just as we import the peoples of the Monroe Doctrine world. After all, we are an empire too.

    The Brits have a unique problem with terrorism. They are handling it well, internally. Getting involved in the GWOT was a mistake, and it has scarred Blair’s reputation ever since, and probably forever.

    When you look at all the indicators, not just selective measurements os growth or expenditures and taxes, the Brits are doing quite well. A correct rate of taxes is fundamental and yet exteremly complicated formula. It isn’t always just “lower,” because that would be silly.


  15. micky2 says:

    “They are handling it well, internally.
    Yea right !
    The London bombings proved that huh ?
    Before 911 I could understand it. but 5 years later ? give me a break

    “The British are handling a far larger internal Muslim problem than we are, Micky. So far they’ve been very good at it. There’s no denying that.

    Thats not what the unemployment rate says.
    Theres plenty of room for denial jersey, dont speak for me by saying theres no denying it.
    Here we go again.
    you just dont get it do you?
    I show links with credible sources and you start with your opinions and nothing else.
    And as predictable as ever Bush has to get thrown it somwhere and blamed for something everytime.
    Grow up, get an imagination. Loose the BDS already.
    When you attach it anything and everything it looses its worth, for what its worth.

  16. Jersey McJones says:

    I understand that they’re having a problem, and I understand what it is Micky. I’m just saying that so far they’ve been dealing with it pretty well. If we had that sort of percentage of possible terrorists amongst us, I doubt we’d handle it as well. We probably go to war with friggin’ Zimbabwe, or something.


  17. micky2 says:

    Good, lets end the day on the happy note that you understand something.

  18. Hallowed says:

    I wanted to make one of you on my Wii but unfortunatly they have to inclide a head.

    You owe me a keyboard.

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