ROUTLEDGE: PREMIER CREEPS TO TEXAN IDIOT
By Mirror chief political commentator Paul Routledge
THE MIRROR - UK - 17 April 2004:
TONY Blair last night took on the full-time job of cheerleader for George Bush in his bid to be re-elected president of the USA.
It was embarrassing. More than that, it should disgust every voter in the United Kingdom where - if Blair has his way - our destiny is tied ineluctably to the murderous bully boys in Washington.
At least Dumbo Dubya admitted that he could not remember the whys and wherefores of this great international crisis. He stumbled about like a Cub Scout who has lost his woggle.
The job of presenting America's case fell to Tony Blair. He did it with his usual skill. It sounded right. It was professional. But it was not the role of the Prime Minister of my country, locked as he is into the dirty politics of an American presidential election.
Last night, Blair bought totally into the Campaign for the Re-Election of the President. He emerged as the true CREEP to George Bush.
Bush called him "a stand up kind of guy". Standing up for what? The perpetuation of hard-line Right-wing Republican politics that crooked its way through the last presidential election and now aims to buy its way into future power?
Can it really be right that a Labour Prime Minister should articulate the scumbag direction of politics represented by George Dubya Bush? Say what you like, but I think not.
BLAIR stood behind the lies of the USA yesterday. When he could. When he could hang on to the mike when the Great Stumblebum did not steal it from him with idiot soundbites.
Tony likes being on the Bush stage, despite the humiliation regularly heaped on him by the Texan eejit. It makes him feel good. Just try being somebody under the heel of that American firepower. Agree - or die.
But we are not simply junior partners in this exercise. We are big payers towards US world domination. We have more than 10,000 troops in theatre, costing the British taxpayer untold billions.
Yet our humiliation at the hands of the Yanks is real. Yesterday, it began as it continued. Our Prime Minister stumbled out of a plane at Andrews Airbase, and there was nobody of consequence there to meet him.
Tony Blair naffed about on the runway, looking for a friendly face but not finding one until he was bundled into a waiting motor hanging around on the tarmac.
It was not a pretty sight - but a wholly predictable one.
America was determined to put Britain in its place. The televised humiliation of our Prime Minister fits perfectly with what followed.
President Bush hogged the limelight with his inane remarks.
The idea that this man is the most powerful military commander on earth should fill the heart of every mature, right-thinking person with fear.
For the Americans to fall for this junk is one thing. For Tony Blair to seek to con us is quite another. The plain fact is this: The USA will not "sub-contract" its power to anyone. America rules, OK?
Bush has no intention of handing over real power in Baghdad on June 30. This is a fake exercise in transference of sovereignty.
The Pentagon will still have more than 100,000 troops in Iraq, and the new "rulers" will not have the power to require the Americans to leave.
The US military, having given up bases in Saudi Arabia, intends to stay in Iraq for years, if not decades. And a country compelled to accept foreign troops on its soil is not free.