The Null Device

Good cop, bad cop

Tony Blair to distance himself from Bush ... if that's alright with you, Mr. President. Blair has also described the Abu Ghraib abuses as "revolting", only a week after voting to extend the US's immunity from war crimes prosecution. Someone in the Whitehouse must have given him permission to dissent and play the Good Cop a bit more.

(I'm not quite so sure that being seen as a PNAC asset was as damaging for Blair as some say it is; after all, the alternative is the Tories, who are the Bad Cop to Blair's Good Cop. Oh, and there are the Lib Dems, who are like the worst of both worlds; too small to get elected, and too big to not be in the pockets of corporate lobbyists, at least if Greg Palast is to be believed. Btw, are the UK Greens running for anything other than the European Parliament yet?)

At least Bush still has 100% support from his loyal deputy in Canberra; unlike that hypocritical weasel Blair, Howard is a true believer; for one, he didn't sign the Kyoto treaty, and has recently reaffirmed Australia's opposition to renewable energy. He can probably look forward to a nice "consultant" position with ExxonMobil or Halliburton when he retires.

There are 5 comments on "Good cop, bad cop":

Posted by: Graham Wed Jun 30 09:27:44 2004

What would ExxonMobil do with a venal suburban lawyer?

Posted by: acb Wed Jun 30 11:41:56 2004

It's not what they'd do with him; it'd be more about what he has done for them. Such positions are basically sinecures given to loyal servants in politics. Those so "employed" rarely have to work very hard for their generous salary.

Posted by: Owen Wed Jun 30 18:04:37 2004

Yes, as well as the 2 Green MEPs from the UK, there are handfuls elsewhere: 2 in the London Assembly, 7 in the Scottish Parliament and 61 local authority councillors (according to their website). This has led the Greens to specialise in local 'pavement politics', like the Liberal Democrats.

They've benefited from proportional representation in most of these elections; their candidates in general elections don't stand a chance. In the 1989 Euro elections under FPTP the Greens got 15% of the vote, but no seats, and they've never done so well since.

Posted by: acb Wed Jun 30 19:02:08 2004

What's happening with House of Lords reform, btw? Any chance of it becoming a proportional upper house, like the ones we have in Australia? Or will it, in characteristically Blairite fashion, become a house of appointed cronies?

Posted by: Owen Thu Jul 1 13:44:14 2004

Nothing, no chance, alas yes (though in the teeth of resistance from Labour backbenchers, who want 100% elections).

House of Lords reform is like deposing Saddam Hussein: so convinced was Blair of its necessity that he forgot to consider what to put in its place.