Blair speech to the Scottish Labour Party conference

05 Mar - Courier - Black Watch snubbed by Blair

A video display of Mr Blair
towers above leading members of
the party in Scotland during
yesterday’s speech.

TONY BLAIR publicly snubbed The Black Watch yesterday as they proudly paraded through Dundee just a few hundred yards from where he was speaking.

Not once during his keynote speech to the Scottish Labour Party conference in the Caird Hall did he mention the contribution made by the men he sent into Iraq’s infamous “Triangle of Death”, some of whom never returned.

He took time to pay tribute to the outgoing Dundee West Labour MP Ernie Ross who, he said, “has done a great deal for Dundee over the years”, and to Iain Luke, the Labour MP for Dundee East.

But there was no reference to the war in Iraq, to weapons of mass destruction or to The Black Watch, who paraded through the streets to thank the people of Dundee for their unstinting support during the conflict.

Indeed, Mr Blair only fleetingly touched on foreign affairs when he said, “…and from Kosovo to Sierra Leone to Afghanistan to Iraq…our brilliant armed forces have helped liberate countries from dictatorship.”

After his speech, Mr Blair did meet members of the regiment in private in Dundee City Chambers before and at a reception in the city’s McManus Galleries.

Mr Blair’s speech to the party faithful was not for Scottish domestic consumption but was targeted at a UK-wide audience and the forthcoming general election.

He began a lengthy onslaught, aimed exclusively at the Tories, with what is fast becoming the Labour mantra for this election: if you vote for any party other than Labour, you will let the Tories back in power.

Mr Blair described the election as “a fight for the future of Britain” with only two contenders—Labour and the Conservatives.

“There are other parties to choose from but only two that can form a Government—Labour or Tory,” he said.

“And the Tory plan is clear. Get their core support out, spread as much disillusion and cynicism as they can, run down Britain, try to depress the vote and get our supporters to vote Lib Dem, SNP, SSP, Green—anything but Labour.

“But to those tempted, I say this: it all leads down the same path—to a Tory Government in power, to Michael Howard in Downing Street, to Britain going back to a failed past, not forward to a better future.”

The bulk of Mr Blair’s speech was taken up attacking the Tories’ health policies and defending his Government’s record on health.

Little of what he said has any relevance in Scotland where health is devolved to the Scottish Executive.

Mr Blair quoted statistic after statistic which applied only to England and Wales.

For example, Mr Blair boasted that “only 24” people are waiting over 12 months for an operation “not thousands,” and just 86 people were waiting for more than nine months—all of which must have made uncomfortable listening for nearby First Minister Jack McConnell.

The latest Scottish waiting lists and waiting times figures out just a few weeks ago are some of the worst on record.

Indeed the Tories recently compared the health figures north and south of the border in their attacks on the Executive’s record.

In his speech Mr Blair even blamed the Tories for MRSA, claiming they “let it into our system as a major infection.”

Mr Blair also pointed to the strength of the economy and applauded Chancellor Gordon Brown, who will address conference tomorrow.

But the economic attack was focused exclusively on the Tories who, he said, would make £35 billion of cuts.

“So what they are promising is more spending, less spending and tax cuts all at once. Sound familiar? It should do. They tried it before,” he said.

“And where did it lead? To 15% interest rates, three million unemployed, mortgage misery, housing repossessions, everything this country has put behind us since 1997.”
Lets hope the voters show him and his shower of no-hopers the door :evil:
I read that artcile with some glee :D

At last the local papers (dundee/Tayside at least) are showing what a bunch of arrogant self serving meglomaniacs we have in govt at the present.


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