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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 13 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 13 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Cherie BlairGiven the slightly silly way in which Mrs Blair has had to be included in the recent trip by the Prime Minister to the USA, with the two just ‘co-incidentally’ being in the US at the same time on different trips, and Mr Bush just ‘happening’ to invite her along, would it not seem logical to formalise the arrangements and have an official role for the Prime Minister’s spouse, a role on which they could be elected alongside their husband rather than just happening into a job of such power?

Even the Prime Minister’s Spokeswoman agrees with the general idea that Mrs Blair is an important stateswoman: After all, earlier today, when asked why Mrs Blair was introduced to the President by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Washington DC, she responded that this was normal for

any prominent British citizen visiting Washington DC

I might be overanalysing this, but my dictionary defines prominent as ‘conspicuous in position or importance’. As far as I am aware, Mrs Blair has no official elected position, and certainly no formal importance.

I have no ideological problem with the Prime Minister’s spouse taking a bigger official role – I think that a First Lady style position could be very useful in some circumstances – and I think Mrs Blair is given an exceptionally bad press in this country for no good reason. But to take a bigger role means that they will no longer be able to hide behind the ‘privacy of the family’ excuse when things get tough. Mrs Blair simply cannot have it both ways: She cannot be both a stateswoman and also free from accountability. She has to take one with the other. And if she does, then good luck to her.

This 615th post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

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Comments and responses

Comment from Snipcock the Lawyer


by Snipcock the Lawyer

Comment posted at 00:01 on 12th June 2005.

But she is conspicuous by her lack of judgement.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/cherie/story/0,12713,857346,00.html

Or how quickly do you forget the failings of those whom you favor?


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


by sjhoward

Comment posted at 12:11 on 12th June 2005.

I well remember Cheriegate, and that forms the basis of my argument: She can’t accept the benefits of an official role and yet shun the responsibilities by annoucning that she is essentially a private person, as she did during Cheriegate:

Mrs Blair simply cannot have it both ways: She cannot be both a stateswoman and also free from accountability.

It is precisely why some serious thinking needs to be done about formalising her role.


Comment from Geoff Duke


by Geoff Duke

Comment posted at 11:34 on 6th June 2007.

i want to know where is my human rights when i cannot get a single penny
out of the social what gets up my nose is these pakis and muslims and immigrants get everything it as been on month without any money and i am struggling home phone 0161 336 2077 mobile 07922351848 if you are not cherie blair then ask her this question


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


by sjhoward

Comment posted at 23:22 on 6th June 2007.

And here’s something I never thought I’d be writing: I am not Cherie Blair.

I also have no facility to ask her a question, so, er, I think you’re a little misguided on this one, Geoff.


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