July 19, 2003


Stephen Pollard used to write book reviews for the leftist New Statesman. Not any more:

Three articles and an editorial push the line that [Tony Blair] is essentially deranged. I was sickened this morning when I saw that my review of Mark Steel's book appeared alongside these Goebbels-like smears. It's one thing disagreeing with the PM on Iraq and other issues - we are all entitled to our view. That's something some of us want to fight to protect, of course. But a concerted campaign to brand him a psychopath is, to my mind, not merely gutter journalism but contemptible. And how can I carry on writing for a publication I view as contemptible? The answer is that I can't, and I've written to tell them so.

Good move, Stephen. Hereís Blairís speech, by the way. If anyone has an audio link -- you really need to hear this -- post it in the comments.

(Via Zsa Zsa, finder of linkables.)

UPDATE. Blairís speech is the most-watched video at C-SPAN, indicating that some US outlets may have underestimated interest in what he had to say. The speech was widely covered in Australia, by the way.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 19, 2003 04:38 AM

Cspan.org has it top of the page (under Most Watched Video). I assume you can receive this out of the US, too.

Posted by: Mike G at July 19, 2003 at 05:07 AM


Posted by: growler at July 19, 2003 at 05:27 AM

It's a 50 min RealVideo. Blair enters at 6 mins 30 secs and starts his speech at 9 mins 30 secs (jokes and whatnot, the meat of it starts at about 13 minutes).

Posted by: scott h. at July 19, 2003 at 05:28 AM

Let's make that URL live, shall we? Want to link this rather than just reproducing it.

Video of Blair Congressional Gold Medal Speech to Congress, July 17, 2003.

Posted by: Joe Katzman at July 19, 2003 at 05:33 AM

It is being extraordinarily well received here in the states...

Posted by: Drake at July 19, 2003 at 06:10 AM

This would be a very impressive speech coming from a sane person, but it's absolutely bloody marvellous that a psychopath totally lacking in human feeling could do it, don't you think? There's hope for all of us.

Posted by: Dave F at July 19, 2003 at 07:55 AM

You're being rather hard on the P.M. for his pro-E.U. views, aren't you Dave?


Posted by: Rick at July 19, 2003 at 08:05 AM

In case anyone is working up any over-ambitious theories about how this proves the unique awfulness of the left, I've dug this out of the time capsule. Parlor analysis is ugly no matter who does it.

Posted by: Paul Zrimsek at July 19, 2003 at 11:06 AM

Sounds like Zsa Zsa should join the ranks of blogdom.

Posted by: Robert at July 19, 2003 at 12:48 PM

Joe Katzman - thanks for the live link.

I had read his speech in the WSJ, but hearing him speak was so much better. Though I disagree with many of his social (socialist) ideas, none of that is important right now. He cuts right to the heart of the matter: It is all about liberty.

I wonder if the U.K. has any idea how lucky they are to have him?

Posted by: Barbara Skolaut at July 19, 2003 at 01:57 PM

"I wonder if the U.K. has any idea how lucky they are to have him?" What?!?
OK he got his position on the war correct, but on pretty much everything else he is just another trendy left wing politican. Also if the other party had been in power, Britain would still have helped remove Saddam, but we probably would not have forced the USA down the protracted and divisive UN route. George Bush and John Howard are both far superior leaders.

Posted by: Ross at July 20, 2003 at 12:16 AM

I'm inclined to agree with Ross. Tony Blair's all one could ask for in an ally, but I think his domestic policies have been unnecessary, unjustifiable, and disastrous for the UK.

Posted by: John Nowak at July 20, 2003 at 04:41 AM

Blair's position on the war was more difficult for him to maintain than for bush in particular and a lesser extent howard.

Blair's country was not attacked by terrorists in the same way and so his people were not as angry. Blair also resisted his parties natural urge to be cowardly and instead brought his country with him in support of the US and Australia.

As to his politics.. Well no one seems to have run Britain properly in a long time anyway - and the conservatives dont look like they are offering anything to change that.

Posted by: Scottie at July 20, 2003 at 05:37 PM