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John Rentoul

John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting fellow at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.

"The Independent's must-read man" - Daniel Finkelstein

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"Chop it off and put it on a spike"

Posted by John Rentoul
  • Wednesday, 26 August 2009 at 10:32 am
Photo: dpa
Stephen Frears, the director, was at it again yesterday. One joke about executing Tony Blair could perhaps be brushed off as a lapse of taste, but now he has said this to Sueddeutsche Zeitung:

The truth is I can’t bear Tony Blair any more. Two movies about him, that should be enough. By now the man acts like an emetic on me. What you maybe don’t really get here on the continent is: all the people in Britain wish for at the moment is Tony Blair’s head. Nothing else matters. If Gordon Brown would give them Blair’s head, he could remain as Prime Minister.

SZ: What do you mean "give them his head“?

Frears: Well, just chop it off and put it on a spike. Like in old times. The people hate Blair. They despise him! He was just so devious and dishonest. Iraq, the financial crisis, the whole misery we are in is all connected to Blair. The atmosphere is lynchmob-like, as shortly before the French Revolution.

SZ: But your own Tony Blair, in The Queen, doesn’t seem that unlikeable.

Frears: That’s exactly what makes me kind of mad. Three months before we directed The Queen, Tony Blair won another election - with a huge majority. He deceived all of us. He was a con man, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

SZ: That  was vaguely perceptible from your movie. But it never really hit the surface. Don’t you have to correct this image yourself now?

Frears: Actually I would have to. But I can’t. It’s just too depressing.

Depressing? On that let us all agree.

(Again, thank you to Blair Supporter, and Julie for the translation - although I've given abschlagen as chop off rather than chip; it could be hack off or knock off; the sense is clear.)


Breaker Morant.
ron_broxted wrote:
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 at 10:00 am (UTC)
Thought this was about Blakelock & Broadwater Farm in '85. Silcott didn't do it by the way. I'd walk barefoot from London to Carlisle to be on Blairs firing squad.
Re: Breaker Morant.
blairsupporter wrote:
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 at 02:57 pm (UTC)
News for you, Breaker - (tough name eh? - just like your words) - the best PM this country has had in decades is not in Carlisle. But please keep going in the wrong direction, as usual.

Laws against this kind of talk? Hate Speech? Incitement to violence? There certainly should be.

Thank you, btw, Mr Rentoul and through you to Messrs Kamm and Pollard for standing up against the FOOLS of this brainwashed media world. Your signatures can all be found at the new Ban Blair-Baiting petition.

Re: Breaker Morant.
ron_broxted wrote:
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 at 03:27 pm (UTC)
Dear B.Liarsupporter, You are obviously no film buff. The hostile witness in Morant said "I'd walk barefoot from Natal to Cape Town to be on his firing squad". You mention laws? Many laws yet little justice typifies the Blair years. But under the Malicious Communications Act 2000 and others, yes, a case could be made. Incitement to violence? How is this "New Scotland Yard delenda est". Finally, the law, in its majesty allows both rich and poor alike to starve. Of course Rent Boy et al stand up for the Rt Hon member for Texas West, they did well under his regime. Ask Harry Stanley, Chris Alder and James Ashley the same question.
Re: Breaker Morant.
blairsupporter wrote:
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 at 04:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for the background, Breaker Ron. I was actually referring to the "Breaker" part, as it happens. But you're right, I prefer doing to watching. Thus little time for movies.

You could have placed the full url link in here, btw. I searched and found a video in which a nosey Scottish guy with a camera (in this land where we supposedly ban people from using cameras pointed the police!?) told the big guy being searched by the small policeman that it was because he was a 'slightly browner colour'. And then, at another search result lo and behold there was Shame of Chakrabarti, she of the colour prejudice.

I see it as incitement to violence when a presumably 'respected' fim-maker suggests that 'ALL the British people' would like to see Blair's head on a spear. And he says it TWICE in two days. And he tells Brown he'd win popularity by swinging the axe himself!!!

This kind of "incitement" permits people to think that for performing said decapitation they would be heroes.

As for freedoms - and laws - I honestly cannot say I have EVER, EVER felt anything impinge upon my freedoms since 1997. (Except perhaps smoking in public places, though I DO understand that one.)

Nothing before either. This is all a myth built up by those who don't recognise freedom when they have it handed to them on a plate.

A surfeit of laws, yes, maybe ... but few of us are ever charged far less convicted under them. Even foreign and home-grown terror suspects can fall back on their Human Rights.

You starving? You don't look like it. Then again maybe you're not rich ... or poor.
Re: Breaker Morant.
ron_broxted wrote:
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 at 04:23 pm (UTC)
Chakrabarti is a sell out "Aunt Jemima". Coconut, brown outside, white inside. Photographing Insp Truscott, the "illegality" of such actions places Airstrip One on par with North Korea. I was never hassled when I was in Belarus. Of course it would be wrong for me to wish ill on Parsons/Blair. Life my hand? No. Millions of the Umma are only too willing. Rich, fat, me? See the tee shirt. Primarks finest. As for law (i.e rich mans law) Marper & ECHR ring a bell? Extrajudicail killing? Suspension of habeus corpus? If the Dutch or Danes (or Israelis or anyone) is reading puleeze gimme political asylum.
Re: Breaker Morant.
blairsupporter wrote:
Thursday, 27 August 2009 at 01:41 pm (UTC)
Purleaze, SOMEBODY ... give him asylum.


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