Kick Blair Out of Office.

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                                    Wednesday, May 4, 2005
                                    By Greg Palast
                                    Mark my words: Tony Blair won't be re-elected on Thursday. However, he will
                                    remain in office.
                                    That's because Brits don't vote for their Prime Minister. They've got a
                                    "parliamentary" system there in the Mother Country. And the difference between
                                    democracy and parliamentary rule makes all the difference. It is the only reason
                                    why Blair will keep his job -- at least for a few months.
                                    Let me explain. The British vote only for their local Member of Parliament. The
                                    MPs, in turn, pick the PM. If a carpenter in Nottingham doesn't like Prime
                                    Minister Blair (not all dislike him, some detest him), the only darn thing they
                                    can do about it is vote against their local MP, in this case, the lovely Alan
                                    Simpson, a Labour Party stalwart who himself would rather kiss a toad than
                                    cuddle with Tony.
                                    Therefore, the majority of the Queen's subjects -- deathly afraid of the return
                                    of Margaret Thatcher's vampirical Tory spawn -- holds their noses, vote for
                                    their local Labour MP and pray that an act of God will save their happy isle. A
                                    recent poll showed the British evenly divided: forty percent want Blair to
                                    encounter a speeding double-decker bus and forty percent want him stretched,
                                    scalded and quartered in the Tower of London (within a sampling margin of four
                                    Why? Well, to begin with, Blair lies. A secret memo from inside Blair's coven
                                    discovered this week made clear that Britain's Prime Minister knew damn well,
                                    eight months before we invaded Iraq, that George Bush was cooking the
                                    intelligence info on "WDM," but Blair agreed to tag along with his master. 
                                    The Prime Minister's coterie sold his nation on the re-conquest of their old
                                    colony, Iraq, by making up this cockamamie story about Saddam Hussein having
                                    weapons of mass destruction that could take out London in 45 minutes. But Brits
                                    knew that was 'bollocks' (no translation available) long before this week's
                                    shock-horror memo story. 
                                    A greater blight on the Prime Minister's reputation: Blair likes American
                                    presidents. While his habit of keeping his nose snug against Bill Clinton's
                                    derriere was a bit off-putting, his application to George Bush's behind makes
                                    Blair's countrymen retch. 
                                    I watched the machinery called Tony Blair up close as a Yankee in King Blair's
                                    court (first as an advisor on the inside, then as a journalist also on the
                                    inside, but with a hidden tape recorder).
                                    And it was eerie. Because what I saw was a man who, while Britain's erstwhile
                                    leader, scorns his own country. That is, he scorns the union workers that wanted
                                    to keep filthy coal mines open; he scorns the nostalgic blue-haired ladies who
                                    wanted to keep the Queen's snout on their nation's currency; he scorns his
                                    nation of maddeningly inefficient little shops on the high street, of subjects
                                    snoozy with welfare state comforts and fearful of the wonders of cheap labor
                                    available in far-off locales. 
                                    Blair looks longingly at America, land of the hard-charging capitalist cowboy,
                                    of entrepreneurs with big-box retail discount stores, Silicon Valley start-ups
                                    and Asian out-sourcing. 
                                    Blair doesn't want to be Prime Minister. He wants to be governor in London of
                                    America's 51st state. 
                                    Britons know this. They feel deeply that their main man doesn't like the Britain
                                    he has. And that is why the average punter in the pub longs to be led by that
                                    most English of British politicians -- who is not English at all -- Gordon
                                    Brown, the Scotland-born Chancellor of the Exchequer.
                                    And so they vote for their local Labour MP on that party's quietly whispered
                                    promise that, shortly after the election, Gordon Brown, defender of the old
                                    welfare state, union rights, and a gentleman unlikely to invade forgotten
                                    remnants of the empire, will, on a vote of his parliamentary confreres, take the
                                    reins of government in his benign and prudent hands. 
                                    As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman says, Tony Blair is a man of
                                    principle. So was the Ayatolla Khomeini. Both were willing to have others pay
                                    any price for their beliefs. 
                                    Luckily for Britain, Chancellor Brown won't let Blair put his fanatic hands on
                                    the kingdom's cash or coinage. And herein is another difference betwixt the US
                                    and UK. In America, the Treasury Secretary is little more than the President's
                                    factotum. In Britain, the Chancellor holds the nation's purse. Brown brilliantly
                                    controls Britain's spending, taxing and currency. For example, despite Tony's
                                    pleas, Brown presciently nixed England dumping the pound coin for the euro. 
                                    And thus Brown, not Blair, has earned his nation's gratitude for the island's
                                    steady recovery from Thatcherite punishments while, across The Pond, real wages
                                    in Bush's America are falling.
                                    Blair will hold onto office - for now - due only to a sly campaign that relies
                                    on the public's accepting on faith that, sooner rather than later after the vote
                                    on Thursday, Blair will do the honorable thing and end his own political life,
                                    leaving the British-to-the-bone Brown to inherit the parliamentary throne. 
                                    Tony's political corpse can then be mailed to Texas - wrapped in an American
                                    Greg Palast, former columnist for Britain's Guardian papers, is the author of
                                    the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
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