Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tony Blair loses his touch

Our prime minister has always been given to making important announcements during school visits. He launched his 2001 election campaign at St Saviour's & St Olave's church school in Southwark. And it seemed to go down well with the press, even if it was the occasion for one of Matthew Parris's most memorable sketches:
It was nauseating. It was breathtakingly, toe-curlingly, hog-whimperingly tasteless. It was unbelievably ill-judged.

Just when one is teased by the thought that Blair might not be all bad, he does something which nobody with a grain of sense or sensibility could even contemplate.

If the PM sanctioned the arrangement for this dire event, and if there is a Hell, he will go there.
Today he tried the same trick at the Quintin Kynaston School in St John's Wood. The wheels fell off.

There is a full report of today's events on the Lenin's Tomb blog, including photos and video footage:
the school headteachers had decided that since it was Blair's big day they would send most of the pupils home and keep only the exceptionally well-behaved ones behind. So, as we were setting up for our protest, the children were filing out in huge numbers.
Guess what? Blair is extremely unpopular in this neck of the woods, and some of them wanted to take part in the protest. To be more precise, there was already a School Students Against the War movement in the school and I expect they had been ready for Blair's visit. This is not unusual - tonnes of young kids have been to the huge antiwar demonstrations in London. Some of the kids' parents were there too. 
Many of these children were Muslim. One kid explained that he was Lebanese; a lot of others simply hated Blair, as you'll discover from the footage.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, I'd have thought better of you than to use Lenin's tomb as source of reliable information. In fact, teh BBC did report the demo on their website and mention about 60 students, which is hardly the mass numbers your excited reporter suggests - but looks about right with the numbers shown in the background on his stills (could not be bothered to look at the videos, life is too short).