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Subject: Bush visits Canada


Author:
Jim (Canada)
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Date Posted: 14:23:21 12/01/04 Wed

US President George Bush is visiting Ottawa and meeting with PM Paul Martin to discuss trade and international security. The President was met with huge demonstrations, and he declined an offer to address the Canadian Parliament for fear of being heckled.

Tony Blair did address the Canadian Parliament a few years ago.

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Replies:
[> Subject: however...


Author:
Dave (UK)
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Date Posted: 15:18:01 12/01/04 Wed

I doubt Blair would get a better reception if he did it again...

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[> [> Subject: Bush in Canada


Author:
Ed Harris (Venezia)
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Date Posted: 15:35:13 12/01/04 Wed

I understand that President GWB amused one and all by saying that he "wanted to thank all the Canadian people who came out to wave, with all five fingers." There can't have been many!

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[> [> [> Subject: Indeed


Author:
Dave (UK)
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Date Posted: 16:26:35 12/01/04 Wed

It’s nice to see some humour from the President in such circumstances. I doubt they will be laughing when the tanks roll over the border however, as we wonder who is next in line for regime change.

Personally, I would hope that it is Blair. However I am certainly not inviting an American military endeavour to precipitate it.

As a long-standing admirer of Gerald Warner’s Scotland on Sunday column, I will share with you one of my favourites, where his analysis of Blair’s psyche leads him to conclude that he is in fact, insane.





Mad, bad and dangerous: liar Blair has lost touch with reality

Gerald Warner

SPRINGTIME for Tony: in strict calendar terms it may now be autumn, but for the standard bearers of the British totalitarian movement, converging on Brighton as a substitute Nuremberg, hubris is a powerful stimulant.

The annual gathering of the Great Uncleanness is not a spectacle for weak stomachs. Everything that is most dictatorial, mean-spirited and degenerate in Britain will colonise the conference hall like plague bacilli. Among the swarming pathogens, the arrogance of unaccountable power has bred a blind confidence in Labour’s right to rule: did not the Leader himself, at a previous conference, proclaim "a thousand days for a thousand years"?

The phenomenon that is the Great Charlatan has become one of the most serious threats Britain has faced. It has long been a contention of this column that we are in the grip of a madman. That conviction is now, belatedly, spreading. Writing about Tony Blair in a metropolitan newspaper last week, Stephen Glover made the suggestion that "in a very limited and controlled part of his brain - though also a potentially lethal one - he is not completely sane". It is a pity that it has taken so many deaths in Iraq for the penny to drop among the commentariat.

The qualification anent "a very limited and controlled part of his brain" is the only element of that diagnosis which does not ring true. Blair is a complete flake: in any other avocation of society he would be a psychiatric couch potato. "Trust me, I’m a compulsive liar," is his Clinton-style pitch to the British electorate. For the Great Charlatan, who has charlatanry in his blood and bone, does not simply lie to get himself out of tough corners: he loves a good lie, just for the hell of it.

Instance his claim, in a wireless interview in 1997, to have watched his "teenage hero" Jackie Milburn, of Newcastle United, from behind the goal at St James’s Park. As football fans quickly pointed out, Milburn had left Newcastle when Blair was four years old and there were no seats behind the goals until the 1990s. Yet Blair told this pointless porkie in the same year in which he became Prime Minister. Why? To make himself more blokeish; to share - if purely in his imagination - the experience of his constituency?

So, how does one explain the inane lie that he told Des O’Connor about having stowed away at Newcastle airport on a flight for the Bahamas, when he was 14? In fact, no flight from Newcastle in those days ever went to the Bahamas, or even long-haul. This was a Richmal Crompton version of Blair: Just Tony. When a grown man indulges in such Walter Mitty fantasies, we can feel concern; when that man also has the power to unleash war, that concern becomes downright alarm.

Blair has no apparent notion of the difference between truth and lies. We saw that from his earliest days in power - Bernie Ecclestone, et al - and then, more sinisterly, in the Iraq drama. Robin Cook has described how, on March 5, 2003, he told Blair that Saddam possessed no strategic weapons, only battlefield ordnance. Recently we have learned that, long before that, Jack Straw had warned Blair that chaos would result from any invasion. By the time Blair rose to mislead the House of Commons, intelligence that was "sporadic and patchy", "little" and "limited" had suddenly become "extensive, detailed and authoritative".

Of course, the Great Charlatan does not want us to dwell on such morbid matters, so he has started to indulge in diversionary lectures on the moral vapidity of the 1960s, or the perils of global warming. Blair has become a saloon-bar bore, in the hope that public ennui will save him from the consequences of his war-mongering. That hope is vain. The taking hostage of British subjects, lured to Iraq by the government’s lies about growing stability, and increasing pressure on the garrison in Basra signal bad times ahead.

The degree to which habitual lying has anæsthetised the Blairite spin doctors not only against truth, but any sense of irony, was illustrated last week when the Prime Minister’s spokesman insisted the government "will not negotiate with terrorists", while Blair was closeted at Chequers with Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. That vignette of bland mendacity and self-deception shows how far Blair and his cronies have lost touch with reality.

His war on the countryside is a further illustration of this. In the Blairite canon, it is unthinkable that rural Britain should defy and defeat Labour: ergo, it will not happen. Not half - just as Iraq is firmly under coalition control. Tony Blair is the megalomaniac self-delusionist who duped Britain into voting Labour in 1997. The hope of most delegates at Brighton is that, having served as a Trojan horse to reassure the voters of Middle Britain, he will soon leave the stage, so the Cro-Magnon Tendency can inherit the earth.

Was ‘New’ Labour ever anything more than a vehicle for Blair and the gruesome clique of wine-bar spivs, entrepreneurs, control freaks and faddists around him to rape Britain? Obviously not; but neither was it particularly new. The Attlee/Cripps régime that devastated post-War Britain was less a government of horny-handed sons of toil than a centralising bureaucracy controlled by the real-life versions of Anthony Powell’s character Widmerpool, in A Dance to the Music of Time.

Such an excrescence as Widmerpool would have fitted seamlessly into Blair’s New Labour imposture. As a cursory examination of the amoebic life forms at Brighton will confirm, this is not a political party so much as an infestation. A national fumigation is long overdue.






If, like me, you share his sentiments, there are many more of his articles here.

It is worth noting that his views do not entirely reconcile with mainstream Scottish political opinion.

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[> [> [> Subject: Dubya Humor Watch #2


Author:
Ed Harris (Venezia)
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Date Posted: 17:12:44 12/01/04 Wed

Whether or not Mr President has someone to write his jokes for him, we can not deny that his speeches have some truly entertaining moments. I remember watching his speech at Buck House, just after David Blane had finished his 40 days' public starvation by Tower Bridge. "I understand that the last prominent American to visit London lived for a month in a glass box suspended over the Thames with no food," said Mr Bush. "I'm sure that many people in this city would be happy to make similar arrangements for me," he went on. "Well, they have a right to say that. They now have that right in Baghdad, too." Bravo Bush.

Another of my favourites was his Thanksgiving speech in which he parodied the whole US election whilst talking about the turkey which he had just saved, clearly drawing a parallel between himself the lucky but ridiculous creature in the cage next to him. Look it up on the BBC website, if you can find it.

Whatever one might feel about George W. Bush, can anyone honestly say that, e.g., Tony Blair has ever made us laugh with him?

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[> [> [> [> Subject: and...


Author:
Dave (UK)
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Date Posted: 17:54:02 12/01/04 Wed

However, unlike Blair, some of his statements are unintentionally humorous ;-)

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Another Duby classic


Author:
Trixta (UK)
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Date Posted: 14:13:48 12/05/04 Sun

On the subject...

Pilfered (and paraphrased) from the Daily Record:

Bush visits a school class in Florida (?) and sits in on the English class. The current topic is the definition of the word Tragedy, which Dubya gets to judge.

Kid 1 steps forward and says that were he (the kid) to fall off his bike, this would be a tragedy. No, says Bush, that would be an accident.

Kid 2 steps forward and says that were a busload of schoolkids to plunge into a ravine, that would be a tragedy. Not so, says Bush, that would be a great loss.

Kid 3 steps forward and says that were Air Force One to crash into the ground, killing Mr. & Mrs. Pres. that would be a tragedy.
Well done, says Bush. And why would that be a tragedy? he goes on to ask.
Kid 3: Because it wouldn't be a great loss and probably wouldn't be an accident.

:-)

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Something similar...


Author:
Ed Harris (Venezia)
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Date Posted: 14:29:24 12/05/04 Sun

I believe that Disraeli was once asked to distinguish between a misfortune and a calamity. Straight off the cuff, he said, "If Mr Gladstone were to fall into the Thames, that would be a misfortune. If someone were to pull him out again, that would be a calamity."

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: I first heard that joke told of former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso


Author:
Ian (Australia)
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Date Posted: 15:42:25 12/05/04 Sun


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[> [> Subject: I think it's fair to say that there are protesters who will complain about any world leader


Author:
Ian (Australia)
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Date Posted: 15:40:03 12/01/04 Wed

It's part of being young and rebellious: you notice that others have more money and power than you, and you dream about reshaping the world political system so that things are shared more evenly. "Power and wealth are bad because I don't have them."

Later on, you realise that this is lazy-minded bollocks and discover that it is possible to work and save and take responsibility for your life.

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[> [> [> Subject: ameirca


Author:
Oain (UK)
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Date Posted: 19:53:32 12/02/04 Thu

Not all youth are lefties Ian. Take myslef for example. I( ahve no problem with Ameircas power. To say I wasnt jealous of it would be lying, but at least I admit that rather than finding excuses for taking the mick out of them. I am glad we are working with the Amercans and wish them the best of luck in the future (better them than anyone else as our world leaders).

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[> [> [> [> Subject: I disagree - I think Bush is a disaster


Author:
Jim (Canada)
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Date Posted: 20:23:34 12/02/04 Thu


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[> Subject: I think Bush is fine


Author:
Kevin (U.S.)
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Date Posted: 02:11:06 12/03/04 Fri


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[> [> Subject: Let's just agree to disagree on that one and leave it at that


Author:
Jim (Canada)
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Date Posted: 02:53:13 12/03/04 Fri


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[> [> [> Subject: will do


Author:
Kevin (U.S.)
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Date Posted: 09:44:44 12/03/04 Fri


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[> [> [> Subject: Blimey Jim stand up for yourself!


Author:
Andrew(Canada)
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Date Posted: 10:02:52 12/06/04 Mon

Jim don't be afraid to say what you bloody well think about Bush and the Americans. God if we cant have free speech in a bloody forum where can we? Here all start: I find the United States to be a large, self-absorbed, self-serving, and ignorant population who couldn't find any of the CANZUK countries on a map if their lives depended on it. They are currently screwing Canada in terms of trade, and I'm absolutely SICK of Canadians who don't have the backbone to stand up to them. The americans are NOT God, they only think they are. Canada can get on without the United States, its just that the media and the Canadian government brainwash the Canadian public into thinking we couldnt because they are businesspeople with ties to American corporations. Recently, the Canadian wheat board started diversifying their exports beyond the US because of ridiculous US tariffs, and did that industry fall on its knees? NO. Canada can and should re-develop stronger ties with the New Zealand, the UK, and Australia, because putting so much stock in the US is not only stupid, its dangerous. And if Canada doesnt change, when the US goes down, Canada will go down with them.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: But Andrew


Author:
Ian (Australia)
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Date Posted: 12:24:00 12/06/04 Mon

Is there no way of criticising the US administration without insulting individual Americans who post here and who do not "think they are God" ?

Jim has made his point (and he certainly doesn't pull his punches when he gets wound up), Kevin has made his, and they have agreed not to fight about their differences, knowing that neither will change the other's mind. Bravo, I say: that's adult behaviour.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: I also believe in respecting other people's views - that is the essence of free speech


Author:
Jim (Canada)
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Date Posted: 15:05:08 12/06/04 Mon


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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: besides


Author:
Kevin (U.S.)
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Date Posted: 08:15:00 12/07/04 Tue

"God if we cant have free speech in a bloody forum where can we?"

I did not ever tell Jim that he couldn't give his opinion. Nor did anyone else tell someone to not give their opinion. We are all respectible, curtious people here, and like everyone elses opinion, yours is respected.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: a little bit of overkill?


Author:
Frank (US)
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Date Posted: 18:03:45 12/06/04 Mon

Well...I think ur going overboard...America may be self-absorbed and self-serving...but all countries are. Also, I would tell you that yes, most Americans can find Canada, Australia, and New Zealand on a map...I mean come on ur asking them to find a continent, the islands next to it, and to look north, and then the UK...not exactly like trying to find Pitcairn is it? As for Canada getting on w/o America, its entirely possible, just inconvient. The fact that 50% or so of Canadian exports go the US is b/c that its easy to import goods to America b/c of geography and the large market. Canadian business could certainly shift elsewhere, its just not as profitable.

As for Canada needing to abandon the US b/c "when the US goes down Canada will go down with them" is an overstatement. The fact of the matter is America will not go down for a while. Its hard to go down when the American GDP is so large and it will take time for any power to challenge the US, China needs at decades to rise to the challenge, Russia's glory days are long past, and the EU...well I simply dont believe its going to take less than a few generations for them to actually be able to unite the ppl of Europe psychologically/culturally...if at all. And please, if anyone believes the Middle East is going to get better and bring down america...dont delude yourselves, the fact is that oil will run out in the next around 75-100 yrs at most (less w/increased consumption) and then those countries will be nothing more than sand...hardly the building blocks of power...especially in the state that they're in now.

While I admit that Americans can be arrogant, especially if ur Anti-Bush (which u probably r), one must take things into perspective. America is the current superpower and when ur their next door neighbor, its usually advantageous to defer and get preferential treatment, rather than be bitter and sour relations. Canada should seek closer ties to the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. However, by no means does that mean that it should deliberately abandon relations with the USA. Thats my perspective at least (I admit its probably biased as I am American...)

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Closer ties and the US


Author:
Jim (Canada)
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Date Posted: 18:41:34 12/06/04 Mon

In fact, the current close alliance of the UK and the US is good for Canada. It means that we can have closer ties with the UK and maintain our close friendship and trade ties with the US. It could work as a nice triangle. It is so important for Canada to have a good relationship with the US because we are neighbours and trade alot with each other. Having an English-speaking nation such as the US as the one superpower can only help us as it would naturally bring other English-speaking nations together - notice the close alliance of Australia and the UK with the US. If a change in government in Canada brought about a pro-US government such as the Conservatives, we would be part of that alliance and that would probably bring us closer ties with the UK and Australia - militarily anyway.

The US is in a position to bring about closer CANZUK ties by forging a stronger Anglosphere alliance. Whether we like it or not, we need the USA and we must remain on good terms with them. This doesn't mean that we put all our eggs in one basket by trading only with them or even agree with their foreign policy, we don't have to do that. However, the CANZUK nations must work together by them all maintaining a good working relationship with the USA.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: U.S. dangerous superpower


Author:
Andrew(Canada)
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Date Posted: 00:37:45 12/07/04 Tue

i disagree...what the US is doing militarily in Iraq and elsewhere is going to bring a strong negative sentiment from a lot of countries across the Atlantic towards it, and i think Canada( as well as the UK, Australia, and New Zealand) need to start distancing themselves from the US to avoid being grouped together...why does everyone think that Canada needs to give preferential treatment to the US because we're their bloody neighbour? im not saying to abandon all ties with the US, thats impossible because of geography, but i definitely believe that Canada needs to start giving preferential treatment to the CANZUK and Commonwealth countries...i dont know why people believe that just because the US is the dominant superpower in the world right now, that we need to make sure we include them in everything...its bloody well time they were excluded from something...besides there needs to be a predominantly English speaking power that other countries can look to as a more liberal and compassionate alternative than the US...no matter what people say, Canada is much more similar to the other CANZUK countries than it is to the US, both in terms of government(consitutional monarchy with a strong emphasis on social programmes) and culture(British/European and Native populations, along with an increasing number of immigrants from Asia, as well as other places)...all im saying is that the US having all this power and influence is dangerous, and there needs to be a counter-balance.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: I don't think any other potential superpower would be any better


Author:
Ian (Australia)
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Date Posted: 00:48:49 12/07/04 Tue

Yes, the USA is dangerous. Superpowers are dangerous pretty much by definition, but there is always likely to be at least one of them in the world, and I don't think I would feel any *more* at ease with China, Russia or any other you could imagine.

Should CANZUK pull together? Absolutely! Would we be very different from the USA if we were the world's big guy? I'm not sure that we would. Is a counterbalance a good idea? Very probably.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: ...


Author:
Ed Harris (Venezia)
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Date Posted: 01:08:53 12/07/04 Tue

We were no different from the USA when we were the world's big guy. QED.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: We were actually much better...


Author:
Paddy (Scotland)
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Date Posted: 09:38:12 12/07/04 Tue

:0)

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: I think we were too.


Author:
Nick (UK)
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Date Posted: 10:00:40 12/07/04 Tue

Well one could certainly argue that we developed the world in a much more responsible and hands-on way than the modern US, which uses purely the tactics of gunboat diplomacy, subterfuge, cultural propaganda and corporate 'globalisation'. The techniques and outcomes are similar, and in part dictated by historical circumstance, but while I can understand why nationalists in other countries might have found the British even more objectionable than the Americans today, in fact the effect we had on the world and on their countries was probably less selfish and more benign, and certainly involved a lot more respect for their interests and cultures.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: You maay have a point there.


Author:
Ed Harris (Venezia)
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Date Posted: 12:30:56 12/07/04 Tue

But at the time, rather than with historical hindsight, it did look to foreigners as if we too were great exponents of "gunboat diplomacy, subterfuge, cultural propaganda and corporate 'globalisation'"

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: well yes and no....


Author:
Frank (US)
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Date Posted: 14:41:14 12/07/04 Tue

I do admit that the British Empire of the 19th century was the most benevolent and culture-respecting empire in history. I mean yes it did the modern world through its enforcement of free trade, development of colonies and investment into underdevelopment countries, etc. And it did respect most cultures...but there were some dark actions done in this period to. The Boer War was obviously one, the brutal savagery that occured on both sides of the Indian mutiny, and of course the burning of the Emperor's summer palace in the opium war (Im chinese..had to throw that in). So the British did have some dark spots too...to put everything into perspective. Oh and I think that it was British diplomacy in the 1800s that coined the term "gunboat" diplomacy...im not sure...Niall Ferguson's Empire seems to suggest that but not outright say it...

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Yes


Author:
Ed Harris (Venezia)
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Date Posted: 16:54:53 12/07/04 Tue

Gunboat diplomacy was first coined at the time of Palmerston's longest ministry. It had to do with the shelling of Piraeus after the Greeks arrested David Pacifico - a Maltese jew who, because he was born in Gibraltar, had a British passport. They tried to impeach Palmerston, but failed after he gave a 3 hour speech without notes defending his policy. Look up the speech if you can... it is worthy of George Bush...

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Here it is...


Author:
Ed Harris (Venezia)
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Date Posted: 19:16:47 12/07/04 Tue

"I therefore fearlessly challenge the verdict which this House is to give... whether, as the Roman, in days of old, held himself free from indignity, when he could say 'Civis Romanus sum'; so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England will protect him against injustice and wrong."

Lord Palmerston, House of Commons, 6/25/1850.

And when he said it it was actually true... those were the days, eh?

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: yes entirely


Author:
Nick (UK)
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Date Posted: 20:01:44 12/07/04 Tue

I was intentionally drawing the parallels between British and US foreign policy when I mentioned gunboat diplomacy, etc.

I would hardly say my preceeding piece is a glowing jingoistic list of British triumphs - merely a suggestion that the modern superpower is perhaps less benevolent overall than the previous one. in a world whose values are far more liberal and where most would not expect this to be the case - particularly not the average American (or probably even Briton) brought up on a diet of Hollywood drivel.

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