Posts Tagged ‘28 days detention’

What would JFK have made of the Tories’ duplicitous weakness on 28 days detention?

19/01/2011, 10:30:27 AM

by Tom Watson

Tomorrow marks 50 years since John F Kennedy’s inaugural presidential address. When David Cameron attends the Nordic conference on behalf of the nation later in the week, his handlers will no doubt try to mark the anniversary by enveloping him in Kennedy stardust. My hunch is that he will want to talk tough, as JFK sometimes did: “let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill”.

Cameron is still looking for international recognition equivalent to that of Blair and Brown and Thatcher. Those television images of statesmen shaking hands in exotic places are the particles of political legacies that politicians crave. In all of Cameron’s grasping hunt for glory, he can only dream of a legacy as enduring as JFK’s. Yet there is a grim reality for our prime minister, one that is only now beginning to reveal itself to him. If you want to leave a positive political legacy in the age of the internet, you probably have to be shot or spend 30 years in jail for a crime you didn’t commit.

And if you don’t believe me, think about the nearest thing the Labour party has to JFK, Tony Blair. That man used to walk on water. The day after tomorrow he will be at the Chilcot enquiry for the second time, wading through misery, as the detail of his decision to take us into Iraq is surgically examined. It wasn’t meant to be this way.

It’s probably an understatement to say that I’ve had disagreements with Mr Blair, but his humiliating second appearance before the committee in some way seems an unworthy way to treat a former prime minister. (more…)

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