Unintentional Joke of the day

Apparently on learning that Labour shadow trade secretary Barry Gardiner MP had raised the question of whether the Good Friday Agreement should be seen as a "shibboleth," Tony Blair said

"I don't know how anyone can say that."

If you want to know why that is funny, and have a bible to hand, look up Judges, Chapter 12, verses one to six.


Actually that's just been topped for unintentional humour by the Labour party spokesman who confirmed this afternoon that Gardiner will be staying in his job despite his open disagreement with what passes for Labour polity on Brexit, as follows:

They really are not even bothering to pretend to tell the truth, are they?

"Barry Gardiner fully supports that position."


There is a recording on the BBC website, which you can find and listen to here, of Barry Gardiner explaining in the clearest possible, if rather rude, language why he thinks the first of those tests is rubbish. (He uses an Anglo-Saxon expression for "rubbish.")


Jim said…
are they like the 6 tests for joining the Euro?
Chris Whiteside said…
Surprisingly considering who came up with them, the tests for joining the Euro actually did make some sense (part of the reason we are not in the Euro is that there was no time when all six were met, which I regard as a result.)

Stephen Bush in the New Statesman recognises that Labour's current six Brexit tests, if you will excuse the language, really are "bollocks"

Jim said…
They are not reason we never joined.

The real reason is because at the time Tony Blair knew there was never a time he could have won a referendum on the issue. The six tests were really just a way holding off until the time he thought he could win one came along. Of course it never did, so it was a good way for him to keep campaigning yet saving face at the same time.

Had the time he thought win came along, then the six tests would have been "met" by nothing more than political spin.
Chris Whiteside said…
Had he thought he could get away with it, Blair would have joined the euro without a referendum, just as Brown ratified and signed the Lisbon treaty without a referendum.

I agree with you that Blair would have called a referendum on joining the Euro had he ever thought he could win, and in that circumstances he would have found some way to claim to have met the six tests.

Similarly he would have claimed the six tests were met before joining the Euro without a referendum had he thought people would stand for it.

But the six tests never were actually met, and IMHO that is one of a number of reasons why Blair never thought he could win a referendum - the press would have torn his arguments on the subject to pieces - and similarly why he didn't think he could get away with scrapping the pound without one.

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