tony blair Quotes

Tony Blair Quotes

Birth Date: 1953-05-06 (Wednesday, May 6th, 1953)

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tony blair life timeline

Tony Blair is declared the winner of the leadership election of the British Labour Party, paving the way to him becoming Prime Minister in 1997.Thursday, July 21st, 1994
Tony Blair becomes the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Republic of Ireland s parliament.Thursday, November 26th, 1998
Tony Blair s Labour Party wins another landslide victory in the General Election.Thursday, June 7th, 2001
The United Kingdom general election takes place, in which Tony Blair s Labour Party is re-elected for a third, consecutive term.Thursday, May 5th, 2005

Quotes

    • I am a Socialist not through reading a textbook that has caught my intellectual fancy, nor through unthinking tradition, but because I believe that, at its best, Socialism corresponds most closely to an existence that is both rational and moral. It stands for co-operation, not confrontation; for fellowship, not fear. It stands for equality, not because it wants people to be the same but because only through equality in our economic circumstances can our individuality develop properly.
    • I shall not rest until, once again, the destinies of our people and our party are joined together again in victory at the next general election Labour in its rightful place in government again.
    • The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.
    • Any parent wants the best for their children. I am not going to make a choice for my child on the basis of what is the politically correct thing to do.
    • Tony Blair: Has the Prime Minister secured even the minimal guarantee from the Euro-rebels that, on a future vote of confidence on Europe, they will support him? John Major: I can sense the concern in the right hon. Gentleman's voice. Perhaps he would like to tell me whether he has received the support of the 50 MPs who defied his Front Bench over Maastricht; of the 40 who defied him over European finance; on a single currency, where the right hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) was in dispute with the deputy leader of the Labour party; and on clause IV, which half his, I think he called them, infantile MEPs want to keep. He does not, and his deputy leader does one day and does not the next. These are party matters. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us what his position is? Tony Blair: There is one very big difference-I lead my party, he follows his.
    • We have no plans to increase tax at all.
    • I didn't come into politics to change the Labour Party. I came into politics to change the country.
    • I want to see a publicly-owned railway, publicly accountable.
    • I can't stand politicians who wear God on their sleeves.
    • Ask me my three main priorities for government, and I tell you: education, education and education. We are 35th in the world league of education standards - 35th. At every level, radical improvement and reform.
    • If there are further steps to European integration, the people should have their say at a general election or in a referendum.
    • Powers that are constitutionally there can be used but the Scottish Labour Party is not planning to raise income tax and once the power is given it is like any parish council: it's got the right to exercise it.
    • Sovereignty rests with me as an English MP and that's the way it will stay.
    • My message to Sinn Fein is clear. The settlement train is leaving. I want you on that train. But it is leaving anyway and I will not allow it to wait for you.
    • I was born in 1953, a child of the Cold War era, raised amid the constant fear of a conflict with the potential to destroy humanity. Whatever other dangers may exist, no such fear exists today. Mine is the first generation able to contemplate the possibility that we may live our entire lives without going to war or sending our children to war. That is a prize beyond value.
    • She was the people's princess and that is how she will stay, how she will remain in our hearts and our memories for ever.
    • I would never do anything to harm the country or anything improper. I think most people who have dealt with me think I'm a pretty straight sort of guy, and I am.
    • A day like today is not a day for, sort of, soundbites, really - we can leave those at home - but I feel the hand of history upon our shoulders, I really do.
    • We do, as a new Government, have to be extremely careful after 18 years in opposition. A lot of people who worked for us, they then go on and work for the lobby firms. I think we have to be very careful with people fluttering around the new Government, trying to make all sorts of claims of influence, that we are purer than pure, that people understand that we will not have any truck with anything that is improper in any shape or form at all.
    • The most pressing foreign policy problem we face is to identify the circumstances in which we should get actively involved in other people's conflicts. Non-interference has long been considered an important principle of international order. And it is not one we would want to jettison too readily. One state should not feel it has the right to change the political system of another or foment subversion or seize pieces of territory to which it feels it should have some claim. But the principle of non-interference must be qualified in important respects. Acts of genocide can never be a purely internal matter. When oppression produces massive flows of refugees which unsettle neighbouring countries then they can properly be described as 'threats to international peace and security'. When regimes are based on minority rule they lose legitimacy - look at South Africa.
    • If we want a world ruled by law and by international co-operation then we have to support the UN as its central pillar. But we need to find a new way to make the UN and its Security Council work if we are not to return to the deadlock that undermined the effectiveness of the Security Council during the Cold War. This should be a task for members of the Permanent Five to consider once the Kosovo conflict is complete.
    • A New Britain where the extraordinary talent of the British people is liberated from the forces of conservatism that so long have held them back, to create a model 21st century nation, based not on privilege, class or background, but on the equal worth of all.
    • I can stand here today, leader of the Labour Party, Prime Minister, and say to the British people: you have never had it so ... prudent.
    • There have been the most terrible, shocking events taking place in the United States of America within the last hour or so, including two hi-jacked planes being flown deliberately into the World Trade Centre. I am afraid we can only imagine the terror and the carnage there and the many, many innocent people who will have lost their lives. I know that you would want to join with me in sending the deepest condolences to President Bush and to the American people on behalf of the British people at these terrible events. This mass terrorism is the new evil in our world today. It is perpetrated by fanatics who are utterly indifferent to the sanctity of human life and we, the democracies of this world, are going to have to come together to fight it together and eradicate this evil completely from our world.
    • For the moment, let me say this: Saddam Hussein's regime is despicable, he is developing weapons of mass destruction, and we cannot leave him doing so unchecked. He is a threat to his own people and to the region and, if allowed to develop these weapons, a threat to us also.
    • I don't like it, to be honest, when politicians make a big thing of their religious beliefs, so I don't make a big thing of it.
    • Look, I'm a person, an individual with a character and part of my character is about what I believe in and part of my beliefs obviously is a religious conviction. I simply hesitate whenever I get drawn into this territory because I have found, over time, that it either leads to people misunderstanding the basis upon which you are taking decisions or it leads to people trying to colonise God or religion for one particular political position. I make no claims to that at all.
    • [The Joint Intelligence Committee] concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own Shia population, and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability.
    • Sometimes, and in particular dealing with a dictator, the only chance of peace is a readiness for war.
    • The intelligence is clear: [Saddam Hussein] continues to believe that his weapons of mass destruction programme is essential both for internal repression and for external aggression. It is essential to his regional power. Prior to the inspectors coming back in, he was engaged in a systematic exercise in concealment of those weapons.
    • If we don't act now, we can't keep those people down there forever. We can't wait forever. If we don't act now, then we will go back to what has happened before and then of course the whole thing begins again and he carries on developing these weapons and these are dangerous weapons, particularly if they fall into the hands of terrorists who we know want to use these weapons if they can get them.
    • We are asked now seriously to accept that in the last few years-contrary to all history, contrary to all intelligence-Saddam decided unilaterally to destroy those weapons. I say that such a claim is palpably absurd.
    • This is the time not just for this Government-or, indeed, for this Prime Minister-but for this House to give a lead: to show that we will stand up for what we know to be right; to show that we will confront the tyrannies and dictatorships and terrorists who put our way of life at risk; to show, at the moment of decision, that we have the courage to do the right thing.
    • Before people crow about the absence of Weapons of Mass Destruction, I suggest they wait a bit.
    • As I have said throughout, I have no doubt that they will find the clearest possible evidence of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.
    • What amazes me is how many people are happy for Saddam to stay. They ask why we don't get rid of Mugabe, why not the Burmese lot. Yes, let's get rid of them all. I don't because I can't, but when you can you should.
    • We've already discovered, just so far, the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves.
    • I thought that it was the most predictable speech that we could have heard from the right hon. and learned Gentleman. He may want to pose as the nice Dr. Jekyll, but we know that, deep down, he is still the same old Mr. Howard.
    • It has been an unrelenting, but, I have to accept, at least partly successful campaign to persuade Britain that Europe is a conspiracy aimed at us, rather than a partnership designed for us and others to pursue our national interest properly in a modern, interdependent world. It is right to confront this campaign head on. Provided that the treaty embodies the essential British positions, we shall agree to it as a Government. Once agreed - either at the June Council, which is our preference, or subsequently - Parliament should debate it in detail and decide upon it. Then, let the people have the final say.
    • What you can't do is have a situation where you get a rejection of the treaty and then you just bring it back with a few amendments and say we will have another go. You can't do that and I am not going to get drawn into speculating the way forward because I don't intend to lose the referendum.
    • Do I know I'm right? Judgements aren't the same as facts. Instinct is not science. I'm like any other human being, as fallible and as capable of being wrong. I only know what I believe.
    • Don't say yes to that question, that would be difficult.
    • It is not a sensible or intelligent response for us in Europe to ridicule American argument or parody their political leadership.
    • Sir Michael Spicer: What are the characteristics of old Labour that he dislikes so much? Tony Blair: I am afraid that the Hon. Gentleman will have to repeat that. Sir Michael Spicer: What are the characteristics of old Labour that he dislikes so much? Tony Blair: Basically, that it never won two successive terms of Government and, perhaps, that it never put the Conservative party flat on its back, which is where it is now. Thankfully, we are running an economy with low inflation, low mortgage rates and low unemployment; fortunately, we are doing a darn sight better than the Government of whom the right hon. Gentleman was a Member, who had-I thank him for allowing me to mention this-interest rates at 10 per cent. for four years, 3 million unemployed and two recessions. Whether it is old Labour or new Labour, it is a darn sight better than the Tories.
    • I fear my own conscience on Africa. I fear the judgement of future generations, where history properly calculates the gravity of the suffering. I fear them asking: but how could wealthy people, so aware of such suffering, so capable of acting, simply turn away to busy themselves with other things? What greater call to action could there be? Did they really know and yet do nothing? I feel that judgement of the future alongside the now. It gives me urgency. It fills me with determination.
    • Yes, I did have to struggle very hard to get this [the vote on the Iraq war] through, but the reason I did it was because I thought it was the right thing to do. I didn't take this on myself... just because I thought, 'Let's give myself a really hard time for a couple of years!'
    • I understand there is a need for a stable and orderly transition to that leadership, but that people should give me the space to ensure that happens and that this debate is not best conducted in the pages of the Mail on Sunday.
    • Ideals survive through change. They die through inertia in the face of challenge.
    • It is important that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world.
    • The spirit of our age is one in which the prejudices of the past are put behind us, where our diversity is our strength. It is this which is under attack. Moderates are not moderate through weakness but through strength. Now is the time to show it in defence of our common values.
    • Sometimes it is better to lose and do the right thing than to win and do the wrong thing.
    • This is not a clash between civilisations. It is a clash about civilisation.
    • To state a timetable now would simply paralyze the proper working of government, put at risk the changes we are making for Britain and damage the country.
    • He is honey.
    • We can only protect liberty by making it relevant to the modern world.
    • He wants a Bill of Rights for Britain drafted by a Committee of Lawyers. Have you ever tried drafting anything with a Committee of Lawyers?
    • In this day and age if you've got the technology then it's vital to use that technology to track people down. The number on the database should be the maximum number you can get.
    • That's the art of leadership. To make sure that what shouldn't happen, doesn't happen.
    • I couldn't live with myself if I thought that these big strategic choices for my generation were there, and I wasn't even making them - or I was making them according to what was expedient rather than what I actually thought was right.
    • So, of course, the visions are painted in the colours of the rainbow, and the reality is sketched in duller tones of black and white and grey. But I ask you to accept one thing. Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right. I may have been wrong. That is your call. But believe one thing, if nothing else. I did what I thought was right for our country.
    • The British are special. The world knows it. In our innermost thoughts we know it. This is the greatest nation on earth. So it has been an honour to serve it. I give my thanks to you, the British people, for the times that I have succeeded, and my apologies to you for the times I have fallen short. But good luck.
    • The fear of missing out means today's media, more than ever before, hunts in a pack. In these modes it is like a feral beast, just tearing people and reputations to bits. But no-one dares miss out.
    • The reason we are finding it hard to win this battle is that we're not actually fighting it properly. We're not actually standing up to these people and saying, 'It's not just your methods that are wrong, your ideas are absurd. Nobody is oppressing you. Your sense of grievance isn't justified.'
    • Some may belittle politics but we who are engaged in it know that it is where people stand tall. Although I know that it has many harsh contentions, it is still the arena that sets the heart beating a little faster. If it is, on occasions, the place of low skulduggery, it is more often the place for the pursuit of noble causes. I wish everyone, friend or foe, well. That is that. The end.
    • Analogies with the past are never properly accurate and analogies especially with the rising fascism can be easily misleading, but in pure chronology I sometimes wonder if we're not in the 1920s or 1930s again... This ideology now has a state, Iran, that is prepared to back and finance terror in the pursuit of destabilising countries whose people wish to live in peace.
    • Well, Margaret Thatcher is perhaps the politician I have the greatest admiration for. I am reading her memoirs at the moment.
    • Having our own ambassador making these statements about Karimov is acutely embarrassing. It's bad for British business interests, it's bad for the stability in the region. I mean, he sends back these dossiers full of stories of what Karimov's security forces have supposed to have done, he sends them to the foreign office or whatever, he sends them directly to us, I mean does he think I'm going to read it, does he imagine that I'm interested in this stuff?
    • Whatever the dangers of the action we take, the dangers of inaction are far, far greater.
    • I believe Tony Blair is an out-and-out rascal, terminally untrustworthy and close to being unhinged. I said from the start that there was something wrong in his head, and each passing year convinces me more strongly that this man is a pathological confidence-trickster. To the extent that he even believes what he says, he is delusional. To the extent that he does not, he is an actor whose first invention - himself - has been his only interesting role.
    • He was the future, once...
    • Torture, encouraged from above, became a fact of life [in occupied Iraq]. Perhaps some good liberal apologist for Blair will soon explain how democratic torture is much nicer than authoritarian torture.
    • A second-rate actor, he turned out to be a crafty and avaricious politician, but without much substance; bereft of ideas he eagerly grasped and tried to improve upon the legacy of Margaret Thatcher.
    • Like millions of others, I now bitterly resent that a prime minister could use such a farrago of lies and manipulation to deceive us and to take the nation to war so dishonestly.
    • Tony Blair, a passionate Christian, has expressed his conviction that WMDs will be found in almost directly religious terms of credo quia absurdum: despite the lack of evidence, he personally is deeply convinced that they will be found. ... The only appropriate answer to this conundrum is not the boring liberal plea for innocence until guilt is proved but, rather, the point made succintly by 'Rachel from Scotland' on the BBC website in September 2003: 'We know he had weapons; we sold him some of them.' This is the direction a serious investigation should have taken.
    • In the early days of his government, Tony Blair liked to paraphrase the famous joke from Monty Python's Life of Brian ('All right, but apart from sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?') in order ironically to disarm his critics: 'They betrayed socialism. True, they brought more social security, they did a lot for healthcare and education, and so on, but, in spite of all that, they betrayed socialism.' As it is clear today, it is, rather, the reverse which applies: 'We remain socialists. True, we practice Thatcherism in economics, we attack asylum-seekers, beggars and single mothers, we made a deal with Murdoch, and so on, but, none the less, we're still socialists.'
    • Yo Blair, how are you doin'?
    • tony blair

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