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Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
Blairs' holiday: Where should they go?

Prime Minister Tony Blair and his family are to stay in the UK for part of their annual holiday.

It will be the first time since becoming prime minister that Mr Blair, his wife Cherie and their four children have stayed in this country.

The news follows controversy over whether ministers should back the beleaguered British tourist industry by staying at home in the wake of the foot-and-mouth crisis.

The English Tourism Council welcomed the news - and already holiday resorts around Britain are beginning to bid for the prime minister's custom.

Where should they go on their summer hols? Have they done the right thing?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

He can't afford to take any time off

Mohinder, Canada
With country in a mess with foot and month, BSE, riots and the Royal Family to top it all up. He should stay at No. 10 and resolve these issues; he can't afford to take any time off. England looks very much like a Third World country looking from the outside.
Mohinder, Canada

He should visit the UK countryside and try to understand what it means to live in rural England.
Julian, UK

I don't care - just give me advanced warning of where and when he is going, so I can be somewhere else.
Andrew, UK

He ought to worry about where people who aren't from the UK go on their holidays. I was thinking about going for a weekend in London the other week, but the ridiculous overvaluing of the pound and the extortionate price of hotels in London meant we went to Paris instead, where costs are more sensible.
Justin, Sweden

Why should they holiday in the UK? The Blairs deserve a break, which means time away from politics. Nobody seriously believes they could avoid being dragged into discussions about how the Government handled the foot-and-mouth disease if they stay in the UK - particularly if they went to Devon or Cumbria.
Gorringe, UK

Although this country is very beautiful it is also very pricey and everywhere is overcrowded in the summer. Also the Blairs would not get a decent break in the UK and even they deserve a holiday. My vote is with Tuscany - one of the most beautiful areas on this earth with some of the loveliest people too!
Ann Jones, UK

Why not take his family to Bradford so he can see what it's like?
Andrew H, UK

He should do a camping holiday by public transport around the UK. Then he might realise how much money he needs to put into the public transport system outside of London!
Darren, UK

He should go to Blackpool and ride the Pepsi Max. The blood would rush to his brain and might give him clarity and vision, something that seems to be lacking.
Kevin, UK

Why not a caravan touring holiday with the Prescotts

Steve, UK
I thought conservative politicians went to Brighton.
Paul H, Gloucester, England

Why not a caravan touring holiday with the Prescotts. John should drive and Tony navigate. Maybe Gordon could come along and sit in the backseat.
Steve, UK

The Tuscany holiday cost the British Taxpayer 40,000. I trust Prime Minister Blair will bear that in mind where ever he and his family choose to holiday.
Darren Webb, U.S.A.

Let them go to Skegness a truly boring place. I know as I had to live there for 4 years. It also had the very first grammar school to opt out of local government control which should please him being a neo conservative himself.
I. Turzanski, Netherlands

How about Serbia in which he personally and illegally took part in the bombing of innocent people. Or perhaps Iraq where illegal abuse of Iraqi airspace has caused thousands of deaths, while Blair supported Turkish troops invaded Kurdish villages. Or Burma, where New Labour supported contracts use slave child labour to build roads? This would be my recommendation.
Hugh Greaves, UK

They should go to Northern Ireland to show how safe it is now Tony's peace process is well underway.
Duncan Philps-Tate, England

A remote detached out of touch place, to fit his attitude & outlook. Mars perhaps! I've heard some say they think that is where he comes from!
Steve, UK

Why doesn't he go to Chequers?

Lesley Hawes, United Kingdom
The further away the better. The moon?
Les Williams, England

Why can't he leave Europe? Or can he? I imagine if he can't then he should be allowed to, taken his special political status. Then he should go somewhere tropical and get some sun and just relax, somewhere isolated so the paparazzi couldn't follow him.
Moe, Canada

I may be a bit biased, but I think he should come here to Hawaii to take in the sunny unspoiled beaches and the other things that make Hawaii great. Blair could also see how high-taxed people live.
Josh, USA (Hawaii)

Mr Blair should consider a visit to Texas! A different world and no language barriers... kinda.
Michael F Fousse', US

Who cares? Give the man a break.
Steve McCall, Switzerland

British tabloids are press sometimes behave preposterously, why and who are the public to decide when and where Blairs should spend their holidays. It's not worthy issue to be a part of respectable forum like "talking point".
BK, Auburn, USA

I hear that Mars is quite pleasant at this time of year!

Hugh, UK
I can tell you exactly where Tony Blair should take his family: wherever they would like to go as a family. They should pick their destination like any other family and use the holiday to relax, be a family and have fun. What is there to discuss?
Volker, England (ex Germany)

Brian Merrick - I think Blair and co know more than enough on how to wreck an economy. Look at RIP, IR35, tax on everything that moves, and ever-increasing union powers. I'd swap Blair for Bush any day.
Nigel Dempster, UK

Who cares where they go as long as the tax payer does not have to foot the bill!
Michelle, UK

I said they should stay on the Garvaghy Road!
Lillian, Ireland

Who cares?
Eyad, UK

Why and who are the public to decide when and where Blairs should spend their holidays

BK, Auburn, USA
Pardon me but I thought the prime minister already had a holiday home; why doesn't he go to Chequers? It's got a swimming pool and tennis courts, and we're paying for it already whether he goes there or not! If he doesn't use it, why not make it available so that someone else can rent it and save us some money for upkeep.
Lesley Hawes, United Kingdom

Somewhere far away, please, so that just for once we don't have to hear about every single detail of their holiday. I hear that Mars is quite pleasant at this time of year!
Hugh, UK

I think he should spend his vacation in Brunei Darussalam as it is very nice and peaceful here - and there are fewer reporters around.
Kucang, Brunei

C'mon over here, mate, we'll see you right for a barbie and a few tinnies

Mike, Perth, Australia
Let them go where they want so they can get away from all the issues of work and have a genuine break, resting and relaxing, free of the media. What is so wrong with allowing the man (NOT the Prime Minister) and his family to get away from work, as other families do? His is a high stress job which impacts on his whole family. He has just as much right as the next person to do the best for himself and his family. C'mon over here, mate, we'll see you right for a barbie and a few tinnies.
Mike, Perth, Australia

I think that the Blairs might like to go sightseeing in the areas he lived in as a child. He could also go to Wallsend Upon Tyne and see how things have changed there over the years! How about the lovely seaside town of Whitley Bay? There are some lovely places to visit up in the North of England!
R.Campbell, South Africa

They should try the Mayan Riviera and Yucatan - good services and affordable prices.
Carlos Herrera, Mexico

I'd like to see them walk the South West Coastal path. They would be so impressed with its beauty they'd arrange for the National Trust to protect the rest of Britain's coastline.
Richard N, UK

He must come to Botswana

Alfredo Rannoba, Botswana
He must come to Botswana, this the land of unspoilt natural beauty. Even the Clintons have been here before and the British royal family members support this Eden.
Alfredo Rannoba, Botswana

Wherever he goes, he should go by rail. He might then realise why so many of us want them nationalised. That having been said, I still hope he enjoys his well-earned holiday without media interference.
Nigel Tregoning, Falmouth, Cornwall, UK

The whole point of taking a holiday is to get away from your "place of employment" to recharge your physical batteries. How can you rest and relax with the whole of the media watching and waiting for you to slip up and make a mistake politically? For the sake of the wife and children let them enjoy at least their holiday in peace. Or did we learn nothing with the death of dear Diana, Princess of Wales? Harassment can only cause pain to the innocent - think of the kids and forget the politics!
Annette, USA

Preferably some place without telephones, computers, or TV sets

Sarah Ellen Scallan, USA
Preferably some place without telephones, computers, or TV sets: a lodge in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.
Sarah Ellen Scallan, U.S.A.

The Blairs can stay at my house and house sit. I am going away with my family to Italy - better weather, food, wine, culture. Tony can mow my lawn, the children can sit in front of the TV all day and Cherie can clean house.
Steve, England

Why shouldn't he have a complete break away from it all?

Allan, Scotland
The Blairs should go wherever they wish on holiday, at home or abroad. Being PM doesn't mean that we own him and his family. He gives 101% to his country all the year round. Why shouldn't he have a complete break away from it all without worrying about what the media might say? If we want him to continue to give 101%, an extended holiday once a year is a small price to pay.
Allan, Scotland

This year for the first time in ages we holidayed in the UK because we have a small baby. It was heaven, all of the stress of air travel removed and some glorious locations right under our nose. My passport won't be needed for the foreseeable future.
Adrian Crane, UK

Tony Blair should go on holiday to Japan and tour the country, travelling by rail and underground. Gordon Brown should go too.
L.J. Elmslie, Italy

The Yapparrazzi should leave the guy alone

Andy Meadows, UK
The Yapparrazzi should leave the guy alone. As PM he is unlikely to get a holiday anywhere in the UK where lots of folk will badger him about their local bypass. He should go abroad.
Andy Meadows, UK

He can come and stay at my house, I have a spare bedroom.
Darren Wallace, UK

Preferably anywhere that is not near to where I am - have they considered Timbuktu?
Phil Davies, UK

Many will see a holiday in England as a forced and false gesture

Sarah Gough, Britain
The Blairs are like any other family, and surely they should be allowed to holiday where they please. Obviously the devastation of foot-and-mouth is awful, but many will see a holiday in England as a forced and false gesture, merely political propaganda.
Sarah Gough, Britain

Go on holiday wherever he wants, but as long as they leave the car at home and experience the speed, comfort and convenience that can be achieved by public transport. For I am sure it will be for them.
Paul, UK

I think he should go and visit some of the historical and archaeological sites of the Ilisu valley. Then he could travel through some of the wartorn parts of Africa and see the results of New Labour's so-called ethical foreign policy.
Stuart, Reading, UK

Lucky they are able to have a holiday

Jennifer, Cumbria, UK
I don't think it matters at all where any of them go. It will hardly do any good for the economy of the Lake District now, it's just far too late, the damage has been done. Lucky they are able to have a holiday.
Jennifer, Cumbria, UK

He should naturally come to Wales, breathe fresh air, drink clean water, with breathtaking views like Snowdonia, Vale of Glamorgan, or Gower Peninsula. Plus visit the most up and coming hippest city in Europe - Cardiff, the best shopping, eating and lots of drinking. Hey and it's just over 2 hours but million miles away as they say.
Karl, Wales

They could go on a working holiday - perhaps on a farm.
Jake, UK

I reckon they should large it in Ibiza
Wiggsy, England

As an Old Frintonian I've got to say Frinton-on-Sea.
Robert Tripe, Frinton-on-Sea

Tony should be left alone to decide where he wants to go on holiday

Pete, Italy
Tony should be left alone to decide where he wants to go on holiday and then he should be left alone when he goes on holiday. If he got a decent rest, which is the usual reason for a holiday, he might be a better Prime Minister. Could it be that Tony has gone abroad in the past to avoid media harassment, rather than a preference for foreign holidays?
Pete, Italy

They should take a working vacation with George W. Bush in the United States, and learn how to ruin the economy in the UK.
Brian Merrick, USA

They should stay in UK and show everybody that it's the best place in the world to have a holiday.
Karen Nicolao, Brazil

Let them go wherever they want - as long as it's not where I am!
Paul, England

Why should the Blairs be considered any different to the thousands of British people who go abroad every summer to get some sun? As Parliament is in recess for so long, they could also spend part of the holiday in the UK to help out with our tourist industry.
Christopher, UK

Rural England is no fun

Kurt, London
Anywhere but the UK - poor food, poor weather, poor accommodation and poorly managed tourist attractions - no, rural England is no fun. The only time I leave London is when I go to Heathrow or Gatwick. I suggest Tony and co. do the same if they want to have a break.
Kurt, London

They should go somewhere damp and dreary in the UK - so that the press rat pack do not get the excuse for an all expenses paid junket abroad.
Howard Jones, UK

I expect Tony Blair will choose a holiday location in an area that he suddenly feels "passionate" about, like the Lake District, so he can be friendly to the long suffering farmers or Bill Clinton's retreat because he's a really cool guy. I'd prefer him personally to go on holiday to another planet because he sounds like someone who is not of this world half the time!
Julian, UK

Frankly, it is nobody's business where they go on holiday this year.
S Stone, UK

He should go to Singapore for holidays because it's a very calm and suitable place, and the people there are very friendly. After the elections and the newborn child, it's the time for the UK prime minister to take a rest abroad, far away from political and other work pressures. P.S. Tony Blair is the greatest PM that UK has ever had, so he deserves to enjoy a good holiday.
Adnan Kika, Kuala Lumpur

How would you feel if your employer decided where you could or couldn't take your summer holiday?

J Ellis, Scotland
How would you feel if your employer decided where you could or couldn't take your summer holiday? Come on, people, let him take his family wherever they want to go and enjoy having time to spend together as a family. Maybe he does earn enough to stay in the UK but I certainly don't! I find it hard to believe that people find it normal to be expected to pay the same amount for a long weekend in the Highlands of Scotland as they would for a 2-week package deal abroad!
J Ellis, Scotland

To all those people who rant on about the "state of the country's beaches", "inadequate railways" and the weather, why are you living here? If you really hate it so much, leave. I certainly won't miss you or your relentless moaning. The Blairs should be allowed to go on holiday wherever they want, but they wouldn't do bad to see some of North Wales or Cornwall - they're beautiful places and the tourist industry could do with a hand.
Andrew Richardson, UK

He's worked hard all year, had a baby, and won an election

Jim, UK
He's worked hard all year, had a baby, and won an election. He should have the right to choose wherever in the world he wants to go, regardless of the pressures of the Tourist Board.
Jim, UK

I think that the Blairs should holiday in an area that was hit hard by the Foot and Mouth epidemic. Of course, this will attract hundreds of people to the area, wanting to catch a glimpse of the PM and family.....(Grins out loud).
Ali Wells, UK

They should go to Kenya - the land is beautiful.
Philip Adolwa, USA

I'm no Blairite but I do think Tony and his family are entitled to holiday where they please - especially when one considers the state of our beaches back home. The only exception to this is Bournemouth, setting the standard for others to follow.
Adrian Y, UK

He should go as far away as possible. Then we can get on with the Silly Season without interruption.
James, London, UK

They should be forced to travel on our overpriced, overcrowded, inadequate railways

Steve Cahill, UK
They should be forced to travel on our overpriced, overcrowded, inadequate railways. They should check into a tacky seaside resort and pay extortionate amounts of money for third rate food and entertainment. Hopefully it will rain so they will be forced to hire a car in search of entertainment, then they can pay the highest petrol prices in Europe. They can then come home, count the cost of their holiday and resolve to go abroad next time.
Steve Cahill, UK

There's no such place as the 'gobbles' in Glasgow.
Rob, Glasgow

Wherever they decide to go, I hope they can get some time to themselves without being bothered by the media. Maybe a few weeks in the Lake District up a mountain would be nice.
Peter Robinson, Southport, England

There are three important points. Firstly, his children, like all children, will be very excited by going abroad. Secondly, it would be cheaper to go abroad. And thirdly we are all part of Continental Europe now anyway.
Charlie, UK

Holidays should be a family time, not a political statement

Tom, UK
Wherever they want to go. Holidays should be a family time, not a political statement. And don't say 'he's the Prime Minister and should do his duty'; his wife and children aren't the prime minister.
Tom, UK

The Blair's should go wherever they want to go! As long as they don't try dictating whether others should go abroad or stay in the UK.
Terry Perkins, England

Anywhere, as long as it's not North Devon! I'm going there and don't want the Blairs and the media interfering with my holiday!
Liz, UK

Somewhere that intelligent people don't have to see them, listen to them or hear about them.
Richard T. Ketchum, USA

He will need every penny of that pay rise to go on holiday in the UK. It is SO expensive.
Janet Gladstone, UK

Why only part of their holiday in the UK?

Darren Vernon, England
Why only part of their holiday in the UK? They obviously think it's not good enough for them to spend the whole of their holiday in the UK.
I'd like to see them stay (and work) on a REAL farm somewhere. I'd also like to be a fly-on-the-wall whilst they were there!
Darren Vernon, England

I suppose that anywhere in the UK would be acceptable but why not go to Blackpool. This old Lancashire town has suffered significantly over the last few decades due to the rape by fat cat corporations wishing to make a quick buck. Blackpool is now left in tatters and Labour's withdrawal from the town as a conference venue has not helped things.
James, France

Why does he want to stay here?! No-one else does... Its not foot-and-mouth that causes people to go on holiday outside the UK - its got far more to do with the weather, ease and low-price of transport, cheaper and better accommodation, more for the whole family to do, etc, etc. Go back to Tuscany, Mr Blair - good food, good weather, nice wine, good service, cheap accommodation, fabulous scenery, excellent arts and entertainment (and affordable, unlike London), uncongested roads, good railway system; basically everything the UK can't offer on holiday.
David, UK

A tour of the stark beautiful industrial wastelands of Britain: Grimsby, Rhondda Valley, Clydebank, Stoke-on-Trent

Jim, UK
A tour of the stark beautiful industrial wastelands of Britain: Grimsby, Rhondda Valley, Clydebank, Stoke-on-Trent. Staying in real working class houses, eating from chippies and re-discovering his roots in the country's heartland. Tony and Euan could drink (10) pints with real ex-workers and discuss the vagaries of the Tories while the ladies wonder how to remove the spider from the quaint outdoor commode.
Jim, UK

I reckon Tony and Cherie and the wee ones should go to somewhere classy like Clacton on the Sea, Hastings, or maybe take in the breathtaking beauty of Wolverhampton. And there is always Butlins. Real Class. Or better still take one of those coach package tours to Blackpool
Veronica Williamson, The Netherlands

I think he should go abroad

Lawrence, UK
I think he should go abroad. The whole point of going on holiday is getting away from work, and relaxing. This is not really going to happen if he stays in England, is it? By spending some time living in another country - rather than going on an official visit - he might see how other people live, and use this experience in his work. Or he could stay in Torquay, surrounded by bodyguards, unable to go anywhere for being recognised.
Lawrence, UK

Oldham, or perhaps Burnley.
Mike, UK

Leave them alone, for God's sake. The Prime Minister should be allowed a break from the pathetic nitpickers who seem to pollute the media these days.
Edward, UK

They should go where they want, but have to use public transport for the duration. A couple of trips on the boiling London tube might show Tony what his taxpayers have to put up with
John, UK

With all that spare cash burning a hole in his pocket he can afford to come to Scotland

Alan Cameron, Scotland
With a 40% pay rise safely tucked into his back pocket, Tony, Cherie and the bairns have no need to take a cheap package holiday abroad and ask friends to put them up in the summer house. With all that spare cash burning a hole in his pocket he can afford to come to Scotland. We need the business. He could drive his Galaxy for 14 hours up the M6 and A9 and find out the price of fuel, as there is no motor-rail now, since privatisation. He could see at first hand why vast tracts of Scotland are called "beautiful wastelands". He might even meet a crofter or two. Or maybe the fishermen at the seaside, those jolly rugged chaps who have just been sold out. Best not to get too involved with the locals though. He could of course avoid all contact with the rebellious Scots and stay in 5* luxury at one of Scotland' exclusive places like Inverlochy, or Gleneagles at 1000 per night. Just like Tuscany, beautiful scenery, with low paid workers doing those so important service jobs.
Alan Cameron, Scotland

Anywhere abroad, the further away the better. And only get a one way ticket.
Vernon Bigg, UK

As an Edinburgher, I naturally disagree with Andrew Thompson! The Blairs should come up here and breathe some clean air for a change. And I'm sure Euan would appreciate our longer licensing hours...
Richard Braggins, Scotland, UK

Get a Bed & Breakfast at the Gobbles, mix with the poor and the less fortunate

Tevin, Scotland
I think they should visit the Gobbles in Glasgow, Scotland. Get a Bed & Breakfast at the Gobbles, mix with the poor and the less fortunate. Like the prince who became the pauper to see what it was like being poor. It would be so cool.
TEVIN, Scotland

At Huntingdon Life Sciences where they can see first-hand the hideous practices Blair and only Blair is prepared to support -- with taxpayers' money.
Nigel Rees, Briton in USA

They should go to Skegness
Nick Robshaw, USA

He should go to the far north of Scotland - as I'll be in Cornwall.
Alan, UK

Enough of this Tuscany stuff. Try Torquay

Chris, UK
Well done for the Blairs! Enough of this Tuscany stuff. Try Torquay. The British Riviera, fantastic.
Chris, UK

They should stay in London. I bet they never have time to take in the sights, go to the museums and go to the theatre. London is the best town in the world. No need to go anywhere else.
Andrew Thomson, London, UK

He should go to the Isle of Man where he can play in the sand like Happy Jack.
Mark, UK

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See also:

04 Jul 01 | UK Politics
Home and away for Blairs
04 Apr 01 | UK Politics
Blairs 'may swap Tuscany for Lakes'
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