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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 May, 2004, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Should Blair stand by Bush?
Tony Blair and George Bush
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has pledged continued allegiance with US President George Bush.

Mr Blair has dismissed calls, including some from within his own party, to distance himself from the president.

In an interview with British newspaper the Independent, he said he would not end British support for its "main ally" and added that it was "in the interests of the world" that the UK continued to support the military coalition in Iraq.

Mr Blair's declaration of loyalty comes after a week of allegations that US troops abused and tortured Iraqi prisoners.

Should Blair continue to support President Bush? Do you agree that the coalition staying in Iraq is "in the interest of the world"?

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


The following comments reflect the balance of the opinion we have received:

I have no particular problem with standing by our allies but it has to be done on the basis of informed consent and mutual respect. At the moment it appears that the relationship is one of master-servant with Blair blindly following whatever Bush says. This is not in the interests of the UK. Were the relationship one of equals where both men influenced and guided the other there would be a lot less hostility, within the UK at least.
John B, UK

Now we have started, we cannot simply pull out of Iraq and let the US and Iraqis clean up the mess. The country is in a terrible mess and we should continue to try to sort out the situation. I was against the war, but believe pulling out now is not an option. However, on other issues such as the Middle East road map, the UK has now a chance to voice its own opinion and not just follow George Bush.
Nathan, Poole, UK

I am not a Blair or Labour supporter but still say that of course the UK should continue apace with the strong US alliance. We should ignore all the anti-US rhetoric going on this country. It's all driven by the "not in my name" brigade, who only bleat about what not to do. They never come up with sensible and workable alternative suggestions.
Paul B, Oxford, UK

He doesn't have much choice
Andrew, Cirencester, UK
Well, he doesn't have much choice now does he? Next time let's elect a government with its own foreign policy, not someone else's, eh?
Andrew, Cirencester, UK

Tony Blair's involvement with George Bush has been an ill-though-out disaster. As long as he is Prime Minister I shall never again vote Labour. I do not trust him to do what is best for Britain.
Jean Johnson, London

For Mr Blair to stop supporting Bush now is like admitting he made a mistake for standing by Bush on the Iraq war and his Middle East policies.
Curtis, London

It sometimes takes strength of character and backbone to do what is right, unpopular though it may be. Tony Blair has done exactly that - and I think we are lucky to have a leader of his courage and international stature.
Simon, Edinburgh

Tony Blair was wrong in the first place to align with Bush. But now no matter what, he should side by George till the end.
Chetan Bhatt, Sydney, Australia

Let him stand by Bush. Come the next elections both here and in the US both leaders will be voted out of office if there's any justice and common sense left in either of our countries.
Matt, UK,

Blair should stand by Bush and the rest of us should stand by neither of them.
Alan, Bristol, UK

Discredited president, discredited Prime Minister, discredited war. That the UK continues to support the US is a national disgrace.
John-Paul Coetzee, United Kingdom

We have lost most of our cherished democracy
James, Canada
I pity the British people if Blair stands by Bush. Its time for countries associated with Bush to allow their citizen an open vote on the matter. Noticed I said open vote, as if we have lost most of our cherished democracy and we have and will continue to especially if the American people don't soon wake up.
James, Canada

Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush should finish what they started. It would be foolish to back out now and leave Iraq open to the illegitimate power claims of unelected extremists.
Ian Hall, Alnwick, UK

No, no and no. We don't need to be dragged down with America, and their spiral of disasters. Blair needs to focus on bringing us closer to Europe - our true friends - instead of currying favour with an intellectually challenged president, whose own country is turning against him.
Ashley Wood, Truro, UK

I think it is time Blair pursued a foreign policy that befits our own country, is beneficial to our country, and is in line with the overwhelming majority of public opinion. Had Blair done so originally and listened to the opinions of the British public, most of whom did not want to go into this war, then we would not find ourselves in this chaotic mess that has erupted inside Iraq. For goodness sake, Mr Blair, forget your own place in history and do what you were elected to do: act for Britain!
Stephen Holland, Sheffield, UK

Surely we know better than to let that maniac drive the bus?
Lindsey, Warwickshire
No, it's time to detach from Bush. He is dangerous, driving a foreign policy that has alienated most of the world. Enough is enough - surely we know better than to let that maniac drive the bus?
Lindsey, Warwickshire

I suppose Bush and Blair must hold on to each other as they are slowly but surely sinking in their re election bid
Chandran Sukumaran, Port Dickson, Malaysia




SEE ALSO:
Defiant Blair stays loyal to Bush
14 May 04  |  Politics



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