Jeremy Vine caller ‘can’t stand’ Blair and rages over knighthood
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Caller Rebecca was angry at the news Tony Blair has received a knighthood and accused the ex-Labour leader of ruining her trust in his party. Rebecca challenged another caller who felt Sir Tony’s behaviour during Princess Diana’s death and his charity work was enough for her to back the move. But Rebecca was less than impressed, arguing Sir Tony was a “war criminal” and paved the way for the NHS to be privatised.
Speaking on Jeremy Vine on 5, the panel discussed Sir Tony’s new title as his critics have come out in full force to question his suitability for the knighthood.
Caller Christine backed Sir Tony and felt he did more good than bad during his leadership.
She told the show: “Well, I honestly think that Tony does deserve a knighthood.
“The main reason for me is the way that he got the country back together after Diana died.
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“I mean, everybody was so angry, he listened to the public. Whether you agree with his politics or not I think you have to give him that.
“Because credit for what he did at that time.”
Sir Tony quickly issued a heartfelt public statement following the death of Princess Diana in 1997 and coined the phrase “People’s Princess” which quickly caught on.
Host Jeremy Vine invited caller Rebecca to rebuttal and she was furious at how Sir Tony’s actions have led to some of the biggest issues currently.
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She explained: “Personally, I think that he’s a complete hypocrite, a war criminal and he was the beginning of starting privatisation within the NHS in this country.
“He is a Tory in sheep’s clothing.
“He pretends to be a good person… he pretends to be a left person when he’s actually a complete right-winger.
“He’s completely ruined the Labour Party for left-wing people like me who don’t feel they stand for workers anymore.”
Christine added she was happy with the charity work Sir Tony has done throughout his life and said any leader in his shoes would invade Iraq with the knowledge they had at the time.
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Nearly 500,000 people have voted in a Change.Org petition calling for Sir Tony’s knighthood to be removed.
The petition reads: “Tony Blair is the least deserving person of any public honour, particularly anything awarded by Her Majesty the Queen.
“We petition the Prime Minister to petition Her Majesty to have this honour removed.”
Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle came out to defend the decision and said it was right for all former Prime Ministers to be given the honour.
Sir Lindsay told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Whatever people might think, it is one of the toughest jobs in the world and I think it is respectful and it is the right thing to do, whether it is to Tony Blair or to David Cameron. They should all be offered that knighthood when they finish as prime minister…
“I would say if you’ve been prime minister of this country, I do believe the country should recognise the service they’ve given.
“It is not about politics, it is about the position they have held in this country: It’s about the position and it’s the respect that we show to those people who’ve led this country.
“And I think it’s a fitting tribute to the job they’ve carried out.”
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