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Blair “Wreckers” Speech Creates Stir

Posted February. 07, 2002 09:36,   


British Prime Minister Tony Blair stands defiant as he faces fierce opposition after he accused those who blocked his reforms as `wreckers` on the 3rd. The situation is similar to the stir created by U.S. President George W. Bush`s comment on the `axis of evil`. Excessive language or expression is a taboo for politicians.

At the Labour Party`s spring conference in Cardiff on the 3rd, Prime Minister Blair criticized, "Whoever criticizes the government`s reform agenda to bring in some private companies (for reforming public services) inside and outside of the Party are all `wreckers`."

In the draft of his speech, `wreckers` were limited to the Conservative Party, but Prime Minister Blair revised it in person and included critics in Labour Party in the umbrella of `wreckers` on his way to the conference.

Unions who have opposed the reform of public services issued a statement at once and criticized, "The leader of the Conservative Party may accuse the laborers in public services as wreckers, but Prime Minister from the Labour Party should not have used such crude language." Unions extended the strike period of Southwest Trains, which is the largest commuter train company in Britain, from 2 days to 4 days as a sign of protest.

The Times on the 5th carried a satirical cartoon in which Prime Minister asks his staff, " `Wreckers` was crude. Might `axis of evil` be better?"

Jei-Gyoon Park phark@donga.com