In a week when Israel stepped up its offensive against Hamas in Gaza, and 270 people were allegedly killed in a 'gas field massacre' by the Islamic Caliphate in Syria, Middle East peace envoy [sic] Tony Blair was in London.
The former prime minister spoke (at some length) today to mark the 20th anniversary of the day he became leader of the Labour Party. One dedicated member of the i100 team sat through the whole thing so you didn't have to. Here are the 'highlights'. On Gaza: > I am sad and angry about the tragedy of the Gaza conflict, its people pawns in a wider struggle, hundreds of Palestinians including many children losing their lives in this nightmare. I witness the fear and insecurity of Israelis who still see their right to exist under challenge. I long to see two peoples and two states side by side in peace. - - - - - On the financial crisis: > We [Labour] didn't spot it coming. - - - - - On Europe: > To be against Europe – the biggest economic market and political union in the world – is unthinkable, backward, not representative of our national interest but destructive of it. - - - - - On Britain: > We have a great geography, the English language, a history which gives us roots and connections the world over, a world class university system, fabulous art and culture, still one of the globe’s most powerful economies and a people respected and admired. We are an island of connectivity. Our strengths are bigger than we think and our weaknesses can be addressed.
You can read the full transcript of Mr Blair's speech here.