Yo Bush! Blair mocked as US poodle
Updated: 2006-07-18 22:33
British Prime Minister Tony Blair was roundly mocked as a US poodle on
Tuesday after an off-the-cuff chat with President George W. Bush was
Bush and Blair enjoyed a gossip over lunch at the Group of Eight summit in
St. Petersburg on Monday, unaware that a microphone in front of them was
switched on and their words would be relayed around the world.
US President George W. Bush (L) speaks
privately to British Prime Minister Tony Blair during lunch at the Group
of Eight (G8) summit in St. Petersburg July 17, 2006.
Breaking with diplomatic formalities, Bush hailed Blair, his closest European
ally, with the words "Yo, Blair." His solution to the Middle East crisis was
that Syria should press Hizbollah to "stop doing this shit."
The British media pored over the text of the conversation, saying it cast
Blair in a subservient role and showed the unequal nature of Britain's
much-vaunted "special relationship" with the United States.
"Yo, Bush! Start treating our prime minister with respect," the popular
tabloid Daily Mirror said, joining others in seeing the US president's greeting
The broadcast chat "reinforces the damaging public image of Blair as the US
president's poodle," it said.
But most damaging to Blair was what commentators saw as his plea -- rebuffed
by Bush -- to be allowed to visit the Middle East to try to stop fighting
between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas.