Sadly, no – Boulton doesn’t seem to be setting up the Sky Green Zone Bureau to give us coverage of Iraqi elections… ….Blair’s visiting the mid east..
Boulton: ‘Been on scores of high security trips, this is tightest ever.’ ’18hr news blackout, left London yesterday for Jordan’ ‘xmas visit to troops’ is all he’s allowed to say about the PM’s journey, where they’re off to next etc. Downing St press officers were decked out in flak jackets at the press conference. ..no visible jacket for blair.
‘all talk of war of terror and winning wars – danger for political leaders have never been higher.’
Couldn’t drive from airport to green zone, too dangerous.
Now in Basra. PM to announce commercial flights are starting into Basra sometime soon. ..going to Israel sometime soon, according to the Israelis. Pm’s office not releasing anything.
..lots more details from Tim Marshall earlier too – I’ll rewatch and write some other things. ..
Blair’s RAF chopper was surrounded by 6 Blackhawks on the route into the GZ.
He is the first serving PM to visit Baghdad. (Ted Heath, from my memory, not Tim Marshall’s.. is the non serving PM visiting in 90/91 )
He also went further than Bush last year, who didn’t leave the airport and just presented a turkey.
Sky had news that ‘something was going on in the mid east this week’ ..no details were recorded in the diary..
Blair asked at the end of the press conference for the translator to translate something after he’d left, as the security guys were pushing for him to leave – he could only be on air live for a certain amount of time, as it’ll give someone too much time to attempt to attack. …
BBC are saying it was near on a 24hour news blackout.. unheard of.
Sounds just ripe for full and free democratic elections doesn’t it? He he Kev, you had me going there with this thread title!! AB in a flak
Good news, nothing to do with TB (those initials are quite appropriate, no?) – the 2 french journalists have been freed. Happy, happy, wonderful Xmas to Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot and their families and friends! And my thoughts this Xmas to those who were not so fortunate. Well done also to the muslim community of France for speaking out so loudly and clearly for the freedom of two innocent and brave journalists who were just doing their job and were held for 4 months.
The elections will go ahead as the Shi’ite majority are not unsurprisingly keen to take power. But how they will manage to carry out anything approaching proper elections, and how on earth one can report on it, ho hum….