You know how it is -- Frankie lets you hang out with the Rat Pack and eventually you start ordering your suits from his tailor and abusing cocktail waitresses just the way he does. Something similar has obviously happened to Tony Blair -- he's clearly imitating his Chairman of the Board, George W. Bush:
Labour officials have banned the grieving families of the Iraq war dead from staging a peaceful protest outside the party's forthcoming annual conference in Manchester.
Furious members of Military Families Against The War accused the party of 'censorship' after they applied to hold a small peace camp near the conference later this month.
But officials on Labour-run Manchester council told them they could not do so for 'health and safety' reasons.
The latest attempt to prevent embarrassing protests came only days after it emerged that potential hecklers had also been banned from the conference.
In what was condemned as a desperate attempt to stifle debate, dozens of members with a record of demonstration have been blacklisted. Rose Gentle, from Glasgow, whose 19-year-old son Gordon died in Iraq in 2004 said the council were "doing the Government's bidding".
She said that 20 activists from Military Families Against the War said they were refused permission to pitch tents in the city centre from September 21...
Labour has a long track record of being heavy handed with protesters. Ministers were humiliated last year when 82-year-old [Walter] Wolfgang, a refugee from Nazi Germany, was manhandled out of the conference by burly Labour Party workers for daring to heckle the then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw....
Last year, Maya Evans was arrested for reading out a list of 98 British soldiers who have died in Iraq at the Cenotaph, the memorial to Britain's war dead....
I bet this makes Blair feel like a real man -- a real Texan. I can just see him posing before a mirror in his bedroom, wearing cowboy boots and saying, "Nucular ... nucular ... nuclular...."
UPDATE: David Warren of the Ottawa Citizen on Blair and Bush:
They are both towering figures....
Stop, you're killing me.