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Friday, August 18, 2006

Labor MPs Defend Prescott: "Bush IS Crap..."

As the Bush Administration faces multiple diplomatic and military crises largely of its own making, Bush's closest ally, Tony "Poodle" Blair, faces an increasingly restive Labor Party at home for his support of Bush. Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was quoted on the front-page of The Independent as calling Bush "...crap" and "...a cowboy". Asked for their reactions, those Labor MPs who were willing to go on the record largely supported Mr. Prescott's remarks. Mr. Bush, it seems, for the second day running, IS crap according to the British Labor Party.


LONDON (AFP) - Britain's governing Labour Party MPs rallied behind Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott after allegations that he called US President George W. Bush "crap" and "a cowboy", it was reported.

On the front page of The Independent, nine Labour MPs and London's mayor, also a Labour Party member, voiced their agreement with the alleged statements, which Prescott denies he said.

The capital's Mayor Ken Livingstone said "the current US administration has been a disaster for the American people and has done untold damage not only to international relations but to the environment."

Meanwhile, Harry Cohen, the MP who made the initial allegations, told The Guardian that Prescott -- in charge of the government while Prime Minister Tony Blair is on holiday -- was "lamenting the fact that there hadn't been progress on" the Middle East road map.

According to Cohen, Prescott's alleged view was held by many Labour MPs "and I suspect at high levels of government as well".

Another Labour MP, Ann Cryer, told The Independent: "I have no doubt that there is a very large number of Labour MPs who will be agreeing with what John Prescott is alleged to have said."

"I agree with it."

Cohen on Thursday was quoted in The Independent as saying Prescott "said he only gave support to the war on Iraq because they promised the road map."

"But he said the Bush administration had been crap on that. We all laughed and he said to an official: 'Don't minute that'."

In a statement Thursday, Prescott said: "This is an inaccurate report of a private conversation and it is not my view."

In Washington, White House spokesman Tony Snow downplayed the remarks on Thursday. The president has "been called a lot worse and, I suspect, will be. And there will be piquant names, sort of, hurled his way from time to time, but, you know, that's part of the burden of leadership."

Political analysts said that if Prescott made the remark, it would have been in character for the beefy seaman-turned-politician who was once famously filmed punching a heckler who threw an egg at him while he was campaigning.

He was stripped of most of his cabinet responsibilities in May in a furore over his extramarital affair with a government secretary, but was retained by Blair to be his second in command.

Prescott's fling is to be the subject of a 90-minute film for Britain's main commercial ITV channel, made by the same team that whipped up a soap opera on the love affair that cost David Blunkett his job as home secretary last year.

A script has been commissioned, with production to follow later this year and broadcast due in 2007, the domestic Press Association news agency reported.

Prescott also remains the subject of controversy over his contacts with a US billionaire, Philip Anschutz, who is bidding for the rights to turn the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, southeast London, into a huge casino.

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